This is why you alway need to have your trail camera up and taking photos. This is also why you want the best trail camera you can afford. You do not want to miss out on a Mountain Lion Killing a Whitetail Buck.
Trail cameras have taken the hunting industry by storm in the last 20 years, and especially the last 10 years. They have allowed hunters to scout their favorite hunting spots 24/7, without even being there. As popularity has risen, manufactures have spent lots of money improving upon trail cameras in an effort to provide the best trail camera for hunting at the best price, which has turned into some fierce competition among trail camera makers.
Benefits of Using Trail Cameras:
Trail cameras give a hunter insight into what type of animals (or people) are lurking around in their hunting areas. If a hunter is not to picky about the size of deer he or she is after, then trail cameras can be used to find an area where the maximum number of deer hang out. For a trophy hunter, trail cameras are instrumental in allowing the hunter to focus on the biggest bucks on the property and to distinguish which bucks are actually shooters and which ones should be saved for next year. Trail cameras really have revolutionized trophy hunting, and as a result, the average age class of deer has gone up, which is better for all deer hunting all around the board as it gives the younger, immature deer time to grow up and reach maturity.
Of course, trail cameras are not only good for deer hunting. They may be effectively used for nearly all types of hunting ground animals such as elk, bear, turkey, moose, and more.
The best trail cameras for hunting also benefit a hunter in the fact that they save a lot of time compared to scouting on foot and save both time and money compared to scouting by a vehicle. Also, the best trail cameras for hunting are great at taking pictures at night with infrared flash that enables a hunter to see exactly what is moving about at night. Many of the large, mature deer are smart enough that they do not move much, if at all during the day, so you would never know they are there without trail cameras.
How to Use a Trail Camera
Trail cameras, also known as scouting cameras, game cameras, and other names can be place anywhere you suspect your targeted animals to be. Most hunters use a tree trunk, but other bases may be used such as a fence post or anything else that is sturdy enough to hold up the weight of the trail cam.
You will have to play around with the trail camera to make sure it is at the right height and pointed in the right direction. Therefor you will want to take a test photos of yourself by walking back and forth in front of it. Just to get you started in the right direction, most trail cameras ideal height will be lower than what you would think. Waist height is generally a good place to start. It may also help to have your trail camera figured out prior to entering the woods. That way you can get it set up and then get out of there, minimizing your impact on the areas animal life.
Where to set up a Trail Camera
Trail cameras can be places any where you suspect there to be deer traffic (or whatever you are hunting). Good spots are feeding areas, watering holes, game trails, and scrapes or rubs. Many people will place their trail cameras facing directly at their feeders or watering troughs.
When to Setup a Trail Camera
There is no wrong time to set up a trail camera. In fact, if you have a trail camera for hunting, then it should be out snapping pictures right now of the game that you may be pursuing. The best time to set up your trail camera is now.
It is very easy to procrastinate setting up your trail camera. It seems that summer flies by and then before you know it, hunting season is underway. Preferably, you should have your trail cam up throughout the summer and clear through hunting season so that you can get a true understanding of what types of animal you have on your hunting property, as well as their size. If you have multiple trail cameras, then it may be possible to pattern the animals you are going to target by determining the time and place they are when and where.
By getting your hunting trail cameras out early in the summer, you will also have the opportunity to move them around to find the best area to set up come hunting season. If you leave your trail cam out for a week and you get a few doe pictures, but that is it, then you will have plenty of time to change areas and hope to set your camera up in an area that is frequented by a few more deer, preferably mature bucks.
Laws on Trail Cameras
Depending on the state you plan on putting up trail cameras, there are different laws. As for as I know, there are no laws governing when and where you can place trail cameras on private property. I do know however that some states do have laws against placing trail cameras on public property. Utah and Montana are two such states that prohibit the use of trail cameras on public property, but each have their own laws and they may or may not be year round laws. It is important to check your state laws before you begin placing trail cameras on public property. While there are definitely laws, at this point I do not think many of them are enforced much, but that could change.
Keeping Your Trail Camera Safe