Contributors to this thread:
Game cam questions
First ever using trail cams and I have a few questions. Thanks to some rather good luck over the last two years I have been able to find some great bargains on some decent basic no frills trail cams and bought several. As I said these are very basic 5 & 6 MP IR cams with a trigger range of 50'. My situation is after loosing my farm last year, the same landowner just recently granted me permission to be the only hunter on one of his other farms. This farm is about a 3 hour and 10 minuet ride from my house so I am limited to going to the farm on off days only and my off days are rather few. Seeing as I have never used trail cams before and I am limited as to how often I can get to the land I have a few questions that I hope those more experience with trial cams than I can help me with. I think it would be helpful if I describe the habitat I will be hunting. After location the farm on Mytopo.com I was able to get a very good look at the property. The habitat that I will be hunting is two separate large hedge rows and a small 3-5 acre block of woods in the SE corner of a 40-50 acre field. The largest hedge row is in the east half of a separate 40 acre field and averages about 200-225' in width by 20 acres long. The second smaller hedge row is in a separate 10 acre field and averages about 75-110' in width by 10 acres long. It's worth noting the block of woods I can hunt connects to a MUCH bigger block of woods on the adjoining property this my block of woods also has two parallel hedge rows running into it from the south and SSE from the neighbors land to the south both of which connect to large blocks of timber. All habitat is surrounded by agricultural fields that all will have crops in them. I plan on having all my stands up and tails cams in position by 1st week of August. It's worth noting that when I do check my trail cams I plan on dressing using the same clothing and scent control methods as when I hunt. Question #1 is how close to bow season or an actual hunt and how often should I check my trail cams? I plan on simply swapping the SD cards and viewing on my lap top back in the truck or while on the spot on my phone situation depending. In any event I will take every precaution to keep my impact on my hunting areas as minimal as humanly possible. Question #2-When is the best time of day with the least chance of spooking deer to visit your trail cams? I'm considering mid day as that is when especially pre and early season deer movement is at its lowest and they are usually bedded, and I am going to try to avoid setting up my trail cams to close to bedding areas. Question #3-Considering I will be hunting mostly hedge rows, which are essentially long continuous funnels, besides the obvious areas of maximum deer sign, are there any other places that I should consider placing a cam or as my I believe let the deer sign decide cam placement for me. Question#4-Does it matter how close to my actual stand sight to place a trail cam? What I'm looking for if it exists is a rule of thumb for distance from your stand and trail cam placement or as I suspect let the combined factors of deer sign and habitat decide for me.. Like I said my huntable cover is not all that large so I wish to try to place my trail cams so as to if possible keep the impact of when I check them to a minimum. Last question: I plan on not bow hunting until after the first week of November UNLESS that is the weather predicts a cold snap with a day or two of unseasonably very cool weather prior to or during the very first few days of November. My friend arrowed a beautiful 150"+ 10 pointer during an early season cold snap back in 2016. So based on the above information I'm hoping someone with a large amount of experience with trail cam use can help me out with some answers. Thank you, DMTJ/Arthur.
Being that I can’t see the property my words of advice through years of cam trial and error are get high quality batteries so they last, point camera towards the north so sun doesn’t white out the pics, don’t take the cam serious as it does miss a lot of deer wandering by it, test out each before you make the drive by setting them off and checking out pics. Seeing as the property is hours away I doubt you will be in there enough to scare the deer off but I like your mid day check time. May not be a lot of action until crops are grown. If you get bucks on cam I’d even hunt before rut and not wait as they could be anywhere once it starts.
Spike thanks for the advice. I did read about facing your cameras north to minimize the suns impact and Ive tried out one cam as a learning experience and found out you must eliminate EVERY LAST piece of vegetation in front of your camera that could move due to wind as it will trip the camera ENDLESSLY. My first camera I mounted had a over hanging limb that ended up putting over 200 pics on it in less than 3 hours. I found out this particular cam was advertised as having a 50' range but it tripped regularly at up to 60'. I set it up on a small tree near where I was practicing with my bow. 5 MP took quite good day time pictures and I could easily recognize deer or other game animals at beyond 100 yards.
I'm also trying to decide how many cams to place in a given area. It stands to reason more cams in a given area = more chances to spook deer. I was thinking because the largest hedge row is "T" shaped with the "T" on the east end of the row connecting to hedgerows of the adjoining property to the north and south put one in the "T" area with the most sign and then one in the hedge row if applicable preferably in the narrowest portion of the hedge row that runs to the east away from the "T" intersection. The other smaller hedge row I was just going to put one cam in the area the deer sign indicated as making the most sense. Both hedge rows are situated right next to farm access roads so I'm counting on getting to them with minimal impact. The field also has a farm access road going to it and to the block of woods I described so I'm hoping I again can get in and out with minimal impact. The block of woods in the SE corner of the 40 acre field I will have to scout it and place the cam accordingly. As I said I am most concerned about what time of season and time of day to check my cams. Taking into account cam location and angling it to max cover a trail, which I've read is by setting your camera at a 45* angle to the trail, as well as keeping it facing north are things I'm aware of, but still welcome all advice.
Camo them the best you can. Public land ain’t the only place cams can get stolen.
The last 6 bucks I’ve killed, 5 Ive had on cam. Closest kill to cam pic was 80 yards, furthest over a mile. I’ve set up and tried to kill at the picture site but never have.
I put cams in feeding areas knowing that if I get a pic, I generally know where he is in daylight. I usually hunt bedding areas, so I stay out with cams. I only go in in late winter and to hunt. First time in is your best chance.
I don’t use bait for cams but just kick up dirt. If you build it they will come. ;)