Mathews Inc.
Cellular game cameras and fair chase
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
deerhunter72 04-Dec-23
Missouribreaks 04-Dec-23
Shiloh 04-Dec-23
Dale06 04-Dec-23
Bowfinatic 04-Dec-23
Deebz 04-Dec-23
Grey Ghost 04-Dec-23
midwest 04-Dec-23
craigmcalvey 04-Dec-23
wildwilderness 04-Dec-23
VAMtns 04-Dec-23
WV Mountaineer 04-Dec-23
APauls 04-Dec-23
Shaft 04-Dec-23
deerhunter72 04-Dec-23
Bent arrow 04-Dec-23
Starfire 04-Dec-23
Blood 04-Dec-23
sitO 04-Dec-23
Hunts_with_stick 04-Dec-23
Iowa booner hunter 04-Dec-23
Corax_latrans 04-Dec-23
LBshooter 04-Dec-23
Thornton 04-Dec-23
Jerry Gille 04-Dec-23
stringgunner 05-Dec-23
fuzzy 05-Dec-23
Bou'bound 05-Dec-23
WI Shedhead 05-Dec-23
M.Pauls 05-Dec-23
Catscratch 05-Dec-23
Pat Lefemine 05-Dec-23
Timex? 05-Dec-23
Grey Ghost 05-Dec-23
BoggsBowhunts 05-Dec-23
Starfire 05-Dec-23
jconman 05-Dec-23
drycreek 05-Dec-23
MichaelArnette 05-Dec-23
MichaelArnette 05-Dec-23
Corax_latrans 05-Dec-23
Live2Hunt 05-Dec-23
Timex? 05-Dec-23
KB 05-Dec-23
Corax_latrans 05-Dec-23
deerhunter72 05-Dec-23
deerhunter72 05-Dec-23
Grey Ghost 05-Dec-23
ryanrc 05-Dec-23
Corax_latrans 05-Dec-23
Corax_latrans 05-Dec-23
Missouribreaks 05-Dec-23
c5ken 05-Dec-23
deerhunter72 05-Dec-23
Corax_latrans 05-Dec-23
drycreek 05-Dec-23
Live2Hunt 05-Dec-23
Ollie 05-Dec-23
SteveB 05-Dec-23
Timex? 05-Dec-23
Michael 05-Dec-23
Catscratch 05-Dec-23
Corax_latrans 05-Dec-23
ryanrc 05-Dec-23
stringgunner 05-Dec-23
Michael 05-Dec-23
ryanrc 05-Dec-23
Grey Ghost 05-Dec-23
Timex? 05-Dec-23
drycreek 05-Dec-23
Corax_latrans 05-Dec-23
stringgunner 05-Dec-23
KB 05-Dec-23
Thornton 05-Dec-23
Bowhunter81 06-Dec-23
Timex? 06-Dec-23
caribou77 07-Dec-23
caribou77 07-Dec-23
DonVathome 07-Dec-23
KsRancher 07-Dec-23
Timex? 07-Dec-23
fuzzy 07-Dec-23
Bake 07-Dec-23
From: deerhunter72
04-Dec-23
This topic has been debated here before and I really am still on the fence about cameras and fair chase. I've been using regular cameras for 4 years now and I really enjoy getting the pictures and seeing what's out there. I don't feel like we've had any real advantage on the deer we've killed, but we are mostly killing deer now that we have pictures of beforehand. I had planned to upgrade to cell cams this year, but I didn't yet. My main interest in having them is to stay out of the woods more as the season is starting and to keep an eye out for trespassers. But I am hesitant because I feel like this technology is somehow unfair to the deer I'll be hunting. I don't see how it would help me to kill any particular deer, but it could influence my hunt locations if I get pictures when I'm heading to the woods. Several states have banned game/cell cams and B&C and P&Y have restrictions on entering deer that were killed via assistance from cameras. I'm interested to know if the guys using cellular cameras feel like they have any unfair advantage over the game they are hunting?

04-Dec-23
They are great for snatching trespassers.

From: Shiloh
04-Dec-23
I think I would do better without cameras!! Often, if I don’t have a pic of a deer that I am interested in I don’t hunt an area. This has probably saved many more deer than it has killed in the last few years of cell cams. I use them because I like seeing what’s out there. With that said, I was within 20 yards this morning of a buck that I have had pics of and would have shot if not for brush in the way. That is one of the few times this has happened.

From: Dale06
04-Dec-23
Different people have different definitions of “fair chase”, you can decide how to define it for yourself. If it’s legal, others opinions are not as important as your opinion. I don’t use cell cams, my son does. Good luck on your decision.

04-Dec-23
You can set the cameras to send you pictures once per day at night if you are concerned about fair chase. That will give you up to date info but not real-time

Seems best of both worlds for your scenario

From: Deebz
04-Dec-23
I run a couple of non-cell cameras where I hunt. I have never been able to get pictures of a deer that led me to hunt and kill a specific buck. I just really like getting pictures of the deer that are out there, plus keep tabs on other people who might be wandering around. I have found pictures of the last 2 bucks I've killed on my SD cards, but not until after I killed the deer. I've gotten some really neat pics of things that aren't deer as well...turkeys and other birds are common, coyotes/raccoons/foxes are also common.

I probably won't ever go the cell cam route. Not because I think it's unfair to the deer, but because they're expensive to buy and maintain. Also, as a high school science teacher, my schedule isn't very flexible. I get weekends and holidays during the good part of the season to bowhunt. I'll be there whether or not I got pics of deer. The most help I've gotten is deciding which stand to sit in when I have current pics from the cards I pull on my way out from the previous night's sit.

From: Grey Ghost
04-Dec-23
This won't be a popular opinion here, but game cameras have always crossed the line of my concept of fair chase. Cellular game cameras take it to another level. Combine them with bait piles, and I really don't consider it hunting. But I recognize that everyone should be entitled to draw their own ethical lines within the limits of the law.

Matt

04-Dec-23
i dont use cellular cameras at my hunting spots...but my ring doorbell lets me know when the deer are eating my wifes hastas. lol

From: midwest
04-Dec-23
There are a lot of big bucks killed due to finding when and where they are active at daylight and not having to mess the area up with your scent. They are a HUGE advantage, no question.

From: craigmcalvey
04-Dec-23
I stopped running cameras 6-7 years ago. Since I did, I’ve enjoyed hunting more AND killed bigger bucks than I ever had before. Win win. I admit I love seeing pics of bucks, plus all the wildlife you incidentally catch too, but instead of hunting specific deer I now just hunt and it’s much more enjoyable to me. I think cell cams cross the fair chase line but since I have a choice, I don’t use them or any cam at all.

Craig

04-Dec-23
For an absentee landowner they are a game changer. Hunt however you want but if it’s legal don’t attack others who do. Need to stick together vs the anti- hunters

From: VAMtns
04-Dec-23
No cams for me , much more fun to let my imagination run wild after scouting and finding a big track or rub line on large trees up high off the ground . All part of the hunt .

04-Dec-23
It’s always been the hunters creed to hunt where the deer are. Cameras tell us that. It doesn’t matter if they transmit it instantly or by pulling the card.

I have zero ethical problems with either. But, it’s splitting hairs to accept one and not the other.

From: APauls
04-Dec-23
I can tell you that from what I know about most hunters in Saskatchewan that I know of don't take part in what I consider to be deer hunting. It's turned into: set up blind, dump bait and cell cam and wait and watch the cell phone for buck to come regular show up and shoot. Something a first year hunter can do. I'm not slamming them, that's also what most bear hunting is. It's just very different from walking miles, scouting for both animals and sign, aging sign, learning behaviour etc etc.

If you can understand wind, minimal sign, how to use a cell cam, and where to buy corn, and put in a little time you can likely kill a 150 in Saskatchewan.

From: Shaft
04-Dec-23
Cellular gamer cameras are a great tool for not having to go out and leave ground scent or bump into deer in your hunting area. They are helpful for guys that live in a different state from where they hunt or a long way away from their hunting location. My problem with cell cameras is that they give you real time location of a shooter buck. There is no way that having that technology can’t influence your decision on where to hunt. I have to believe that if you got pictures of a shooter buck in the morning near one of your tree stands, you know where you can go to try and kill him on an evening hunt if the wind direction is favorable. To me, that’s where it crosses the line of a fair chase hunt. On a local website where guys can post pictures of their deer kills, I have read many times where they got a picture of the buck in the morning on their cell cams, and then went out and shot him later that afternoon. It’s technology that is here to stay. I guess it all comes down to personal hunting ethics with both game cameras and cell cameras, and knowing when you are crossing that line.

From: deerhunter72
04-Dec-23
Lots of good points being made. I live close by to my woods and I like going out to swap cards and keep an eye on things, but I’m always bumping deer when I do it. As someone mentioned, having the option to not get the pictures sent instantly would make a cell camera not much different than the ones I have now, just much more convenient. Just seems to me that so much has changed with deer hunting in my nearly 40 years of doing it. Cameras, food plots, leases, YouTube influencers are the biggest changes I see. I don’t have a problem with anything anyone does as long as it’s legal, just feeling out my own boundaries on what’s acceptable to me.

From: Bent arrow
04-Dec-23
They r not fair chase. If they were outlawed we would find out who the real hunters r.

From: Starfire
04-Dec-23
Interesting since there is another thread going right now about a big buck that was killed. Another social media post about the buck said they had not seen the buck in a while but after they received a cell cam pic and they went out and set up a portable blind to kill the buck. Ethical? Legal?

From: Blood
04-Dec-23
They 100% help guys kill bucks.

I know a bunch of guys that wait until they see a certain buck on cam and go and hunt that stand immediately and kill the deer. Without cell cams, they would have to put in their time and wait and wait and wait…..or just give up.

Now you just sit at home or work, check your phone, and when a buck comes past your cam, you go hunt.

From: sitO
04-Dec-23
"For an absentee landowner they are a game changer. Hunt however you want but if it’s legal don’t attack others who do. Need to stick together vs the anti- hunters"

Getting a cell-cam pic from KS while you're in CA, then flying in to kill the wounded deer over a failure-pile is not hunting...legal or not...even anti's aren't that dumb.

04-Dec-23
Are there any decent ones with a free plan? I don’t need another monthly payment

04-Dec-23
I’m against hunters who do anything that makes it easier to kill a buck. Think of what that covers, where should the line be drawn?

04-Dec-23
“But, it’s splitting hairs to accept one and not the other.”

Really??

If you hired someone to fly over your hunting area and give you a call to let you know that a particular buck was headed for your stand… what’s the difference??

From: LBshooter
04-Dec-23
Cam tells you to be in your tree by 2:35 because the deer comes through at 2:50, yea , I d say there's a advantage. Anyone who says different is fooling themselves. If it legal then have at it, it's a free country but it certainly give the use a edge.

From: Thornton
04-Dec-23
It's illegal in Kansas to call your buddy and tell him where a buck is while you're hunting. It's not illegal to use a cell cam over a corn pile that tells you the time, direction of travel, etc. Really hoping they outlaw them statewide like they did on public land.

From: Jerry Gille
04-Dec-23
I do not consider their use to be fair chase. I don't need them nor do I want them. I respect your right to have a different opinion. They have no place in how I choose to hunt.

From: stringgunner
05-Dec-23
We run both. Haven’t seen an advantage to either but we live roughly 3 hours from where we hunt. OTC areas where we hunt do not make for great “patterned” deer. After opening day, all bets are off as to where the animals will show up.

From: fuzzy
05-Dec-23
I don't use them. Don't care if others do. I don't care about antlers, who kills what etc. I just like to hunt and eat venison.

From: Bou'bound
05-Dec-23
There is nothing wrong with them. Good for guys who don’t want to spend time in woods scouting and looking for deer and sign.

From: WI Shedhead
05-Dec-23
I use regular cameras and have them out year round in 3 states and use them for inventory more than anything else. I cannot support the real time cell cams because of Thier abuse in many situations. The following turns my guts a bit, and makes the technology questionable at best. 1). I know of a group of individuals that have these cell cameras on entrance points into country blocks (fence lines,creek bottoms). And when they get a pic of a deer going into the area in the mornings, They gather thier posey and flood (10plushunters) the area for the evening hunt and kill and extract the buck off the landscape. And they are very very effective at this and kill some huge deer. The number of cameras in their circuit is staggering . 2) I know a corporate landowner in the Midwest that has a large landholding that has feeders and live cameras on them 24/7 and guides that are on the night shift monitoring them so they know where the big deer are and where to post thier guests for the morning hunts. Not supriseing vertical bows are frowned upon thier, and if you show with a vertical bow they offer you a crossgun, touting thier effectiveness.

Those people are so far gone good luck bringing them back without lawful regulation

From: M.Pauls
05-Dec-23
For guys that say “cell cams will tell you to be in the tree for 3:10” or whatever, not exactly sure how that works. Are your big bucks that consistently killable? Or any bucks for that matter. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe a summer feeding pattern? But that a guy can gather way more information from a pair of binos in one evening. I dunno, cell cams can tell a guy a TON but it doesn’t make an appointment with deer. If anything it’ll tell a guy, “he’s there right now and you missed him, better luck next time”

I do believe that cell cams give a guy a MASSIVE advantage though. Real time data collection with no scent being dropped is just so huge. It’s surveillance. And I’ve used them, so I’m not against them, but you do have to see them for what they are

From: Catscratch
05-Dec-23
Lol, I always get a chuckle. We're debating unfair advantages while likely sitting in a blind, in Sitka gear, with a compound/inline/crossbow in our lap, looking at a pile of corn on our leased/outfitted land (that we've never paid interest, insurance, or taxes on), after spending a summer surveilling bucks from our home state on the other side of the country, monitoring pics sent to the phone in our hand from the camera down the trail, confident that our ozonics will hide our scent long enough to pull a trigger. After all that we'll call the drone or dog guy to find our deer since the mechanical we use to avoid actual tuning a bow ourselves might not have done it's job. Then we'll be upset when we find our neighbor was sitting the property line with his own pile of corn.

Grin!

From: Pat Lefemine
05-Dec-23
I use them and love them. I shoot far less bucks than I used to because I get one or two really big bucks on cam and spend all season hunting for just them. I pass up tons of smaller bucks.

Everyone talks like game cams have dramatically increased success rates. I don’t believe it. In our case it’s just the opposite. If you are worried about killing too many deer, stop complaining about trail cams and keep out (or lobby to get out) those horrible xbows. They are transforming the archery season to the point where it's unrecognizable.

Game cams offend the purists, I get that, but they are not gonna shorten our season or add 40% more hunters into the woods like crossbows have.

My 2c.

From: Timex?
05-Dec-23

Timex?'s embedded Photo
Timex?'s embedded Photo
The biggest buck killed in my area "that I know of" in recent years was seen for the first time "ever" on that property on a cell camera that evening & killed the next morning.

Especially on the Bayside there's salt marsh/ tidal flooded timber areas that unless your a duck your just not getting in there.

I don't own any cameras, but its a proven tactic to put them on flooded timber edges in hopes of catching an old marsh buck slipping up.

Ethical ???

From: Grey Ghost
05-Dec-23
So, apparently, you need 35-40 game cameras on 100 acres to give you the resolve to hold out for a big buck. Interesting.

Matt

05-Dec-23
Back when I consumed market hunting influencer content (gross) I saw a gal who was at her house, got a cell cam notification of a buck in the back field, and walked back and shot it.

Does this happen consistently? No, probably not, but one time is too many and I bet it happens more often than you’d think.

I had a distant family member trespass on me last year on a weekend he thought I’d be out of town. He snuck back behind my house and put a cell camera up (along with a baitpile). When I found it the morning before I left and called Operation Game Thief, he called me and after not apologizing told me “well if a big one comes in there somebody oughta go in and kill it” so obviously his intention was to do exactly what she did if one was back there eating on his corn pile (which is also luckily illegal in MO)

That being said, I’d much rather a neighbor be running cell cams than baiting from a fair chase standpoint, although both are pretty icky in my opinion if the cell cams are used incorrectly

I’m still making up my mind on regular cameras, but to me it takes a lot of the mystery out of the hunt. For example, I ran cameras all summer and had an inventory of nearly every deer on the place after talking to neighboring landowners about what they had on camera as well. Knowing I knew (for the most part) every deer that would walk by me, including some really nice deer by SWMO standards, it kindve took the wind out of my sails to hunt because a large portion of my enjoyment of hunting comes from the mystique of not knowing what could walk out at any time. Now obviously any deer can show up at any time, any place, but still, knowing your home range herd down to each individual deer tells you what could walk out 99% of the time.

Does knowing every deer on the place mean guys specifically hunt every 150+ that uses their property as home range? You betcha. Do I think this will cut down on the number of deer that make it to true giant status because of how hard they’re hunted as 150s? You betcha.

From: Starfire
05-Dec-23
I agree with those that say if its legal we shouldn't criticize, (to some extent). Just because its legal doesn't necessarily mean its ethical. Like Thornton says about KS my state of MN does not allow electronic communication to aid in hunting. What is interesting is that law has been in place for years before cell phones when we used FRS radios and were careful that when we communicated were not relaying information about deer. Since cell phones have become common place, you never hear about it being an issue but I am still careful when texting my partners even though I am sure a lot of other guys are texting "big buck heading your way". To me a cell cam is no different. I bought one and I use it and its great as an absentee land owner, but I decided I would not check my alerts until after dark. If I was hunting in a state that allowed two way communication than I would probably be okay with it cause that just the way I operate.

From: jconman
05-Dec-23
legal yes ethical probably not- huge advantage to have images come to phone-know of handful of nice deer taken because of direct notification from cell camera -one was exceptional once in lifetime deer where image came to his phone at 3 am while sleeping deer is in small drainage ditch friend makes drive to him buck comes to 13 yards shoots with crossbow -legal yes

From: drycreek
05-Dec-23
I own one cell cam, and it’s currently sitting in the cabinet of my hunting room. I used it on a hog trap to see when hogs tripped the trigger. That said, I see nothing wrong with them. All this talk about being “unfair” to the deer and you’re fixing to run a broadhead through him ? I imagine the deer thinks that is pretty damned unfair ! These creatures were put on this earth to be used by us for food, and all we owe them is to kill them as humanely and quickly as possible. The means and methods are left up to the game departments of various states. Comply with those laws, kill your deer quickly and humanely and you are good to go. I know this next statement will piss some of you off, but the general public views bowhunting as cruel, I’ve encountered this sentiment even among non bowhunting friends or acquaintances, so the use of cameras, cell or regular, is really not important is it ?

05-Dec-23
My advise would be to scrap the cameras completely other than in places to watch for trespassers

05-Dec-23
My advise would be to scrap the cameras completely other than in places to watch for trespassers

05-Dec-23
“the general public views bowhunting as cruel, I’ve encountered this sentiment even among non bowhunting friends or acquaintances, so the use of cameras, cell or regular, is really not important is it ?”

I think it is, but less so if you’re not willing to try to educate open-minded non-hunters.

I have gotten very favorable reactions from non-hunters whenever I have explained that bowhunting is essentially a 50-foot proposition— emphasizing that that’s not an accuracy limitation, but just a widely recognized Best Practice in order to minimize the potential for anything to go wrong. Then, when I mention that generally a deer will go down just as fast from an arrow as it will from a bullet (assuming comparable and desirable placement), they really run out of objections in quite a hurry. One of the things that opens their eyes (and minds!) The most is simply the fact that, they can recognize that it is an essentially fair fight.

One helpful hint: “just as fast as with a bullet” is better than offering a time frame; let them fill in that information for themselves, because they may think of 30 seconds as an eternity…

From: Live2Hunt
05-Dec-23
When you hear of people using the cell cameras to know a certain buck is moving through, is it far chase? Is it fair chase for fishing with the new 3D forward image scanners? To me it is not, at some point the bubble will burst and they have to stop the tech stuff for taking of natural resources. On private land, I honestly do not care what you do, but do you need technology like this to know when an animal is coming through? Kind of takes the first sighting thrill out of the hunt. Same with those 3D image things for fishing. Not hard to catch them if you know they are 25ft to the SW. When the resources are depleted because of technology, we pay the price.

From: Timex?
05-Dec-23
Jconman........

The buck pictured above was basically the same scenario,, I said the notification was in the afternoon, but actually was 3am, the hunter snuck in the next morning & killed the buck with a muzzeloader.

Completely legal, yes 100%...... fair chase ??? Myself personally don't use them , and honestly don't have an opinion either way about those that do,,,,

I will say that from a crafty old bucks perspective it seams a bit unfair. He's managed to make it to wise old man status , and something he can't "smell or hear" outsmarts him.

From: KB
05-Dec-23
Starfire and Thornton are correct. To the “if it’s legal I’m cool with it crowd”, many states have language outlawing the electronic transmission as to the whereabouts of game. Though they didn’t specifically say it in the commission process I believe that’s a big reason Kansas outlawed all cams on public. By the letter of the law they are NOT legal, anywhere in the state. But they understand enforcement issues and the outrage that would ensue from a total ban.

It is entertaining to compare some opinions here to those in the Lee and Tiff thread. Some fellows seem confused as to where exactly they do stand.

They are certainly entertaining. I’m logged into a buddy’s app in which he runs about a dozen of them throughout the year on his family place in Kansas. Fun to check on daily as I’m 2,000 miles away. I think it has certainly negatively affected his experience though. He didn’t hardly pick up a bow this year because many of the big mature bucks went MIA as the fall progressed. A few filtered back this last week and he picked up the rifle to kill one on his second sit. Said he felt like it was cheating. I always have my doubts they’re showing the full picture as well. He may have missed out on some great rut action in November and the chance at a huge mystery buck that just didn’t happen to stumble by a camera. Same with Lee and Tiff, that buck could’ve been there all along. But once they got the confirmation, it was game over for sure.

05-Dec-23
I have been debating whether to do this or not, but I guess if the guy who wrote it was uncomfortable with it, he wouldn’t have posted it to begin with….. And it certainly is relevant on this thread, so here’s an account of a cell- enabled outing…

“I was headed to the stand when my cell cam sent me a picture of him. I’ve been tracking him down for weeks. Door knocking every house in a 2 mile radius. I was a F1 driver on the way out there lol. I gassed it. Only about 2 mins from my spot. When I got there, I knocked an arrow took my boots off and put a stock on into the woods. I had to go about a quarter mile in to where he was. After a strenuous stock, I had no idea if he was still around. I then spotted him 100 yards away. I went full marine style and I got to within 40 yards of him and let one fly. Absolutely smoked him quartering away. ”

From his perspective, he “work[ed] so hard” to kill that buck.

JMO, if it’s illegal in a state to have my partner use phone or radio to guide me to an animal, then by logical extension it is illegal to have an inanimate device provide the same function. For anyone else, my opinion doesn’t matter, of course — only those of the CO writing the citation and the judge deciding the case. But since I believe that this is just another case of laws failing to keep pace with technology (as has happened in spectacular fashion with inline muzzleloaders), then the only “ethical” question is whether I think it is ethical to knowingly and deliberately exploit a loophole in the existing regulations.

From a record-book standpoint… The P&Y Club was founded in honor of a couple of men who embraced home-made bows, arrows and broadheads at a time when the vast majority of Sportsmen were closer to adopting scopes on their rifles. They took a deliberate step — and a very big one — BACK toward technology which as “state of the art” goes, dates back hundreds of years, at the least. The Club clearly recognized this from the outset, by disqualifying crossbows from day one, and not out of ignorance of the technology but as a specific rejection of it.

So the question is, is P&Y only About how you launch an arrow, or does the Club stand for something larger, addressing ALL that goes into Sportsmanship and the concept of Fair Chase?

I won’t pretend to answer that on behalf of P&Y, but for me, how I came to the place & time at which I take my shot is a lot more important than whether I take it with a longbow, recurve, roundball caplock or scoped centerfire. 7 yards is 7 yards; 20 is 20; 80 is 80. But at 80, I won’t lie — I want something accurate that goes Boom. ;)

From: deerhunter72
05-Dec-23
All interesting perspectives. The Lee and Tiffany buck thread is what really got me thinking about this issue and is why I posted the thread. Deer is absent and you suddenly get cell pics of him and the hunt is on.

From: deerhunter72
05-Dec-23
Also, I resisted getting any cameras for years because I really enjoy the mystery of not knowing what might be out there. Now that I know most of the bucks that come through my woods something is lost to me.

From: Grey Ghost
05-Dec-23
Along the lines of Corax's post, I grew up rifle hunting with my parents. We had private access to some fantastic elk and deer land. I had the advantage of having a father who had hunted this property for over 30 years, so I quickly learned where and how to hunt it. After several years of filling my tags in the first few hours of opening morning, I wanted my hunting seasons to last longer and provide a greater challenge. Bow hunting was the obvious answer, for me.

I chose the compound bow because, frankly, it provided me the opportunity to enjoy the longer archery seasons, while extending my range a bit compared to traditional bow equipment.

Since then, I've been slowly becoming more proficient with my recurve. I've only killed one turkey and one hog with it, so far, and those were two of my most gratifying kills. I killed my last 3 bucks with my compound at distances that were within my effective recurve range. I kinda regret not using it.

Instead of implementing the ever-advancing technological hunting aides, I find myself gravitating towards the more traditional methods. I plan to practice more with my recurve this off-season and hope to take my first deer or elk with it next year. It's kind of like fly fishing versus bait fishing to me. I do both when the situation dictates, but I'm always more proud of the fish I catch on flies that I tied myself.

But that's just how my hunting mindset has progressed over the years. Not that it's right or wrong, I'm sure a day will come when I can no longer effectively bow hunt. When that happens, I won't hesitate to pull my bang sticks out, again.

Matt

From: ryanrc
05-Dec-23
To each their own, but, IMO you are kidding yourself if you don't think it provides an unfair advantage.

05-Dec-23
“I killed my last 3 bucks with my compound at distances that were within my effective recurve range. I kinda regret not using it.”

Nothing to regret in that, other than that yeah, maybe it could have been even more fun…

I’ve said this before, but after picking up a compound for a few years (after I started tacking 2 1/2 hours/day of commute onto my 10+ hour workdays) and then finding that it didn’t actually increase my effective range (because a rangefinder is not something I would really care to own), I’ve come back to strictly “trad” simply because I think it’s a more effective weapon for me. Or at least equally. And more fun. The irony is that with the compound, I made my worst bowhunting hit on the closest shot I’ve ever taken. I held the pin right, but the trajectory was high at that range.

05-Dec-23

Corax_latrans's Link
And because this link was PM’d my way, I will share it.

Spoiler alert: Buried at the bottom of the page, I found this….

“While the use of a wireless trail camera is not automatically a violation of the Rules of Fair Chase, using this technology to deliver real time location data of the animal being hunted would be a violation of rule #7 of our Rules of Fair Chase.

“For clarification, if you receive a wireless image (photo, video, GPS coordinate, etc.) and it elicits an immediate ( real time) response that guides the hunter to the animal, it would be considered a violation of the Rules of Fair Chase and prohibit that animal from being eligible for entry into the Pope and Young Club's Records Program. Fair Chase is defined as the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit of free-ranging wild game animals in a manner which does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the animal.”

So there’s that.

Honestly, it blows my mind that P&Y has positions on crossbows, canned hunts, high fences, drones, tracking dogs, a 48-hour recovery window, party hunting, the buying and selling of antlers, wildlife-related ballot initiatives, AND trail cameras… but there’s nary a word on Bait, Feeders or Food Plots.

Hmmmmm….

05-Dec-23
It is simply the honor system. What percentage of hunters are not honorable?

From: c5ken
05-Dec-23
The good news is you'll know what's out there... The bad news is you'll know what's out there... No shooters on the ground i hunt...

From: deerhunter72
05-Dec-23
Interesting reading there Corax. I also find it interesting that P&Y haven't addressed baiting and food plots. I have mixed emotions about food plots myself. I don't use them because my woods are surrounded by several hundred acres of bean and corn farm ground and the deer sure don't need the plots. The only reason I would put out plots would be to try to hold deer onto my ground. Nothing wrong with that I guess, but food plots really border on baiting to me. I sat out all day last Friday in my woods and did not see a single deer from the stand, which is highly unusual. Ran into a neighbor on the way out and he said that there were at least 25 deer feeding in another neighbors picked corn field.

05-Dec-23
Yeah, JMO, the differences between a food plot and a bait pile are 1) that food plots artificially increase the deer density by increasing the land carrying capacity year-round while bait piles only do it in-season and 2)…. it really depends on what weapon you’re using.

For the record (and JMO), the difference between a food plot and an ag field is that in one instance the farmer is growing deer. And either way, crop fields are a disaster for wildlife.

From: drycreek
05-Dec-23
Corax, it’s a good thing that it’s just your opinion, because I’ve had food plots on my place for twenty years now, and I don’t have any more deer now than I ever did. What I do have is an abundance of fricking hogs. And if you don’t mind, enlighten me as to how crop fields are a disaster for wildlife. I’ll get my popcorn, this should be good !

From: Live2Hunt
05-Dec-23
Bait piles ruin the hunt for all around them because the deer know what is up by the scent that is always being freshened. Food plots to me are no different than an ag field, they do not screw the deer movement up and if they border the public land I hunt, so much the better!!!

From: Ollie
05-Dec-23
Like most technological advances to hunting gear, cellular trail cameras can be a helpful aid to monitoring game or it can be misused. Probably the biggest issue is that we all do not have the same ethical standards when it comes to determining whether an item gives us an unfair advantage. Kind of like trying to determine whether a nude photo or painting is art or pornography. Depends on who you ask.

From: SteveB
05-Dec-23
Cameras are no issue at all. Just more technology. Lets you see what's really there without getting close. Anyone opposed to binoculars? Cellular cameras just keep scent out of the hunting areas. Hunt with or without and enjoy yourself.

From: Timex?
05-Dec-23
Gf..... Interesting point of view.

The two counties that are the eastern shore of VA just so happen to be the two leading small grains producers in the entire state,,,,there also happens to be Tyson & Perdue chicken processing plants as well.

Sure seems to be a healthy deer herd here in my opinion , and I'd much rather eat a farm country deer than a forest browse mountain deer.

Not sure how a region with a large small grains producing amount of land could possibly be viewed as negative to the whitetail herd in any way.

From: Michael
05-Dec-23
This year was the first year I have had a food plot and on that food plot I have a cell camera.

My food plot is a 1/3” acre on the edge of a crop field. It’s basically a little bay in the woods. So it has timber on 3 sides of it N, W and S side. On the east side was a corn field this year. Back in September and October I had a number of does and there fawns visiting the food plot at all times of the day and night. The corn came down at the end of October and for the most part the does quit using the food plot. I am wondering if they left the land all together because they don’t even travel through it anymore.

I put a 4 x 4 post in the middle of the plot and cut a licking branch the deer had used last year and screwed it into the post. Put my cell cam on a T post pointed at the licking branch.

I have one picture in daylight of a buck I would shoot. The interesting part is it was on October 15th and I was hunting on some public land. Since then the vast majority of the pics I have had all been at night and 85% of them were small bucks.

I hunted the plot twice in September and both times I elected to not shoot a doe and was planning on using them for bait come November. Well that plan backfired on me.

My food plot has rye and some brassicas in it. Here it is December and it’s still green but the deer do not want a green food source for some reason even though it’s been warm.

The one thing this cell camera has helped me in was telling me no bucks were visiting the food plot so why put time in hunting it when I could use that time to hunt somewhere else.

From: Catscratch
05-Dec-23
I'm curious about your post also Corax; are you in favor of or against food plots, and why? How is ag a disaster for wildlife? Are you wanting to reduce deer densities?

05-Dec-23
“And if you don’t mind, enlighten me as to how crop fields are a disaster for wildlife. “

Should I start with the massive use of chemicals, or do we just want to talk about the mind-blowing sterility of thousands upon thousands of acres of monocultured crop land?

Sure, there’s some crop depredation and there’s whatever the combines missed…. Which is fine, if you’re a deer or migratory species of waterfowl, or a pheasant (if you can find a place to nest).

But for native songbirds (especially ground-nesters), really not so much. Hard to make a living as an insectivore when the bugs are all dead. And having all of the birds nesting in the tiny, remnant scraps of cover concentrates the nests, which saves the egg-eating and chick- eating predators all kinds of time and effort. Same problems for small game and anything else thst tends to live in deep woods or edges/transitional. If you can’t make it in a 2,000 acre corn field, you’ve got Problems…

And I’d swear — I’ve seen corn and wheat fields so huge that I have to wonder if a pollenator type insect could fly all the way across without starving to death.

If all you care about is deer and game birds, you probably don’t care at all, but natural ecosystems are diverse and complex because the less diverse systems have failed. (Does the phrase “diversified investment strategy” ring any bells??)

From: ryanrc
05-Dec-23
Michael,

That is a reason why it is not fair chase IMO. You knowing where not to spend time puts you in a position to hunt more productive areas you wouldn't have know otherwise.

From: stringgunner
05-Dec-23
Have archery success rates increased since the advent of the game cam or cell cam? If not, how much can this technology really help?

From: Michael
05-Dec-23
Ryan, I get where you are coming from.

My moral compass isn’t as wound tight as yours. I don’t hunt to put animals in a record book. I hunt and choose to shoot what I want for my personal goals.

From: ryanrc
05-Dec-23
Michael,

If you think my moral compass is tight......lol...you really don't know me at all.

My point is it gives an advantage and IMO isn't fair chase. I couldn't give a rats ass if people shot deer at night over a feeder with a thermal scope. Just call it what it is and don't pretend.

From: Grey Ghost
05-Dec-23
I'm pleased to see how many guys feel game cameras cross their line of fair chase. I was beginning to think I was alone on this issue.

Matt

From: Timex?
05-Dec-23

Timex?'s embedded Photo
Timex?'s embedded Photo
Gf...... In this photo you can clearly see the patchwork quilt of 100 acre or less farms that comprise where I live. I know it's different in the corn belt, but if a bird can't find a place to build a nest here, than it probably shouldn't be breeding in the first place.

As far as insects & crop damage is concerned, there's what's considered the "economic threshold" for the most part an insect infestation must be " significant " enough to justify the application of restricted use insecticides. Their use is absolutely not business as usual type applications such as glyphosate (roundup) weed control,,,,,,and furthermore the main concern with restricted use insecticides, is absolutely not eliminating the birds food sources,,,, the two biggest concerns are pollinators ( honey bees) and another HUGE CONCERN in the coastal region areas , is insecticide runoff affecting aquatic invertebrates.

Can't speak for other regions but in my area the insect problem must be significant before insecticides are used.

From: drycreek
05-Dec-23
Okay corax, so all the insects and songbirds are dead because of farming. Sounds like the sky is falling to me, or the dreaded global warming. I guess you would rather the population would starve so you could have more mockingbirds ? Choices, choices…….

05-Dec-23
Yeah, there’s quite a range, but the point remains that the way we run industrial scale farming has some issues. Patchwork areas are a lot better, but we sure have lost a lot of deep woods, so all of those species have been hit hard. And plantation pine doesn’t count ;)

Point being, Wildlife encompasses all of it — not just the stuff we like to hunt. Ag Land is important because that’s how we feed people; food plots don’t serve much for the greater good, and there’s a lot that can be done to improve multi-species habitat which attracts deer, requires no chemicals (or farm equipment), and creates a good property to hunt, rather than just a good spot to shoot a deer.

Devil’s Advocate: If you put in food plots and the result is no more deer, but now you have a hog problem…. Are you sure the food plots were a good idea??

From: stringgunner
05-Dec-23
Have archery success rates increased since the advent of the game cam or cell cam? If not, how much can this technology really help?

From: KB
05-Dec-23
Cell cams are no different than binoculars, eh? That’s some interesting logic.

From: Thornton
05-Dec-23
Dumb analogy Corax. I've find some pretty nice bucks flying, but it's usually a few seconds and you can't see exactly what buck it is. Just to fly over my farm 40 miles away is a big deal.

I've got a story. Couple years ago I was in my stand, early rut with bucks and deer all around me. At dusk, a wide 9 point came by in range but winded me. The next day, my neighbor who lives in Georgia but runs cell cams on his feeder texted me and asked if I'd seen anything good. I mentioned the wide 9 point I thought was about 19" wide and I'd like to have another look at him. Literally a day or two later, I see it dead on his social media and his kid had shot it. Now don't get me wrong, I'm glad the kid got it. The point is, he watched that buck for who knows how long in his office in Georgia. When he found out I was on the buck and it was wandering out of it's home area, he knew it was time to make the trip. They jumped in his Cessna 182, and were here in a few hours, and the buck was dead not long after that via crossbow. We are the most efficient hunters planet earth has ever seen with our technology. If we don't have the sense to rein in this bullshit that gives us an extreme advantage over the game we pursue, we are no longer hunters, but killers.

From: Bowhunter81
06-Dec-23
Catscratch sarcastic post above said it well. For all the people critical of trail cameras, it would be interesting to list all the gear you use to make sure you’re not being hypocritical. 80% let off bows, 300+ fps, range finders, on X, google earth, Sitka fanatic, massive diameter mechanical heads and on and on and on? And if you don’t harvest with a bow you maybe pick up a rifle. Arguments could be made one way or another for all that stuff. I don’t support cellular trail cameras but I use regular cameras. Helped me harvest something? I wouldn’t attribute any harvests as a direct result of trail cameras. And certainly not anymore than my other equipment that maybe assisted me in closing the deal. Some of you guys obviously hunt different ground than I do but good luck patterning individual deer on the public ground around here. People act like it’s hang a camera…kill a deer. Clearly you’ve never used cameras or you have access to dumber deer than I hunt.

From: Timex?
06-Dec-23
Thornton....

I have to agree.

Now don't get me wrong my hunting has gone full circle,,,

I started (for deer) compound, rifle, then compound only, then recurve only, then back to compound only (after heart attack) then got into a deer herd management situation & now back to compound rifle.

I've always been a meat hunter that occasionally kills a good buck.

The advances in technology including this little contraption I'm typing this on are pretty amazing.

Myself personally feel that the internet & especially this little contraption I'm typing this on will be looked back upon "from in the future", as the beginning of the collapse of our society.

It's not just hunting, a friend of mine has 10k in electronics on his boat and that's nothing....there's a fairly new contraption called omni unidirectional sonar. They start around 150k , all the big tournament sport boats have em. This thing deploys out the bottom of the boat & is 360 degree underwater sonar & can even be linked to auto pilot to lock on & follow a school of or individual fish.

Modern technology. Hmmm Hate to say it but I'm kinda glad I'm closer to the end of my road then the beginning of it.....

From: caribou77
07-Dec-23
How many people use cellular trail cams to help them with doe harvest? Let’s be honest it’s a tool designed specifically to pattern and kill big bucks.

I love trail cam pics but stopped using them for hunting long ago. As others have said, it takes away the wonder of what’s out there. Oddly at the same token they can keep you out of a great area, just because you aren’t seeing pics of a good buck.

I stopped using them for both those reasons.

From: caribou77
07-Dec-23

caribou77's embedded Photo
caribou77's embedded Photo
At the same time, it sure was fun seeing some velvet pics from this years buck

07-Dec-23

Ricky The Cabel Guy's embedded Photo
Ricky The Cabel Guy's embedded Photo
"I chose the compound bow because, frankly, it provided me the opportunity to enjoy the longer archery seasons, while extending my range a bit compared to traditional bow equipment.

Since then, I've been slowly becoming more proficient with my recurve. I've only killed one turkey and one hog with it, so far, and those were two of my most gratifying kills. I killed my last 3 bucks with my compound at distances that were within my effective recurve range. I kinda regret not using it.

Instead of implementing the ever-advancing technological hunting aides, I find myself gravitating towards the more traditional methods. I plan to practice more with my recurve this off-season and hope to take my first deer or elk with it next year. It's kind of like fly fishing versus bait fishing to me. I do both when the situation dictates, but I'm always more proud of the fish I catch on flies that I tied myself."

i see this happening alot. i started with a recurve because thats pretty much all there was...switched to a compound that i shot with fingers and instinctively...then i switched to a release and a red dot scope...then i got bored with all that and switched back to recurves and longbows and have used them exclusively for decades.

point is...as most of us progress through the 5 stages of a hunter...we tend to choose weapons and methods that correspond with the stage we are currently in. or sometimes we just like trying the hot new thing. thats why i have no problem with people using a crossbow. if and when that is no longer satisfying... too easy...too cumbersome...too much of a hassle...they might well switch to something different.

i wish i had a dollar for every compound...crossbow...rifle hunter that once said "im a traditional bowhunter...ride or die...." lol

07-Dec-23
"Does knowing every deer on the place mean guys specifically hunt every 150+ that uses their property as home range? You betcha. Do I think this will cut down on the number of deer that make it to true giant status because of how hard they’re hunted as 150s? You betcha."

seems to me the opposite can be...and often is... the case also.

how many hunters havent passed on numerous smaller bucks waiting for the big boy they saw once or twice on cam...only to end up with nothing?

From: DonVathome
07-Dec-23
There are plenty of places that are open and long range rifles, in the right hands are very deadly. It would take a lot of work but there is no doubt that a organized dedicated hunter using lots of cams can get a cell pic of a big buck (or doe for that matter), elk etc and drive there and shoot it shortly after.

That is not fair chase IMO. That said 99% of hunters will never be at that level or be able to be close enough. If legal I am ok with it but if I could vote I would vote against them during the open season.

From: KsRancher
07-Dec-23
It obvious that all of this doesn't fall into "fair chase". The only true fair chase is over on the persistent hunting thread.

From: Timex?
07-Dec-23

Timex?'s embedded Photo
Timex?'s embedded Photo
I agree with much of the last several posts.

I don't own a trail camera.

I'm currently hunting with a rifle I built,,,,I bought a $175.00 pawnshop rifle for the action, bought the tools to rebarrel the action, new barrel, new trigger, new stock, did stock inletting, bedding, "everything" myself.

Got lucky on the first try, it shoots phenomenal. I take GREAT PRIDE in hunting with this gun with bullets I've reloaded.

Now on the other hand this rifle mostly gets used for field hunting,,,,,,,,which I honestly don't really consider "hunting" by traditional standards.

Walking 100 yards from the truck. Sitting in a chair at a makeshift shooting bench with a rifle zeroed @ 350 yards, to me is not "hunting"

I consider it grocery shopping with a gun.

No I don't use trail cams , but do watch fields with 10x binos & a rifle easily capable of 500yard shots.

I "hunt" creek bottoms in the am between the fields & bedding areas.........I grocery shop the fields in the afternoon.

To each his own applies......

From: fuzzy
07-Dec-23
Timex I like your style. I've got a couple of those "Franken-rifles" :)

From: Bake
07-Dec-23
A LOT of whiny hand-wringing on this thread. I always get a kick out of the obviously political threads with all the self-professed conservatives, but then turn to a non-political thread, and those conservatives are now calling for a ban, or their feelings are hurt because someone else did something they don't agree with.

I don't have time to do this, but I wonder if a person had time to go back and look at threads that discussed AR15 bans, how many posters would decry the ideology of a ban on something that "could" be used for ill purposes. And I wonder if some of those same people are now on THIS thread calling for or supporting a ban on cell cameras because they "could" be used for ill purposes.

Anyone got the time to find that hypocrisy? I'd bet it's there.

I realize I may be in the minority with this take, but bowhunting and hunting in general is not my religion. Lots of people act personally affronted by anything that would go against their idea of what hunting or bowhunting "means". The "mystical flight of the arrow" and such horse manure. And who made that person arbiter of what hunting or bowhunting "means"

On that same thought, the 5 stages of a hunter is new-age self-righteous apologist bullcrap. Some people take themselves too seriously.

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