A good game camera arrangement and monitoring plan can save you hours of scouting, squatting in a blind or hugging bark in a stand by preparing you with foreknowledge of the habits and hangouts of your quarry; so you can get that freezer full of venison and have those prime points hanging in your den.
Setting up your cameras wisely will help you to learn where and when that smart old buck likes to eat, where he keeps his doe, and when she finally drops her fawn. With careful and consistent monitoring, you can familiarize yourself with the habits of the local deer population for generations to come.
Choose the locations and set up the cameras
Before you set up your camera, do a bit of hiking on your property and see what you can learn about the habits of the local deer. Look for signs of browsing or crushed vegetation where they sleep. Since they're large animals, deer tend to have some impact on their environment that's easy to spot when you know what to look for. Keep a lookout for watering holes, seasonal vegetation they eat and any place where there might be salt or other minerals they like to lick.
Having located some trails and hangouts, keep a few things in mind - mount the camera waist high, or a little higher. Directing your cameras towards the north or south will keep them from being blinded by the rising or setting sun. If you set them back from the trail a bit, you'll be more likely to catch the whole animal even if it spooks and runs. But if your camera keeps spooking the deer, consider upgrading to a NO-GLOW IR trail camera (the CreativeXP PRO3 cellular game camera has over 50 IR LEDs and they are fully No-Glow).
Don't forget to label each memory card according to which camera you put it in and you can name each camera on your Phone App if you have a cellular model. Also, a picture and GPS coordinate of the tree you put in on will help you a LOT when it comes time to retrieve your camera or media.
If you can figure out where some of the local deer sleep, consider getting a night vision trail camera with IR LEDs. Deer cameras with night vision will help you get the low down on when they rise in the evening and settle down for the day.
Things to watch for
Of course, by the time fall comes around, the deer will be changing their routines with the colder weather. But you should have some sense of where they're going by watching which way they come and go over time. Also, early in the season, they may still be wandering their summer paths.
When the fawns are born, it will probably be a while before you see them. Mama Doe likes to keep her babies hidden since they can't keep up with her while she browses. But eventually, they'll start following along. Try to figure out how many there are. If too many aren't making it through the winter the population will drop off. Your cameras are a useful tool for keeping track of fawn recruitment.
If you do notice a decrease in fawn recruitment, keep an eye out for predators. Coyotes, having spread across the entire country and have become a notable predator - Accounting for roughly ten percent of fawn predation.
If you invest in cellular trail cameras which transmit pictures and video over the cell network, you can monitor your cameras with an app installed on your phone. With careful placement of cameras along their regular path, you might be able to track and monitor the local deer right up to your ambush point.
Using carefully choosing and using trail cameras across your property can add a whole new level of engagement with local deer that can start long before, and last for weeks after the all-too-short hunting season, and give you the advantage over that prime buck that you've been tracking since it had its spots.
You can check our Cellular 3G Trail Camera PRO3 here - if you have any questions at all, please contact us at +1 646 600 8243. Enjoy the summer monitoring & maybe some coyote hunting!
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