Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Justin, May 16, 2014.
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I think this is a great thread idea but I do not think you are going to hear much success stories of how a camera was instrumental in killing a certain buck other than letting you know they are on land you have access to.
Fletch's examples are very good, and I bet for the most part will be the bulk of success stories this thread gets other than maybe one here or there.
I've had great success using them to take inventory but for me deer have just been too unpredictable to really get a solid pattern on any particular one. Especially when so many deer I've taken have been during the rut when pattern and any regularity goes out the window.
Yes for sure and heres a couple of examples.
I run my trail cameras a lot. Some people would say that I run them to much but it has worked for me in several occasions.
There are two specific times of year that I really put faith in and rely on my cams.
1. During October I use them to locate specific deer on scrapes that Are around food sources. As everyone knows almost all of your field edge scrape action is at night. That's what I like about it. During early October the bucks are not moving very much so I usually find that they are only using scrapes that are on a very small area and usually on one plot. I think this is caused by the certain doe group that they are targeting. SO heres the steps that I take.
1. I start running cams on these scrapes as soon as they show up and I check them once a week until it gets around the 15th of October.
2. Depending on the weather I will start to check them everyday on my way home from work.
3. I only check them If I can drive my little ford escort to them or as close as possible.
4. I were chest or hip waders every time that I go. I never go with out them period.
5. I never ever ride my UTV or ATV
6. Once we have found the target buck that we are after we wait until we are getting pics of him with in a couple hours of night fall.
7.Now once I have one located I wait for a cold front or a cool light rain and we go after them. There is a small probably 10 day window where this will work in mid to late oct.
The whole reason behind the strategy is hes not moving until its dark any ways so checking on him during the day isn't going to bother him. Once the does start to get a little closer he will start moving a little closer to sunset as if he doesn't want to miss anything with the ladies.
It all hinges on the weather and If the weather is hot through oct our chances are slim that it works.
This is the same technique that we used when we killed the 150 ten three years ago and snow bird two years ago.
The other time of year that we use them is later season. The key to late season for me is I always run my cameras on time lapse and I run them as far away from where you think the deer are going to come from. They will take zero pressure this time of year so if I cant have my camera where there is zero chance that Im going to be detected I don't run one. once we see the deer is there and using the plot in the day light we will hunt him. Again this all hinges on the weather. Seems to me like you have to have at least 4 to 6 in of snow and it needs to be below 20 degrees. That's when we will go after him.
This has worked on quite a few occasions. That's how frank killed his big ten two years ago and How I should of killed Ernie this year.
Hope this helps and sorry its long,.
I think that monitoring trail cameras on a regular basis every couple of days between 10/25 thru 11/14 helps put me in the highest percentage stands for shooting a target bucks. Most of the time this is done going and coming from a sit.
Trail cam pics tell me when the bucks start cruising in the daytime. So I know around mid-October (2nd-3rd week) they will start moving around. I've taken mature bucks the past 2 years in mid-late-October thanks, mostly to cam pics taken the previous years.
I agree and that was kind of my point of this thread - that trail cameras, while fun to use, play a relatively small part in the overall success of hunters these days. Aside from telling you a certain deer exists in a certain area they're difficult to use to a major advantage.
Clinton, Fletch and some others may be fortunate enough to check cameras on a very regular, often daily, basis when the time is right. However that's simply not an option for many people, myself included. Often times it may be weeks in between visits to my hunting properties and by the time I get there the information is no longer relevant.
I bet you could hear some interesting stories from guys who have those cellular trail cams though.
Great thread JZ and Awesome advice Clinton. I have to try that tactic.
Trail cameras have helped me a lot and they helped me kill a really nice buck a few years back. I never knew the buck was there until I placed a trail camera in that area. After putting the trail cam there, I saw him walking the treeline in the background. He was a really wide 6 pointer with a slanted brow tine. He was coming at the same time, everyday, right at dark. I hung a set there 2 days later, early in the morning and killed him that same evening. First and only time that has happened to me.
Since then, trail cameras have helped me inventory the deer on the properties I hunt and try and pattern them.
I guess I would say no. After reading some of the comments I guess I have been using them wrong. I do think they are great for inventory purposes but I've never been able to pin down a buck with one.
Kentucky season always opens the first weekend of September when bucks are still patternable. My biggest buck was directly due to a trailcam. Had him coming down the same trail like clockwork, waited until opening day to hang the stand and shot him 2 hrs into the sit. If not for the trail cam intel I'd have been in a tree stand two counties away...
Yes, once and only once.
It was nearing the end of the NY bow season, had pictures and couple late evening sighting of buck that was coming off some elevation into a basin. He would spend the night chasing and I thought most likely head back up each morning only thing was I wasnt seeming him on my sits.
I brought in 4 cams and set them up mid day were in thought he would likely come down into the basin. The next day I went in at early afternoon with a stand and sticks to pulled the cards, plan was to set up right there and hunt if I had any pictures. I lucked out and had a half *** picture of him, hung the stand and killed him few hours later.
I have tried similar tricks since then and only wasted my time.
In fact sometime I think using trail cams during the season has had a negative impact on my success.
For the most part I only use them for entertainment and inventory.
THe cell trail cameras are pretty sweet. We have a couple of them. we usually leave it behind my house on a food plot that 500 yards from the back door. One night we were having family xmas and frank kept calling me. When I finally answered he told me there was a coyote heading straight towards my house. By the time I got outside he was already past and to far to shoot. If I would of answered the first time I might have gotten him. We have had lots of interesting close calls with deer on them but those are long stories
I had pictures of the buck I shot last year at one of my camera locations a couple weeks before the opener. He would show up around 5:00 almost every night. The first night I sat that stand guess who showed up. Would I have been huntjng that stand location that night if it weren't for the trail cam pics? Well....maybe, but I probably would have been sitting there if I wouldn't have set up the camera anyway.
For me personally, no.
In Oklahoma, my buddies have killed 6 deer in 3 years running cameras at bait sites. They check their cameras every three days, if a deer shows up for 2 days in a row during daylight, they hunt it. If nothing shows up... they don't. They hunt a max of 8-10 days per year and pretty much always kill/have an opportunity at their target deer.
I would say this is the one of the best points to make. While I am trying to decide over multiple options of pre-hung stand sits, well over 50% of the time my trail cameras make my mind up for me. I would also comment that there are many approaches to checking cams and using the data and if you are not taking the time to do it correctly you will not get the results some are.
Haha yeah trail cameras drove us crazy this year. We had pictures of bucks fighting on camera and all this action at night time, then we couldn't wait to sit in that stand only to never see a deer all year in that spot- or see any of the deer that were on camera. There great for inventory, they'll just drive you nuts thats all
Its never directly helped me kill a buck, but it has allowed me to recognize and know the kind of bucks in my area.
Justin...so do your eyes help you shoot? Can you hit the target, consistently with accurate results without your eyes. As you are looking in one direction a deer is walking through dried leaves, without ears will you be able to turn at the sound?
Yes. The camera does help me kill deer. Its eyes and ears when I am not there to help me develop a strategy and plan a time that will increase the probability of me seeing a deer I want to kill. In fact a camera helped me kill a trophy of mine that I thought I wounded and wouldn't return to my set again. He showed up many times as the dominant buck and I knew by the probability of him being there my best strategy was to hunt that set until I saw him again. Showing up a week later after I stuck him I was on stand but he did not present a shot. 6 days later on Thanksgiving he shows up at 8 AM sharp whereby I finally execute my plan.
Without a camera, I would have never seen him there in September to development my list of shooters, formulate a plan to harvest this dominant buck and have eyes on the set validating his consistent return to my set after I put a minor flesh wound on him. Without a camera I would have not known to stay on.
However, the camera did dis-prove a few myths. A buck can and will return to an area he was wounded in. In fact, Kong, returned 3 hours later after I wounded him on November 6th. It also proved that a wounded deer doesn't go nocturnal.
Thanks for posting this discussion. I love your show and website. It has help me harvest game with tips and advice...like a game camera.
95% of the land I hunt does not allow them, nor does it have any crop fields to glass, so getting any intel on bucks is simply walking the land. Trail cams are non-existent in my arsenal at this point.
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