Saturday, October 5, 2013

Makin It Easy!

Gone are the days of spending hours in the woods scouting for the upcoming hunting season.  What used to require a lot of time and effort has been made simple by the use of trail cameras.  These cameras have revolutionized scouting.  Just set up and walk away.  Find out what wild game is living in your hunting grounds without the worry of spooking them with human scent or visual presence.  Place multiple cameras in different areas and it is like being several places at once.  Use of these tools is most effective during the early archery deer season or in an area with little or no hunting pressure.  A trail camera allows you to see deer and other game on their natural movements.  If you are placing them in an area with a lot of pressure or activity then all bets are off.  You may get a picture of a good buck one day only to have him pushed out of the area by hunting pressure. 
Now, lets talk about setup.  The most popular areas for setup are usually a well used game trail, food source, or scrape line.  Food sources and scrapes are fairly simple.  All you have to do is point the camera right at the scrape or at the area you think the deer or other animals will be feeding.  When setting up along a game trail, be sure to point the camera directly up or down the trail.  If the animal is walking towards or away from the camera then chances increase of getting a full image of the animal rather than just a partial if it just passes by the camera.  There is a delay from the time the camera senses motion until the picture is taken.  Even though some cameras are down to ¼ of a second delay between sensing the motion and taking the picture, it is still enough time for a deer to stride out of frame before the picture is taken.
  We have come a long way in the technology of these tools.  Trail cameras have been on the market for a while now.  The original ones required a roll of film just like a regular camera and then a trip to the local Walmart’s “one hour photo” before you could see the images that you captured.  Now these cameras are all digital.  To check your images all you need is to pull the SD card and insert it into your digital camera or put a new card in the camera and take the old one home to look at the images on your computer.  If you do not have a digital camera or computer, they also make viewers that you can buy to show you the pictures on the cards.  There are also cameras now that will send the pictures to your email so that you do not even have to set foot in the woods.

  Also, trail cameras come in either a full flash model or in infrared.  Some people prefer the infrared because there is no flash.  In these models the nighttime images will be in black and white as opposed to the full color in a regular flash camera.  Some people believe that the regular flash will spook game at night.   No matter which model you should choose, trail cameras can be the most valuable tools in your hunting arsenal.  They allow you to scout your area 24-7 from miles away.  If your not already taking advantage of these cameras, I urge you to give them a try.  You can get a good camera at a fair price now that a lot of companies are making them. 
  Finally, you may want to invest in a security box to lock your camera in while it is in the woods.  Not everyone is honest and many stories have been told about cameras being stolen.  Also, this writer has had a major Black Bear problem with his cameras.  The bears do not seem to get aggressive with them but seem to pull and bite at them to see if it is something they should eat.  One camera has been ruined from a bear biting through the plastic and moisture getting inside the camera’s major components.  So if you are worried, make sure you get a security box!