As the hunting industry is growing larger and the market for scouting cameras increases, the idea of using a camera to help you scout is crucial. Scouting cameras provide the hunter a way to see exactly what is in the area that they are hunting. When placing a camera in an area that will eventually be hunted, some things should be taken into consideration. The ideal place would be a food source, but for some this is not an option. If the hunter is lucky enough to have a food plot of any sort, check for main trails that lead into the food plot. The main trail that leads into the food plot will most likely be around a pinch point, or a funnel. The terms pinch point, and funnel, refer to an area where the landscape decreases in width as it gets closer to the food plot. But funnels can also be caused by naturally occurring topography, such as two adjacent hills with a fairly wide bottom. The hills will funnel the deer into the bottom before they begin to make their way into the food plot. These two places are very important when looking for a good spot for the camera. If there is no food source on the land being hunted, another good spot is travel corridors. If the hunter has an idea on where the deer or game, is bedding, and an idea on a food source nearby, this is another good place for camera location. Most of the time there are a few trails that are mainly used between these to spots. Another good location would be along rub lines. Bucks during pre rut, and the rut, will be frequenting these rub lines.
Now that the locations have been addressed, the hunter must take into account the risk of spooking game during the time when hanging the camera and checking for pictures. With today’s cameras, it is not unreasonable to get over 1000 pictures on one set of batteries. This results in less time spent checking the camera and leaving scent behind. A good idea when hanging the camera is to not put it too deep in the woods. It is best to have minimal disturbance as possible in the area that will be hunted.
The best time to put scouting cameras out, is all year. If this is not possible, the next best is to place it in the woods a month or two before season. By having the camera out early before the season, it gives the hunter crucial information about where the deer are moving to and from. The early season is the best time to pattern mature bucks, what better way to do this than having a camera do it for you. With the prices of infrared cameras being so affordable, I would highly recommend the infrared over the flash cameras. This will cause fewer disturbances on the deer.
Lastly are a few tips to consider when hanging the camera. After the location is found for the camera, now it is time to enter the woods to hang it. Anytime the hunter enters the woods, there is a chance that scent will be left behind. A couple tactics to help avoid this include, wearing rubber boots, and gloves to help reduce scent. Always be aware of the wind when entering the woods also, if the wind is going directly towards the bedding area or food source, wait until there is a different wind to hang the camera. When hanging the camera make sure that the top of the camera is facing downwards at a very slight angle. Also face the camera north, so that the sun will not be in the background, blurring out any pictures that have been taken.
With the Scouting camera hung, all the hunter needs to do is check for pictures and come up with a game plan for that big mature buck that has been having fun getting his picture taken.