Trail camera season is almost upon us for the 2018 deer season. If you are really itching to see some velvet, you may already have your cameras out. I typically do not deploy all my trail cameras until July. Once that time hits, it is go time. Bucks are very active browsers throughout the entire summer, making for exciting trail camera pulls. If you are a beginning trail camera user, want to change up your strategy, or have access to a new property and you don’t know where to start–here are a few key trail camera locations you should focus on this summer.
Creek bottom reprieve: Creek bottoms not only provide cool, shady locations for bucks throughout summer, they typically have quite a bit of browse. Creeks and small rivers that lack trees, but have grassy banks will still hold bucks—especially if they are right off an agriculture field. My brother has jumped many bucks on his fly-fishing adventures, on rivers where no trees are present. Any sort of crossing you can locate along a creek that connects to thick cover should have a beaten trail. These locations are excellent spots for an Ani-Mineral Block paired with a trail camera.
Inside corner field edge: If you are looking for a basic place to get lots of photos of deer, an inside corner is perhaps the best place to start. Bucks and other deer love to enter fields at these corners to observe or ‘stage’ themselves, before moving out to a large field. Having your camera on time-lapse mode overlooking a large field at these inside corners can capture many deer at a time. For the last hour of daylight, have your camera take a picture every minute. Check your camera every week or so and you should have a good number of bucks.
Food plots: Food plotters are always excited to see what bucks are hitting a food source. Summer plots like soybeans, clover and alfalfa will receive quite a bit of deer traffic during summer months. Remember to always check your food plot cameras in the middle of the day to avoid spooking bucks off your plot in the evening. If you have a big buck consistently hitting your plot while he is in velvet, keep a close eye on that buck once velvet peel begins. Most likely, that daylight feeding pattern will not keep up. If the season is near and he is still hitting the plot however, move in for the kill.
Logging roads: If you have access to a new property and do not have any habitat breaks like those I have covered, setting a camera on a logging road is a solid option. If I were to only place my trail cameras on logging roads on my family property, I would venture to guess I’d still capture 75% of all bucks on the land. Bucks love to walk these easy paths and many logging roads lead to large ag fields. Make sure to place your camera at an angle facing somewhat down the logging road to ensure the buck stays in the detection zone of your camera for a long time, increasing odds you will get a centered picture. That is true for trials as well. Many logging roads are deep in timber. Checking logging road trail cameras often is probably not the best idea, unless you are through your property on a vehicle often.
The basic trail camera locations outlined above will give you a general start to your summer trail camera survey. Tweaking camera locations based off years of history you have with a property is the only way to pinpoint your best spots. Do not get too excited over your summer camera pictures. I have noticed about 15% of bucks I get pictures of during summer will never be spotted again.
– Paul Annear, Ani-Logics Pro-Staff
More Trail Cam Survey Tips Here!