Summer Trail Cam Hot Spots
Summer trail camera season is in full swing and hunters across the country are searching for that perfect spot to capture velvet bucks. When trying to pin down prime areas for big buck summer hangouts, I always begin searching for field edge spots or staging areas very close to food or a field edge. The last thing I want to do is pressure deer during a time when I cannot hunt them. Keeping cameras out of the woods (or very close to a field) will keep pressure low and ensure you have not taken yourself out of the game before your archery season opens. If you have quality deer around, getting camera photos of them during summertime should be somewhat easy. Bucks have very little care during summer months and freely move about fields during daylight, evening time hours. Few activities get my blood pumping more than setting up trail cameras for the summer! Here are strategies I engage in during summer.
On my property, I attempt to keep all summer trail cameras accessible by ATV to minimize human scent. Also, if I bump a deer from its bed, typically that deer will return to normal activity in that area as they are used to ATV’s and farm equipment. Search field edges for major trails coming out of the timber for camera locations. Inside corners and flat areas surrounded by steep terrain just inside the woods are also prime spots for a camera. Placing cameras in low areas such as ravines are likely to capture bucks during hot, humid days as cool air collects in low areas. After the sun has set, the temperature on a ridge can be much higher than a low area around a ditch or ravine. If you have them, inside corners on a major summer food source such as soybeans are probably your best bet for capturing photos. Enhancing an area like this with deer feed or mineral such as an Ani-Mineral Block™ or Mineral Dirt® 180 will greatly increase chances of a bachelor group of bucks stopping by for a bite. If you hunt in regions with very little elevation change, placing a camera near a water source can be an excellent spot for summertime bucks. Deer receive much of their water through vegetation, but they will also stop by standing or running water to hydrate. On my family farm, we have three small ponds surrounded by CRP grass and lots of edge cover such as strips of pines, hazelnut, and other fruit trees. Placing a camera near changing “edge” cover is also an excellent strategy to capture bucks moving about your land throughout summer. For example, placing a camera between a strip of pine plantings and the woods would be an excellent “edge” cover strategy. Having a camera on a summer food source is also a great opportunity to take advantage of your cameras advanced features such as time lapse and picture plus video mode. Advanced features such as time lapse are easy to set up and captures bucks from distances that the motion trigger would fail to sense. Many cameras have settings where you can decrease megapixels within time lapse mode which will save you SD space as well.
Finding summer trail camera hot-spots is typically all about finding resources deer depend on and placing a camera nearby. Using Ani-Logics™ mineral and feed can help you gather inventory during summer. By using common sense and a low impact approach, you will consistently get pictures of bucks all summer long.
-Paul Annear, Ani-Logics Pro Staff