Top 5 Places to Set Deer Cameras This Summer
Summer trail camera placement depends on your objectives. If your objective is to capture as many pictures as possible to see what is out there; that is completely different than pre-scouting bucks for this coming archery season. Start with your goal to help you tailor fit your own trail camera strategies. These 5 trail camera setups will ensure you are getting the most from each camera.
The Food Source
Tracking for quantity is not necessarily bad when there is a purpose behind it. The first setup strategy for summer cameras is the food source. As mentioned earlier, deer, both does and bucks, will be concentrated in areas throughout the summer months where there are high-value foods. These will include agricultural fields filled with growing soybeans or corn and food plots lush in nutrient-rich forage.
Set up offseason deer cameras on the edge of these food sources. Pictures from these camera setups will get you plenty of pictures that will be helpful in inventorying your local herd. You should be getting pictures of does, bucks (both mature and immature) and fawns with these setups. Install cameras on a tree or with a stake near the entrance and exit points of the food source. Multiple trail cameras on the same food source will keep you from missing any deer. Use still-image capture mode with the camera set on the highest possible sensitivity setting to capture far off movements across an open field. Trigger speed does not have to be super-fast because most deer will be walking and feeding when the picture snaps.
A bait station, whether being a great mineral attractant like the Big & J Meltdown or supplemental food source in these areas, where allowed by law, can increase the number of pictures you get. Mineral sites, in particular, will be a constant source of minerals and sodium for bachelor groups on your hunting property. This means a potential site where an inventory of bucks can begin.
Set you camera trigger to slower speeds when using a mineral or bait site. Keep the sensitivity setting low because the dense vegetation where most likely these areas are located will trigger empty photos.
Check out Michael Waddell’s Video on Summer Mineral Stations!
Deer have to drink at some point during the day and in the summer heat, it can be at least several times a day. Their summer patterns will usually keep water close by a food source so start investigating there first. Look for springs and creeks that do not dry up during rainless periods or larger bodies of water like farm ponds or rivers near agricultural fields. Deer will visit water throughout the day so often a secluded water hole can provide a rare daytime picture of an elusive buck that typically only shows up at night to food sources.
Sometimes there is no water on the property you have access too. In that case, first look harder as even the smallest spring seep can be overlooked and a magnet for deer where water may be scarce. If that does not pan out, think about creating one. If it is your property or you have permission from the landowner, adding a small water basin or creating a natural water depression strategically near food sources will not only help your deer herd but give you a place for good trail camera setups.
Deer trails are used no matter what time of the year it is. Trail camera placement on used summer trails will give you plenty of pictures and also information on the timing of movements. Focus on intersecting trails with fresh activity near a food source or concentrate on pinch points in the landscape. Yes, some trails will be dormant in summer months so scout out which ones are being used to get the most out of the trail cameras. With these setups, it pays to check cameras more frequently because you do not want to waste camera time on dormant deer trails.
Trigger speeds should be fast, as deer will be moving. Keep sensitivity low and turn on burst mode on your Bushnell trail cameras to make sure even the fastest deer is captured. A trail camera tip for better results when monitoring deer trails is to look for trails running north and south so you can position cameras north to avoid whitewashed images from too much sunlight.
Staging areas are ideal spots for Hawk Tree Stands during the pre-rut, but they also make great places to set up deer cameras in the summer. Thick areas adjacent to or within easy access to food sources are where you will find your staging areas. Deer preposition themselves in staging areas in daylight hours prior to moving to a food source as nighttime falls. It is an area of comfort and those around good quality food sources will get used all year long. Position trail cameras facing north and towards deer sign in these staging areas. Keep settings on a high trigger speed because sometimes deer will just pass through these areas and not completely stop before heading out to feed. Click Here…