5 Trail Camera Tips: Getting the Best Deer Hunting Photos
The trail camera is always playing an important role in the deer hunting season, A proper trail-camera setup is a very important part of scouting and oftentimes the most overlooked. We expect to throw a camera on a tree and have a deer walk past. I have highlighted some small steps I take to improve my trail-camera outcomes. By taking your time and following these steps, you will generate better photos and more enjoyable scouting experience. In turn, you will have a better idea of the bucks on your property and locations to hunt them.
But how? We are going to share some interesting deer hunting tips, which may bring you a wonderful hunting experience in the next hunting season. If you have any questions after reading, or if you’d like to get in touch to learn more about trail cameras, please contact us here. You can also visit our official website to message us directly.
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT LOCATION
Let’s face it: You will not get pictures of deer if there aren’t any deer around. Just like hunting, you want to pick a location that deer are frequenting at that given time of the year. This could include a water hole in the summer, large scrape during the rut, or food source in the winter. The more evidence of deer in the area, the more photos on your SD card.
Finding this area is the trickiest because about 70% of deer habitats provide enough bedding area. But they especially like areas that provide adequate protection, so they need to be aware of the voids in many forests or bushes. However, easy access to drinking water is important, so look for nearby streams. The same is true for warmth, which is why they usually prefer south-facing slopes.
Usually, These are a better bet for mounting your trail camera, since suitable areas make up only about 2 – 3% of a deer’s habitat, so they’re much easier to locate. But just as with all animals, deer’s diet changes according to the season.
There are obviously more dietary options during the warmer months, so deer can get their favorite, corn, or soybeans. If you manage to find a corn or soybean field near the forest area (bingo), then you have found a major deer feeding area.
However, as deer’s foraging pressures increase in winter, things change in winter. That’s why you usually find deer in mixed coniferous forests so that in winter they can feed on the leaves, twigs, and buds of woody plants, often called “browsing.”
Obviously, ‘browsing’ is widespread throughout the forest, so, at least at the beginning of winter, it’s going to be hard to pick the right spot.
But as winter progresses, all deer-level “browsing” will eventually be consumed, which means it will be easier to find suitable areas. You can also step in and help the deer by collecting prey that is out of range and placing it on the forest floor (of course, your energy chain is installed nearby).
As we can see, the feeding area can be very uncertain during early winter. Deer may also live in areas with large numbers of potential foraging areas throughout the year. So what is the final choice in this case?
You’re going to have to continue to play detective at this point and take advantage of the deer’s need to move around within their habitat, between feeding areas and bedding areas.
Of course, in general, only areas that are allowed to move are very uncertain. However, there will be naturally occurring features that limit the possibility of movement, including canyons, isthmus, trails through dense bushes and narrow forest belts.
Discovering such ‘funnel points’ can let you narrow down your search massively. Hook up a trail cam in one of these areas and you’re bound to capture a deer as it passes by.
So now that we have the right location, let’s narrow it down to the high-traffic areas. Look for main trails leading to food or water. Check for deer tracks at places like the muddy bank of a pond or creek, a favorite hard-hit mineral site in the spring and the fence line alongside a bean field in the summer. The main focus here is to make sure your setup is in the most likely spot deer will cross. Remember, if nothing trips the trigger, no pics for you.
3. Deer droppings
In the past, another way was a stool. Don’t worry, you don’t have to pick it or smell it, just look at you to tell if it is from a deer.
Strangely, they look like small bullets, sometimes appearing in groups, and sometimes scattered. But to a large extent, it depends on the diet of the deer, and the diet of the deer also depends on the season. Therefore, generally speaking, the colder the season, the smaller the stool becomes, the more difficult it is.
4. Direction & Background
What goes up must come down. I’m talking about the sun. Make sure your camera is not facing directly into the sunrise or sunset. Many times we forget this simple step and get blurred or whited-out photos from the sun’s intense glare. It’s best to face trail-cameras north, or if not possible in your location, south, but at least never facing due east or west.
You now have deer in front of the camera, but what is behind the deer? Make sure the background of the photo is not too busy. Pick a contrasting background such as an open field, the skyline, distant trees, or water to help make those tines stand out so you know exactly what headgear your bucks are sporting and whether they are on the hit list or not this fall.
5. Camera Settings
What you chose for the settings on your camera can play a big part in the success of your photos. One of the most useful features of a trail camera is the timer, allowing for control over what specific time of day the motion sensors can be triggered. If you know when the animal you want to capture is active, it’s definitely worth using this feature, as it can drastically improve the battery life of your camera. Camera setting is one of the most important factors in deer hunting.
Deer are usually nocturnal animals, so if you’re after clear results, set a timer for your night vision tracking camera in the early hours of the night. However, the disadvantage of this is that night vision technology is very demanding for battery life, and you only get black and white photos, which may not be what you want.
This is the real advantage of trail cameras over regular cameras. If you want to take a picture of a deer yourself with a regular camera, you must get up very early or you may be trapped in the forest after sunset.
But with the trail camera, just set it to run at these times and you can stay with your feet up at home and get excited about all the amazing deer photos. As you know, deer hunting is one of the most hunter’s favorite hunting activities, these amazing photos will help you during the deer hunting season.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading and if you’re interested to learn more about a trail camera with night vision and timer features, plus super-fast trigger speed for capturing even the fastest-moving deer, take a look at our latest 4G trail camera Watcher1-4G. For further information please kindly visit our official website or Facebook page.