Category Archives: Hunting Tech

Deer Hunting Tip:Setting up a trail camera

Since the introduction of trail cameras into the hunting world,they have done nothing less than revolutionize the way we scout,plan for hunts,and manage our deer herds. However,there are some easy mistakes that can be made when using a camera (most of which I have learned from experience). Hopefully the following tips can help you avoid the same mistakes I made.

Power: This is one of the easiest and most common mistakes I make. I cannot count the times I’ve gone out to check trail cameras,only to realize the batteries were almost out in my cameras,and I didn’t bring any spares!! ALWAYS carry some extra batteries with you into the field,whether you are hunting,or just out checking pictures. A camera with dead batteries is no good to anyone,no matter how well it’s positioned.

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Trail Camera

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Location: Try and put your camera in a spot where deer activity is obvious at first. As a general rule of thumb, place your camera’s on main trails and/or food sources. If you hunt in a warm weather climate,consider placing your camera’s near a water source. You want to get a general feel of what the deer activity is in the specific area. Once you get a feel of where/when the deer are coming from/through,then consider moving the camera to a location closer to where you want to hunt (if need be). Always go in completely scent free when setting up cameras,disturbing as little as possible. Wear clothes that have been treated in scent free detergent,shower with scent free shampoo,and spray down with scent eliminating spray if possible. Treat it the same way as you would before you go hunting. Better safe than sorry.

Test Your Camera

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Position: Always try and place your camera on a sturdy tree. The last thing you want is to come back and find your camera crushed under the rotten tree you attached it to :D. Clear away any brush that may inhibit your photo,or accidentally trigger your camera in a high wind. Set your camera about 3′ off of the ground (about a whitetails eye level),facing straight ahead. Try and put the camera a minimum of 10′ away from where you think the deer will be coming through. This is for a few reasons: 1-You want to make sure you get as much in the picture as possible,such as where the deer is coming from,were there any other deer with them, what was the deer’s body language when the picture was taken,and where was it headed. 2- If a deer comes running by your camera,this generally gives the sensor enough time to react to the movement,and get a picture before the deer moves out of frame. If you are to close to the action,the chances of you missing the photo are much greater. Always make sure you take a test shot or 2 after setting up at a new location. I have more shots of branches in the way of the lens than I’d like to admit…..

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Deer Movement

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Checking your Camera:This is one many people have questions about. “How often should I check my camera?”. The answer is,there is not perfect answer. During scouting seasons (pre/post hunting season),we try and check ours about once a month. This gives enough time for us to get a good data set on what deer movement looks like in our area. During season,we generally check the cameras once every 1-2 weeks. Some people may consider this to often,but our reasoning is simple. During season,I need to have the most current movement of deer in our area as possible in order to plan my hunts accordingly. If the deer movement has changed,it wouldn’t make sense for me to be hunting the same spot over and over,now would it? And change deer movement does,for a ton of reasons. Those reasons range from crop harvesting (common in the fall),to predator activity,food sources changing,water sources drying up,and what we all dread,hunting pressure. Don’t be discouraged if you go back and check your camera a few day later and see no pictures. Sometimes even when you are as careful as possible,deer can pick up on your presence. It can take a few days for them to settle back into their routine.

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Caught On Tape

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Follow these basic rules,and hopefully that big boy in your neck of the wood’s will show up on your memory card,the next time you head out. Good Huntin’.

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– J-WO

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Fleetwood Rack

iPhone apps for Hunters:ScoutLook

After seeing the Scoutlook website on one of Dodges online advertisements, I decided to take a look at their website to see what the fuss was about. After navigating through some of the basic functions of the site,my heart was warmed with the sight of that beautiful “App Store” logo. After downloading the app (Very reasonably priced at $1.99),I started diving in to figuring it out. Here are some of the main Features:

Scent cone: This is reason enough to download the app. It takes a general wind direction reading (such as weather.com’s app)and rednecks it up. It shows you the direction in which your scent will drift,as well as approximate dispursion. Somthing that is invaluable when planning on which stand site to hunt at your favorite spot.

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Set Zone: I’m not a dedicated Duck hunter,but have been a handful of times. This feature basically uses the wind speed/direction information to show you the most likely direction the birds will approach your setup. It really dumbs down the process of setting up your decoy spread,which for someone like me,is perfect.

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Detailed Weather: Sure,the weather channel app works fine,and it’s free,which is in everyone’s budget. I’ve used it for several years to plan my hunts with success,but I’ve always wanted more detail. Detail is exactly what you get with ScoutLook’s weather section. Barometric pressure charts,wind speed and direction,and of course the trusty ol’ hourly forecast (Scoutlook actually goes out 72 hours,rather than the 24 hours on the weather channel app).

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Solunar Details: This is I’ve been looking for on the iPhone for awhile. Moon phase apps are great,and Peak game movement charts are useful,but this one puts it all into one,easy to read place. If your hunting revolves around food (and in the early and late season,who’s doesn’t?), moon phases are a must for determining when Deer are feeding.

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You can get the App HERE. And HERE is the Scoutlook website,in case you want to take a look at things on a bigger screen. 🙂

Enjoy – J-WO