As we near the 2012 trail camera season I have been spending a lot of time looking back at our 2011 pictures. We ended up with a few thousand pictures last year (I won’t lie to you, I didn’t sit down and count them all) and I have been going through and deleting the blurry shots, the half body shots and all the otherwise flawed pictures. While running through all the pictures I got to thinking that a good blog topic would be a “best of” write up based on our 2011 pictures.
I came up with 8 different categories and sat down and started searching for those pictures that I thought best captured each different category. It wasn’t easy picking just one for many of the categories and I’m not really sure that every pick is right but isn’t that the case with the Oscars or the Emmy’s too? There is always some controversy involved but in the end it’s all in the hands of the judges. In this case I was the only judge and my decisions were final.
So, without any further delay I’m happy to share the “2011 Best of the Best” trail camera pictures!!
Doe and Fawn — We didn’t get a ton of doe and fawn pictures this year so the number of entries was small but that certainly didn’t mean it was an easy choice.
Close-Up — Our first few pulls of the year produced several good close-up shots and all the finalists were from the April and May timeframe. All the pictures were good but I think this one stood out from the others.
Candid — If you run trail cameras for very long you will certainly capture a few moments that make you chuckle. This category is all about the funny factor and the winning picture was part of a several picture series of this small buck who was obviously unaware of the camera’s presence.
Scenery — Sometimes it isn’t the deer in the picture that make the shot. Nature is a beautiful place and every once in a while your trail cam will catch some of that beauty and provide you with a great shot.
Group Shot — We tend to put our cameras in high traffic area’s in an effort to get a look at as many of the deer on the property as possible. As a result of that we get several pictures with multiple deer in them but this group here is the type that any hunter likes to see. Nice bucks, nice scenery and my choice for best group shot.
Velvet Buck — Watching bucks in velvet all summer is one of the most entertaining aspects of the trail camera game for us. Not only does it allow you to see what bucks are around and give you a chance to watch them grow, it also lets you watch bucks when they are relaxed and unpressured. This 8pt is a good looking buck but the overall quality of the picture is what got it into the number one spot.
Big Buck — Big bucks, the beasts that most hunters and trail cam users are looking for. Nothing gets a hunters blood pumping harder than the site of a good racked buck. The picture that won this category may be a bit of a surpise to some (it was a bit of a surprise to me actually) since he isn’t all that big yet in the picture. Perhaps he would have been better suited in the “Velvet Buck” category but I remember when we got this picture just thinking “holy cow that buck is going to be a beast”. Perhaps I let emotion make this decision for me but regardless, here is the “Big Buck” winner.
Overall — I wanted the winner in this category to be a picture that had the deer in good focus near the center of the picture, colors that looked good and bright and had good scenery in the background. It wasn’t an easy pick and I almost left this category off because I didn’t like the options that I had for a winner. After a second review I chose the winning picture that you see below. With the deer centered and focused and a lush green food plot in the background it certainly meets the category criteria.
Hopefully you enjoyed the pictures and can see why I chose them for their respective categories. It would have been fun to get a few people together to pick the winners, or even post two or three in each category and let the readers decide, but for this year I played the sole judge and jury. We’ll see what this trail cam season brings and maybe next year around this time we’ll switch up the format for our “Best of the Best” and get some more judges involved.
If things go as planned this season we should have plenty of pictures to keep next years judges busy choosing and debating.
Take care, and thanks for reading!!