The following game camera (cam) pictures happen to be some of my favorites…but you will need to read on to see all that they had in common. I have been a huge fan of cams since the late 90s when taking a lot of pictures meant using 36 exposure film instead of 24. By 2006 a rotation of 3 digital game cams on just my MI property alone yielded more than 20,000 pics to wade through from April to January.
As you can imagine my collection of favorite pics is high…and there is a lot of variety, including: Coyote, bobcat, bears, moose, turkeys, grouse, sandhill cranes, bear dogs, coon dogs, a bat, and even trespassers.
But, there is nothing like a nice buck to get your “next” finger to come to a quick stop during a run of a few thousand pics! Your heart starts pounding, the zoom button is in quick use, and the names start flying around your head. Take a look through through the following buck pics, the first thing you may notice is that they are all named. Some of these bucks had names for only 1 year…and sometimes for as many as 3 years, but that’s not the only thing that they had in common!
Game Cams Tell a Tale
So what do these nice bucks all have in common? They were all shot by my hunting buddies and I. I am a huge fan of game cameras! Game cameras gave us an indication of not only the direction these bucks were coming from, but approximately how far away from the camera location they were traveling to get there, and which buck bedding area they called home during their daytime hours. Also…the more we get pictures, the more daytime pics we get because we have learned that its not the flash that spooks a mature buck, its not the smell of the camera, and its certainly not the sight of the camera, but instead its the constant human intrusion to check the camera, so let me give you these Deer Cam Tips to avoid this.
As I mentioned we have to sift through 1000s of pics at a time, depending on the month of the year and we have to do that because on average we are checking our cams after waiting for 2 weeks or more. During the season, not only does that 2 week window still apply, but we are only checking those cams when we are sitting in a nearby tree…which keeps our human activities to the absolute minimum.
Another aspect of our most recent game cam activities? Our best daytime pictures in recent years have been over small waterholes…either hand-dug, or while a using a tank of 110 gallons or less. Continual daytime pics of our best bucks over waterholes not only gives us an incredible wealth of information about the personality and location of particular mature bucks 4 to 5 years of age and older…but it let’s us know that our game camera methods are not spooking those same bucks to any detectable level.
And, what set of trail cam pics wouldn’t be complete without a bat pic?
By Jeff Sturgis, www.whitetailhabitatsolutions.com