Without question, I still feel like a little kid the night before Christmas anytime I go into the field to check my trail cameras. For good reason, you just never know what is going to show up on those pictures. A mega buck with hard-hitting headgear could be just one snap away and that is essentially what keeps all of us coming back for more. There is no doubt that these high-tech scouting tools have completely changed the way we scout and hunt for deer.
However, many hunters severely limit the full potential of these compact surveillance devices by only hanging up a couple of cameras. This season you need to break-away from the pack and start networking your trail-cameras by strategically setting up multiple units.
In fact, I utilized this innovative technique to successfully pattern the daily habits and routines of a high-racked 9-pointer last year. My good friend Jarod Jackson of Illinois Ohio Valley Trophy Hunts and I had located a very unique buck with a crab-claw point shooting off of its main beam. We had captured several pictures of the buck feeding on the back corner of an isolated bean field after dark. With just one camera, there was no way of knowing what the tall-tined trophy was doing the rest of the day. So, we decided to study a topo map of the area to locate possible bedding locations, travel routes and staging points. Next, Jarod and I setup several cameras to cover all of these key locations. By opening day, we knew exactly every move the buck was making, which allowed me to connect with this unique trophy during my first evening in the stand.
Over the years, I have used just about every birthday and Christmas holiday to accumulate at least a dozen trail cameras. Stocking up on my scouting arsenal has enabled me to save a lot of time in the field and piece together several big buck patterns. Focusing on potential bedding locations, current food sources, travel routes and staging points will pay off big on opening day.
Simply networking your trail cameras to cover more ground can be the easiest way to pinpoint, pattern, and ultimately shoot a monster this season. The good news is that right now is the perfect time to hit the woods hard and try this aggressive scouting technique. I guarantee you’re going to like the results.
By the way, it would be great to see some of your best trail cam pictures and hear some scouting reports on the BBZ. Just hearing from all of you may help me get through the next couple of weeks, because the countdown to opening day is about to drive me crazy!