Knowing what buck you’re going to target starts with knowing what deer are on your property. There’s no better way to do that then with a trail camera survey. But getting good pictures takes more than set-and-forget.

To get the most out of your pictures, setup a bait site with something the deer will gravitate toward. Corn and mineral blocks work great. Find a place with a dark, clear background — like a pine grove. Avoid areas with excess branches that can make reading antler size difficult.

After a week or two of baiting, setup the camera about 12-feet away, pointing slightly upward. This will eliminate wasted card space on pictures of racoons and gray squirrels. Then lay down a strip of bait corn. This will have the deer feeding trough-style, rather then clustered around a central pile. It’s all about getting good pictures.

Check out previous episodes of DSI:

Introducing DSI: Deer Scene Investigation

DSI: A Spot-and-Stalk Whitetail Hunt

DSI: A Big Woods Buck

DSI: Evander, Tracy’s First Bow Buck

DSI Video Tip: The Worst Case Scenario

DSI: The Contamination Buck

DSI Video Tip: Make a Map

DSI Video Tip: Shoot Your Situation

DSI Video Tip: The Long Draw

DSI Video Tip: How to Triangulate Deer Location with Trail Cameras

DSI: The Second-Chance Buck