Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby Public Prowler » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:27 am

Alright everybody, get ready for a bunch of posts. It turns out I had a ridiculous amount of pictures of nice bucks. I had some great videos of chasing and have finally got the pictures ready to upload. I won't be able to get all of the pictures up on here but I will post all I can. Please if you've got any questions I'd love to answer! This is a piece of highly pressured WI public land.

If you have any questions you'd like to be answered non-related to these pictures and possibly to a situation you're scratching your head over, look to my Mentor Thread (link below). It's a thread to talk about your successes, your questions, and mostly the MISTAKES you've learned from. It's an effort to get newer hunters to learn some lessons before they see the heartbreak of their target buck walking away. Dan says his greatest tool to keep him evolving and improving is his ability to learn from his mistakes. I'd like this thread to grow into a great question answering/lesson learning thread to benefit all. We've got a great resource of guys on this forum and if the thread gains popularity, I'm sure we can find someone for almost any question who has been in that situation and can help mentor another hunter to success!

Mentor Thread: https://www.thehuntingbeast.com/viewtop ... =3&t=55881


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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby Public Prowler » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:33 am

Now remember, loose lips sink ships. The purpose of this post and comprehensive picture upload is to help other hunters out. Please don't expose my spot if you recognize this as I've worked hard for years to find and maintain this bedding area. Thank you!
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby Public Prowler » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:35 am

Second set of uploads, same spot.
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby Public Prowler » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:40 am

This is a short set of photos (dates and time are wrong) from another trailcam on a different parcel of public. This demonstrates the advantages of long soaks of a camera on a major bedding area entrance. This camera I visited only twice during the season and it was on the eye level for the deer and I never got the same buck on it twice. It got a bunch of pictures of nice bucks, but still much less than the other. This shows the impact of visiting a spot just twice in a year as a significant dampener in deer activity. This also demonstrates how deer spook more at eye-level cameras.
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby Public Prowler » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:56 am

[quote="Lockdown"]Looking forward to pics! :dance:

They're up!!!
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:16 am

I did something similar a few years ago. I mounted the cam up high in the heart of the bedding for a better field of view. Believe I left it up from mid summer until start of the rut and I needed the camera. Had very similar results, especially in regards to no older age class bucks heading to bed after daylight b4 the rut. I got a variety of different bucks of all age classes. Some only came one time, others a few times spread out through the months. Can say 4 certain I never had the same buck use the area day after day. Really didn’t know what I was looking for when I started the experiment and really didn’t learn anything from it. Just one of those deals like placing a cam on a food source and getting a single pic of a biggen at midnight. Cool to see but doesn’t do anything atleast for me to up my odds.
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby Public Prowler » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:38 pm

Boogieman1 wrote:I did something similar a few years ago. I mounted the cam up high in the heart of the bedding for a better field of view. Believe I left it up from mid summer until start of the rut and I needed the camera. Had very similar results, especially in regards to no older age class bucks heading to bed after daylight b4 the rut. I got a variety of different bucks of all age classes. Some only came one time, others a few times spread out through the months. Can say 4 certain I never had the same buck use the area day after day. Really didn’t know what I was looking for when I started the experiment and really didn’t learn anything from it. Just one of those deals like placing a cam on a food source and getting a single pic of a biggen at midnight. Cool to see but doesn’t do anything atleast for me to up my odds.


I think it helps me personally to adjust my camera placement. Another definite lesson is the importance of sitting a spot at most 3 times a year. Leaving one spot alone and bumping other bedding certainly stacked this area.
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby brancher147 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:59 pm

Public Prowler wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:I did something similar a few years ago. I mounted the cam up high in the heart of the bedding for a better field of view. Believe I left it up from mid summer until start of the rut and I needed the camera. Had very similar results, especially in regards to no older age class bucks heading to bed after daylight b4 the rut. I got a variety of different bucks of all age classes. Some only came one time, others a few times spread out through the months. Can say 4 certain I never had the same buck use the area day after day. Really didn’t know what I was looking for when I started the experiment and really didn’t learn anything from it. Just one of those deals like placing a cam on a food source and getting a single pic of a biggen at midnight. Cool to see but doesn’t do anything atleast for me to up my odds.


I think it helps me personally to adjust my camera placement. Another definite lesson is the importance of sitting a spot at most 3 times a year. Leaving one spot alone and bumping other bedding certainly stacked this area.


I have left cameras the last couple years and it is probably the most useful thing I have ever done with cameras. You can really pick up on when things happen from year to year and big bucks are creatures of habit. You have to really know what you are looking for, have the camera in the right spot, and know how to interpret the results but you can learn a lot. For me it showed me how unimportant wind direction is in the mountains and how important it is to sit an area more than 2 or 3 times because these bucks cover an awful lot of ground and may only come through an area once a week. But if you can catch an early doe in heat or something like that and multiple bucks show up that day then that is something you can use the following year. Or any certain time period bucks are using an area.
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby bwwma » Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:06 pm

That’s awesome, good post. Yes any intel can help you put the puzzle together & if you wanted you could always go back and check the wind direction on the days you had buck sightings and see if there is a pattern. Good luck with those great bucks.
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby Public Prowler » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:37 am

bwwma wrote:That’s awesome, good post. Yes any intel can help you put the puzzle together & if you wanted you could always go back and check the wind direction on the days you had buck sightings and see if there is a pattern. Good luck with those great bucks.


Thank you! I appreciate this and have noted the wind directions, pressure, and temperature history (what the trend has been within the week I.E. rise in temp, decrease in temp, etc...). All show correlations to deer movement.
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby seazofcheeze » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:45 am

It looks like your first piece is actually a doe bedding area. If the camera dates are correct, all the buck pics are within the rut time frame. Were there regular buck pictures in September? What About Mid-December and later? If not, I'd say its a much more likely its a doe bedding area. With that said, based on the pictures, I'd definitely throw a few hunts at it during the rut. Nice bucks!
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby Public Prowler » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:43 am

seazofcheeze wrote:It looks like your first piece is actually a doe bedding area. If the camera dates are correct, all the buck pics are within the rut time frame. Were there regular buck pictures in September? What About Mid-December and later? If not, I'd say its a much more likely its a doe bedding area. With that said, based on the pictures, I'd definitely throw a few hunts at it during the rut. Nice bucks!


I got some pictures of bucks in the earlier months on the outskirts of this bedding area. The trouble is that I put the camera just out of range of a nice buck bed. Tried to predict the way he'd leave and I got it wrong. Around 100 yards in the direction of the camera is the primary doe bedding of the property. Great observation though, I have had a few cases of mistaken bedding areas where they turned out to be doe bedding areas with only rut sign in them. I've found that the key is to find lone beds with year long sign. This coincides with knowing when to hunt a bedding area as some are hot year round, and some get used at specific times.

Look into Joe Elsinger's podcast on Wired to Hunt where he talks about patterning areas instead of bucks. It's very interesting to find the data he has collected and hear about how to know when to use particular spots.I'm sure you know this stuff already because your inquiry was a great one that has stumped me many times, but this podcast taught me a little new information about what influences deer movements and how to best pick which bedding areas to hunt at which times of year.
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby Public Prowler » Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:52 am

Well, this is exactly why I let these cameras soak for the whole year in a bedding area. This year -- on the same small public property in which I had this year long camera soak -- I killed my biggest buck to date. This buck was caught on camera last year and put into this post! What I learned from his habits last year helped me figure out where he'd be, and kill him this year! I learned so much last year and this year and I can't wait to get cameras back up to gain more intel come June.
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby tuff4x4 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:16 pm

good job. :clap:

Curious how many times you hunted this area till you killed your buck? Did you stack the area like you mentioned previously? Date of kill?

Thanks for keeping us updated!
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Re: Trail Cam Story: 1 yr in a Big Buck Bedding Area

Unread postby Public Prowler » Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:36 pm

mauser06 wrote:Agreed. I too like to hang my cameras a bit higher of the ground. Keeps them "out of the deers world". And out of would be thief's world. I definitely think it helps with deer not seeing/smelling/noticing the camera. I also only run no-glows for the same reasons. Don't care what they say...if you can see white/red whatever colored glow at night, the critters HAVE to see something out of place. Being a coon hunter, I've seen many cameras at night. Video mode is probably the worst. Looks like space ships and some make awful noises too. I give up some range at night with no-glows...but I don't get the classic "deer in the headlights" pics like many guys get. And I've noticed even mature bucks go by and come back through and don't avoid the area like they did before I started all that..


Absolutely agree. No glows are all I use. Hanging them higher has led to a significantly higher success rate in my cameras. The most important thing with mature bucks is to have it out of their line of sight and to leave as minimal scent in the are as possible. IE let them soak and don't check them too often. When it's all said and done, I'd rather get a picture of me holding the rack than a picture of the deer walking around with it. If that intel puts risk on the kill being made, I don't take the risk. But that generally depends on the lad, the intel I have at hand, and what time of year it is.
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