Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

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Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby KLEMZ » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:03 am

There is a similar thread in SCOUTING forum. I,m curious how people utilize these cams in wilderness areas and areas without agriculture.
My own experience with big woods cameras set ups is geared to remote (7 hour drive from home)rut hunting. My system is to finding great spots for NEXT year.

- place all cameras 10 feet high and angle 45 degrees downward. I have had bears destroy half a dozen cams set at chest height.

-set up cameras around 4rth of July (family vacation to area). Pick up camera AFTER 8 day bowhunt in early November. I never check them.

-set up on entrance to doe bedding. The bedding areas that are the fawn raising areas are the most consistant from year to year. Lots of doe bedding areas are temporary and can be great spots but I dont want to be chasing around during my short rut hunt finding them. The bedding area with all the fawn pics is where I'll sit next year.

-every rut hunter hunts funnels. I learned here on the beast that "your area only holds as many bucks as it has buck bedding areas". So, my funnel cameras are now typically next to a swamp with lots of points, pockets of cover and islands. If there is a ridge with bedding points adjacent, all the better. Last summer was the first time I set cams with this in mind and I got a couple spots with multiple mature buck sightings! Spots I'll hunt this fall.

-and new for this year will be cameras in the thermal tunnel between bedding points . We'll see!

It is real easy to waste time and not see any deer in a big woods hunt. It takes years to finally peg down one great spot sometimes. The cameras let me "hunt" multiple spots and shorten the learning curve a bit. Also, the cameras have helped improve my sign reading skills. The sign is far apart and subtle to read in big woods areas. By looking at the pictures during the winter and then going back there and looking around in the spring I can see just what a primary doe bedding area looks like based on sign alone.


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headgear
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Re: Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby headgear » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:25 am

Great advice Klemz, it can be pretty challenging just to get them on camera in the bigwoods. Heck I even kind of know what I am doing and still go years without any mature bucks on cam. Or worse yet I move my cams to new locations and find big tracks walking right past my camera locations from the previous year.
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Re: Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby Bucky » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:27 am

I have done the same thing in the past with a twist. I drop them right around the same time - July... but I make a mock scrape and add a curiosity scent to the scrape or where legal I prefer to just start a salt lick - liquid form with scent. Then I slide back in around Sept 1st and gather recon. This way if something huge shows up I got a new target animal to go after with the freshest data (where he is at that time - sometimes bucks change locals around opener, but I have found that consistently certain areas hold mature deer). Then I will hunt based off my scouting from the previous years access to that certain core area from food etc ( I hunt mainly hills so things might be slightly more predictable compared to large unbroken woods in regards to how deer typically travel (saddles, drainages, flats, points, creek bottoms etc ).
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Re: Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby KLEMZ » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:56 pm

headgear wrote:Or worse yet I move my cams to new locations and find big tracks walking right past my camera locations from the previous year.


Well at least your looking for the tracks! That is the key sign I look for when figureing out the big woods deer. Fresh big tracks in an area littered with old rubs of various ages!
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Re: Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby KLEMZ » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:14 pm

Bucky, how long does it take for bucks to show up at a mock scrape if you set it in July? It sounds like a cool way to "take inventory" when crop fields aren't an option.
From your experience will you see the biggest bucks in the area at the mock scrape?
I agree on certain areas holding the bigger bucks. That has been a pattern in my big woods trail cam pics. I'm pretty sure it is a direct reflection on having secure bedding in the area.
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Re: Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby Bucky » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:47 pm

KLEMZ wrote:Bucky, how long does it take for bucks to show up at a mock scrape if you set it in July? It sounds like a cool way to "take inventory" when crop fields aren't an option.
From your experience will you see the biggest bucks in the area at the mock scrape?
I agree on certain areas holding the bigger bucks. That has been a pattern in my big woods trail cam pics. I'm pretty sure it is a direct reflection on having secure bedding in the area.


They come into if they are there... the problem is that scent only stays fresh for 7-10 days and then begins to die out (maybe some of the sythetics that refresh with rains would be worth a try). So you usually only a pic or two vs salt/mineral lick repeat visits.

I had one mock take off one year that I started in July, about 75 yards off a bean field. Bucks were visiting it nightly all the way up until Sept... I started it with a bottle of Trail End #307. It got tore up good, but that was the only bean field in a 2-3 mile radius
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Re: Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby headgear » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:59 am

One place I have noticed a high level of traffic to run cams in bigwoods areas are water sources, but not just any water source, it has to be in a specific location. First you need to find the primary food source for an area, that is usually a cutting that is 1-4 years old. These areas will have the most abundant food and attract most if not all the deer in the area at some point during the summer or fall. Now if you can find a water source within the cutting or on the edge of a cutting that will get pounded with deer traffic. In the bigwoods I hunt there seems to be a unlimited number of water sources for the deer to get a drink but when those deer are feeding hard they like to grab a drink of water too so that is going to concentrate the traffic to one small area.

Now the only problem with these kinds of cam setups is there is usually a new logging road into them and that will bring a lot of human traffic as well but if you can find a remote cutting or somewhere that the water source is back away from the road your odds of having your cam stolen will be lower. I haven't even setup one of my cams in these locations for fear of it being stolen but the amount of tracks and big tracks using the area make it a great location.

I also usually don't hunt these areas unless there are special circumstances like a bedding area near by. They often attract your average hunters, road hunters, and the deer movement is mostly at night anyway.
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Re: Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:01 am

My best camera pictures and usage by big bucks is a food source. That might mean a cut, acorns or my favorite, bait spread out. I know many frown on bait but it works for taking inventory and checking movement of the deer.

I may not hunt the bait, as most buck pictures are at night, but can't knock the success of deer visitors and showing me what is "out there". Now there is a slight bit of skill required, can't plop a corn pile down and except bucks to just show up, even at night. Place this where deer feed and somewhat near good bedding but not too close to bugger them up.

A good bait station should be in a secluded area where there is little human trafic....except your self which you enter the area on good conditions. For mature bucks to show, as mentioned before, they are catious even at night. I compare it to bear baiting, a big bear won't show at the best goody station if it's in the wrong location.

The trick is to hunt where the deer move in the daylight......that doesn't mean right over the bait most of the time.

I can consistantly get "good" buck pictures year in and year out.....killing them is a different story that requires differnt tatics.
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Re: Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:56 am

Hodag Hunter wrote:My best camera pictures and usage by big bucks is a food source. That might mean a cut, acorns or my favorite, bait spread out. I know many frown on bait but it works for taking inventory and checking movement of the deer.

I may not hunt the bait, as most buck pictures are at night, but can't knock the success of deer visitors and showing me what is "out there". Now there is a slight bit of skill required, can't plop a corn pile down and except bucks to just show up, even at night. Place this where deer feed and somewhat near good bedding but not too close to bugger them up.

A good bait station should be in a secluded area where there is little human trafic....except your self which you enter the area on good conditions. For mature bucks to show, as mentioned before, they are catious even at night. I compare it to bear baiting, a big bear won't show at the best goody station if it's in the wrong location.

The trick is to hunt where the deer move in the daylight......that doesn't mean right over the bait most of the time.

I can consistantly get "good" buck pictures year in and year out.....killing them is a different story that requires differnt tatics.



Hey Hodag, I am in a similar boat as you. We use bait to take inventory and grandpa bowhunts over it, and I know a LOT of the neighbors hunt over bait too. Do you think that bait is possibly a tactic that educates and scares big bucks in areas where others hunt over bait without the precautions that you use? I have always wondered if it is a good thing or bad thing, like you said we get a lot of pictures and some even during the daylight but the deer are on high alert around the bait if you ever do hunt over it...I used too but have since gotten away from that.
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Re: Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby KLEMZ » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:59 am

Hodag Hunter wrote:I know many frown on bait but it works for taking inventory and checking movement of the deer.


I have to admit I'm one who "frowned" on bait. I always assumed it reflected our instant gratification, no physical effort, society. You have opened my eyes. It can be used as a tool to check deer movement in a big woods, no agriculture, no clear cutting environment.
If a person scouts hard and learns the location of some big buck big woods bedding areas he/she could then place strategically located "food sources" and moniter them via trail camera ( or good old fashioned deer sign). These "food sources" would be positioned where they are close enough to the buck beds but far enough away not to alert the buck when you come in to check them. Almost like shining or glassing in an ag.area. When you pick up his sign you then move in for a high odds big buck bedding area hunt based on your knowledge of his bedding areas. Brilliant!
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Re: Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:37 pm

BackWoodsHunter wrote:
Hodag Hunter wrote:My best camera pictures and usage by big bucks is a food source. That might mean a cut, acorns or my favorite, bait spread out. I know many frown on bait but it works for taking inventory and checking movement of the deer.

I may not hunt the bait, as most buck pictures are at night, but can't knock the success of deer visitors and showing me what is "out there". Now there is a slight bit of skill required, can't plop a corn pile down and except bucks to just show up, even at night. Place this where deer feed and somewhat near good bedding but not too close to bugger them up.

A good bait station should be in a secluded area where there is little human trafic....except your self which you enter the area on good conditions. For mature bucks to show, as mentioned before, they are catious even at night. I compare it to bear baiting, a big bear won't show at the best goody station if it's in the wrong location.

The trick is to hunt where the deer move in the daylight......that doesn't mean right over the bait most of the time.

I can consistantly get "good" buck pictures year in and year out.....killing them is a different story that requires differnt tatics.



Hey Hodag, I am in a similar boat as you. We use bait to take inventory and grandpa bowhunts over it, and I know a LOT of the neighbors hunt over bait too. Do you think that bait is possibly a tactic that educates and scares big bucks in areas where others hunt over bait without the precautions that you use? I have always wondered if it is a good thing or bad thing, like you said we get a lot of pictures and some even during the daylight but the deer are on high alert around the bait if you ever do hunt over it...I used too but have since gotten away from that.


You betch it educates them......just look at Ontario or Saskatchewan where hunters bait in low human pressure areas. Mature bucks will and do show themselves at bait stations. This is a method that works with some degree of sucess in these areas.

Is baiting a good or bad thing? That's up to each individual to decide (where legal) I myself have no probelm with it.
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Re: Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:39 pm

KLEMZ wrote:
Hodag Hunter wrote:I know many frown on bait but it works for taking inventory and checking movement of the deer.


I have to admit I'm one who "frowned" on bait. I always assumed it reflected our instant gratification, no physical effort, society. You have opened my eyes. It can be used as a tool to check deer movement in a big woods, no agriculture, no clear cutting environment.
If a person scouts hard and learns the location of some big buck big woods bedding areas he/she could then place strategically located "food sources" and moniter them via trail camera ( or good old fashioned deer sign). These "food sources" would be positioned where they are close enough to the buck beds but far enough away not to alert the buck when you come in to check them. Almost like shining or glassing in an ag.area. When you pick up his sign you then move in for a high odds big buck bedding area hunt based on your knowledge of his bedding areas. Brilliant!


It's not fool proof as you can guess, but I'll take any legal advantage I can hunting these big woods bucks.
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Re: Trail Camera Useage In Big Woods

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:14 am

Creek crossings seem to always work for me, especially if they are located in a prime funnel. During the hot months the deer will stop there to water and utilize the crossing. Post them in July and pull them in Mid-October. If mineral licks are legal in the area, take a small 5-lb trace mineral block in and drop it in a small hole you dig near the creek bank. If done in early spring (March), most all the bucks in the area will utilize it at some point in time between then and fall.

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