Friday, July 27, 2012

Trail Camera Time!

So after writing about setting up a tree stand, I think it would be nice to write about trial camera's! I kind of chuckle at this one just because this time of the year almost every hunter who blogs is writing about trail camera success or failure.  With that being said, any advice or opinions on setting up trail cameras is appreciated.  I started this blog not only to share my experience, but also to learn from those who are willing to share what they know.

Point 1 - Get a memory card or a picture viewer!!! - For the last few years I have used my Trail Cameras and have gotten a few good pictures here and there.  The times I haven't gotten good pictures is not because of the camera, but more so because of myself not setting them up right or not knowing where to place them.  This year I have used the same two cameras, but invested in some memory cards so that I could view my pictures in the field.  This allowed me to make sure I was set up right before I left my cameras for a few weeks taking pictures of nothing but moving branches and grass.

Point 2 - Be familiar with your deer. - It is important to read up on recent deer activity and know how the deer are moving at certain times of the year, but it is also important to take what you read into your area and see if it applies!  For example my friend from Wired to Hunt posted information about the different ways deer deal with the heat during the summer.  This information was very useful when I set up my trail cameras in hopes of getting a few pictures of deer in my area.  Instead of focusing on food sources this time of the year, I focused on the water in my hunting areas and set up my trail cameras close to the rivers and streams.  Later in the year It is hard to find these same deer in this location, but knowing that this is where they are during the extreme heat helped me get some good pictures and know that these deer are somewhere in my area.

Point 3  - Leave it be - The last thing that you want to do is disrupt your area.  Even though it may not be the season for hunting it is important that you treat your hunting area as if you are an intruder at all times.  I myself, like to set up my camera when I know a storm is coming in.  This will often produce quite a few pictures because of the wind or rail moving sticks and grass around, but I feel it quickly gets rid of my scent I left behind.  Leaving your trail camera for a longer period of time will produce more accurate pictures of what is really in your area.

Point 4 - Placement - Of course you have to know where to set up your camera to get pictures of your deer.  Avoid putting the camera right in the sight of the deer, or set it up so that the flash is off so that it does not disturb the normal travel pattern of the deer.  Try to find a trail that is well used and set up the camera far enough away from the trail to get a good pictures as well as setting up the camera looking down the trail instead of a side view.  This will help produce more pictures especially if the deer are traveling through the area at faster speeds.

These are a few of the random tips I have for setting up trail cameras, but it is important for everyone to know that every area is different and that you need to figure out what works in your area.  Below are a few of my most recent pictures from my two cameras.  I hope you enjoy!

Trail Camera Pic

Trail Camera Pic

Trail Camera Pic

Trail Camera Pic

Trail Camera Pic

To check out some awesome trail Camera's check out

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Treestand Placement

Well once again, life got crazy and the blog got put on the back burner... For those who read my earlier posts I'll fill you in and let you know that my wife gave birth to our first child, a beautiful baby girl who we decided to name Hensley! I've had a blast learning how to be a dad and dressin her up in some Button Buck clothing we have for her!
My future hunting princess!

Now for the count down! Hunting season is coming up and I have had my hands full with trying to get ready for the season.  I do a lot of my hunting for white tail dear during archery season in a tree stand.  Because of this, I am required to do a lot of maintenance to make sure that my location is huntable when the season starts.  This work involves trimming trees and shrubs, scouting, and maintaining a good environment for the deer.

This summer I went down and did some trimming in two of my tree stands, and when I got go the third and final one that I have had the most success out of, this is what I found...

My tree fell down...
What this means is that I have to find a new tree to put up my tree stand.  I was a little upset, even though it was mother nature that decided half my tree needed to fall down, because the spot I had chosen had a lot of different qualities I look for when setting up a tree stand.  When all this happened I decided that it would make a good blog post to write about what to look for when picking a spot for a tree stand.  This is what I myself look for, but would love to hear what you all have found to be useful that may be able to help me!

#1 - Hunt deer not trees!!! - When searching for a tree to put your tree stand in, remember what you ultimate goal is.  If you find this great spot where you have all these great shooting lanes, great cover, but for some reason no deer then the spot is useless. This may sound like common sense, but I'll admit I have done this before and it was a waste of a season.  It is not good enough just to know that there is a food source to your right, a water source to your left, and a hunch that the deer will be traveling between the two.  You need to look for some good sign of deer.  Look for trails that are well worn down trails, rubs, scrapes, any other sign of deer.  After this find a tree near by that will present you with a shot where you see the sign.  With this being said, it may not be good for you to set a tree stand up where you find a lot of beds.  This will often work out that you will spook your animal before you even get a chance to get into your tree.  This leads right into point number two.

#2 - Accessibility - When possible find a location that you can access without walking through the same area that you are about to hunt.  This may not always be possible, but when you walk through your hunting area, or even on the same trail that the deer are traveling, you leave your scent behind you for the deer to find.  This is like playing hide-and-go-seek at night wearing a glow in the dark suit.  If this is not possible for your hunting area, some of the options you have is to use cover scent, scent killer, or deer urine.  Code Blue makes a good system if you find yourself using the same trail that deer use.  This system is simply is a drag system that you attach to yourself or drag behind you with doe urine on it leaving a scent that will hopefully mask your own and attract the deer to your stand.

#3 - Placement - You need to find a tree that will get you out of the sight and smell of the deer if possible.  One of the worst things you can do is find a great spot and then put your tree stand right in eye level or view of your deer.  Another thing is to pay attention to the weather in your area, visit the area often enough to know which direction the wind usually comes from at certain times of the day.  If possible find a tree that will place you up wind from your game and give you any advantage you can.  With placement I like to use something as simple as Google maps and take a topical view of my area.  I love to find areas that funnel animals into congregated areas.  Examples of this are rivers and streams that funnel deer into smaller sections of land that will make it more probable for me to see what I'm after.

This is only a brief summary of some of the things I look for when putting up a tree stand, but I would love to hear what you have to say because I'll be putting these skills into practice this weekend when I replace my tree stand!