Improve Hunting: Maximizing Trail Camera Usage
A recent development in forestry and hunting technology, trail cameras provide hunters with remote visuals of their target prey. Hunters relying on this technology often deploy five to six units depending on the size of their hunting territory.
What makes them a worthy ally?
Trail cameras have sensors that detect movement even at night and takes pictures of whatever comes across it. This is what makes it an important addition to a hunter’s arsenal. Using the recorded data, hunters can then study wildlife movement until they see a prey worthy of the hunt.
Trail cameras provide hunters some idea on what their target game feeds on and which one is the best one to hunt. Cameras also help hunters understand specific animal behavior and most of them like that they are able to get results right away through SD cards.
Tips and Tricks
Placing trail cameras doesn’t just involve wrapping them around trees and waiting for game to pass. Before mounting trail cameras, a light yet extensive study should be done to ensure that trail cameras are used efficiently.
Here are some tips from hunting experts:
- Survey – The fresher the sign the better. Look for signs of feeding, animal droppings, game tracks and trails. These signs can pinpoint to the densest area where game is about. Food and water sources and small clearings attract game frequently and setting a camera or two near these areas are always good.
- Stay On The Edge – Once the area is identified, always mount cameras near the edge, as far as the camera’s range will allow. This ensures that game is not disturbed when checking on the cameras; little disturbances can severely affect the patterns already identified.
- Intersect – Trail intersections are the best places to place cameras as it can capture more game coming from all directions.
- Orient – Position cameras either facing north or south to avoid glare coming from the rising or setting sun. Take into consideration the different angles of the sun as it changes depending on the season; angle the camera according to this study.
- Check With The Weatherman – Weather patterns play a big part in mounting trail cameras. Rain and snow fall direction should not affect the lens of the camera, as much as possible. Moisture can short the camera’s circuits and can affect the clarity of the lens.
- Mount up – Trail cameras should be mounted firmly about waist high and as secure as possible. Ideally, the camera should follow the angle of the slope on graded terrain. For level terrain, it should be about chest level of the game being hunted.
- Test – Do some test shots with the camera by passing in front of it several times. Check the captured images and adjust the settings as needed. This will calibrate the camera as well. Doing a night test is discouraged as this will disturb nocturnal wildlife.
- Aim – taking into consideration the sun’s orientation and the weather patterns, make sure to angle the trail cameras going against or along the trail instead of aiming it at the trail. Aiming it at the trail limits the chances of taking a clearer shot, aiming it against or along the trail will show game doing what they usually do while on the trail.
- Camouflage and Protect – It should not attract game and must be mounted on something stable like a tree or a blind. Use a security box to protect the camera from theft. Experts suggest customizing trail camera shelters to include camouflaging techniques using spray paint or local foliage.
- Bait – Some hunters place some game feed a few yards away from the camera if the game trail is scarce. Baiting would also attract larger game that hunts smaller animals.
- Maintain – Trail cameras are an investment and it should be regularly checked and maintained to extend its life. Low foliage around the camera’s base should also be cleared to prevent the wind from accidentally triggering the sensors, giving wonderful landscape pictures instead of game activity.
Trail cameras are changing the way of the hunt with information not previously accessible. Better pictures can make or break a hunting season and mounting trail cameras effectively can definitely bring better game for the trophy room.