Hanging Summer Trail Cameras
Trail cameras are some of the best tools that we whitetail hunters have at our disposal. They are immensely helpful for scouting the deer in your area year round. However, if you don't have them placed properly, you might never even see the biggest deer on your property.
Placement varies throughout the year though. While some locations will produce good pictures year-round, others are better suited for different seasons. In this article, we'll look at a few of the best places to hang your camera's for summertime pictures.
Food Plots/Crop Fields
Deer have to feed year round. Just like any other living thing, they have to eat to survive. In turn, placing cameras on food sources can be a great way to capture pictures.
There's a little more to it than just finding a tree and pointing your camera towards the field though. While that makes sense for smaller food plots where the camera can cover the entirety of the plot, it's not the best strategy for a 160 acre bean field.
In the latter case, try to find the main trails deer are using when entering and exiting crop fields. Place your cameras near those trails on the field edge where activity is the most concentrated. By doing this you will have much better results. It's also important to remember that if you have your camera facing any direction other than to the north, there will be a portion of the day where your pictures will be obstructed by the rising or setting sun.
Another great place to catch big deer on camera during the summer is a bedding area. Generally, this is where deer will hang out during the hottest parts of the day, between feeding periods.
Does and fawns can often be found bedding near food sources, while bucks will typically be farther away in thicker cover.
Once you've located the bedding area, go in and place your camera. You don't want to check these cameras frequently though, or you will risk disturbing the herd and potentially spooking deer out of the area completely. These cameras should be placed and checked only once or twice throughout the summer.
If you want to take precautions a step further, place your camera on the fringes of the bedding area. If you can find the trails that lead into and out of the bed, you can hang your set there and still have good luck without the added risk of bumping any deer.
Though seemingly obvious, travel corridors do get overlooked when placing cameras, especially in the summer. It's likely you are already hanging stands along these routes, so it makes good sense to hang cameras as well.
While travel patterns will oftentimes change from summer to fall, main trails are a great place to get pictures year round. You'll want to place your camera facing up or down the trail though, instead of perpendicular to it. If you try to capture the deer walking from left to right, or vice versa, you are likely to get only the hindquarters in the picture. Instead, try to catch the animal walking towards or away from your set up.
Watering holes, for the same reasons as food sources, are another great bet for getting summertime pictures. Especially during the hottest months.
In the bottom lands where water is prevalent year round, it's harder to hone in on where the deer are watering most often, making it difficult to place cameras. Alternatively, in areas where there may be only one or two water sources, it is much easier.
In these areas, deer are forced to the one or two water holes available to them. Hang your cameras in these locations and you are sure to get a feel for the quantity and the quality of deer using your property during the summer.
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