By Alex Comstock
Trail cameras can be loads of fun and equally as helpful during the summer months. But, if they’re not used properly, you can start to hurt your chances of a successful fall. Believe it or not, there are some major 'no no’s' when it comes to summer trail cameras usage and today, we’re going to cover how these three, in particular, can hurt you.
Don’t Put All of Your Stock into Summer Data
I’m going to start out with what I believe to be the most important thing to not be doing when it comes to running trail cameras in the summer. It’s simply getting way too caught up in everything that happens and with what goes on during June, July and August. There are many reasons to not put too much stock into what happens during the summer. For starters, if you get photos of a ton of bucks, don’t think that because you’ve got a lot of bucks on camera in July, that it’s going to be the exact same in October or November. Every single buck is different as some shift their home range come fall, though some might indeed stay.
On the other end of the spectrum, don’t get too discouraged if you aren’t getting many photos of bucks in the summer. You may actually have bucks shift their home range to where you can hunt during fall. No matter whether you get lots of photos of bucks during the summer or hardly any, stay as levelheaded as possible and don’t put all of your stock into summer data.
Don’t Check Your Cameras Too Much
This is something that can be hard to do, but I whole-heartedly believe in it. Checking your trail camera every week or two, won’t do anything but hurt you. Going into an area repeatedly will eventually alert deer, and if you check your cameras enough, you may just cause them to move out of your area. During the summer months, I like to keep my pressure minimal in areas I know for certain I’ll be hunting come fall. By letting your trail cameras soak for a month or more at a time, you’ll not only be minimizing your pressure but by the time you do check a camera, you’ll hopefully have quite a bit of data to go through. This can be really exciting too, as having that much time in between camera checks can leave you chomping at the bit to see what’s been going on.
Don’t Forget About Everything Else
With how important trail cameras can be in the summer, it can be easy to get wrapped up in them. Often times, I will even say to let cameras do as much work for you as possible. And though that is true, there is still a lot of other work to be done in the summer in terms of scouting for bucks, rather than just trail cameras. Take time to try and locate new hunting land, spend nights driving the backroads looking for bucks, observing from a distance, etc. All of these other things are important as well and when you combine everything with the data you get from trail cameras, that’s when the real magic happens.
Trail cameras plus summer means velvet bucks, and there are not many times of the year that I get more excited about. All your hopes and dreams are alive and well, and there’s so much anticipation that goes into this time of year. By avoiding these three trail cameras “do nots” you’ll be setting yourself up for success, and by the time fall rolls around, hopefully, you’ll be ready with a plan on how to take down a big, mature buck.