By Nathan Unger
If you’re an avid hunter and wanting to capture engaging trail camera photos of wild game try placing your trail camera in these 6 unique trail camera spots next time you’re in the woods. With hunting season on the near horizon the more intel you gather now the more prepared you’ll be when you enter the woods. In the same vein, this game camera information is great to look at in the years to come as historical data. As hunters, we know the obvious spots that include food plots, funnels, pinch points and feeders, but you might be surprised if think outside the box and try one of these unusual spots.
While this might seem elementary, placing a camera as close to a river crossing as possible without soaking the camera will prove successful over time. This is especially true if this crossing is the only one within several hundred yards. A river crossing might include a log across the river. It might include rocks like an oxbow that’s the shallowest part of that section of the river. Likely you will capture whitetails frequently including big bucks. Some of the best bucks I’ve captured have been on or near a river crossing.
Similarly, if you’re a waterfowl hunter you’ll capture all kinds of ducks and geese which will, in turn, provide great intel for waterfowl season. Also, you will likely find several birds that might include herons, hawks, kingfisher and more.
High in a tree
This tactic proves especially useful when hunting whitetail deer on public land. This provides the opportunity to locate deer patterns during the early season. Not only will you capture a unique angle on traveling deer, but you will also decrease the odds of your camera being stolen. While, there are a lot of arguments whether or not flash spooks deer, this trick eliminates that altogether where the deer will not even see the camera. This scenario might not provide the best trail cam photos, but the data will be worth it in the long run. Likewise, make sure there is plenty of space on the SD card so you don’t have to climb up and down a tree multiple times per season.
To increase your odds even more, try placing the game camera on or by a fallen log as animals will travel the log back and forth to get from one destination to the other. For example, as aforementioned this might be a log that fell across a river or creek. If it’s a large tree it’s possible to capture turkeys, raccoons, bobcats and maybe even a black bear depending on the region you place the camera. Cameras are able to capture great pictures on dead falls just be sure to keep the camera above water.
Now, I hope this doesn’t come across insensitive, but hear me out. I don’t expect anyone to hunt in a cemetery, but if given permission (check cemetery rules first) it might provide a good scouting spot if you hunt an adjacent property. For example, I previously worked right next to a cemetery and deer would bed against the headstones at times, and other times they would feed on the grass between the stones. To further prove my point check out this deer from Hollywood Cemetery in Virginia. These mature bucks feel safe because no one is able to hunt neither the cemetery nor the surrounding area, so these deer grow to be giants.
This trail camera tactic is more relevant out west in states from Idaho to California rather than the Midwest or South. However, it can be successful in the Smoky and Appalachian region too. Oftentimes, animal movements take place on the path of least resistance. The same is true in the mountains. Whether you’re scouting for deer, elk or mountains lions, these big game species utilize natural trails to travel from point A to point B. One of my favorite Instagram accounts is arizona_trailcams because they constantly post content of big cats and deer in the mountains of Arizona. They even have a few trail cam photos of a Mexican jaguar.
If you’ve ever watched The Rookie with Dennis Quaid you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve even witnessed this first-hand. Ball fields, especially abandoned ones, are great sources for trail camera pictures. Better yet, when you place a trail camera inside a wood line that is adjacent to the field you will likely capture whitetails that feed in that field. Most of the time because of human pressure these deer only feed in the field at night, but I’ve found it a good place to glass during the summer months when teams aren’t practicing. Call me crazy, but it works.
Have you wondered what’s stealing from your garden or chomping at your flower bed? Truth is, it’s most likely deer, however, I have captured everything from raccoons, coyotes, opossums and even foxes. In fact, if you have never placed a trail camera in your backyard you might be missing an entire different life that takes place at night. Obviously, you may not have the option to place treestands in your back yard, but you can still capture some quality photos.