How Often Should You Check Your Trail Cameras This Summer

Trail cameras have revolutionized wildlife monitoring, enabling enthusiasts, researchers, and hunters to gain valuable insights into the whitetail world 24/7. There's not much more exciting than building anticipation towards deer season by watch bucks grow their antlers. During the summer months, when whitetail seem less cagey yet still active, it becomes essential to strike the right balance between checking trail cameras regularly and minimizing disturbance to natural deer movement. Remember pressure is pressure, there's no critical thinking from a whitetail noting the difference in hunting pressure vs non hunting pressure. In this article, we will explore the factors to consider and provide recommendations on how often you should check your standard sd card trail cameras during the summer.

Important Interval and Dates

Regularly checking trail cameras during the summer isn't going to yield significant benefits. One of the major goals with summer trail cameras is simply taking inventory. Checking your cameras every week or every weeks will check the box either way. Why add un-need human intrusion to your hunting grounds? Checking cameras every 3-4 weeks should be the benchmark for summer time standard sd card cameras. 

The first card pull is what I consider a maintenance check. Make sure the environment is not inducing false triggers via weeds, leaves, or branches. Take time to re-apply some type of insect repellent....for a more detailed look at why check out the article, "How To Keep Insects Out of Trail Cameras". Additionally, frequent checks provide an opportunity to evaluate camera performance, make necessary adjustments, and ensure that the cameras are functioning correctly.

big buck on exodus camera

The last card pull, in my humble opinion, should come after Aug 23rd. Also keep in mind, if you are lucky enough to have an early opener you'll need to balance your intrusion pressure so that summer patterns aren't altered and you still have accurate data points for early season. From historical information over a decade of running a very large number of cameras across the entire landscape of the US. Bucks have a tendency to show you where they will be come fall through summer "voyages". There have been countless bucks that show up in their fall ranges on these scouting voyages during the 2nd week of Aug. If my words don't hold any weight with you consider this. Don Higgins talks about it, Mark Drury talks about it, as well as other industry professionals.

Factors to Consider 

Several factors influence the frequency of trail camera checks during the summer:

a) Location: The extent of human pressure boils down to where you're cameras are located. With summer trail camera data being closely tied to inventory, you should not have cameras deep in the timber but more so on food sources, mineral sites, and other areas away from where you plan to hunt.

b) Weather: Be somewhat cautious of wind direction when you plan to check your cameras. Even though you might not be pressuring deer through visual sightings or audible noises blowing your scent through the heart of your farm will. This next one is going to come as a shock....skip the rain storms. For years there has been a myth being spread that you should check cameras in the rain due to the precipitation "washing" your scent away. This is entirely false, unless it's a monsoon. It takes a great deal of rain before it has the wash away effect. A small amount of precipitation or even humidity actually enhances the ability of a whitetail to smell. Wait for the right conditions...Ideally you have the right wind on a hot dry day. 

c) Access: To really take access and limiting human intrusion to the next level, get creative but also routine about access. Being creative might look like utilizing a pedal bike. If there's active farming equipment, using a tractor at the end of the day would be routine and creative. If you're restocking feeders or mineral locations check cameras then. 



When it comes to checking trail cameras during the summer, finding the right balance is key. Trail camera checks every 3 to 5 weeks strike a compromise between staying informed and minimizing disturbance. Remember to consider factors such as camera settings, sd card capacity, and environmental conditions. By maximizing efficiency and minimizing disturbance, you can gather valuable data, gain insights into whitetail behavior, antler growth, herd health and contribute to the preservation and appreciation of the natural world. Happy trail camera monitoring!


Author: Chad Sylvester, Exodus Co-Founder/Owner

chad sylvester owner of exodus