Trail Camera Placement - Don't over think it!

Keep it simple when deciding how and where to setup your cameras this year.

By: Cole Mountain Seitzinger

Do you remember the first trail camera you ever setup? I do and man was it exciting! Heading into a well known spot and putting it on a heavy trail you know deer have been using for years. Those proven spots tend to result in some great trail camera pictures! My brother sent me a camera to put out and the first pull was awesome, buck I didn’t even know where around and big buck at that. That was probably 15 years ago, now if you are still like me and don’t have 50 trail cameras you are limited on the numbers of cameras you run then you want to make sure you are putting them to good use every time you use them. Find the proven spots and let them soak all year!


I can remember back in the late 90s my dad running a camera over scrapes, getting awesome film-roll pictures. He would simply pick a location close to a stand he hunted, set-up a camera to keep tabs on what he missed when he couldn’t be there to hunt. It was simple and resulted in great pictures and information! I also remember scouting with my dad before cameras were more popular to use then putting in hours of simply watching deer and how they traveled. We would go out in evenings and climb in a tree just like we were hunting. Then along came trail cameras and true scouting took a back seat for many hunters. Instead of sitting in the woods to scout you can just take a camera, hang it on a tree close to where you are hunting and let it go. Without much effort you will get good pictures of the same deer you are able to hunt. 

What I am getting at here next time you go to run trail cameras just keep it simple. Hang it on the scrape or the trail that deer are always using and don’t move it all season. The results might surprise you! I’ll be the first to admit it, once I got addicted to running trail cameras I started constantly moving them trying to get more buck pictures from all over the property. Thinking back on it, I wish I hadn’t over thought where to place cameras. It would have been great to look back at the exact same spot and see how it produced year after year. Don’t get me wrong though, it will benefit you to put in the time and effort running your cameras, but at the same time you could be missing something that’s right there in front of you.

For example, In 2013 I lined a dirt road with cameras. They were between 50-150 yards apart over a 600 yard stretch. I picked the best trails and I made sure a camera was at each one that crossed the road. As the season went on I started to realize the cameras in the middle of the stretch of road were getting really good pictures of a couple bucks I was after. I overlooked this spot because it was traveled often by people using the property and just seemed too easy. One day my brother and I decided to split up and go run and gun hunt near that spot. That night I was fortunate enough to take a good Pennsylvania buck right between two of the cameras. I was so caught up trying to find the perfect spot with my cameras and stands that I overlooked the spot right in front of my face. I learned a lesson that night that sometimes you need to keep it simple. Don’t overlook the easy spots for a trail camera. You could miss out on an opportunity at the buck you are after next season!

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