Posted on Mar 28, 2017 by Jake Hofer
Learn how to carefully set up trail cameras to capture field edge pictures.
It’s a common spot for cameras and often a go-to, but are you making the most of your field edge trail cameras? Just like, well about everything, location is one of the most important factors. Hunters are naturally drawn to field edges simply because it gives us the ability to see. The visual allure of a field, especially for firearm hunters, also has the same allure for those trail cameras. There are some benefits that most definitely come from using fields as setups for your cameras.
There are a couple concerns however that immediately come to mind when placing cameras in these areas first being the security of my cameras. The only two cameras I’ve ever had stolen have both been on field edges late in the season. Way too many folks believe deer season is equivalent to gun season, they don’t get that it’s a never-ending year round process especially with cameras. That’s why late season I’ve grown extra weary and always seem to discover those nosey trespassers and it’s my cameras that pay the price. Just 15 to 20 yards inside the field edge is where often deer feel safer along with your camera and lead to more quality pictures which leads to my next point.
That would be flash distance and if you’ve spent any time running trail cams at all you will have had those pictures where the buck in the background looks like an ant because you gave him the opportunity. This is especially common with field edge setups where the camera can see farther. Regardless if your camera has white flash, black flash, infrared, or super vision there is little sense in generically placing a camera where this will happen half of the time. Like stands, find the pinch point to where that deer is entering or exiting the camera and your picture quality will go up along with the security of that camera.
The risk of an open field setup ^
In some cases, edges are not avoidable and can be done properly. If I’m caught with a camera on an edge it will most likely be sitting on a scrapes or mock scrape. When you’re attempting to gather pictures on a big field, there should be a point of emphasis to focus your camera’s attention.
Funnels or trails dumping off into the field are often good locations if you’re just looking for somewhere to get started, however there are very often trails running parallel with the field about 20 yards inside the edge that will meet with the previous mentioned trails making an ideal crossing and setup.
Several of my best pictures have come from setups early season just inside field edges. These are very often my favorite places for mineral licks and the velvet pictures that come with those setups. I’ve also had great experience with bait as well inside the field edge, even next to crop fields. These animals will devour those minerals when it’s the right time and also choose the easiest food source, being bait over the standing crop.
All that said, there is no wrong answer when it comes to collecting these fascinating pictures. Keeping tabs on wildlife as they are and keeping a history is one of the most fascinating hobbies I could imagine. I’ve tried everything with down or up facing camera angles or simply sitting in the backyard, these creative possibilities are endless. These views may help open up some new ideas when it comes to using your trail cameras on or near field edges.