Set Your Trail Cameras Now for Hunting Success

Derrek Sigler 05.19.22

Set Your Trail Cameras Now for Hunting Success

Cellular trail cameras have changed the game for many hunters, and where they are legal to use, they can make a huge difference in how you hunt. For me, I run trail cameras year round not to monitor the trophy bucks as much as I do to monitor the deer herd health, as well as other critters in the woods. Plus, I just like to watch what is going on in the woods when I can’t be there. Cellular trail cameras provide an up-to-the-minute view into what is going on in the woods, and I like it. The cool thing for me to see, too, is that the costs of the cameras are coming down, and the quality and technology is going up.

Cover image by Author

Running a trail camera year round gives you valuable information that you will need come fall, too. It gives you insights into deer interactions that you would never see unless you were in the woods, and even then, your presence causes issues. There are also movements that are year-round patterns that you can learn, too.

The cellular revolution

Cellular trail cameras have gained in popularity to the point of being the preferred use of a camera for many hunters. The reason is simple – it takes away the need to constantly go into the woods to change memory cards. While I did greatly enjoy doing so, it also caused issues, especially as we closed in on the seasons.

The seasons

Spring

Deer Sigler
Spring time images gives great insights into deer nutrition. Photo by Author

You want to run a trail camera in the spring to see several things. For one, it is your best view from the woods of how well the deer herd winterized in your area. You can tell a lot about how well the deer survived the winter by a few good, close photos that can show you malnutrition, injuries, and overall population size. Deer are still moving in their winter yarding herds, so when you see one deer, chances are good, you’ll see a solid cross section of your winter population. An added bonus is the spring fawn drop, and you can start seeing fawns showing up on cameras later in the spring. Lots of fawns means that the winter was mild and the deer population is strong. It is also a good indicator of how well your nutrition base is in your area.

Spring is also a great time to pick up on early-season deals on trail cameras. I like to stock up now.

Summer

Social Skills
Deer social activities start becoming very apparent in summer. Photo by Author

The deer populations thin out a bit, and you’ll see those lush summer red coats of fur on camera. I like to make sure I have cameras on all of my food plots in the summer, as well as on main travel corridors. This is when you’ll notice some of the social aspects of the herd interactions coming into play, as well as how the deer are responding to certain food plot growth. It is also a great way to see if there are any disease factors coming into play to your local herd, like blue tongue, or other illness.

Fall

Of course, this is the prime time for trail cameras, and you can use them to gauge movements, populations, rut timing and much more.

Winter

Aside from late hunting seasons, trail camera use in the winter is actually a very important tool. I noticed a drop in deer activity late in the season, and the trail cameras proved a fear that I had – coyotes. Predation is a big problem for me, and having cellular cameras up all winter long, showed me a clear idea of ​​exactly what I was dealing with. The images also gave me a good idea of ​​how well the deer population was getting by in the weather. Remember that what we think the weather is doing and the severity of the seasons, that may not be how the deer herd perceives things. I thought we had a tougher winter than the deer actually endured, which is a big help in future planning.

Photo by Author

1. TACTACAM Reveal X Trail Camera – Great deals to be had now at Cabela’s!

SALE

TACTACAM Reveal X Trail Camera - Great deals to be had now at Cabela's!

The TACTACAM REVEAL X Trail Camera has a fast trigger speed and an impressive 96-foot infrared flash for images day and night. Nighttime images are crisp and clear grayscale, while the day time photos are rich in color and clarity for optimal viewing. This camera is cellular and is available for Verizon and AT&T coverage areas. It requires a full size Class 10 U3 16GB-32GB SD card (not included).

  • 96′ flash range
  • Pre-activated SIM card
  • Super-fast trigger
  • Low glow infrared flash
  • Easy to setup

Pro/Low cost and clear images

Cons/Not sure about battery life

Bottom Line/A great deal on a camera that has very high reviews

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Derrek Sigler

Derrek Sigler has been a professional outdoor writer for more than two decades since earning his Master’s Degree in creative writing with a thesis about fishing humor. But if you ask anyone that knows him, he’s been telling fishin’ stories since he was old enough to hold a pole. He has written for Cabela’s and served as editorial director for Gun Digest books. Over the years, he has also written for Petersen’s Hunting, North American Whitetail Magazine, Wildfowl, Grand View Media, and has worked with Bass Pro Shops, Hard Core Brands and Bone Collector. Successful Farming had him write for their magazine and he has appeared on their TV show to discuss hunting and ATVs on multiple occasions. He writes about the things he loves – hunting, fishing, camping, trucks, ATVs, boating, snowmobiles and the outdoor lifestyle adventure he enjoys with his family in their home state of Michigan and more as they around North America.

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