Trail Camera Looking Down

Trail Cameras as Scouting Tools

Melissa Bachman |

Scouting can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal as a whitetail hunter – especially during early season. Many bucks will continue with their summer feeding patterns, however unless you’re available to watch the fields and spend hours scouting, it can still be difficult to figure out the exact trails they’re using.

An extremely helpful and non-intrusive way to gather this information is by placing numerous trail cameras on your property or a property you hunt. It’s an excellent way to judge what type of bucks are living in an area and also figure out which way they’re headed, and at what time. I also like checking the cameras for pure entertainment because you get to watch bucks in their natural setting doing what they do, and when they do it.

A new feature that I have really come to love is the video mode on the Cuddeback Attack. The camera still takes an image, but is then followed up by a 30-second video. This is helpful to get a really good look at a buck’s rack or catch numerous bucks walking through at one time. With a 15-second delay you may miss the biggest buck in the group, but with the video mode you will get a photo of the first buck and then video as the rest of the bachelor group parades by. As most of you know, the biggest buck is usually last, so now you can check him out as well.

Rub Trail Camera Photo
When placing cameras, you really want to think about the season at hand, and change their placement accordingly. During summer to early fall, I like to keep my cameras on field edges and on the trails leading to a food source. This way I can determine which trail the bucks are entering the field so I can plan my early season hunt accordingly. Many cameras also have a “Guard Duty” or time-lapse mode, so you can put it right in the middle of a field and see where the deer are entering and exiting the field along with a time stamp.