Summer Scouting Tips
With the heart and heat of summer quickly approaching and the early stages of antler growth becoming visible, now is a great time to begin the scouting process for your upcoming season. Sure it may seem a little early, but there are many things you can pick up now that will help you this fall.
By late June or early July, I like to ensure my trail cameras are out capturing images. Before putting my cameras out, I check them over to make sure everything is up and working. I also go to the Cuddeback website and download any new firmware updates. I’ve found this to be extremely helpful and will give you better quality photos as well as fix any other potential problems. Once the cameras are updated and fresh batteries and cards are installed, I head out to the field.
For early season placement, I try to setup my cameras on field edges; specifically anything green. My top choices are alfalfa, clover, or bean fields. When placing cameras on the edges of fields, I always bring a post mount along so I don’t waste my time looking for a tree in the right area. This way, I can place the camera anywhere and cover the best area without searching for a tree. Many mounts also have a bracket that allows you to tilt the camera to get the exact right angle, which is extremely helpful.
If you’re trying to cover a big field and are unsure what trails the deer are using to get on and off the field, a new option called Guard Duty may be something you want to look into. This mode basically creates a time lapse of your field during daylight hours so you can play the photos back and see exactly where the majority of deer are coming onto the field. You can then put a camera on those specific trails or set your stands accordingly. This provides a nice wide view of your field and can condense an entire day of scouting into just a few minutes worth of photos to watch.
If it’s legal in your state to put out minerals, this is another great way to help the deer heard and get some great images of the deer on your property. Just make sure to place the camera about waist high and keep it about 8-10 feet off the mineral lick you’ve created. Also, clear any brush around the area so you don’t have weeds triggering your camera in the wind.
I really enjoy putting my cameras out early not only for the scouting purposes but also to watch the antler growth of the bucks. It’s great to watch their development and realize that many of the deer will hold their summer patterns into the first few weeks of the season, so this information can be extremely helpful.
Melissa Bachman is an incredibly hardcore and intense hunter – perhaps one of the more passionate hunters you will ever meet.