Dusting off the Camera
By Bud Utecht

Many of you may be dusting off the cameras in preparation for hunting season. It is time to find out what those antlers look like this year. Most of us by now have figured out that patterning bucks during the rut is nearly impossible, but we still need to know if there are any big boys in town. This is such an exciting time as the bachelor groups will break up and the big bucks will start claiming territory. Sometimes I have seen several bucks in an area all summer, only to have that area claimed by a buck that I have never seen before come November.

Game camera set up can be tricky, as you want to avoid too much activity in the area you will be hunting. Cameras with visible flash may cause the deer to stop using the travel lanes. Most cameras with infer red flash (IR) are still visible to deer. Unless the camera states it is completely invisible, the animals probably will see the flash. If the animals are staring in to the camera during nighttime shots and not necessarily during the daytime shots, this may indicate the flash is visible. I do have some of the cameras that animals don't see at night, however they require very long exposure times and take very blurry pictures.

Another way to become more discrete is to purchase cameras with plot mode. This mode will take pictures of an area at timed intervals. You can set the mode to take pictures every thirty seconds for two hours after sunrise or before sunset. This allows you to see a large area without spooking the wildlife. This works great in fields and on large open ridges. This mode does not require motion trigger to take photos. Photos will encompass a much larger area then photos that are motion detected. The only down side to using timed intervals is you will have to cycle through a lot of photos and look carefully for the animals.

The bucks will be in search of does throughout the rut and check on them quite often. Placing cameras in areas where does frequent will provide increased opportunities of capturing mature bucks on your SD card. Once the rut is in full swing the bucks will only be in an area for a few days before moving on to find more does. Young bucks will be moving through areas frequently because they will be getting pushed out by the larger animals.

One other tip; always try and place your cameras where you will not get pictures of people. Some people are not comfortable with having their picture taken in the woods, so let's respect each other out there. Remember the law requires your name and phone number to be placed on each camera.

Good luck dusting off the cameras and strategically placing them in your neck of the woods. Once again, we are all looking forward to swapping big buck tales this season and finding out what's in your woods.

Bud Utecht is an avid wildlife enthusiast and trail camera specialist. His trail cameras are strategically placed throughout the Maine Woods. Feel free to email Bud for trail camera tips at bud@whatsinyourwoods.com


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