5 Ways to Locate & Pattern Your Top Hit List Buck

Muddy Trail Camera Tactics | Trail Camera Tips for Finding Hit List Bucks

By: Aaron Outdoors  

Can you feel it? Yep, that’s right. It’s the anticipation of your next trail camera card pull. It’s like Christmas in August. The food plots have been planted, the stands are being hung, you spend your evenings glassing for your next trophy buck, but the most exciting part of the pre-season is that mid-day card pull. Now is time to take your scouting to the next level with the certain trail camera tips that help develop your buck hit list. Trail cameras are a vital tool to all hunters nowadays and there is no better way to take inventory on your deer herd than top notch trail cameras like the Muddy Pro Cam 14 or 20. For that reason, hunters have to know where to place these cameras. Here are 5 sure fire trail camera locations to locate and pattern your hit list bucks for this fall! 

1. The Edges of Food Plots

This time of year the deer have one thing on their mind… FOOD! There is also no shortage of it. Food plots and agricultural field edges are perfect locations to set up a Muddy Pro Cam. I prefer either a soybean field or clover plot as these are both very popular food sources during late summer for whitetail deer. The Muddy Pro Cam 20 is a perfect tool because it includes a time-lapse feature that allows you to create a custom period for photos in your food plot. My favorite time to use this feature is before dusk, because this is the time I generally spend hunting these types of food sources in the early season. A Pro Cam in the edge of a food plot will help you pattern a shooter buck for opening day!

2. Mineral Sites 

One of my favorite locations to set a Pro Cam up in the preseason is over an established deer mineral site. More than likely, your shooter buck has used an established mineral site several times over his lifespan and he feels comfortable using it. I have found that in many cases, bucks will spend several minutes at a time at one mineral site, providing me with tons of photos that I can use for the current year and years to come. Different types of deer minerals can work for your piece of property. Find one that works for you and set out a Muddy Pro Cam! You won’t be disappointed.

3. Entry & Exit Routes to Known Bedding Areas

This tactic may have actually started with some post season scouting from last season. Many bucks tend to use the same bedding areas each year, if at all possible. Of course, there will be some bucks that change their patterns, but if you can locate where a particular deer is bedding, which way he is entering and exiting the bedding area, then you can find a pattern you can work with. The Muddy Pro Cam’s trigger speed is key to capturing mature bucks entering and exiting his bedding area. This can be a risky tactic at times, you must be sure to not bump a buck out from his bedding area. I recommend leaving this camera location unbothered for several weeks in between card checks to leave as little human scent as possible so the deer feel comfortable. If executed properly, you may just find where your top hit-lister spends most of his time.

4. Deer Scrapes 

Yes, scrapes. I know it’s not mid-October yet and no I am not getting ahead of myself. Over the years our Muddy Pro Cams have shown that particular bucks will use the same scrape year round. Of course, most of the activity comes during the pre-rut period, but don’t count out old scrapes. If you can find a mature buck using a scrape in late summer, you know you’re in his home range and you just may have the ticket to a successful hunt this fall. I prefer the Muddy Pro Cam 20’s Video Mode over these types of scrapes. One you can see which direction the buck approaches the scrape and two, who doesn’t love awesome video of a velvet buck?! Scrapes are another fun and successful way to pattern big bucks!


5. Water Sources for Deer 

Of course I couldn’t leave out one of the most important if not THE most important for deer habitat…WATER. Obviously deer have to have water to survive, and the summers across most of the country tend to be very hot and dry. This makes water sources an essential place to set out trail cameras during this time of the year. A Pro Cam over a watering hole, creek, or stream could be vital in patterning a mature buck. Deer will often leave bedding areas and food plots in search of water, making it a perfect place to hunt late in the evenings of the early season. If your hunting property does not have a water source, make one. Large tubs and even kids swimming pools can be made into a great tool in attracting whitetails to a water source. If you have a large water source such as a creek or river running through your property like I do, you may have better luck setting your camera over well used deer trails leading to the water. This could help pinpoint your top hit-lister.

We all have our favorite tactics in patterning mature whitetails, but of course, all of mine lead back to the Pro Cam series by Muddy. They are small, concealable, and reliable tools for patterning big bucks! Get your Muddy Pro Cams today so you, too, can execute your favorite tactics and have your Muddy Moment this fall!

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