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Ground Blind Hunting Tips Photo Credit: Trophy Pursuit

Ground Blind Hunting Tips for the Late Season

 

Ground Blind Hunting Tips For Late Season Hunting

The 9th inning has arrived and while to many hunters that sounds like we are the bearer of bad news, it, in fact, is quite the opposite. Knowledge is power, and in this case, it is your only opportunity at scoring a 9th inning buck. For the past several weeks our blog topics have been diving into preparation for the late season. It now seems to be a fit time to dive straight into the actual hunting tactics. For the last weeks of deer season, a ground blind stands as one of best tools a hunter can possibly use. The characteristics of the late season intertwined with a ground blind’s effectiveness is unrivaled during this time period. Take these ground blind hunting tips for the late season and apply them to your hunting strategy. The time period, the tool, these tips, and the strategy all come together to give you a chance at that 9th inning buck you are so desperately seeking.

With state’s firearms seasons closing, bucks are finally starting to feel the effects of relentless hunting pressure lifting off of properties. This godsend goes hand in hand with the arrival of cold temperatures and the attraction of late season food sources. These ingredients spell out a recipe for one of the best times to kill you hit-list buck, even when it is the 9th inning! The reason for this is not just due in part to the biology and behavior of white-tailed deer, but what tools have been made available that are so extremely effective during these last weeks.

Trail Cameras Tell the Story

In the past weeks, the relentless preparation and work to establish intel on late season food sources have been put entirely on the shoulders of trail cameras. In recent weeks we have provided countless trail camera tips, and trail camera settings for the late season in order to help you discover a “patternable” mature buck on these food sources.

 

 

For all practical purposes, trail cameras have started and are currently telling the story of the late season. With the help of both trail cameras on time-lapse mode, and trail cameras in late season funnels a mature buck cannot go unseen when entering a late season food source. Now, with the season running out of pages so to speak, hunters look for a hunting tool and tactic to finish and close the book on a hit-list buck!

Blinds Finish It

During this time of year blinds, in general, take precedence over tree stands. Whether you favor box blinds, elevated ground blinds, mobile ground blinds, or bale blinds doesn’t matter, the simple fact is that they are the best tool for the job. Why?

Whitetail 101 Episode 17 from Muddy’s Trophy Pursuit on Vimeo.

Bill Winke, the host of Midwest Whitetail and Muddy’s Whitetail 101, explains why blinds are the only tool for the job in the late season. The very nature of deer and the late season support this reasoning…

  • It’s Cold –Temperatures dropping beneath 32 degrees packs quite a punch, especially with a 10 mph wind backing it. Blinds offer a hunter a windscreen and ultimately provides a hunter with a buffer from the weather and late season elements.
  • Deer are FED UP with Movement– By now deer are extremely wary of the slightest movements. This can make hunting from a tree stand nearly impossible. Rather, a ground blind or elevated box blind allows you to conceal your movements.
  • Food Source– In this period of deer season, with the deer so heavily focused on food, easily mobile ground blinds can easily be placed and moved in and around the food sources according to patterns and wind directions.

While blinds might be the best tool for the late season, no tool is without a flaw. The simple fact is that you are at the deer’s level. This requires extra precautions from both their sight and sense of smell. Ground blind hunting in the late season requires special attention in the placement according to both the deer and the food source.

Ground Blind Hunting and Placement Tips

Trail Cameras Weekly’s Weston Schrank walk you through how to determine the perfect spot for the blind on your late season food source. It will depend entirely on these 5 features. Take a good look at these features not only when you are setting up the blind, but every time you hunt as they are constantly changing.

 

  • Food Source – Identify and take a good look at the food source and all of the features and characteristics of the area.
  • Bedding Area – Figure out where the closest bedding area is, also consider where a mature buck might bed.
  • Funnels and Runs – You need to identify the main funnel or easiest travel route for the deer utilizing the food source.
  • Wind and Thermals– The wind direction and more importantly thermals are the most important consideration in relation to your blind setup location, the bedding area, and where the deer will be.
  • Hunter Access -Your entrance/exit route must be safe during the day and night, In order to keep the food source pressure free.

 

By looking at a map and scouting the food source and surrounding area, the above 5 features will easily suggest the best location for the blind.

Other Ground Blind Hunting Tips for the Late Season

Remember, late season hunting is nearly always afternoon hunting. It is ideal for the late season as deer work their way out of the bedding areas on very cold days to feed on the food source early to avoid the frigid temps of the early morning. This feeding will occur in daylight for the most part as they simply need more time to feed! This means thermals mid-hunt to the last hour of light will begin to drop off the hills and follow topography like water. The goal is to set the blind up where we can access it without walking across where we expect deer for scent purposes, or allow deer in the bedding area to see us, and also needing to consider our exit in relation to deer feeding in the field. At the same time, you must make sure the wind direction and/or the falling thermals are exiting the field in a way that for the most part deer will not catch your wind.

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By reading these ground blind hunting tips, you should walk away with three key take home points…One, the 9th inning is not the time to give up on deer season. Two, you should be hunting out of a ground blind during the late season. Finally three, there is a lot more to setting up a ground blind that simply placing it for the shot. With ideal blind setups for late season hunting, observations in place, and required prep work from trail cameras and scouting, you will be setting yourself up for success in either this week or the cold weeks to come!

Stocking Stuffers for Hunters

Stocking Stuffers for Hunters | Muddy’s Stocking Stuffers

Stocking Stuffers for Hunters

To go along with our Christmas gifts for hunters, we thought we would go ahead and supply you with some stocking stuffer ideas! Stocking stuffers for hunters are easy to buy, as the hunter in your family always could use more hunting accessories and gear! These 9 stocking stuffer items will fill their stocking full with quality items that the hunter will enjoy for many seasons!

1. Telescoping Multi-Hanger


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Folds Down to 8.75″ for Storage
Hook Arm Adjusts 360°
Leg Grip for Extra Strength
Easy Installation with Screw-In Steel Tip

PRODUCT SPECS

  • CONSTRUCTION: Aluminum and Steel;
  • SIZE: Ranges from 7.25″ – 21.5″ Length with Non-Slip Grip Rubber Coated Hook;
  • WEIGHT RATING: 30 Lbs

2. Short Hook Multi Hanger

stocking-stuffer-for-hunter_pic2


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

2″ Single J-Hook with 40-Lb Capacity
Dual 6.5″ Non-Slip Grip Rubber Coated Hooks with 10-Lb Weight Limit Each
Hook Arms Adjust 180°
Folds Down to 8″ for Storage
Steel Tip Cover with Easy Clip-On Carabiner

PRODUCT SPECS

  • CONSTRUCTION: Steel;
  • WEIGHT CAPACITY: 60 Lbs Total – 2″ Single J-Hook – 40 Lb Capacity, Dual 6.5″ Rubber Coated Hooks – 10 Lb Weight Limit Each

3. EZ Twist Pull Up Rope

stocking-stuffer-for-hunter_pic3


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Easy to Use Even With a Gloved Hand and Does Not Scratch Gear
Folds Up Flat and Small for Storage
Silent, EZ Twist-Tie, Rubber-Coated End

PRODUCT SPECS

  • DESIGN: 25′ Long Flat, Tangle-Free Design

4. Tree Stand Canopy


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Guaranteed Protection From the Elements
Camouflage Underside for Natural Appearance

PRODUCT SPECS

  • CONSTRUCTION: Heavy-Duty, Water-Resistant Fabric;
  • SIZE: 46″ Wide x 60″ Long;
  • PORTABLE: Folds up to 27.25″ for Transport

5. Trail Camera: Pro Cam 10

deer hunting cold fronts trail camera tips | Muddy Outdoors


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

10 Megapixel
2 – 6 Photo Bursts
Standard VGA (32 FPS)
1.5 Second Trigger Speed
Invisible Flash with 18 HE LEDs
Simple to Program
Backlit LCD Screen to easily navigate through settings any time of day

PRODUCT SPECS

  • SIZE: 4.75″ H x 4.25″ W x 2.5″ D;
  • SCREEN: Backlit LCD Screen;
  • FLASH RANGE: 50’+; LEDS: 18;
  • IMAGE QUALITY: 10 Megapixel;
  • TRIGGER DELAY: 7 Options: 10 Sec – 30 Min.;
  • IMAGE DATA: Camera ID, Date, Time, Temp, & Moon Phase;
  • VIDEO: 4 Options: 10 – 60 Seconds Length;
  • MOUNTING OPTIONS: Adjustable Strap with Buckle; Alternate: 1/4″ – 20;
  • THEFT DETERRENCE: Cable Lock and Padlock Ready;
  • BATTERY TYPE: 6 AA or 12V DC Alternate Power Option;
  • COLOR: Non-Reflective Brown;
  • MATERIAL: Molded ABS; Waterproof Housing;
  • MEMORY: Requires Secure Digital Card, Up to 32GB;
  • PRODUCT WARRANTY: 1 Year;
  • OPERATING TEMP: -10 Degrees F to 140 Degrees F;
  • DETECTION RANGE: 50′;
  • FIELD OF VIEW: 3 Zone + 50 Degree Detection Angle;
  • BURST INTERVAL: 2 Seconds;
  • BATTERY LIFE: Up to 10,000 Images

6. Trail Camera Support Mount

stocking-stuffer-for-hunter_pic6


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

ORDER 6 OR MORE AND GET THEM FOR $6.00 PER

Can be adjusted to any direction or angle desired!
Easily screws into tree or wooden posts

PRODUCT SPECS

  • CONSTRUCTION: Steel;
  • WEIGHT RATING: 10 Lbs.;
  • USAGE: Screws securely into tree;
  • WORKS ON MOST CAMERAS WITH A 1/4″-20 RECEIVER;
  • FULLY ADJUSTABLE: Camera mount can be adjusted to any direction & angle

7. Long Accessory Hooks

stocking-stuffer-for-hunter_pic7


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The hook is designed for use in multiple stand locations securely keeps your bow and other hunting gear within reach. Coated hooks won’t scratch or damage your bow or other gear, while the sharp metal tip screws easily into any tree for a secure hold. Each individual hook has a ten-pound weight rating.

PRODUCT SPECS

  • Construction Extra Long Rubber Coated Steel Hook
  • Design Screws into tree; 24-count Retailer Pack for Individual Sale
  • Weight Limit 10 Lbs.

8. Xecute Scent Control Starter Pack

stocking-stuffer-for-hunter_pic8


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Looking for an all-around scent control product pack for this season. We are featuring a Xecute Starter Pack to cover everything from Shower to Field.

The Xecute Scent Control Starter Pack Features:

  • Body Wash (8 oz)
  • Conditioner (8 oz)
  • Field Spray (16 oz)
  • Shampoo (8 oz)

9. Muddy Safe-Line

stocking-stuffer-for-hunter_pic9


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

A Unique System that Allows the User to Stay Attached to the Tree at all Times!
Two Prusik Knots; Slides Easily Up and Down the Rope During Ascent and Descent and Stops You IMMEDIATELY Should a Fall Occur
Prusik Knots made of Reflective Material that Enhance Daytime and Low-Light Visibility

PRODUCT SPECS

  • CONSTRUCTION: Braided Nylon; USE: Stay Safe from the Moment You Leave the Ground to the Time You Return!; Length: 30’;
  • WEIGHT RATING: 300 Lbs.

These stocking stuffers will put a smile on the face of the hunter in your family, especially paired up with one of the many items under the tree from our Christmas gifts on sale right now! Any hunter would be ecstatic to unwrap any number of these items on Christmas day!

What Do Deer Eat During the Late Season?

How to: What Do Deer Eat During the Late Season?

 

This video dives straight into finding out the answer to the question: What do deer eat during the late season? While this is a very basic question, the more advanced tactic of looking at a deer’s stomach answers the question. This process offers very valuable intel when it comes to hunting. Figuring out what a deer’s diet consists of regarding the late season food sources on your property, can help you determine where bucks might be patterned. Looking into a deer’s stomach contents can show you not only where to find deer at, but where to hunt, where to hang your trail cameras, and where to concentrate your late season efforts on.

What Do Deer Eat in the Late Season? | Trail Cameras Weekly “Week 10”

By opening up the stomach of a deer that is killed on your property, or by a neighbor nearby, you can quickly determine what late season food sources your deer are concentrating on your property. This video shows you two stomachs, one from a doe in Indiana, and another of a buck Steve Smolenski killed in Pennsylvania.  It is important to remember, the property’s habitat and available food sources greatly diversify the results from analyzing the stomach contents. Every property is different, this is why it is a very successful tactic!

A Deer’s Stomach

There is more to this than simply slicing the stomach to find the answer to, “what do deer eat”. Deer are ruminants and have a four-chambered stomach.

what-do-deer-eat-late-season_pic1The Rumen where deer store their food as they eat serves as a mechanism to allow deer to quickly eat large quantities of food without much chewing. This is a trait that helps limit the time they are exposed to predators. When they get back to a safe bedding area they proceed to re-chew this food or chew their fermented slightly digested “cud” going into the second chamber of the stomach the Reticulum, where the majority of microorganisms of a deer stomach really start to work. From there it moves to the Omasum the third chamber where water is absorbed, then proceeds to the final chamber the Abomasum where the food is further digested…Now why is this important? For the most part you will be able to easily identify what food sources they ate in the first chamber the rumen, and for the most part the second chamber. After you move on towards the final chamber it gets obviously harder.

Timeline?

By opening up stomach we can actually identify what the deer has eaten. Now you may be wondering how big of a timeline does it give us?

The answer assures us that this process is very high quality and accurate intel. From the time a deer eats to the time it passes through and comes out the other end, most of the material (about 80 %) takes only 48 hours to go through. This means during anytime regardless of harvest the gut pile and stomach contents will actually at least the last day or so of feeding. There is much to take into consideration after this as some food sources digest much faster than others.

While you can certainly see what the deer has eaten in the past 12 hours, you cannot determine when they ate food sources due to the vast range of different digestibility. AKA winter rye and species like clover digest easily compared to woody browse and mast such as white oak acorns. This is why It is important to understand what you are looking at before making any assumptions or conclusions.

So What are They Eating?

After the point when you identify the rumen and least digested contents of the stomach, you can pick apart the contents and try and apply percentages, or a conclusion to where the deer on this property are spending their time feeding.

 The Buck:

what-do-deer-eat-late-season_pic2

The buck’s stomach contents revealed most visibly corn, but you have to realize this is probably only 20-30% of the contents. It just happens to be the most visible and easily identified. 60-70% or the majority of the stomach contents were grasses and forbs, with about half being winter wheat in the surrounding cover cropped ag fields. They also witnessed a basic estimate of 10% woody browse. There were no food plot species or acorns in the stomach. This directly reflected what food sources were available and not available on the property this year as Steve’s property does not hold food plots or a vast amount of oaks.

The Doe:

what-do-deer-eat-late-season_pic3doe

Now this doe is a different story. The property has popcorn (which shatters more easily once eaten and is far less desirable than regular corn) many oaks and acorns, several areas of early successional growth ( woody browse) and of course the large winter rye cover cropped AG fields that were discussed last week on Trail Cameras Weekly. The percentages come out to be roughly 20-30% corn and acorns, 60-70% Winter rye/grasses and forbs, and an estimated 10 % of woody browse.

It is important to remember these are roughly estimated numbers but they do closely resemble what a deer’s diet and nutritional needs are this time of year. The graph below is taken from Nutritional Requirements of White-tailed Deer in Missouri produced by the Extension Department of the University of Missouri.

what-do-deer-eat-late-season_pic4

As you can see the average percentages between fall and winter roughly fall in line with the percentages the hunters witnessed in the stomach contents of the two deer killed in December.

Conclusion

Over the course of the next week or so, if the hunting is slow, take a doe for the freezer or for management purposes, or just try and examine the stomach contents of a deer killed on or near your property. Do not waste the gut pile! Often times this is a far more accurate representation of what your late season food sources are, how much time your deer are spending in the food sources, and where you might want to think about hunting as the temperature starts to fall! If you are asking “what do deer eat in the late season” take it into your own hand to find the answer!

 

hunting tips thanksgiving buck | Muddy Outdoors

Hunting Tips for Taking a Thanksgiving Week Buck

Hunting Tips for Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving week is here and it could not have arrived at a more perfect time. Let’s be honest there is not one hunter here that would take bickering over politics and catching up with family over a cold November hunt! Luckily the time off work aligns perfectly with an incredible opportunity. The rut is winding down, but that does not mean mature buck movement is. In fact, this Thanksgiving week could be one of the best times to kill one of your hit-list bucks. This might just be the perfect excuse to miss that overcooked turkey at the in-laws! If you find the time to hunt, be sure to take a look at these hunting tips for taking a Thanksgiving week buck!

Whitetail 101 S1 E14, “Crunch Time” | Second Peak of Rut Hunting

During this week, mature bucks rather than little bucks are on their feet. Young bucks that you saw nearly every day of the first part of November are now slowing down, while mature bucks still have enough energy to seek and chase the last does coming into estrus. This is a period that is make or break. Opportunities with a mature buck will exist as cold temperatures finally make their way over the Midwest. Cold temperatures with a few does still yet to come in creates a recipe where a hit-list buck can be harvested.

This is the back end of the bell curve of the rut, does are still coming in, and mature bucks are out trying to find them. Rut hunting strategies for this week include sticking to the bedding areas, but also keeping an eye on late season food sources. As hunting transitions into December, food sources become the focus instead of bedding areas.

Trail Cameras Weekly “Week 8” | Hunting The Backside Of The Rut

Mature bucks will start focusing on late season food sources later as we approach December and colder temps, but do not get ahead of yourself. For now, the best hunting tips for hunting the backside of the rut means stick with your rut hunting strategies, remember you trail camera tips for the rut, check trail cameras often, and grind it out until the end of the season.

hunting the rut lockdown phase | Muddy Outdoors

Hunting The Rut Lockdown Phase

Tips for Hunting the Rut Lockdown Phase

To suggest that there are phases of rut is ridiculous. The pre-rut, rut, rut lockdown, post rut, and second rut. To think you can delineate each one of the phases of the rut apart from each other into a particular set of days or weeks is hopeful at best. In theory, it is a great way for so-called experts of the industry to describe deer activity to your everyday hunter. The biggest problem in this delineation is that it does not describe deer activity 100% like it seems it should do. Rather a complex algorithm is at play, fluctuating deer activity a different way for every property. Sex ratios, weather, hunting pressure, property layout, acorn production, and crop status all have drastic effects on deer activity during all “phases” of the rut. While each phase paints a clear picture, it is never 100% accurate due to these reasons. However, If one phase above all was particularly spot on it would be during this week. This week the Midwest, in general, is experiencing peak breeding. Hunting the rut just got tough due to the rut lockdown!

November So Far…And In The Future?

Up to this point, November hunting has been what is expected during November. Chasing, seeking, cruising, and a steady stream of bucks and does coming by the stand. The onset of warm temperatures during much of the first half of November slowed things down, but just recently the floodgates opened. Cooler temps and the first frosts have hit, bucks were on their feet, the rut is in full swing.

Trophy Pursuit S5 E31, “The Chase is On” | Rut Hunting

As you can see in this week’s episode of Trophy Pursuit, the chasing, cruising, and daylight movement by mature bucks was easy to take advantage of. This opportunity was easily exploited by hunting with strategies and tactics unique to rut hunting. These rut hunting strategies and tactics were clearly outlined in our last blog Rut Hunting 101.

To summarize some of the best takeaways from the blog we have provided some of its information.

When To Hunt

The Morning:

  • Bucks will seek out does around bedding areas
  • Focus on where does will be bedding after they return from feeding
  • Pick a stand location on the downwind side of the bedding area
  • Access the stand from the opposite side of the food source

The Evening:

  • Does are still feeding in open area, for the most part, bringing the bucks with them
  • Both the morning and the evening is based on does and where they are feeding or where they go after they feed.
  • Hunt a funnel or an edge of a feeding source
  • Do not walk on, or across the main run or section deer will access the area with, keep your scent away from the trail

Trail Camera Tips for the Rut

Remember these settings and tips when you are setting up trail cameras for the rut!

  • Location: where the does will be (food sources, doe bedding areas, transition areas between food and bedding)
  • Setup: At a 45-degree angle from the run, trail, or funnel. High to avoid spooking bucks.
  • Settings: long video ( 1 minute +) or series of multiple photo bursts (6-8 ) with a short delay ( < 10 seconds)

From: Trail Camera Tips For The Rut

So why is this important? If you have ever looked at a bell curve you would understand. The action was hot during the first part of November, but as we approach the middle of November we approach the lockdown. After the lockdown phase of the rut passes, we start descending on the bell curve meaning the action heats up again. Bucks start looking for does again, start desperately seeking, and again opportunities are present for the taking.

What Is the Lockdown?

The lockdown phase of the rut occurs when the majority of does come into estrus. Why? The gestation period of a whitetail is right around 198 days, meaning timing the conception perfectly, times the fawn’s birth perfectly. This aligns fawn drop right when spring arrives where an explosion of growth means quality food, quality cover, and nutritious milk. The arrival of peak breeding is determined and brought on by photoperiod. This is why the rut, or peak breeding happens on the same dates each year regardless of weather and moon phase.

This can be a dramatic event for hunters. When the majority of does suddenly come in bucks go on lockdown! Bucks will lay up with does for usually 24-48 hours. To some, this is not enough time for a hunter to realize the buck is laid up, but then again it is. Put yourself in the scenario. It’s November 15th, high pressure, hard frost, a slight 3 mph wind….a day that should result in a lot of deer movement. Instead, the day results in a yearling and button buck…not at all what you expected. Why? So many does are available, that literally every 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5 years old + is lockdown with a doe that day and perhaps the next.

Hunting The Rut Lockdown Phase

It’s a blessing and a curse. The lockdown phase comes in dramatically but exits the same. Hunting the rut lockdown isn’t necessarily hard. You have to concentrate in the right areas for hunting and simply wait it out. On any day, and at any time during the lockdown phase, a buck can come off of a doe. Here are two videos that help supply information on hunting the rut lockdown.

Whitetail 101 S1 E13, “Hot Doe or Bust” | Rut Lockdown

The overall advice in this week’s Whitetail 101 is to stay away from the feeding areas and start working your hunts towards doe bedding areas. Does that are out feeding have most likely already been breed and are simply staying away from bedding areas as they are avoiding being pushed around by bucks. Touching on this further with the concept of the “hot doe or bust” is this week’s trail cameras weekly episode.

Hunting The Rut Lockdown | Trail Cameras “Weekly Week 7”

Again, this episode not only touches the concept that hunting the rut lockdown means that on any day and at any time a buck can come off a doe. This means all day sits could prove successful. This also means bucks will desperately seek does once they come off a doe, and after peak breeding slows. Also know that during this time a doe can pull a buck anywhere at any time, meaning your rut hunting strategies and tactics like hunting funnels and bedding areas are still creating opportunities. This episode proves the concept as Jeremy Flinn encounters a hot doe with a buck locked in.

Conclusion

Hunting the rut lockdown will only last a short period. It is important to not only keep hunting during this time, but to hunt the right areas. Hunting does, as far as funnels and doe bedding areas go is a more successful tactic for hunting bucks during any other time during the rut.

For more deer hunting videos and weekly hunting, web shows like this visit Muddy TV. Also be sure to check in every week for new hunting tips, tactics, and strategies at Muddy’s Blog.

rut hunting strategies tips tactics | Muddy Outdoors

Rut Hunting 101 | Strategies, Tips, Tactics, and Videos

Rut Hunting Strategy, Tactic, Tips, and Videos

The weeks of November…the weeks you have been waiting on for months, are finally here! The next 3 weeks will be the best action in the whitetail woods. You hit-list buck’s guard is down, his hormones have him up on his feet, and he now stands a very good chance of making a mistake within range of your tree stand. Yes the rut is upon us and your chances look good, but it doesn’t automatically mean success. These rut hunting strategies, tips, tactics, and videos will dive into exactly what you should focus on during this time.

Pre-Rut to Rut Transition

The transition from the October lull, to the pre-rut, and now soon to be the rut is fast paced. The rapid changes are hard for hunters to stay on top of and adjust. What was once slow, variable movement, depending mostly on weather fronts has now given way into what can be perceived as even more variable action. The last week of October was expected to bring out more opportunities but instead, your high anticipation might have been met with little to no movement. As the pre-rut approaches the transition to the rut, it is important for you to understand what exactly is going on.

Hunting The Pre-Rut
(video) November is finally upon us. In this episode, the Trophy Pursuit team is hunting the pre-rut, and the action is definitely heating up!

 

This week on Muddy TV, Trophy Pursuit encountered classic pre-rut deer activity. Both Tayler Riggen and Alexandria Dunkin had bucks showing common behavior. The bucks in this episode relied heavily on scrape use, but also showed they were scent checking and actively searching for does, but seemed to have a reserve to them. During that time bucks scent checked areas and scrapes for signs of the first does to come in. Why they were not actively dogging does and running through the timber, they did show signs that the phase was actively approaching. During the pre-rut phase, hunters relied heavily on their trail cameras to reveal which bucks arrived with an increased home range, which bucks left, and which bucks were susceptible for an encounter with daylight activity. Our mock scrapes were hot, and deer sign like rubs and small scrapes seemed to be visible everywhere in the woods.

With the last week of October now behind us, and the first week of November at our doorstep, we can’t help but wonder what strategy should we change, and where we should be our November hunts on.

Rut hunting Strategies

Before diving into strategies, hunting tips, and tactics, it might be important to discern what we are actually talking about with the term “rut”. The “rut” or actual breeding peak is not what hunters associate with the term. Instead to hunters the term “rut” means endless buck activity, chasing, dogging, fighting, and everything we associate with being the best days in the woods. For the cases of this article “the rut” will encompass the intense action, what hunters might call the “lockdown”, and even the action of the “post-rut”. Why? To think there are actually “stages” to base your hunting off of during November is favorable thinking at best. It’s a hope that you can actually be spot on in predicting what you will see, when in fact, breeding, activity, and behavior will be regional, and very often property specific. With this said, the first 3 weeks of November are the best times to be on the stand, regardless of which “stage” or time period we are determined to be in.
For hunting the “rut” or better said, first three weeks of November, you need a strategy that puts you where the action is! Many hunters hold the belief that just about anywhere, or their tree stand location they call “old reliable” will get the job done. While this might just work with the amount of action and activity we are approaching, a better strategy would be to base your tree stand sites around what actually draws in bucks…does!

Early Rut Hunting Strategies
(Video) Bill Winke covers early rut hunting strategies and exactly where to concentrate hunting efforts on during the morning and the afternoons of early November.

 

Where should you hunt during the rut? Bill Winke breaks it down into morning and afternoon.

The Morning:

  • Bucks will seek out does around bedding areas
  • Focus on where does will be bedding after they return from feeding
  • Pick a stand location on the downwind side of the bedding area
  • Access the stand from the opposite side of the food source

The Evening:

  • Does are still feeding in open area, for the most part, bringing the bucks with them
  • Both the morning and the evening is based on does and where they are feeding or where they go after they feed.
  • Hunt a funnel or an edge of a feeding source
  • Do not walk on, or across the main run or section deer will access the area with, keep your scent away from the trail

Trail Camera Tips for the Rut

During November the best trail camera tip can be to not completely rely on your trail camera information. Activity is at an all time high, bucks can suddenly appear or disappear on a property without warning, or being caught on your trail cameras. Even if you have a camera per 10 acres, your chances are still slim to catching ALL deer movement. This means that your trail cameras are not always correct or reliable for making decisions on. The fact is that you should hunt in the locations above, regardless of what your cameras tell you!

However, you should still optimize every trail camera location and site to capture as much activity as they can. The information will guide hunting this year but more importantly will reveal how the intense deer movement worked across your property for next year’s hunting. The cameras might also catch information pertaining to which bucks leave the property, stick around, or are extremely daylight active, giving you insights on who to target next year.

Trail Camera Tips For November and the Rut
(Video)- This week go with solid tactics and trail camera tips, which are placing trail cameras on food sources, by bedding areas being reasonable with human pressure, and of course on funnels!

 

Remember these settings and tips when you are setting up trail cameras for the rut!

rut hunting strategies tips tactics | Muddy Outdoors

  • Location: where the does will be (food sources, doe bedding areas, transition areas between food and bedding)
  • Setup: At a 45-degree angle from the run, trail, or funnel. High to avoid spooking bucks.
  • Settings: long video ( 1 minute +) or series of multiple photo bursts (6-8 ) with a short delay ( < 10 seconds)

Trail cameras with settings such as 4 + photo bursts or longer than a 1-minute video are not common. The Muddy trail cameras feature these settings and more, and it might be well worth having the extra capabilities during the peak of deer activity!

Insert Pro Cam 12 PNG on left with info on the right – https://www.gomuddy.com/muddy-outdoors-trail-cameras/

rut hunting strategies tips tactics | Muddy OutdoorsPRODUCT DESCRIPTION

  • 12 Megapixel
  • 2 – 8 Photo Bursts
  • 1280 x 720 HD With Sound or VGA (32 FPS) with Sound Video
  • 2-minute video capability
  • 6 Second Trigger Speed
  • Invisible Flash with 36 HE LEDs
  • Simple to Program
  • Backlit LCD Screen to easily navigate through settings any time of day

Make the most out of November and the rut with these rut hunting strategies, tips, and tactics. If you liked the information and series of deer hunting videos and web shows used in this blog, visit Muddy TV  each week. Shows like Trail Cameras Weekly, Whitetail 101, Trophy Pursuit, and Hallowed Ground relay the latest information from their hunts, trail cameras, and observations to support their content and predictions so you are up to date.

This week take the advice and do yourself a favor. Setup trail cameras, tree stands, and hunting sites based on where the does will be. Just as the videos have shown you, get out and hunt, these upcoming weeks will be filled with some of the best action you will see!

deer hunting cold fronts trail camera tips | Muddy Outdoors

How To: Deer Hunting Cold Fronts in October

Deer Hunting Cold Fronts

Have you got the rhythm down yet? Are you back in the saddle so to speak?  When it comes to bow hunting it feels like it can take a week or two to finally get used to waking up earlier, master walking quietly across parched leaves, and perfect the art of patience, little movement, and silence. Bow season is here and whether you are ready or not does not concern the deer and more importantly the fleeting month of October. Deer hunting during October is short lived as is, and more often than not, several opportunities go without recognition and “seizing”. The worst of these missed opportunities takes the form of deer hunting cold fronts during October.

Digging deeper, many hunters will come to realize that it is the rapidly changing behavior of deer…not time itself that lets us perceive October as short. During the first part of the month or so, patterns exist, food sources are still intact, and there appears to be a very real opening to harvest a buck. However once the second and third week of October arrive everything changes. The shifting weather, food, hormones, landscape, and much more create a list of factors that seem to alter everything we knew about our property and the deer going into October. The second and third week of October (October 10th – 24th) seems to throw hunters a curve ball.

Acorns, Ag fields harvested, cooler weather, varying attractiveness of food plots, intolerance due to heightened testosterone, and of course the pressure of the approaching rut seem to mix up deer behavior so badly that they themselves do not understand what’s going on….let alone us hunters trying to figure it all out. If someone figured out exactly how to hunt October, you would know the absolute authority on the subject, but no one will ever be able to figure it out entirely. Why? You cannot control Mother Nature…

What Is a Cold Front?

By definition (to a hunter) a Cold Front is Mother Nature’s answer to the hunter’s mercy plead. Curve ball after curve ball, Mother Nature has taken us through the ringer no doubt, but it’s nice when she answers our prayers. A Cold front is a hunter’s saving grace so to speak. When deer movement seems to be slowing down, or unpredictable a cold front is a sudden snap to get deer and more importantly mature bucks on their feet.

A Cold Front – advancing mass of cold air trailing the edge of a warm sector of a low-pressure system.

When should you hunt a cold front?

A great source for hunters as far as weather patterns and cold fronts is Weather Underground. Customize the 10 day weather forecast to show temperature, the chance of precipitation, pressure, wind speed, and humidity can also be an advantage. Hunters are by no means meteorologists, but knowing the simplest things can make a huge difference to the action you witness in the woods.

deer hunting cold fronts trail camera tips | Muddy Outdoors

https://www.wunderground.com

In the picture, you can clearly see when the cold front is advancing. This graph was exported from a state in the Midwest this year, 2016, last week in fact from the date this blog is posted. From the period of Tuesday the 4th to Friday the 7th you can see a period of high temperature hovering around 80 degrees or so. Friday afternoon marks the entrance and arrival of the front. When the front is passing is typically seen as a drop in temperature > 5-10 degrees, and an increase in pressure. You will also either see nasty weather or precipitation increase as the front passes. The amount of temperature drop isn’t necessarily the main take away or reason a cold front is so productive.

Notice the days before the cold front arrives. You have hunted these days before…the same boring, long, and hot days that are common in October. Low 80s High 70s during the day for several days in a row, plus the combination of nasty weather as the front arrives signifies how “productive” the cold front will be. Deer movement will be slow or what you will normally experience during the days beforehand. During the nasty spell of weather, deer will undergo intense stress. When the skies break open (Saturday-Sunday), pressure increases, and temperature plummets deer will be excited to get on their feet, especially to feed on available food sources.

That covers when you should be deer hunting cold fronts, but not “where”. Unfortunately, the “where” is a bit trickier than the “when” and subject to a lot more opinion and variability.

Deer Hunting Cold Fronts: The Big Question is Where

So up to this point we have told you “when” you might fake a sudden cough or take a vacation day off work, but the next important thing to decide is “where”. Where should you go “all in” on what seems to be your only and best chance at a buck in October. While we cannot give you a definitive answer that is a sure fire tree stand location, we can offer plenty of well thought out and proven suggestions.

While October is leading up to highly anticipated action-packed weeks in November, the majority of the month’s deer activity revolves around one thing…FOOD. Two big food sources are competing during this time frame and a third is thrown into the mix if it is available. Above all acorns and cut corn fields should be on the hunter’s radar, but food plots can also be thrown into the mix.

Acorns

Trail Cameras Weekly “Week 2” Oct 10th- 16th | October Cold Fronts and Acorns
(Video)- As the second week of October arrives, strategies must change accordingly. In this week, two major players are present, acorns and October cold fronts.

 

Acorns are a staple for deer during the month of October. White oak and red oak acorns rain down from mature timber canopies across the Whitetail’s range, offering a continuous and reliable food source. Unfortunately, it is also a plentiful food source…meaning the little package of carbs that is known as the acorn can spell disaster for hunters. This abundant food source’s availability means that deer do not have to work very hard or move very far to get to a food source. When deer are on acorns, it can be very hard to pattern them, but with the help of some landscape features like fingers, saddles, ridges, funnels, creek bottoms, and transition areas it can be done. Muddy TV’s Trail Cameras Weekly touches on these features and how acorns, with the addition of a cold front, could mean success.

Cut Corn Fields

Whitetail 101 S1 E8, “October Cold Fronts” | Best Way to Hunt October Cold Fronts
(Video)- On this week’s episode of Whitetail 101, Bill Winke discusses October bow hunting tactics, food sources, and October cold fronts.

 

Cut corn fields, a common site this time of year is one of the only food sources that can pull deer off of acorns. As Bill Winke mentions in the video from Muddy TV’s Whitetail 101, freshly cut corn field offers “easy pickings” as far as deer are concerned. The missed kernels and mangled ears of corn can leave a significant amount of food left scattered across the tangle of stalks. The combine leaving the field is a dinner bell for deer and has the power to bring brutes out of the timber for a quick buffet. Again a cold front moving through, with some nasty weather in the forecast may just prompt a farmer for a quick harvest, meaning you will have a cut corn field to hunt over while deer hunting cold fronts, both bumping deer to their feet to feed.

Green Food Plots

Trophy Pursuit S6 E6, “Close Calls” | Close Encounters with Mature Iowa Bucks
(Video)- This week on Muddy’s Trophy Pursuit, several team members have great encounters, close calls, and trail camera photos of mature Iowa bucks.

As always a well-planted food plot, with the right species, in the right location can always be a dynamite spot to sit when deer are on their feet. As you can see in Trophy Pursuits Episode 6, the team encounter several hit list bucks moving through, around, and to food plots. Clovers, brassicas, and species like oats can attract deer throughout October and even through November and later. This is especially true for years with low acorn production, or in areas with little mature timber and ag crops. Food plots such as the ones you witness in this episode work great as staging areas and transition plots as deer begin to filter out into larger areas such as cut corn fields or oak flats.

deer hunting cold fronts trail camera tips | Muddy OutdoorsTrail Cameras Will Tell You Where

Overall the secret to perfecting deer hunting cold fronts and bow hunting in general in October is relying heavily upon your trail camera data. As you noticed in all the weekly deer hunting videos and web shows on Muddy TV  this week (Trail Cameras Weekly, Whitetail 101, and Trophy Pursuit), they all relayed intel and information from their trail cameras to support their observations and predictions.

Take the advice and do yourself a favor. Setup trail cameras based on the available food sources. Await an October cold front, and base your hunt around the most recent information you have….you won’t regret it.

Mock scrapes and trail cameras | Muddy Outdoors

Mock Scrapes | How to Take Full Advantage of a Buck’s Weakness

Taking Advantage of Mock Scrapes With Trail Cameras

Deer season has arrived and with it the unmistakable frustration of not seeing deer during the first weeks of October. No, we are not talking about you only not seeing deer in the stand, but nearly everywhere, including on your trail cameras. This frustration comes at a high price as you will waste the first weeks of deer season playing a game of cat and mouse with of course no claws or teeth to catch the mouse…sounds frustrating right? It is without the proper guidance! The reason for this frustration is the loop many hunters (you included) get thrown into just before the season starts and it all starts with your trail cameras. Luckily mock scrapes are the answer to the problem that you have yet to realize or seek a solution for.

Trail Cameras Weekly | Week 1: Mock Scrapes
(Video)- Mock scrapes can be the solution to a problem hunters face this time of year. Bait sites need to be taken down, so hunters are looking for a good location to hang their trail cameras in order to gather intel about bucks. This is usually in the form of food plots or mock scrapes as both supplies attraction in order to draw the deer in front of the camera. For how to make a mock scrape, I simply find a good location where deer and more importantly bucks frequent, find a good sturdy licking branch 4-5 ft high, snap it off, clear out the ground with a stick about 2 ft wide, and put scent in the form of mock scrape starter on the ground.

 

The Problem

Here is the issue at hand, lack of intel driven with attraction. All summer long you have relied heavily on trail cameras, baits sites, and scouting crop fields to tell you what bucks you have and where they reside on your property. As the summer has recently progressed into fall and into deer season, bait sites needed to be removed and bean fields were drying up. You were left begging the question “how do I find my bucks now?”

Mock scrapes and trail cameras | Muddy Outdoors

Luckily sources of help and quality information are available on channels like Muddy TV. Bill Winke of Midwest Whitetail and the weekly web show “Whitetail 101” dives into this subject continuously throughout October. Bill is an expert at “finding bucks back again” after they have moved home ranges and adjusted on different food sources. The secret to Bill’s success is putting trail cameras in the right locations, with the right attraction, and the right settings. This will become your success point as well after reading through this article.

The Solution

Again the problem isn’t necessarily the changing times, it’s the behavioral changes in whitetails in addition to the legal ramifications (in some states) of having bait out on the property around your stands. This is an issue because it is in the best interest for you to have some sort of attraction in front of your trail camera to snap pictures of bucks and gain valuable intel. With bait or any “edible” attraction out of the question, we are left with one thing…scent.

The Weakness

During the early season and pre-rut, bucks have one weakness that can be taken advantage of. Their inquisition. Whitetails are curious creatures, they are also social and creatures of habit making this weakness even more deadly. Communicating and learning about other deer and the status of those deer continually throughout October and November takes place at a scrape. Bucks and does alike will visit scrapes throughout the season presenting two opportunities.

By creating mock scrapes the two opportunities can be fully extorted. The first opportunity is mock scrapes create the attraction needed to draw deer in front of your trail cameras. The second arrives once a buck has been located and somewhat patterned, as these mock scrapes suggest tree stand locations.

How to Make a Mock Scrape

Follow these simple steps to make an attractive and useful mock scrape.

  • Step 1: Find high traffic area located in the right seasonal location (around acorns, in a food plot, by crops)
  • Step 2: Find a tree with a good branch, or hang a branch in the location that is within shooting range of a potential tree stand site.
  • Step 3: Create or bend down a licking branch 4-5 feet high. Break the tip off just like a buck does when making or checking a scrape.
  • Step 4: Take a stick and clear out a 2ft circle under the licking branch.
  • Step 5: Apply mock scrape starter to the dirt or use human urine. Do not put urine on the licking branch, only apply forehead gland or preorbital gland scent products to the licking branch.
  • Step 6: Hang a trail camera over the location

Mock scrapes and trail cameras | Muddy Outdoors

Hanging Trail Cameras Over Mock Scrapes

Follow these simple steps to hang trail cameras correctly over mock scrapes.

  • Step 1: Find a tree opposite the mock scrape’s face. Do not put trail camera close or right on top of mock scrape as it could put unwanted scent and be seen by the bucks.
  • Step 2: Place trail camera around 10 yards from scrape.
  • Step 3: Set the delay to 1 minute as does and bucks will not spend a lot of time at a mock scrape sight, but instead will only pass through and investigate, or work the scrape quickly.
  • Step 4: Set the trail camera on a long video mode. For Muddy trail cameras, the 2 minute HD video is perfect for detecting bucks and watching both where they enter/exit and how they work the scrape.

This year if you are struggling to find out where to put your cameras or are struggling to capture your bucks again after summer, try using mock scrapes and trail cameras in combination. By placing mock scrapes in areas subject to deer traffic in different parts of the seasons (acorns early, green food sources later, funnels in the rut, and late season food sources) you will be able to continually attract bucks in front of your trail cameras. This will reveal valuable intel that otherwise would go unnoticed.

For other trail camera tips visit the following blog:

trail camera tips | Muddy Outdoors

Trail Camera Tips and Tactics For Deer Season

Trail Camera Setup Guide | Trail Camera Tips and Tactics

Trail cameras have quickly and undoubtedly become one of the most essential tools available to hunters, period. There is no question to whether or not a hunter should employ trail camera across his/her hunting property. The significance is common sense, but the knowledge of how to set up a trail camera properly is not as well known. Without the knowledge, a hunter cannot fully extract all of the  valuable information a trail camera can give, essentially wasting the money, technology, and more importantly time…These trail camera tips and tactics should set you straight.

How to Set Up a Trail Camera

Are you asking “how do I set up a trail camera?” read and watch below for a detailed how to.

Trail Camera Tips For Deer Season | The Buck Advisors
(Video) – As deer season becomes closer and is beginning in many states, you might have started employing trail cameras on your property. If that is the case then chances are you have asked how to set up a trail camera before. Here is a step by step guide on how to set up a trail camera and some other trail camera tips

When setting up a trail camera, you have to consider many factors including trail camera location, if the trail camera will be attached to a tree or stake, the distance to the target area, clear field of view, aiming the camera in the right direction, keeping the trail camera scent free, and ensuring you select the right settings when setting it up. These trail camera tips and set up steps can be hard to remember when you are in the field so take notice now, and even create your own checklist to run through each time you set up cameras.

Step 1: Trail Camera Purpose and Purchasing

Figuring out what information you want to capture with your trail cameras is the first step in this trail camera guide, and the first step when discussing how to set up a trail camera. Are you trying to retrieve intel on the following: a food plot, scouting for turkeys, scouting for deer, over a mineral site, trail camera survey, mock scrape, trail, bait site, deer feeder or another simply for capturing photos of other wildlife? Generally, any and/or all of these should be researched further in depth for specific tactics and trail camera tips, but more vitally what camera to look into that has the requirements and can capture that specific info.

For example trying to capture wildlife or deer utilization on a food plot might require a time-lapse or field scan feature, a trail might require a fast trigger speed, and a mineral site might require a video mode or multiple photo burst mode. Purchasing an overall great trail camera that has all of these features included, is a multifaceted bang-for-your-buck…literally. A trail camera with all of the following allows you to use it every part of the year in all different scenarios.

trail camera tips pro cam 12 | Muddy Outdoors

  • 12 Megapixel
  • 2 – 8 Photo Bursts
  • 1280 x 720 HD With Sound or VGA (32 FPS) with Sound Video
  • .6 Second Trigger Speed
  • Invisible Flash with 36 HE LEDs
  • Simple to Program
  • Backlit LCD Screen to easily navigate through settings any time of day
PRODUCT SPECS
SIZE: 4.75″ H x 4.25″ W x 2.5″ D; SCREEN: Backlit LCD Screen; FLASH RANGE: 70’+; LEDS: 36; IMAGE QUALITY: 12 Megapixel; TRIGGER DELAY: 10 Options: 2.5 Sec. – 60 Min; TIME-LAPSE PERIOD: 1, 2, 3, or 4 Hours After Sunrise & Before Dusk, All Day or Custom Start/End Time; TIME-LAPSE FREQUENCY: 10 Options: 5 Sec. – 60 Min; IMAGE DATA: Camera ID, Date, Time, Temp, & Moon Phase; VIDEO: 6 Options: 5 Sec. – 2 Min Length; MOUNTING OPTIONS: Adjustable Strap with Buckle; Alternate: 1/4″ – 20; THEFT DETERRENCE: Cable Lock and Padlock Ready; BATTERY TYPE: 6 AA or 12V DC Alternate Power Option; COLOR: Non-Reflective Bark Pattern; MATERIAL: Molded ABS; Waterproof Housing; MEMORY: Requires Secure Digital Card, Up to 32GB; PRODUCT WARRANTY: 1 Year; OPERATING TEMP: -10 Degrees F to 140 Degrees F; DETECTION RANGE: 70′; FIELD OF VIEW: 3 Zone + 50 Degree Detection Angle; BURST INTERVAL: 2 Seconds or 0.6 Seconds; BATTERY LIFE: Up to 10,000 Images

Again, this is the first step, selecting a camera, and outlining exactly what intel you want to gather. After knowing these basics you can dive into actually setting up a trail camera in the field. The next step after determining what you want to use the trail camera for is selecting the trail camera location in order to capture that exact data.

Step 2: Trail Camera Location

Defining what you want to achieve with your game camera will tell you where to put it, it’s really that simple. Trail camera location is step and trail camera tip number two in this trail camera guide, and after the initial cam requirements, is the next most important consideration.

Food Plot Location: Either on a tree or a stake at a key entrance/exit point into or out of the food plot or high above the food plot for a time-lapse view.

Trail Location: At a 45 degree angle from the trail. Perpendicular or straight on from the trail can either not capture the deer or wildlife walking, and directly behind or in front of can result in spooked game or a picture that may have features like antlers covered up.

Bait/Mineral/Water/Feed Location:  The best trail camera location for a mineral, bait, water, or feeding site is position roughly 10 yards, close enough to see detail but distant enough to see everything utilizing the site.

Step 3: Trail Camera Installment

Each trail camera location that you end up installing a trail camera on will come with its own characteristics and limitations. A perfect tree will not always be available, rather it seems most of the trees you encounter are entirely too small or too large in diameter. When hanging and installing trail cameras, remember that you are not always limited to a tree or a fence post, and if you are, there are other tools other than a strap that can connect it to a tree.

trail camera tips trail camera mount | Muddy Outdoorstrail camera tips trail camera stake | Muddy Outdoors

Muddy has trail camera accessories that make it very easy to put a trail camera literally anywhere that you need. These trail camera accessories include trail camera stakes and trail camera mounts for either ground mounting or mounting on any sized tree or post. Both the Adjustable Trail Camera Support and the Dual Camera Ground Mount are important considerations when you are installing your trail camera.

Step 4: Trail Camera Field of View (FOV)

What is in the field of view for the trail camera? This is nearly as important as the consideration of how far the camera can detect and take pictures. As far as trail camera tips go, this one is often forgotten or goes unnoticed. What is in the FOV can determine a lot about the quality of intel you get. A branch, bush, tree, feeder, or another object in the FOV and frame can either set off the camera multiple times in the wind or block the image entirely. Objects can also interrupt the trail camera being able to detect wildlife, as well as catch the flash during the night.

Step 5: Trail Camera Night Photo Distance

Flash range distance during night events for trail camera should be considered when purchasing and determining the best steps in how to set up a trail camera. Step 5 in this trail camera guide is here for good reason. Often times night flash range and the ability to accurately judge what is in the photos/video during night events is often forgotten and ends in frustration of missed opportunities. A lot of wildlife, including deer, move during night-time hours, this is common knowledge, so be sure to include it when you are setting up your trail cameras.

The trail camera settings for the flash will include the sensitivity settings, high sensitivity should be used for open expansive areas such as food plots, bait, mineral, mock scrapes, watering holes, and feeding sites. Low sensitivity should be used on areas in thick areas and on trails.

Step 6: Trail Camera Direction

The sun can have a profound effect on the information you receive from your trail cameras. This is not discussing night vs. day activity or the events, rather the blinding effect the sun can have on the images themselves. Facing the camera East and West will result in white images or images that are unclear due to the sun. South is acceptable, but when setting up trail cameras always try and aim the camera north.

Step 7: Trail Camera Scent

This is especially true for deer, or just for keeping your trail camera safe from critters! Most people, when it comes to setting out trail cameras don’t think of, or simply do not care enough to worry about scent control and trail cameras. This is a big mistake. Number 7 on this trail camera guide is trail camera scent and it can be critical. Trail cameras set out for deer is one obvious reason to take consideration of the scent you leave behind.

Human scent is a form of human pressure, and too much around a trail camera station could leave that site useless for a duration that is critical for collecting information. On another front, attractive scent can attract unwanted attention and/or damage to your camera. Putting out feed, a bait, or minerals for deer or other wildlife, and not paying attention to the scent and potential attraction that is on your hands before touching the trail camera can leave your camera smelling like food. Raccoons and bears both can be fairly hard on cameras when investigating them due to the scent and attraction of food or bait.  This also gives more of a reason for ants to invade your camera.

Step 8: Trail Camera Memory Cards

trail camera tips pro cam 10 bundle | Muddy OutdoorsTrail camera memory cards are a significant consideration when learning how to set up a trail camera. Not having enough memory, and keeping the cameras out for an extended period of time could render the camera useless over time. Another consideration is also formatting the memory card to the trail camera. With today’s trail camera like the Pro Cam 12 or Pro Cam 10 offering higher and higher resolution video and ever increasing high-quality photos, the need for more space is evident.

The size of the memory card you need largely depends on the trail camera settings you choose to set, and/or how often you check the camera. A trail camera set on video mode, with a 10-30 second delay over a bait site, will burn through memory quite fast, while a 3-photo-burst at 5 min intervals on the same site takes much longer to fill the same amount of memory. When deciding on how big a memory card you might need, consider what settings you will have the camera on, how long you plan on not checking and clearing the card, and the potential frequency of events the trail camera might encounter. Overall a good trail camera tip to remember is an 8GB memory card is a safe bet for most trail camera applications. In some situations like the Pro Cam 10 Bundle’s case, a memory card Is thrown in with the purchase of the camera.

Step 9: Trail Camera Batteries

While some of the very first models of trail camera ran off of huge D batteries, most trail cameras now run off of AAs. These have more options, are more readily found, and are quite easy to set up with rechargeable batteries. These might be the best options, especially when running several trail cameras.

Cold weather has quite an effect on technology so always be sure to check your trail cameras battery life during the fall and winter months. Both Muddy Trail Cameras, the Pro-Cam 12 and the Pro-Cam 10 have operating ranges between -10 and 140 degrees.

Step 10: Trail Camera Settings

With everything else optimized the most crucial step is putting the trail camera on the right settings, this is where most hunters mess up. Overall the trail camera settings are largely based upon what intel you wish to receive. However, certain scenarios and situations require specific settings in order to work. Trail camera tips for the settings aspect cannot simply be a broad overstatement, but instead require careful consideration and planning. Generally, use common sense…write down your goals, and think out which settings will give you that.

We recognize the lack of information on trail camera settings based upon each scenario you encounter in the woods. Look out on the GoMuddy blog page for ann article specifically about trail camera settings based upon each situation.

Step 11: Trail Camera Security

The last step and trail camera tip is simple…it’s trail camera security. Lock it up or lose it. Unfortunately, there are trespassers and given an opportunity to steal a camera, some will take it.  Running a cable lock through your trail camera can easily deter this from happening.

Other Trail Camera Tips

While going through the trail camera guide and steps on hot to set up a trail camera, we mentioned several different tactics such as setting up trail cameras for turkeys, trail camera surveys, minerals for deer, and scouting velvet whitetails in the summer. The links below will take you to those blogs!

 

Why have mineral sites for Bucks

Muddy Trail Cameras | The Why, When, Where, and How of Minerals for Deer

What You Need To Know for Putting Out Minerals for Deer This Summer

Tree stand maintenance, shed hunting, frost seeding, food plots, and then what? This has been the schedule from this point on for about 4-5 months. By the time food plots are planted, hunters can feel a false sense of accomplishment. They feel they can begin to calm down from the mad rush of spring chores and coast it out until deer season. Unfortunately for them there is still one vital piece missing from the checklist…putting out minerals for deer!

Now when it comes to mineral stations there is a misunderstanding that the common sense logic is correct, when in fact it really isn’t. Hunters each and every year will put out mineral stations for deer and miss the true reason for why we put out minerals. This article dives into the why, when, where, and how of mineral stations for deer.

Why and When Do We Put Out Mineral Stations For Deer?

The Science Behind the Need (Or Not) for Deer Minerals | Buck Advisors

(Video) There is a big misunderstanding that minerals equal big antlers, which is not correct! The Buck Advisors’ Weston Schrank reveals the real science and reason for mineral stations for deer!

The fact that putting out mineral bags and blocks for deer to grow bigger antlers is a false assumption. The real reason we put out mineral stations for deer is due to their salt craving for the summer. This craving is present during the entire time plant growth is at its peak in spring and summer with water and potassium content at an all-time high. This also happens to be when bucks are growing antlers, and does are giving birth to fawns and lactating over the summer. This is what creates the misunderstanding, the timing and need for salt in most hunters mind has suggested that deer need minerals, which in turn covers up the true advantage.

So if not for growing bigger antlers and helping fawn development why do we put out mineral stations for deer? The answer to this is our own desire. The desire for us to see velvet bucks can take advantage of the buck’s cravings for salt, revealing the real reason for mineral stations, taking inventory of velvet bucks with trail cameras.

Where and How Many Mineral Stations to Put Out

Deer Mineral Station Placement and Density | Buck Advisors

(Video)- Putting out minerals for deer is critical to start in May and June! Buck Advisor’s Weston Schrank explains exactly how many mineral stations for deer you need and where to place them on your deer hunting property.

One of the most important pieces of information, besides actually putting out mineral stations is, installing them at the correct density and in the right location. So where do you put mineral stations for deer out on your property, and how many do you put out? For this answer we have to touch on the real reason for these mineral sites again, basically to take inventory of velvet bucks.

That word, “inventory” is used only one other time when referring to deer…trail camera surveys. While putting out trail cameras over minerals for deer isn’t necessarily a trail camera survey due to the lack of specific settings, time of year, and applying an equation, it is keeping tabs on all the deer utilizing your property. In order to do this you have to be sure you are placing the minerals and game cameras in the correct locations and density (putting enough sites out to capture all deer on the property).

  • Where: throwing out minerals or a block just anywhere will not accomplish anything, you have to think and plan around it. You need to place the minerals and trail cameras in location that deer frequent. For spring and summer this means transition areas between food sources and bedding.
  • Density: Again referring to a trail camera survey most recommendations are a mineral station for every 80-100 acres of property, but only you can really tell how many mineral stations and trail camera sites you need. Habitat diversity, topography, cover, and human pressure can all affect deer movement and core areas, ultimately deciding how many mineral stations you should have. If a 50 acre property is separated into 2 different habitat types, and resulting in two different bachelor groups using different sides of the farm, then you need 2 mineral sites. Think back to hunting observations and past trail camera pictures to determine how deer use the property.

Patterning Velvet Bucks with Mineral Stations and Trail Cameras

The ultimate goal of installing mineral stations for deer, is to keep tabs and develop patterns on mature bucks. By putting out these sites in late May and early June, and keeping them running until deer season ( if your state requires minerals to be removed) will create a very detailed history and site map of a given bucks home range and core area. It also helps you create a detailed album of antler growth throughout the summer.

If your deer season is early enough such as Kentucky with an early September opener, you might even be able to kill you hit list buck based solely off of the trail camera data from the mineral station. If your hunting season starts later in the month of October, then you will miss the chance for velvet bucks and summer patterns. Fortunately placing a mineral station and trail camera in the right spot, such as a transition area, funnel, or run between bedding areas and food sources will also be a great spot for the rut cycles. This is where another critical point can be introduced, selecting the right trail camera for the job.

Patterning Buck with Muddy Trail Cameras

The new Muddy Outdoors trail camera lineup for 2016 should be a consideration for your trail camera over the mineral stations. The Pro-Cam 12 and Pro-Cam 10 are both quality cameras that can be reliable all summer long, all season long, and for multiple years.  The cameras have all the required specs and technologies to be a top contender for trail cameras that produce clear images for identifying individual bucks during summer. If you’re looking for new trail cameras this year to put over mineral stations for deer, check out muddy trail cameras.

While your food plots are planted, tree stands are up, and your summer checklist is complete, one vital to-do might be missing. If you have yet to put mineral sites and trail cameras up you are behind. Antlers are growing, bucks are feeding, they are craving salt, and we only have 4-5 months before deer season!