Trail Camera Tips for Capturing Velvet Bucks in Spring and Summer
Trail cameras are an incredibly piece of technology that are continuing to grow in popularity each and every year. A trail camera provides hunters the ability to literally be in more than one place at one time and can provide a suite of invaluable information that can help when the time comes to hang tree stands or set hunting blinds and put the hunter in the best possible position to intercept that big mature buck this fall. Normally trail cameras start going up in late summer to determine patterns on velvet bucks, but spring should not be overlooked. With antlers already gaining inches every week, taking inventory now is possible, you just need to know how to capture velvet bucks in spring and early summer with your trail camera.
Mineral and Trail Camera Time | Midwest Whitetail
(Video) This week Bill Winke Gets the mineral stations out, trophy rocks set, and trail cameras out in preparation to capture velvet bucks in spring and summer.
Trail cameras are very easy to use and are becoming more and more inexpensive as each year passes. With the spring months well underway, it is not too early to begin taking inventory of the whitetails on your property, begin determining locations for your deer stands and hunting blinds, and start determining what the potential is for your farm to hold a giant this fall.
Spring Whitetail Patterns
For some reason, many whitetail deer hunters tend to make the assumption that there is no need to begin setting and running trail cameras until the late summer months of July and August. That could not be further from the truth! The trick that many successful whitetail deer hunters know is that running trail cameras is a twelve month out of the year effort that can yield some pretty amazing and extremely beneficial information that can have you eye level with a big whitetail buck this fall.
So the question that many deer hunters ask when the topic of spring and summer trail camera placement comes up is simply, “why?” Why do we need to take the time to run trail cameras during the spring months? Well, the answer to that question is really very simple, the more information that you have the better decisions you can make. Running spring time trail cameras has very little to do with gathering information on deer antlers (although you will be able to monitor the growth of the bucks on your property)and more to do with simply gathering information pertaining to overall deer numbers and travel patterns of the deer on your farm. Deer, and especially mature whitetail bucks are truly their own individuals. They tend to have subtle traits, and things that they do that are specific to them. Typically, it’s these little “ticks” that can cause them to be so hard to hunt and have allowed them to grow and become mature. Examples of these traits might be how a specific deer responds to disturbances such as farm practices or activity on the farm. Others might be specific travel routes during various times of the year that might be different from the other bucks on the area. The bottom line is, the more information you have the more informed your decisions will be, which will help you to be successful this fall.
How and Where To Place a Trail Camera This Spring and Summer
It is pretty amazing just how different a whitetail deer behaves depending upon the time of the year. As deer hunters, the spring and summer months can often be overlooked and underappreciated in terms of its importance to a whitetails life cycle. During the summer months, food requirements change to forages that are higher in proteins and other nutrients that help adult does with pregnancy and lactation as well as helping those mature bucks produce antlers for the fall. As a result, the location of your trail cameras may not necessarily be the same ole’ oak tree that you have always used during the fall months.
During the spring and early summer months, whitetail deer will tend to stay close to food in areas where they feel secure. They will tend to be more active during the over-night periods and less during the day, especially as the temperatures begin to increase. As such, you should focus your trail cameras towards heavily used travel routes. These are obviously sure fire locations to catch the deer on your property on their feet.
In addition, the spring and summer months are great times to break the edge of the tree line and begin exploring the interior wood lots on the properties your hunt. Look for areas with signs of heavy browse and forage. During the spring and summer months, mature whitetails will tend to stay within a small area for most of the day, only venturing out during the over-night hours. If you can locate a big bucks “bedroom”, that can be very useful information that can be stowed away for the fall. In many cases, large bucks will often retreat back to these areas when the pressure gets too great during the hunting season, which is something you can use to your advantage when hanging tree stands or setting hunting blinds this fall.
As spring gives way into early summer and spring rain is sucked into the plant growth and native browse, an opportunity comes up for spring and summer trail camera placement. Mineral and/or salt stations are craved by whitetails to balance their water uptake when eating this water filled browse. Their cravings and consistent visits to the stations makes for an unbeatable opportunity to monitor antler growth and behavior characteristics as well as get an inventory of bucks throughout the year.
Running trail cameras is an exciting and fun activity that helps pass the months during the off season, and can really help make deer season last all year long. With that said it can also mean the difference between tag soup and wrapping your tag around the antler of that trophy buck this fall. If you take the time to let your trail camera work for you, and deploy them year round you just might be surprised what you can learn!