Offseason Trail Camera Tactics
The sun has set on yet another deer season. Perhaps it was a great one or maybe you’d rather just forget about it. Regardless, trail cameras probably played a major role in your in-season hunting strategy. Don’t let these valuable tools go the way of your archery practice this offseason, instead, replace those batteries and situate your cameras for the next phase of the game — the off season.
If you’re managing your property for deer and other wildlife then you care what’s happening in the woods year-round and not just during deer season. There are several reasons to monitor your deer herd in the offseason. One of the best options is to perform a deer-herd survey immediately after the close of season.
The best location for cameras after deer season is on major food sources. This can be a food plot or a bait station. To conduct scientific surveys, you’ll only need one camera per 100 acres to accurately get your numbers. There are a couple benefits to conducting a survey right after the season. One, deer are solely focused on food now. The rut is over and staying warm and healthy are the main priorities, which make bait stations and food sources ideal locations to get pictures of all or most of the deer in the area. Two, you can see which bucks made it through the hunting season, which gives you a head start on forming your “hit list” and your hunting strategy for the following season.
While travel time to the hunt camp decreases in the offseason, your herd surveys don’t have to. The Moultrie Mobile Wireless MV1 Field Modem sends you pictures as they are taken in the field. The MV1 transmits photos from your Moultrie game camera to your cell phone via a free app and to your Moultrie Mobile online account. You can view photos any time without stepping foot on your property. You can place a MV1 Field Modem with each of your cameras for 100-percent remote access. You can even remotely change your camera’s settings from your computer or phone while using an MV1.
If you plant summer food plots, such as soybeans, lab lab, clover, iron-clay peas, etc., then placing a trail camera over these food sources is a great way to see which deer are utilizing these plots. It can also help you determine which food sources are the most preferred by the local deer. By checking your trail cameras you can help fine-tune your summer-plot blends for future plantings.
Another great place to place trail cameras in the off season is on mineral sites. Deer need and seek out salt as soon as the spring green up starts. Spring and summer forage is loaded with water and salt helps expel the overload of moisture from their bodies. Therefore, deer hammer salt licks in the warm months. While they come for the salt, it’s in your best interest to give them the valuable minerals that they will need to help grow antlers, bones and rapidly developing fawns inside pregnant does. A trail camera over these mineral sites will allow you to track and observe antler development throughout the summer months, which will get you that much more pumped up for the approaching hunting season!
It’s well documented that coyotes are major fawn predators during the summer months. Trail cameras can help locate and track predators so that you can set up a game plan for ridding your property of these fawn killers. Coyotes breed in January and February, then find a den site to raise pups through spring and summer. If you have cameras out and you get regular photos of a coyote or a pair of coyotes on one of those cameras then you can bet they have a den nearby. This spells trouble for any fawns being born in this area in the coming months. It’s best to setup a game plan to call or trap those coyotes in the spring or early summer before fawns start hitting the ground. Utilizing the MV1 Wireless Field Modem allows you to scout your property from your computer or smart phone without laying down human scent. That way you can hit the predators hard and expectantly when the time is right.
Hunt Camp Security
Thieves know you make fewer trips to the hunt camp in the offseason. The stories are endless on crooks vandalizing and stealing from hunt camps around the country. Often, there’s no evidence to prosecute the lowlifes that did the dirty work. A trail camera might be the only way to turn over evidence to law enforcement.
When placing trail cameras for security be sure to place them out of a thief’s line of sight. This typically means placing them higher up on a tree and looking down or camouflaged in some way that it isn’t noticeable. You’ll need a no-glow style camera so there is no infrared flash or anything to alert a trespasser that the camera is taking a picture. Hunt camp security is probably one of the best ways to utilize Moultrie Mobile’s Wireless Field Modem. You’ll receive photo updates to your cell phone when an image is taken and you can instantly see if someone is up to no good at your property. You can then call local law enforcement to go check it out.
As you can see, the offseason is no time to stash your trail cameras. Instead, replenish the batteries and come up with a strategic plan for your hunting land.