We spend most of the year anticipating deer season. Then we spend most of the season anticipating the rut. Since the typical rut is only a few weeks long, we better make it as eventful as possible. Here are five things to consider when setting up your game camera for deer season’s prime time.
1. Deer are like us, they prefer easy over hard. So, they tend to travel down corridors and funnels rather than blazing new trails through the woods. These funnels are the highways connecting deer to their bedding areas and food plots. For bucks, these paths are also the quick way to get to estrous does. Because of their importance, you’ll want to locate your cameras in these types of locations.
2. Placing your camera at an oblique angle to the trail will give you images that are more useful when it comes to understanding the patterns. A camera positioned at a right angle to the path isn’t as likely to show you the monster buck lurking behind the one that tripped your camera. Setting up at a 45-degree angle, or pointing the camera to shoot directly down the trail, will provide you with the maximum opportunity to get the images you want. Just remember to also factor in the need to be stealthy in your location selection as well.
3. Anything you can do to cause a buck to linger in your camera’s field of view is to your advantage. Try adding a mock crape for extra enticement. At the height of the rut, scrapes are sometimes abandoned or left unused. But you’ve got nothing to lose by trying.
4. The peak of the rut is a flurry of activity. And things can change quickly. A spot that was hot last week may go cold, then heat up again. You’ll need to check your camera frequently, maybe as often as every three to five days. Many of us don’t have the luxury of being able to visit our cameras as frequently as we need to. This is where having a wireless connection to your camera really pays off. Not only is it a matter of convenience, but the less traveling you can do to the camera the less likely you are to disrupt the pattern.
5. And finally, don’t overlook doe bedding areas. Bucks will often continue to visit these areas looking for other does who have just come into estrous.