When to Put Trail Cameras Out

Part of being a successful hunter is knowing where you can find game. You might think that a trail camera is only useful during hunting season. However, capturing detailed images of your hunting area throughout the year enables you to keep track of locations where deer frequent the most, and it's essential to place your technology in the perfect location. Here's a look at when and where to put trail cameras out.

A Year-Round Process

Setting up trail cameras long before hunting season provides you with valuable information regarding wildlife behaviors and tendencies. All forms of game are unique, and this idea certainly holds true for deer. For example, deer will typically have a summer range and a winter range. This can be a slight change or perhaps they leave the area all together. Food and cover will dictate where deer are living at any one particular time of year.

Picking up on wildlife patterns gives you an incredible advantage. Not only can you monitor the game in the hunting areas, but you can also keep track of fawn recruitment and population trends. Consider running trail cameras during the following calendar months to take home your largest buck yet.


The winter months are cold, and this means deer will be hungry. The best place to put a trail camera is near major food sources. Deer will be seeking out high-energy food sources such as grains like corn and soybeans, as well as oat and clover plots. Place cameras watching directly over the food source or on trails leading to and from. This is also a great time to monitor for when antlers are shedding. 


As the weather gets warmer, deer gravitate to freshwater sources and mineral sites. This is when you will want to put trail cameras in places where deer can stay cool. Position trail cameras near creeks, lakes and ponds. The end of summer is an opportune time to see where deer enjoy feeding the most. You will also get an up-close look at bucks traveling in bachelor groups and see the size of their velvet antlers. Deer will be feeding heavily on agricultural fields like soybeans as well as clover and other lush food plots. 


Deer seek out seasonal foods. This means you should be able to find game looking near fallen acorns, fall fruits like persimmons and berries when temperatures decline. 

Bachelor groups have also likely broken up by this point, and bucks are mobile during November when in search of does during the rut. Placing cameras near locations that does tend to frequent gives you a good opportunity to find bucks as well. 


Deer are attracted to carbohydrates in the month of December. Finding food in large quantities is a top priority for bucks during this time of the year, as they are looking to replenish fat. Reposition trail cameras close to places like cornfields, food plots and feeders if applicable.

What Can You Capture With a Trail Camera?

Trail cameras help you to gather information about game that would otherwise be inaccessible to you. Below are some tips that could be helpful in placing your tree stand:


  • Determine whether deer travel in groups or independently.
  • Identify areas where does and bucks spend most of their time.
  • Take note of any predators in the area that might spook deer.
  • See how many deer have survived the winter months.
  • Gather age estimates of deer in areas to help with management goals.
  • Gauge the level of activity during daytime and evening hours.

Trail Camera Placement

There are some general guidelines to follow to get the most out of trail cameras. If you are new to using this technology or you're not having much luck capturing images, remember that deer are always looking to fulfill their basic needs. Set up your trail cameras by food, water and cover. Deer are also creatures of habit, so you can often find them visiting the same spots. 

Remembering these trail camera placement tips can help you track game for an exciting hunting season ahead.

Purchase Products From Moultrie When It's Time to Put Out Trail Cameras

Trail cameras by Moultrie provide you with high-definition images you can access through our cloud-based mobile app. Monitor your hunting environment remotely via smartphone or computer to enhance your outdoor experience. Scouting terrains 24/7/365 is simple when you browse our trail camera collection online. Place your order today to capture brilliant daytime and nighttime photographs year-round!