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Using Scout Cameras

Product Review

January 9, 2013
By Denny Fetty - OVO Pro Staff , Ohio Valley Outdoors

I was out on Black Friday at a local sporting goods store looking at scouting cameras and a young man asked me if I used cameras and what one I would recommend. Until last year my answer would have been "no".

This is the reason I changed my answer.

I had a few deer coming into the yard and browsing on our trees. So to try and keep them from eating all my saplings, I decided to lure them away. I live close to a feed store so I got a bag of shelled corn.

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Photos and information can be stored on your scout camera’s memory card and used to build a profile of your visitors.

I was surprised to see the number of deer that actually came for the evening feed. Over the course of winter the deer became regular visitors and when going out to place more feed I discovered a huge track. This wasn't my usual doe and yearlings, so I thought about a game camera.

I'd never used a camera before and was hesitant to purchase one. Social network to the rescue!

I sent a Facebook request to borrow a camera for the yard. A friend of mine, James Rohr, offered to loan me two of his. I was anxious to see what had left those tracks. After a few lessons, I set them up on my deck, facing the food pile. I checked them every day and had a good time with the experiment, but never got to see the big deer on camera.

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The use of electronic cameras is another valuable tool that a hunter can use, not only for hunting purposes, but to find how many raccoons or possums are rattling through your garbage.

I did get to see him at 2:00 in the afternoon one day - right in front of my car! What a giant! This guy was a nice main frame 12-pointer with a drop tine face guard!

A trophy buck coming into my yard probably to chase that big doe around.

The use of electronic cameras is another valuable tool that a hunter can use, not only for hunting purposes, but to find how many raccoons or possums are rattling through your garbage.

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There are many styles and manufactures of scouting cameras. And of course, there are all price ranges. One camera I borrowed was a Wildgame Innovations model. It had a digital camera for day and infrared camera for nighttime.

Wildgame Innovations cameras are easy to use and have many features. And just as with a regular camera, the more megapixels the camera has, the sharper the image will be. As for nighttime pictures, infrared flash eliminates spooking your targeted critters.

You can't see the flash and they are very quiet so they really don't bother animals.

Media size is also something to consider. If you check them often, you may not need as much storage as one you only check once a month or longer.

Battery life and size may be an important factor for the consumer. The ones I use take four 'C' batteries.

These cameras just have to sense movement and they trip, snapping a photo.

Along with the photo, the time and date will be imprinted onto the image. Some models have the temperature and phase of the moon. You can also set the number of pictures that are taken or the duration between each image.

All of this information can be stored on your memory card and used to build a profile of your visitors. The info gathered can definitely help in patterning a trophy deer or to discover the ratio of bucks-to-does in the specific location. We even gave the deer nicknames. There's a big doe we call 'Big Brisket' because her brisket is huge. 'Freddy 5-point' loves to be a loner and he usually comes in before the does.

I have watched Freddy for hours and he loves to rub on trees and watch squirrels! 'Number 9' is one of my favorites. He is going to be a brute in a few more years. He is young and has a beautiful wide rack.

These deer may leave for a day or two, but they always come back.

Obviously our hunting stands are placed close to these spots. We go over the images about every other day and I liked his cameras so much, I asked my wife for one for Christmas! It is all set up and ready to go.

So for this Pro Staffer, the use of scouting cameras is going to be a tool I use for many years to come.

 
 

 

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