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Six Helpful Trail Camera Tips
by Mali Vujanic

It is summertime and buck pictures are to flooding the Internet forums. Beam and tine length are now at the front of discussions and some are even throwing out score predictions already. As the pictures pour in, it inspires others to get out their cameras and take to the woods. Running trail cameras during the off season has become extremely popular and for lack of a better word, it is addictive! Some are running one or two cameras while others are running 10+ cameras. And as technology moves forward with advancements, cameras are becoming smaller, more affordable and more interesting. Therefore, guys are adding more cameras to their arsenal at an alarming rate. So as the trail camera season begins to unfold, here are some important and valuable trail camera tips that will help you prepare for a better, safer trail camera season.

1) Active Mineral Location: If legal in your state, active mineral locations WILL be the most productive spots on your farm for capturing deer pictures, particularly buck pictures. Mineral locations are easy to start, easy to maintain, inexpensive and keeps you from trotting all over your farm and chasing deer everywhere in hopes to get their picture. When you have an active mineral location, you will get countless pictures of every single buck using your property for the summer. Mineral locations keep human activity to a minimum all summer long. If you think mature bucks don't care about summer walking and intrusion where they enjoy being, you absolutely have another thing coming! Mineral Locations will show you all you need to see from an identification standpoint.

2) Protect Your Camera From Insects: Yep, not only is it a good idea to spray up and protect yourself from ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes. But think about your camera too! How many times have you opened your camera only to find spiders, web nests, ants and wood crickets all inside! How did they get in there?????? Well, you can easily head this off a couple ways. First off, once you select the tree you are going to hang your camera on, you can heavily spray the bark and surrounding bark area with Permethrin or Permanone. Personally I prefer Permethrin from Sawyer Products. This alone will help deter the little critters for several weeks. You can also take a cotton ball and soak it with Permethrin and tape on the inside of your camera. This will double protect the inside of your camera. note: be careful of applying this and other insect products directly to the camera, as this may melt some plastics.

3) Secure Your Camera: Trail Cameras are being stolen at an alarming rate and the one thing you can do is protect your investment . The best way to do this is with a heavy duty security box. Security Boxes are not bullet proof either but I can assure you that the sight of one will make a thief think twice. To a thief, getting a security box off the tree is going to be time consuming and loud. But if it is going to make them work a little harder, so be it. Make sure to use a 5/16 Python Lock and do NOT tighten the lock. Loose python lock cables are a LOT harder to cut with bolt cutters than taunt ones! Secondly, if you have a history of camera thievery in the area, you can set up dummy cameras (old broken cameras) as bait and place a fully functional camera several feet up in a tree. Another idea is to specifically hide a camera on the edge of the field and drop an old colorful hat out in front of the camera 20 feet away or so. A trespasser will naturally see it, go to it and pick it up. Their attention will be focused on the hat and the camera is doing its job.

4) Carry an Accessories Bag: There is nothing worse than showing up to your camera only to find that you forgot batteries, SD Cards or any necessary tools. You can keep that to a minimum by designating a small bag or backpack/fanny pack for carrying your "possibles." My pack contains clippers, small saw, Python Lock keys, SD Cards, Batteries, Q Tips for cleaning lenses, cotton balls, insect repellent and in most cases, drinking water. Having a pack with these types of supplies is a HUGE asset. Put one of these together this season and you will be thankful!! Keep it in your truck or ATV box and leave it there!

5) Keep Notes: Keeping notes is a great idea during the trail camera season. Notes can range from where the cameras are and which bucks and how many bucks you are getting pictures of. If you have multiple cameras this is a really BIG help! There are times when I have absolutely lost trail cameras because I could not remember where I placed it. So keep notes!!

6) SAFETY: If you are running a string of cameras you know full well the best time to swap cards is the middle of the day. This falls during the summer and it can be blistering hot. Make sure you let others know where you are going, which farm and where. Carry your cell phone with you but most importantly, let others know where you are!!

Posted by Mali Vujanic on 07/23 at 07:34 PM
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