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Trail Cam Tips - PUBLIC LAND

8/2/18 @ 8:25 PM
User since 9/2/15

What are your tips for hanging trail cameras on public land?  I'd love to hear them!

Also, post your biggest buck pic you've gotten on public land!

9/5/18 @ 8:59 AM
.Long Barrels
User since 12/9/14

Scoutking,  I agree with long term.  When I got one 3.5+ year old on his feet during daylight hours,  I got 2 or 3 then it dried up for days or even a week.  That information helps me today even though that was a detail from 10+ years ago. Some days are just "right" for them and they are up during daylight hours for some reason or another.  When i see a mature deer on his feet,  there are more.  I have to be in a stand all day.  I've killed a few that way.  there is no coincidence there,  the day is right for some reason,  hunt it cuz it may be the last for a while.

I agree with hunting historical sign. Good spots are good spots regardless of fresh sign.  sure those can change over time, but it's just like fishing.  Just because no one is fishing a spot,  doesn't mean the fish are not there.  Fish were there at one point for some reason.  Same as a good bedding area or a good nasty thicket near food.  There are no rules for hunting.  Going on your gut is one of the best tools in your arsenal. 

9/4/18 @ 3:40 PM
User since 10/25/07

This topic is definitely an interesting read.  I have to say that I see value in all the posts, no matter how different they are.  I can 100% agree with LB on the hunt strategy.  If you scout a location, find great sign, then come back to hang a stand, then come back to hunt it, that spot is dead.  Maybe does and immature bucks will still linger and stomp their feet, but any mature buck will be out of the immediate area.  No doubt that hanging and hunting same day is the most effective tactic for killing mature northern public land bucks.

I can also seem logic in not running cameras for the same reasons.  But what I haven't heard anyone talk about is the long term.  I think that many people just assume that all information needs to be current, much like scouting your way in to hunt a spot.  You see the sign, you hunt the sign, NOW.  That is a great philosophy for hunting.  This does not have to be the case for trail cams however.  I use lots of cameras and yes, I hang them in "sensitive" areas close to where I think big bucks area living.  I hang them early, before the velvet comes off with the mindset that these cams will be in place, taking photos of probably nothing UNTIL these bucks move out of their summer areas and into their fall zones.  By then, any scent from hanging the camera has been long gone, and all of my cameras that are red flash IR are elevated above line of sight, otherwise I love a good black flash camera and I meticulously blend them in.  My goal is not to hang a camera, check it every 1-2 weeks like the guys on TV do, and use that intel as immediate knowledge, because its not immediate knowledge.  I use my trail cam photos as long term info, year to year, to gain insight on how bucks use areas.  A guy has to take into account a lot of factors like acrons, private ground with food, and weather but we have gotten pretty good at using this information to really learn an area.  This seems to be the best way for me to hunt the public woods up north.  Just my thoughts.

8/29/18 @ 11:56 AM
.Long Barrels
User since 12/9/14

I'm not the only moron not using cameras.....LOL

Disclaimer:  Pressure is A LOT different in WI.

One thing I agree and disagree on is early oct morning hunting.  I think the piece dictates how often. 

8/27/18 @ 9:36 AM
drummer boy
drummer boy
User since 3/14/08

Kona nice post,the only time I use a cam's is to get plate numbers of trucks going down the two track going into my cabin lol.I get lot's of critters to,have to agree they are fun to check.

8/27/18 @ 9:20 AM
User since 6/20/13

Fish-  Thanks for the link to the PA study. Not sure if this was posted before on LL but the DNR included a buck disperal study on their latest update from the CWD/Deer/Predator study. Very interesting to see the data which included a buck going 28 miles from his core/tagging area.

Getting back to the original thread I hunt 50% private and public. Do not use cameras on public just for the fear of theft. I do agree it is nice to be "surprised" by seeing good bucks while hunting on public versus seeing them prior on cameras. I do run several cameras on the private land I get to hunt (SE and SW Wisc) and I have seen numerous bucks on several occassions over the years. I have to admit that checking SD cards is addicting and it is like opening a X-Mas present every time I check cards. I keep cameras away from core hunting areas and usually have them set-up on field edges or open travel corridors.

I do most of my scouting from Jan to May and cameras give me an idea of deer in the area. We always do see some bucks only during the rut (especially in SW Wisc) and I know that lines up with the normal rut/dispersal activity mentioned by the study above. I have also enjoyed some cool pictures (owl attacking a rabbit, fox sneaking up on a turkey etc) on my cameras over the years. Cameras are just another technology  that folks can use to enhance their hunting experience. I respect folks who decide not to use them but certainly understand why they are a popular tool.       



8/26/18 @ 3:24 PM
griff n
griff n
User since 6/17/11

Fishsqueezer, that is really interesting. Thanks

8/25/18 @ 7:28 AM
.Long Barrels
User since 12/9/14

 take an orange ribbon,  tie it around a tree, put $50 non activated cabela's gift card (worthless) in a ziplock and pin it on.

If it's gone,  you know there are hunters.  Much cheaper than a camera and batteries.

8/24/18 @ 2:02 PM
Red Eagle
User since 12/17/16

What Czabs needs to do is take some of that savvy that got all these clicks to see his video pinned to the top and apply it to his hunting strategy. Like and Subscribe.

8/24/18 @ 1:45 PM
User since 10/10/17
Fishsqueezer, that's one of my favorite stories.. very cool read!

8/24/18 @ 1:12 PM
User since 5/19/06

The county GIS maps are also a very good source of info. The counties I deal with all have pretty high resolution aerials from early spring so no foliage. Plus you can add topo layers or toggle back and forth. And you can always pick up little nuggets of info like abandoned right of ways and easements to aid with access. I use these along with google earth to ID areas that look good then walk in with a stand on my back to check them out. I also do a lot of the old just walk in and find a spot that looks good method, which seems to work well for me. The only camera I have is behind my house where I throw my vegetable scraps and garden trimmings. 

Also, for you buck movement experts, check out the movement study linked below. I know it’s just one buck on public land in PA but it is pretty fascinating. You can literally tell the day the rut starts. 

The life and times of buck 8917

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