Jump to content
IGNORED

Giving up Cams


dlist777

Recommended Posts

I'm having a pretty good year deer hunting so far this year.  I got 2 bucks and they both were my personal best (vs. before last year).  I also have more buck sightings.  I tried to change things up this season 2 ways.  I went 100% mobile and I gave up cams.  Now, when I say mobile, I don't mean "hunting beast" mobile.  I'm not walking through 2 miles of swamp and frag to kill a buck 50 yards from his bed on public land.  This is private land mobile.  Just not relying on pre-hung stands and following sign and hunting it each time. 

I don't know which has helped me do better (mobile vs. no cams) or both or if its just dumb luck.    I thought I would seek out some reaction / comment from the group about cam usage.  Other than those changes, it's the same hunter and the same properties.  

Over the years, I have become more and more frustrated with cams:  thousands of pics of one leaf blowing in the wind, dead batteries, corrupt SD cards, cams that walk off on their own power, pics of racoons and squirrels, and yes, the occasional great buck...usually at 2am.  I kind of had two "last straws" last year that made me decide to give them up.

A.  I was sitting in a stand and I watched a few doe and a buck go down a trail that I had a cam on.  The doe all went right by it.  The buck actually looped just around the tree it was on.  It was like he knew it was there and was just a bit worried about it.  It didn't scare him off the property, but clearly he didn't like it.  

B.  I was going to clear the SD card off a cam and a nice big buck popped up out of his bed not 10 feet from the cam and ran off.  It was clear upon inspection that it was his bed and I had just missed it when I set the cam (or it wasn't there then).  It seemed like he'd been there for a while.  When I got home the card didn't have a single pic of that buck on it.  

I guess I kind of used cams in 2 ways. 

1.  One was to just put over a bait or mineral site and get an "inventory" of bucks in the area esp in the summer.  This worked fine. 

2.  The second way was to really pin down movement.  I would go in the off season and really look for trails and set cams up.  Then, I would go back from time to time and try to get intel....maybe move the cams....then check the cards in season.

I did get some intel from time to time, but it was really  just confirmatory that the sign I saw was really sign.  Also, I'm not sure when I got no pics, it was really enough info to conclude there was NOT a buck in the area.  

I guess I view cams used in the second way (to pinpoint movement) as just a risk / reward proposition.  You might get good info...but you might scare of bucks (either by your physical disturbance or the cam itself).  So, I felt like the risk/reward wasn't working for me and gave them up.  

The other nice thing is when I actually see a buck, I don't have any info that there is a "better buck" in the area, so I just shoot if he gets my heart reacing….also don't have to worry about batteries and SD cards or cell phone reception...  The other thing might be that w/o pics, I am really  just focused on fresh sign.  Every time I go out, I'm just looking and looking for sign b/c I have nothing else.  

Anyway, this is just my experience.  I know most everyone uses them and likes them and I'm definitely NOT saying you're wrong.  If they are helping you, keep using them for sure.  

Thoughts?  Experiences?  

 

Edited by dlist777
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First time you shoot an Ok buck.only to find you have a buck of a lifetime around and are tagged out will change your view.

 

I use my cams to take inventory of what’s moving through an area,

best places to do that are exteme  pinch points etc. ,  not at a bait site.

 

if your happy just shooting deer, that may not be important .

if you want to target the most mature deer you have available the cams are a great tool, especially if hunting deep woods where glassing  isn’t as possible as when having fields to watch from afar.

knowing your hunting area , you can use a cell cam and never have to walk those spots again, so way less  disturbance.

..

 

Captain Dan Bias

REELMUSIC SPORTFISHING

50# Striper live release club.

 

http://reelmusicsportfishing.blogspot.com/

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, hammer4reel said:

First time you shoot an Ok buck.only to find you have a buck of a lifetime around and are tagged out will change your view.

if you want to target the most mature deer you have available the cams are a great tool, especially if hunting deep woods where glassing  isn’t as possible as when having fields to watch from afar.

..

 

Yeah, I'm not at that stage yet.  I understand how cams would be critical if that's your goal.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use cams mostly for entertainment purposes. It's fun checking pix to see what's around. I definitely don't assume my cams are showing me everything in the area. My 2nd best buck never appeared on any of my cams, and my number 1 buck, I only had 1 single grainy picture of. I think they are a fun tool to have, but I don't view them as much more than that. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to rely on cams more than I do now. My areas might be vastly different than other site members areas as to accessibility though. I don’t bait, as Dan stated I do have an occasional cam at a particular pinch point. Most of my spots can be glassed from afar during early season. May not tell me everything that is there but it also leaves my areas unmolested which makes a huge difference where i hunt. I have friends that show me pictures over bait from August through October and can see by there presence checking cams and rebaiting their daylight bucks going to after dusk pictures before they are even hunting or just starting to hunt.  It is also enjoyable glassing at a distance on late August and September evenings. To sum it up I do use cams, but not as a sole source of  info. Glassing and the landowners wife are just as valuable

AWM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like it.  I think the key is shooting a buck that makes a good hunt and year for you, regardless of it's size.  There's almost always a chance of bigger being out there nearby.  Enjoy the process you are doing now and the results you're getting.  At some point perhaps you'll want to target specific bucks, which either takes cams or glassing/scouting (if your property allows for it). :up:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll add the benefit to not using cams is you maintain the mystique of the woods you hunt.  You go, you hunt and you have no idea what may show up.  That's exciting in itself.  Also the case in November (especially late) when bucks from anywhere could be there one day and gone the next. :up:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, Hunter115522 said:

I use cams mostly for entertainment purposes. It's fun checking pix to see what's around. I definitely don't assume my cams are showing me everything in the area. My 2nd best buck never appeared on any of my cams, and my number 1 buck, I only had 1 single grainy picture of. I think they are a fun tool to have, but I don't view them as much more than that. 

:agree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mainly use them for inventory and enjoyment to see what's going on. I'm slowly migrating to all cell cams to keep me out of the woods as much as possible checking cams, changing batteries, etc. They stay on minerals usually until bachelor groups split then they're on trails, pinch points, oaks for the remainder of the season.  I feel people now a days rely way too much on them though and think they show everything. I also believe there are some strategies to hanging cams, over bait is not one of them, that gives you the ability to really key in on specific bucks and pattern them incredibly well. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My best buck in a while was never on camera . I shot him on camera but he was never on it before. Have no idea where he came from and had the camera there for months. 

I found moving around ( even if not far) was improving my odds. If  i sat in my "hot spot " too many times the deer left ( noticed this with the camera use) 

I learned from cameras i use them i do not depend on them and move more lately .

Whatever you are doing different if it works stick with it !!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a love/hate relationship with cams. I was just talking to a guy at work about this over the weekend. I feel like I rely on them too much when it comes to when/if I hunt. If I don’t have anything good on camera I’m inclined to not hunt until I do WHICH IS NOT A GOOD THING. In reality I should get mobile in a different area and do exactly what you said just look for sign. But I don’t because I’m stuck in my habits and get attached to certain bucks that I have pictures of. 
 

However I do give cameras credit for my fall bow buck. I had pictures of him coming in to the clover plot after dark every night. The day I shot him was the first day of a cold front in the rain that I knew would get him moving before dark. 
 

I think for next year I might nix the cams and lock on stands and be strictly mobile in my public land spots. On my private piece I’ll keep the cams and stands up but never use lack of nice deer on camera as an excuse to not get in the woods. There’s some spots that I know have never been touched on that property and that’s where I need to investigate and get mobile. 
 

Idk maybe I’m overthinking this but...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...