Trail cameras can help a deer hunter in more ways than one. It seems to me that during the hunting season, trail cameras are more helpful to locating certain bucks, they give you information on where deer are at a given moment, and many times hunters are playing catch up, hunting based off of trail camera pictures from a week or so prior. If you want to get ahead of the game, right now is the best time of the year to study and dissect not only this past seasons photos, but years priors as well.
By learning trends and tendencies of deer in your hunting area right now, you can use that information to help you become successful in the coming hunting season. It's hard to get into the detail and take the time to start going through pictures in the middle of the season while you're actively hunting. The hunting season is when you gather all of the information through trail cameras and sightings in the field, and right now is the time to go through that information to learn those trends and tendencies.
Focus on Photo Data
Don't go looking through pictures, and only pay attention to the surface information. To actually learn information that will significantly help you become a better hunter, get into the details. Whether you take notes or store everything in your head, one way or another you need a way to process the information you come up with. And it has been mentioned in a previous article that What Can You Get from Trail Camera Photos?
Interpret the Data
After you have gathered all the photos, then you should look for patterns.
This is an experience my friend shared with me.
“Mature bucks don't show themselves often during the hours of the day when you can hunt them, and when they do, it's for a reason. You need to figure out that reason. You might find interesting patterns such as 80% of your daylight pictures from target bucks came the day after a high pressure system moved through, and the barometric pressure was above 30.0. Maybe a certain buck would only come through an area if there was a South wind (A great resource that will allow you to look up any day's weather conditions is Wunderground.com).”
It's finding small details like these that will help you in the coming years.
Make a Conclusion
If you do this every off-season, think about the information you can learn from the whitetail deer. Even if you only use a WingHome trail camera or two, combine the information you get with those, with what you see while in the field. Gather as much information as you can, interpret it, and start to gain an advantage over the ever elusive whitetail buck.
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