Is there a perfect way to set a trail camera? Well, most people set up trail cameras differently. However, the best way to set a trail camera is one that captures your target. If you’re into deer hunting, then you need to learn how to set up a trail camera properly?
Trails cameras are quite important for deer hunting and can greatly improve your chances. However, you need to know how to set up your trail camera properly. The best trail camera needs to capture mature bucks individually. You don’t want a distance or blurry image that will not distinguish the bucks.
Here is a comprehensive guide on how to set up trail cameras for deer hunting
Prepare your cameras
This is the first step even before heading out to the field. You need to ensure your cameras are working perfectly and in great condition. Make sure you get new batteries and clean battery contact points. This is the case, especially when working with old trail cameras. The cameras also need to seal well. Check the camera settings such as date and time to ensure they are set properly.
Lastly, empty and format the SD cards to ensure there is enough space to store captured videos and images. Once everything is set, it is time to check the deer areas
Know the areas to cover
You’re not going to cover the entire land with a few trail cameras. It is recommended that one trail camera covers a region of 100 yards. However, you’re not going to place your cameras randomly at 100 yards distance. Why?
This is because deer follow specific routes and feeding patterns. The paths deer travel and shapes of their homes vary greatly. Look for perfect locations where deer are likely to pass. This might mean breaking the 1 camera per 100 yards rule.
You need to set up your cameras along routes that deer tend to travel a lot. This might mean having three cameras or more within 100 yards. Look for areas where deer drink from or where they tend to feed. Once you have the right location, then it is time to set up the camera correctly. Geoffrey from OpticsAddict has shared his valuable experiences on finding the right location for setting up trail camera that you might want to check out.
Camera placement and setup
Before setting the camera, you need to know how it works and the sort of images it takes. Practice with it at home before heading out to the ideal deer location. You need to practice with the camera and different angles to see the images you get.
Setting the camera correctly is usually when most people get it wrong. The camera needs to be positioned perfectly to differentiate different bucks. Here are some simple steps to follow when setting up a deer trail camera:
- You need the camera set at 10 to 15 feet from the target. This is the projected distance from where the deer will pass to the camera position.
- Look for a stout tree that does not move to affect the camera position
- The camera needs to hang at waist height. This is somewhere between 3 to 4 feet above the ground.
- Make sure the camera does not angle way too low or too high
- You can angle cameras at 45 degrees when on trails
- Make sure the camera is secured tightly such that there are no movements
Setting the camera should not be difficult if you follow these simple steps. You simply have to master your camera and know the angle at which it takes the best shots. The camera needs to be well camouflaged to avoid spooking the deer.
You need to take inventory of the captured photos and videos. If you didn’t capture anything, go right ahead and change a few locations. Most hunters always look for mature big bucks. However, you’re not going to capture any of these without proper scouting. You need to have most of the mature deer on your trail camera ready for the hunting season.
Taking stock of the photos captured can help you identify the ideal buck to hunt.
Extra tips for safe camera setup
- Clear brushes around to avoid false camera triggers
- To avoid the glare of the sun, make sure the cameras face the North whenever possible
- Keep away from areas when fog collects
- Look for small and camouflage cameras that will not spook deer
- Choose LED models with flash for night images
Trail cameras set properly can give you a proper idea of the deer patterns before the hunting season. Make sure you have a hypothesis of why the deer is in front of the camera. This will help you understand their movement patterns prepping you for the hunt. Once you’ve collected as much information as possible, you can prepare your rifles and scopes for the hunt.