Cameras work if you don’t pressure them

Around July 4 the photos begin the trickle in. If you’re a hunter in Pennsylvania, you know what I’m talking about. “Look at this one!” or “I wonder if this is the buck from last year?” It’s fun time in the Pennsylvania woods. It’s the time of year when trail cameras begin to shape the story of the hunting season to come. Yes, it’s over two months away, but that’s OK in the eye of a hunter. Anything to get him/her outdoors is reason enough to be excited. It’s hard to ignore the bugs of summer while marching through the woods or an old corn field, but when the photo of a trophy buck walks through the sight of a camera it makes it all worth it. In the era of antler restrictions (hopefully this era is long-lived), hunters are seeing bigger deer than ever before. Some, Pope and Young giants. And the cameras, thanks to technology, have never been better. Many companies have tapped into the business of trail cameras – and depending on how much money you’d like to spend, the wireless capabilities are endless. For me, cameras tend to shape my hunting locations. They also serve as preparation for identifying potential “shooter bucks” and bucks that I’d like to let walk another year. Easier said than done on a November morning.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the years is avoiding over-checking cameras. It’s very tempting to run out to the camera once a week to check to see what it has captured. The reality is that marching down a trail once a week educates animals that something is there that isn’t normally present, and that in turn will change their pattern at some point.

Again, the practice of being patient with cameras is easier said than done. Especially, once you find a buck you would like to hunt, give it time. My experience is, if you have found deer in the summer and don’t overrun their territory, they won’t go far come October.

Stick a camera in the woods and let it rest. Your result may just pay off greatly when it counts.

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