Preseason deer scouting is possible with cell-ready cameras, attractants

Get an overview of your hunting property’s deer herd without disturbing anything by setting up trail cameras that communicate with your cell phone.

When it comes to scouting, there’s just no substitute for boots on the ground to determine where the deer are and what qualities they have. August is the perfect time to start taking inventory on your property, but don’t let the heat of the summer deter you. We’re not talking about hitting the swamps and thickets while trying to find sign and steering clear of poisonous snakes, but rather a newer form of preseason scouting that allows hunters to locate and find quality bucks and to keep up with them throughout the summer and fall on your hunting property.

Now, how might you do that, you may ask? Very simple. Obtain one of the new game cameras that will send every picture to your cell phone or app, whichever you may prefer. These days, there is no worry about spreading your scent in the area and spooking deer off of the property or making them relocate. If you have the right cameras and put a few in strategically located places like trails and crossings, you can keep up with them throughout the summer and fall.

Allen Shortridge of Meridian uses cameras and attractants to see what’s on his property from late summer through the fall. He learned this technique from Ivan Hawthorne of Winnsboro, La., one of the first people to produce and use attractants.

“It’s amazing the results that Hawthorne got with the C’Mere deer, Deer Candy and other attractants he used on his hunting properties,” Shortridge said. “He’d put out the attractant at his camera survey sites, and within 24 hours, he had several trophy bucks utilizing the site.”

A history of attracting deer

More than 15 years ago, Hawthorne began developing deer attractants that worked. Through careful research and study of what deer liked, he created a whole variety of products, and then several all-natural attractants that field studies showed deer to prefer even more. He produces a variety of products for several companies who sell them under their brands.

Shortridge has also used his game cameras and attractants with great success to locate, track and discover quality bucks, and then harvesting some of those very same deer.

No matter what attractant you use, it’s best to apply enough at the site so that you only have to visit the survey station ever month or two to keep it fresh and to keep human scent and activity to a minimum.

Start your scouting right now, and you just might harvest a trophy buck during the coming season. One thing’s for sure; if you do it right, you can keep human intervention to a minimum while surveying which bucks are using your property throughout the summer, fall and winter and know exactly when and where they’re living or coming through.

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About Michael O. Giles 388 Articles
Mike Giles of Meridian has been hunting and fishing Mississippi since 1965. He is an award-winning wildlife photographer, writer, seminar speaker and guide.


  1. Baiters are going to bait deer throughout the summer and shoot a target buck on opening day of “archery” season with their bowguns without any extra motivation or tips. It would be nice to see an article written that teaches people how to actually find deer and their travel routes, bedding areas and current food source. Lord knows if we had to go into survival mode, half of deer hunters would be SOL without some sort of attractant to pour out. My kids could more quickly identify mast producing trees, dewberry and sweet gum sprouts than they could C’mere Deer, rice bran or any other bag of bait.

    • I agree man. I’ve been hunting a long time and I’ve heard of sweet gum sprouts, but not sure where to find them. I just missed the boat on that lol

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