Your eyes in the woods

Using game cameras allows a hunter to keep track of movements, deer numbers and age and sex ratios without having to spend a lot of time in the woods.

Today’s technology allows deer hunters who are pressed for time, or who want to get out into the woods without hunting blind, to hit the ground running.

Doug Goins, Mathews Archery pro bowhunter sets out on foot this time of year to do his scouting. When he hits the ground, he’s not looking for places to hunt. He uses some high-tech tools to pattern deer well before opening day.

“I put out remote game cameras that will give me specific data to pattern the deer that are using an area,” Goins said. “I start with the game cameras sometime around the end of August; they will allow me to thoroughly scout the area without bumping and pushing deer.”

The data that Goins wants to collect with his trail cameras are the direction deer are coming from and going to, as well as the frequency of travel. He will also get some idea of the number and size deer using the area.

“If I can get an idea of sex ratios, how many does versus how many bucks are in this area, I can use that information to plan later hunts when mature bucks will be more interested in the doe herd,” he said.

On subsequent visits to check his cameras, typically done during midday when deer are more likely not to be in the area, he can adjust the camera locations further up or down the trail. This not only helps him pattern deer for hunting, but also for further scouting.

“You’ll quickly learn where and when to scout so you can go in and verify food sources and bedding areas and be confident of not bumping deer,” he said.

About Phillip Gentry 404 Articles
Phillip Gentry is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer who says that if it swims, walks, hops, flies or crawls he’s usually not too far behind.

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