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Trail Cameras

Another Nice 8 Pointer

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I’ve been getting lucky with the spots I’ve been placing my trail cameras lately. Well, it’s not all luck. I hunted this property hard last season and knew how the deer utilized the area. Once the season ended in January I continued my trips to the woods through March in search of sheds. While my shed hunting endeavors led to zero sheds being found, I did find some deer trails that I previously was unaware of and made a mental note of these trails so I could place a camera there to scout.

The following pictures are along a creek that flows year-round and feeds into a nearby lake. While there is not much in the way of deer sign in this area, there was a heavily used trail going through this area during the winter and obviously the deer are continuing to use this travel route. If I didn’t walk the woods last winter I never would have found this spot, and this spot is starting to show some potential.

This is a nice looking young 8 pointer, maybe a 2 1/2-year-old deer. He still has a good month and a half to grow and he looks to be a fat, healthy deer – definitely a good thing in this area where the deer are overpopulated.

I was pleasantly surprised when this mature 8 pointer showed up. I won’t be passing him up if he walks by my stand! He looks to be a good 3 1/2 year old deer with some decent mass (we’ll see how the mass goes once the velvet is off though). His tines show good length and his rack is very symmetrical.

At first I thought this buck was the same one I had previous pictures of about one month earlier, but a little closer look showed that this is a smaller 8 pointer than the other one I have pictures of. This bucks not as wide as the other one, but nonetheless, still a magnificent animal.

 

Here is how I plan to hunt this deer. The wind is blowing from the deer’s back towards the direction the deer is looking. About 15 yards in front of the deer is a creek that is about 4 feet below the ground. I will sneak down a well used path in the morning that will allow me to quietly walk through the woods. Once I reach the creek I will make my way into the creek and travel about 75-100 yards in the creek to this spot where I will exit the creek and go straight up a tree with my climber (hopefully its not the tree where the three raccoons live, but I’ll find that out the hard way). Getting to the stand this way will ensure that a minimal amount of scent is left behind.

Also, notice the time the deer showed up – 11:30am – this is the time the other buck in the area showed up too, leading me to believe that the bucks tend to travel at mid day in this area. Last season in December I had several pictures of a 5 1/2 year old 10 pointer that was walking around at 11:00am and 2:00pm – hours most hunters do not hunt!

Remember when you use a trail cam, get as much information from the pictures as you can and save them all. You’ll start to notice that patterns develop and when you figure out those patterns you’ve just discovered one more piece of the deer hunting puzzle and you’ll be one step closer to putting that monster buck on the ground!

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Trail Cameras

Putting together the Hitlist for the 2014 Bowhunting Season

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Trail cams are running and big bucks are showing up. Time to put together the hit list for the upcoming archery season.

This year is shaping up to be a good one! Several good bucks have shown up on trail cam and hopefully, I can catch up with one of these deer during the season – the Tall Tine 8 pointer (pictured above) would be an awesome encounter.

I’ve been setting cameras along travel routes and focusing on trails between bedding and feeding areas as well as pinch points such as creek crossings. So far the strategy has paid off and I’m catching the same deer on multiple cameras which has given me more insight on how they travel this property

crooked-g2-eight

Another nice deer on camera has be the Crooked G2 Buck. He’s got great mass and fairly symmetrical rack with long sweeping main beams. He’s going to be a tough one to pass up.

heavy-wide-eight

Then there’s Wide Guy with great mass and width, but weak brows and G3’s. This buck is similar to the wide 8-pointer I took last year during rifle season. There’s no doubt this is a great deer, but I’d like to pass him up.

ten-point-buck

I rarely get 10 pointers on my hunting properties so I was pleasantly surprised to see this guy. This one is going to be tough for me. I think this buck could use another year, but there’s no way any of the guys hunting the surrounding properties would let him walk. Do I shoot him or do I let him walk? I guess it all depends on whether or not the Tall Tine 8 shows up first.

I have a lot to look forward to this season and still have a few areas to scout. Who knows what else will show up on camera, but there are still a few big bucks from last season who haven’t showed up. Hunting season can’t get here soon enough.

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Trail Cameras

Trail Cams Tell the Story of My Halloween Buck

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Trail cameras are an invaluable information gathering tool for deer hunters, they tell the story of the deer and give you a look into their habits and home range.

On Halloween morning I was fortunate enough to connect on a mature 9 pointer in Westchester County. It’s my biggest buck and a buck my brother didn’t know he had on trail camera until he pulled a card from a card on another property a few days after I arrowed the buck (you can read the story on NY Antler Outdoors and NYBowhunter.com).

The day I arrowed this buck you could just tell his testosterone was through the roof. Every tree in sight was being rubbed and torn to shreds. He was looking for a doe – or a fight. The trail camera pictures from the day before I shot the deer show him trailing a doe and looking for love. It was a sure sign that the bucks were losing their patience and the rut was about to get underway.

What’s really interesting about these pictures is that they’re not from the same property we were hunting on Halloween morning, but a different neighborhood that the woodlot we were hunting connects to. The buck was over 700 yards away from where I ended up getting a shot at him. Just goes to show you how big the home range of these animals are – even when we’re hunting tiny suburban woodlots.

A lot of times I wonder where these bucks that show up on trail cam in the summer ‘disappear’ to, but the truth is these deer have home ranges much larger than the size of the woodlots I have permission to hunt. It was cool to get these pictures of my buck and get a little idea of how he was using the land. Its information we can use to our advantage next year as we try to put another mature buck on the ground.

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Trail Cameras

Big Bucks on Trail Cam During the October Lull

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Trail cameras allow me to pinpoint when bucks are moving and tell me which stands to hunt and what times to hunt them.

On Sunday, October 6th at 6:38 pm this big-bodied, heavy antlered whitetail walked within 20 yards of my stand. This is a Pennsylvania buck so there’s no hunting on Sunday and he seems to know this. The good news was it motivated me to stick it out on the stand for the rest of the week – the bad news was after 25+ hours on the stand I only saw one deer and it was a spike at last light.

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