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Using Game Cameras

Bushnell HD Game Camera

There’s a lot written in modern publications, about game cameras. There’s a lot of different types of game cameras on the market and the technology is changing the game almost on a daily basis. In the past few years we’ve gone from 35mm cameras to digital. From flash to infrared, and now some have blackout technology that changes the infrared to another category all together.

Game cameras do what nothing else can do for the whitetail deer hunter in the Carolina’s and Georgia. It stays put and sits patiently waiting on something to walk by. 24/7 it’s there monitoring the movement of its little world. But when it comes to using them effectively, there are some things to keep in mind that will help make better pictures and help you get a more accurate count of the bucks on your land. Here are some tips to keep in mind when setting up your cameras and using them.

First, most know that we need to move limbs, and grass from the view of the camera. Blowing limbs and grass will set off a camera and give us pictures of limbs and grass. Trim away any small items in the camera’s view. Secondly, and this seems obvious to some. When mounting a camera to a tree or post make sure your camera is pointing north or

Aligning your camera is critical to good pictures

south. Cameras facing east or west will get a lot of glare on the lens and you’ll miss a lot of pictures because of the glare. Another point when mounting game cameras is to mount them at the correct height. Bushnell, recommends mounting their HD camera approximately 32 inches off of the ground. This may seem rather high, but the field of view is pretty wide, and this allows for the deer that are very close to be captured. Nothing is more frustrating than a picture of legs. By raising your camera, you will get more of the important parts of the deer – the headgear!

Checking game cameras can be addictive, and you must resist the temptation to check them too often. In the early season, the most frequency you should check them is every two weeks. As a firm believer in educating deer on your behavior, it’s easy to go in too often and thereby educating them on your presence. After initial setting up a camera, I will check it in a week to see if it’s getting any action. If so, I will leave it for three to four weeks before checking it again. As season draws closer, and bucks are moving into more of a late summer to early fall pattern, I will check more often to see if they have moved. If so, I will move the cameras to try and relocate the deer I’ve identified.

Pete Rogers setting up a Bushnell HD game camera

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that you have a picture of every deer on your property, every year I get pictures of bucks that I never see in hunting season, and kill bucks I never had a picture of. But the game camera is a great tool that has in many ways revolutionized hunting whitetail deer in the Carolinas and Georgia, and the rest of the country.

Lastly, get as many cameras as you can afford. Get the best you can afford, and put them out there. There are a lot of good cameras out there, I’ve learned the hard way, if you go cheap, you will definitely regret it, when you get hundreds of pictures that are blurry, the back end of deer, and the dreaded – “unrecognized format”. You will wish you spent the few extra dollars for a quality camera.