Before the shot is ever unleashed, you spend hours scouting the woods looking for the perfect location to set up your ambush point and arrow the whitetail deer of a lifetime. Thanks to modern technology and the numerous innovations made in the trail camera industry over the last 30 years, you now can make accurate assessments of the deer herd, including buck to doe ratios, deer density and of course locating the perfect shooter buck.
When it comes to scouting whitetail deer, a trail camera can quickly become a hunters eyes and ears in the woods. Locating shooter bucks without knowing where to look can become confusing, and frustrating from the onset. There are five main areas that I focus in on when setting up trail cameras; food plots, last years rub lines, field edges, mineral lick and feed stations and terrain funnels.
Food plots are an obvious choice as a location to hang a trail camera to find shooter bucks in your area. Catching whitetail deer moving in and out of the food plots as they search for tasty treats has become a near obsession for some hunters. This especially true in the late season, when you are trying to determine what bucks are still in the area.
Last years rub lines often indicate a well traveled routes from the shooter bucks bedding area to his food source. These areas are easy locate with just a little time hiking through the woods.
Large expansive field edges are another great location to set up trail cameras as they can give you broad picture of the deer that are in your area. By setting up your camera to take photos at given time internals you can create a true picture of the shooter bucks that are in your area.
Establishing a mineral lick site or deer feeding station can be an easy and effective way to create a year round window into your overall deer density. Mineral lick sites are easy to establish and generally cost less than ten dollars and require less than 30 minutes to establish. That short term investment on your part can easily produce long term returns through the hunting season as whitetail deer will return to these sites multiple times per week. Feeding stations are quick and easy as well, although are more expensive to purchase and fill regularly with food. Most often corn or some sort of food pellet.
Finally finding a funnels and well traveled corridors and setting up a trail camera can easily allow to locate shooter bucks that are causing through your area. Funnels are easily located on topographic maps and should be used when trying to determine the best spots to locate trail cameras to find shooter bucks.
Do not waste your time this year hoping to catch a random shooter buck walking past your camera. Focus in on the five areas I recommended; food plots, rub lines, field edges, mineral licks and funnels, and watch the number of photos on cameras explode exponentially. Good luck to you, and safe climbing.