I love running trail cams in the summer just as much as the next guy, but lets be honest. It doesn’t accomplish a whole lot. Probably at least 70% of the bucks on your property in July and August won’t be there come hunting season, due to the common shift in home ranges bucks make around the first week in September. So now that this shift has occurred, it’s time to finally take stock of the bucks that actually will be hanging around this fall.
With that in mind, the first week of September saw me putting out my trailcams in full force on my new property in an effort to really get a good idea of who I had to hunt in the coming weeks. This inventory check of sorts is accomplished by setting up multiple trail camera locations on my property (away from my stands), that I place an attractant in front of to bring deer to it. At this point I’m not trying to determine a deer’s patterns, rather I just want to know what deer are here.
For me personally I’ve been pouring some of Big & J’s BB2 product in front of my cameras and this works wonders, but you can use whatever attractant you like. While earlier in the year we used BB2 to supplement the health needs of lactating does, young fawns, and growing antlers for bucks, we now are focused primarily on its attracting powers. BB2 has a strong aromatic odor, stronger than corn or other typical baits, and this will help draw in deer to the camera location from a pretty far distance. Once a buck smells that BB2 and tries it once, he’ll return often too. From what I can tell, this stuff must taste pretty dang good! For example, a buddy of mine has been getting four shooter bucks on his cameras consistently for almost a month hitting that BB2. Almost every night! In addition to seriously attracting deer, it also provides some bonus nutrition which is great for a deer herd leading into the rut and the winter months.
I got my cameras out that first week in September, but you can certainly still do this now. The key is that once you set your cameras up, stay out of the woods! I want to leave my property as human free as possible until the opener, to let deer return to thier normal patterns and feel safe enough to live on my property. The only reason why I might go back in once, will be just to put out more BB2 to keep them coming, and to double check to make sure my cameras are working properly. I’ve had some camera issues this year, as you might have heard, so I’m a little wary of technical issues haha. If I do walk into these camera locations, it will be midday and I will be practicing a full scent control regimen.
So if you haven’t yet, get your cameras out, give the deer a reason to stop by and get ready to meet your new local bucks. This is the time of year that bucks can move in from long distances, so expect to see some new faces. With most seasons under way or fast approaching, make sure you are as low impact as possible, so be scent free and make your trips quick. If done correctly, in a few weeks you should have a pretty good handle on your big buck inventory for the fall 2011!