By Mark Kenyon
Trail camera season is upon us and to kick things off today I’m sharing my favorite trail camera photos from the past few years.
For me, trail camera photos aren’t just a tool for hunting deer, they’re also an important part of the unique predator/prey relationship I form with the deer I hunt. I’ve come to find that getting to know and hunting specific deer enriches my hunting experience in a very real way, and trail camera photos play an integral role in the development of that relationship. That said, here are seven of my favorites and the stories behind them.
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1. After moving to the southern reaches of Michigan and gaining access to a new property, this photo was the first “shooter” I caught on trail camera and the first pic of the buck who eventually came to be known as “Six Shooter.” Many of you know the story of this buck and the three year saga in pursuit of him. This photo sparked a fascination with getting to know a single deer and it changed how I hunt to this day.
2. After hunting Six Shooter that first year with many close calls, he disappeared the next season. The following year, year #3, he finally showed up again. This was the first photo I captured of him in 2013 and his reappearance set in motion an incredible hunting season and a hunt I’ll never forget. Dozens and dozens of new photos followed this one over the course of the next four months, eventually ending with a late December hunt and a single well placed shot.
3. The same year that Six Shooter reappeared, these two giant consistently began showing up on our camera as well. Leaner and Triple Threat, another two bucks I had history with, made for some great summer photos, with this one being my favorite. You don’t often see two bucks like this together in Michigan. Triple Threat disappeared when autumn arrived, but Leaner was around all the way through December. I had numerous close calls with him, but in mid-December he finally disappeared and I haven’t seen him since.
4. The same year the story of Six Shooter came to an end, the story of Jawbreaker began. I first saw him in person on October 8th 2013, and that night while checking my cameras on this new Ohio property, I captured my first photos of him as well. Fast forward to the next year, and Jawbreaker was back on camera. This photo was one of my favorites captured over that summer, as it clearly showcased just how giant of a body he had. Many photos and several months later, I finally got a shot at the legendary buck.
5. That same summer I captured the above photo of Jawbreaker, this giant also appeared. Split tines, junk all over his brows and bases, and a massive frame. He’s the kind of buck that gets your blood pumping and when I first saw this photo in August of 2014, I couldn’t help but hoot and holler like a fool. Nearly five months later, I finally saw him in the flesh feeding in a beanfield as we pulled out of the property. Hopefully he’ll be back in 2015.
6. Speaking of 2015, this buck photographed above will be my number one target this upcoming season. This buck, Glenn, is another example of a deer I’ve developed an extensive history with. In 2013, the first on this property, I had numerous encounters with this buck, including a miss with my muzzleloader during a December blizzard. Last year he blew up into a huge typical ten pointer, and this photo above in the fading light perfectly captured his majesty. In 2015, as a five year old, he’s going to be an incredible animal.
7. Probably my favorite trail camera photo of all time, this buck I call “The Beast”, first appeared after I killed Jawbreaker in mid-October. Since that time he’s been a semi-frequent traveler through the area, and this photo, captured after a fresh snow, showcases another of my 2015 target bucks. You can’t ask for a much more impressive photo or deer than this.
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Looking for trail camera advice and tactics? Check out all of our past trail camera related blog posts by clicking HERE.