Trail Cameras can do a lot of good for hunters 12 months a year. But, they could do damage if used incorrectly.

Steve Flores with DEERLAB has put together 5 reasons trail cameras might be doing more harm than good.

You Can’t Stay Away From Your Camera
Sure, it is exciting when you reach for that full SD card with visions of monster bucks on it. But when it comes to making a trip to your trail camera being overzealous is the kiss of death. The key to killing big bucks (or any buck) is the element of surprise. In other words, the moment the buck you are after know they are being hunted the odds tilt drastically in their favor. Return trips to swap SD cards in your camera will ultimately tip your hand. Aside from the shear commotion of reaching your camera, you have to contend with ground and airborne scent that will further educate deer. Speaking of scent…
You Took No Scent Control Precautions
Yeah, it’s spring time. Time to take it easy and maybe get some yard work done. However, if you take that same approach with your trail camera reconnaissance you’re in for a rude awakening. The reason is that I don’t think mature bucks can’t tell the difference between the off-season and hunting season. Especially in areas that receive very little human traffic. Sure, farmers can probably get away with a little more intrusion but someone like me who specifically hunts mountain bucks, any hint of my presence can spell the end.
The bottom line is you should treat each trip to your trail camera as if it were an actual hunt no matter what time of year it is. Go through the same scent-control procedures as you normally would and try to avoid touching the surrounding vegetation as much as possible. Also, pay attention to wind direction. For example, if your camera hangs on the edge of a bedding area you can actually hurt your chances by checking the card when the wind is wrong. Personally, I try to schedule my “card checks” just prior to a thunderstorm. My thought is that this can help dilute any ground scent that is left behind. And, if the storm is really close, the accompanying wind and noise could also hide my comings and goings. [Continued]

Photo: Howard Communications