Trail cameras revolutionized deer hunting and can do double duty in predator scouting. Even if you are not an avid predator hunter, you can use trail cameras to learn what is happening in your deer woods. Are coyotes regularly prowling the area, raccoons, foxes, or black bears? Whitetail deer predation increases when coyotes find areas where populations are high and the “pickings” are easy, especially in late spring when fawns drop and are virtually defenseless. Now is the time to address this problem. Get your friends and fellow club-mates involved. If you need motivation, few things get hunters riled up like fresh coyote video or still images. Mark Kayser is an expert on all things coyote and he regularly deploys trail cameras to learn predator habits and travel patterns. Should your learn that a pair of coyotes uses a fence or gate crossing at a regular time, you can be waiting.
Trail cameras do much more than take pictures and video. The date and time provide critical information about when and where predators are likely to be. If you post your cameras near your hunting areas and get only the occasional squirrel, good for you. However, if you see coyotes and other predators it’s time to spring into action. One method I plan to use this year involves a road killed deer to gauge coyote activity. Unfortunately, this is a regular occurrence where I live. I’ll find a road-killed deer in a suburban area, load it in the bed of my truck, drive to my hunting area, and post it in a location where coyotes my frequent. Once done, I’ll post a video and a still camera to capture what happens. One caution- be careful of local laws regarding roadkill. As odd is it may seem, possessing a deer out of season can be viewed as a game violation and you must check with local ordinances before your try it. These trail camera tips from Mark Kayser will help you get the most of your predator season and benefit whitetail deer in ways that you can only imagine.
Whitetail hunters own the market for trail cameras. Don’t even try to take the crown away from this zealous lot. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean trail cameras can’t be put to work for your predator pursuits. If you’ve wanted to improve your predator surveillance, follow these tactics to picture-perfect photos.
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