A huge collection of annual trail cam pics of big bucks is a great start, but how many do you collect during the daylight? While a midnight pic lets you know that a wise old buck is living somewhere in your neighborhood, a daylight trail cam pic lets you know that he is living on or close to your land. Collecting consistent daylight trail cam pics, can be one of the most important signs that your habitat and hunting efforts are working. Pictures of mature bucks during or close to the hours of shooting light, let you know that your ability to influence the herd as well as to shoot a particular buck if desired, are at their peak. Are you a herd and hunting influencer? A solid trail cam strategy will let you know if you have realized your potential. Before you dive into another hunting season, this is a great time of the year to complete a daylight trail cam check up of seasons past.
*The tips in my Advanced Whitetail Strategy books can greatly improve your daylight trail cam pic ratios, including my latest book,"Mature Buck Success by Design".
What is your daylight trail cam ratio?
In my experience with 100s of clients and thousands of readers across the Country, the number of parcels that capture a high % of daylight trail cam mature buck pictures, are greatly outnumbered by those lands that capture a high % of pictures during the darkness. Although midnight wanderers should be welcome on your lands (they are on mine!), they should not represent nearly all of your collection. A small % of landowners each season, experience a collection of daylight to nighttime picture ratios, of nearly 1:1. With so many experiencing ratios of 1:8 or worse, that may seem very hard to believe, but it is true and by taking check up now, you can begin to improve your own ratio this season. Someone in the neighborhood will be capturing a great % of daylight trail cam pics this season; why not you?
Would you like to improve your trail cam ratio?
If you fall into the category that more than 80% of your mature buck pictures are during the middle of the night, you are not alone; in fact the majority of your neighbors are most likely in the same boat. However, you do not need to settle. Mature bucks are not nocturnal. Mature bucks are always moving somewhere during the daylight, while standing on their feet and feeding every 4-5 hours like the rest of the herd. The first step for curing most ailments is admitting that there is a problem, so by not settling for midnight trail cam pics, you are well on your way to significantly boosting your potential level of habitat, herd and hunting success. Here are 4 important tips that will help you improve your ratio:
1) Control The Afternoon Feeding Movement
When you allow great bedding and feeding movements to exist for the entire season on the lands that you hunt, you will create an environment that welcomes daytime mature buck movements. If either your food sources or bedding areas have holes of attraction during the season, you will signficantly reduce the chances that a mature buck will consistently use your land. Often adequate food and cover movements that take place the entire season, are far superior than perfect movements that are only available for portions of the season.
2) Low Impact Hunting Tactics
-If they can hear you, see you or smell you; then they probably won't be there. You can use your trail cams to let you know how your hunting practices are doing, by revealing changes in mature buck patterns. If the number of pictures that you capture during the daytime decrease following the day(s) that hunt, seek ways to change how you access the land or when you use particular stands. Always remember that if the number of your daylight ratios are decreasing, someone else's ratios are most likely increasing.The way you hunt is most likely the #1 factor for helping or hurting your hunting land's ratio.
*A solid daylight trail cam check up begins with a quality trail cam company. Have you checked out the 5 year warrantyprovided by Exodus Trail Cams? I have, and it is just one of the many reasons I can recommend their trail cams to both my clients and readers!
3) Trail Cam Buck Traps
-Where do you place your trail cams? Your trail cam locations should be viewed as traps for collecting a high % of the neighborhood buck pictures. The corners of your land should be covered and major food sources are great locations to take inventory, even during the hours in or close to, shooting light.
4) Spook Proofing Trail Cam Set Ups
-What type of trail cams you use, how and where you set them up can increase or decrease the number of your daylight trail cam pictures. I personally use no-glow or blackout trail cams only. But the type of trail cam you use is only part of the equation. Consider placing your cameras at least 6-7' in the air or higher, and only changing your SD cards on the way to or from a stand location during the hunting season.
Does your ratio have room to improve?
Someone in the neighborhood will be collecting the majority of the daylight trail cam pictures of the oldest bucks in the area, and I think that can be you! If you aren't doing so already, consider implementing the 4 tips shared above. A ratio of nearly 1:1 is possible, so by not settling for much less, you can take the necessary steps this season, for becoming the neighborhood influencer of the highest potential of habitat, herd and hunting success.