While there is no set number of trail cams that you should have per acre, there are some very important strategies that can help guide you to your answer, including: How defined are the daily deer movements on your land? The more defined that your deer habitat and deer movements are, the fewer the number trail cameras that you will need per acre.
I recently heard of a landowner with over 100 trail cameras on 200 acres. Necessary? Probably not. Excessive? Most definitely. However, unless the landowner has an extreme passion for electronics in the outdoors, their love of trail cameras may have been born out of a symptom of whitetail habitat management that has grown along with the explosion of whitetail habitat improvement efforts: The increase of random deer movements. Simply, as landowners attempt to fit as many improvements on the their land as possible within the available number of acres to do so, the habitat becomes so attractive in so many different unconnected ways throughout the entire parcel, that a clearly defined daily deer movement is severely lacking. Enter: Trail Cameras. With an increasingly chasing attempt to follow buck movements, the number of trail cams need to increase, in an attempt to observe every single potential movement scattered randomly across the land. Have you fallen victim to excessive trail cam sickness? If so, there are several ways to correct the problem, and most of the remedies fall back to the availability, location and foundation of high quality food sources.
*One reason to need an excessive number of trail cameras on your land, is if your trail cameras are unreliable. After two full years of zero hunting season trail cam failures, I can highly recommend Exodus Trail Cameras. In fact I am going on my 3rd hunting season and I am highly impressed!
Number of Trail Cams Per Acre?
The "number of trail cams per acre" question is one that I have heard from my clients scattered across all 25 states that I have worked with. While so many want to resort to a specific number per acre, or # per 40 acres, there are only rough estimates per acre based on a decreasing number per acre as the size of the parcel increases. For example while I routinely recommend 4-6 trail cams on a 40 acre tract of land, I typically only recommend 8-12 trail cams for 200 acres, and only a handful more for 400 to 500 acres. Why? Because I have experienced that just ONE camera on 40 acres can capture an accuracy level of over 95% of all bucks not only that frequent the land, but with bucks that represent the entire neighborhood of bucks, within a 1/2 mile in any direction. Check out these prime-time mock scrape Buck Numbers!
*Would like to create a highly defined buck movement to hang a trail cam and treestand over? Make sure to check out my Powerful Rut Cruising Setups.
Your goal should be to decrease your trail cam inventory to include a Highly Reliable number of well located trail cams that cover a highly defined creation of daily deer movement. Whether you hunt private land and build a defined daily buck movement or hunt public land where you scout and locate a defined movement to hunt, the number of trail cams that you need to accurately reflect the potential of a great hunt, may be a lot fewer than you think.