Is you favorite Fall trail cam location working for you all year long? In the vast majority of hunting season trail cam hotspots, it most likely will not. Just like high quality whitetail parcels, your most important trail cam locations should be built for the Fall, and not for the Summer.
The level of Fall intel that you discover from your trail cam setups is often directly proportional to the percentage of Fall habitat that you include on your land. And next, the percentage of Fall habitat that you provide on your land is reflective of your ability to create a great herd and hunt. Your can't have a great hunt without a great herd and you can't have a great herd without a great hunt. The two have to combine to create your highest potential of whitetail success and when create a great Fall trail cam program that captures a high percentage of the local buck herd during the daylight, then you have succeeded in building something that very few hunters get to experience. There are several Fall trail cam locations that can't be overlooked for making sure that you miss very few trail cam pic or video opportunities (if any), of the neighborhood buck population.
*Great Fall trail cam locations can also reveal exactly how your hunting tactics are working for you. The overall Hunting Pressure impact on the lands you hunt, should be critically analyzed by trail cam by making sure that you capture more mature buck pics during the day, than during the night.
Top Fall Trail Cam Locations
Each of the top 5 Fall trail cam locations have a few things in common: They are not features that work to collect mature buck pictures during the Summer, they often make great stand locations and at times, can seem desolate to deer during the off-season.
1. Bedding To Bedding Cruising Funnels
2. Backside Of Bedding Area Stand Locations
3. Fall Hunting Plot or Destination Plot Locations
4. Mock Scrape Hotspots
5. Downwind Cruising Edges Of Heavy Cover
While those 5 hot Fall trail cam locations carry the potential capture a great deal of mature buck buck activity during the hunting season, they can be dead during the off-season and at the same time deliver a lot of disappointment if you are counting on them to deliver during the Summer months.
*I've been using and teaching my Mock Vine scrape program for years and I have not found another mock scrape program that works better. Best of all, it is both natural and extremely easy!
Top Fall Trail Cam Hunting Locations
It should come as no surprise that many of the best Fall trail cam locations are also some of the best locations to hang a treestand. Nearly every one of my 21 treestand locations on 3 parcels that I hunt in SW WI, have a treestand setup that can be utilized within 30 yards. There are several reasons why:
1. I rarely access a trail cam location unless I hunt the adjacent treestand or on the way to or from another stand, so that I don't add any additional pressure to the land during the hunting season.
2. Top hunting season trail cam locations should be located within funnels of habitat, with mock scrapes, waterholes, deer Travel Corridors and other features that create a pinch point of deer movement. The same reasons for a great trail cam location are exactly the same reasons for a great treestand location.
3. The best Fall deer movements of course, only take place during the hunting season. Fall movements = Fall treestand locations = Fall trail cam locations.
***Important Note*** You should never be concerned about hanging a trail cam setup near a stand location, if you follow the Low Impact trail cam setup rules of: Hanging them high, hiding the silhouette, using black-out or low glow and hiding the width of the trail cam. The box of a trail cam without a doubt spooks mature bucks in most locations, so make sure to hide your trail cams!
It's critical to evaluate your potential Fall trail cam setup locations. The more that your trail cam setups relate to Fall movement, feeding, rutting and bedding patterns, the more that you can expect your trail cams to reveal a high degree of hunting intel while at the same time, revealing very little during the Summer. On the flip-side, if your trail cams are revealing a great deal during the Summer months, it may be a great time to re-evaluate the level of your land's potential is to drive the quality of the herd or success of your hunt.
-By Jeff Sturgis, Creator of Whitetail Habitat Solutions