By Jenna Taylor
Photos by Hunter Forbes
July is here! You may have mixed feelings about this month. The month that accounts for fun Independence Day celebrations, three-digit temps and high humidity also means that antlers are growing across the nation. No matter your hunting location—Kentucky, Alabama, Iowa—it’s time to start running your trail cameras and follow their summer pattern.
This is especially important in the states that open up earlier, such as Kentucky, where opening day is Sept. 3. It is imperative that you have your bucks patterned and continue that through the first few weeks of archery season if you want a chance at a harvest before the temps begin to drop. Below are a few tips on running your trail cameras and how you can step up your game this year.
MOULTRIE MOBILE UNITS
The Moultrie Mobile Field Modems are designed to work with any Moultrie wireless compatible camera manufactured in 2015 or later. You must have the modem (mobile unit) as well as your game camera. The modems are $199, and the cameras range from $60 to $300+ depending on the specifications.
These mobile units are an absolute game changer. You hook up your modem to your camera, install the application on your cell phone, and boom—you’re able to view your images whenever, wherever in real time. The units are powered by Verizon Wireless 3G network and offer great coverage, even in rural areas. You can find more information at www.moultriemobile.com.
FOOD SOURCE/MINERAL SITE
You’re going to want to put your game camera directed towards a food source or mineral site. For you this may mean a small food plot, or in some states where baiting is legal, it may be a corn pile or mineral site.
For the summer months when antlers are growing, we recommend to dig out a good-sized mineral site, allowing the deer to receive maximum nutrients for antler growth. Mineral sites are also a lot less maintenance than a corn pile or other food source. This will allow you to let the mineral site sit and, if utilizing the Moultrie mobile units, putting the least amount of pressure on the deer herd. If baiting is illegal in your state, we recommend putting the game camera directed towards a food plot or along a heavily used trail.
Trail cameras are a great advancement in hunting. They allow us to keep track of the deer herd and know ages of the deer better, and they give us the ability to harvest and wait on mature bucks that we know are in the area.
When you set up your cameras, don’t think of them as being stuck there. Move them around as needed and, if necessary, move them closer to bedding areas. If you’re getting a deer on camera only at night, move it closer to where you think they may be during the day time. Then you can set up your climber or tree stand closer to that location with better hopes in seeing them in daylight.
With that being said, trail cameras also don’t show us everything. I’ve been in the treestand many times when I’ve had a buck that was never on any of my trail cameras cross my path. This occurs especially during the rut when bucks are on their feet and moving.