The end of Spring Turkey season marks the beginning of our summertime scouting grind that leads up to our fall schedule of hunts. We call scouting "doing the ground work", it's the ground work that provides us the vital information, which we process in all aspects of our hunting, fishing and management throughout the year.
Scouting is a necessary tool of the outfitting and guiding trade, and because it's work why not take advantage of today's technology. We love technology and today's trail cameras are just another example of how technology is changing how we approach hunting. The trail camera plays a major role and has a massive application in our scouting year around.
Managing our arsenal of trail cameras is a daunting task and it takes a tremendous amount of our time. While we keep and manage our trail cameras year round. The month of May is dedicated to insuring that all our trail cameras are cleaned, working, cataloged, inventoried and set for the summer months.
Trail cameras are are invaluable to us, they make us more successful annually with our clients, as well as provide us with the data necessary to properly manage the wildlife on our leased ranches.
The first tip I can give anyone is make sure you turn them on, sounds easy but their is nothing more deflating than opening that camera set and seeing it in the "off" or "standby" position. Other than that they are pretty much fool proof as long as you keep their SD cards fresh and feed them batteries they are always watching.
We located what we believed to be a great trail cutting across a manzanita oak covered hillside, so we set a camera on it to find out what was using it. To our surprise we didn't get a lot but we got this picture of this great ghost of a blacktail buck. It was the only picture of this buck and furthermore the only time until the day our lucky hunter was able to harvest this buck, we had every seen it.
That is right, only once in three months was this buck every saw or photographed. It gave us the information as elusive as he was and knowing the characteristics of blacktail bucks to hunt for him, and it paid off on a stormy day.
We were able to harvest this buck with our client Jim P. on a stormy day in October no more than 300 yards from where the trail camera was set. If it were not for our use of trail cameras we would have not had the confidence to put the time in to hunt this buck.
Scouting is fun but it is also very much work. It is the "ground work" that goes unnoticed, it's the work no one sees. It's not glamorous, hours of setting up trail cameras, reviewing pictures, cataloging, cleaning and keeping camera sets fresh, it takes a lot of time.
However it is necessary and it does have it's rewards they just come later. There is a great feeling of accomplishment when you are able to harvest an animal that you located and invested your time in scouting.
Scout Hard, Scout 365, We Do!!! We wish you the best in 2018.
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