Using a trail camera in early summer might not give you insight on a booner buck, but it does have its benefits.
For the hardcore bowhunter, early summer can seem like a kind of torture limbo. Spring seasons have passed by the wayside and there are too many 100 degree days between you and opening day for fall to feel close. The truth is summer days are the dog days of a bowhunter’s life. Other than a few fish to skewer, there’s not much to pass the time with bow in hand.
One way you can help pass the time until your season opener is to start setting trail cameras in early summer. Sure, deer’s antler growth is typically not going to reveal much at this time in terms of big bucks, but there are other reasons to set your trail cams other than looking for big deer. Here are the top 3 reasons to set an early summer trail camera.
Learn Your Deer
I once heard a very successful hunter offer advice that will stick with me as long as I live. He was discussing elk hunting and his advice to hammer a big bull was simple. Know elk. Know your area. Know elk in your area. The same can be said for hunting nearly every species imaginable. Trail cams offer us insight into the unseen lives of the animals we chase, and a dedicated offseason hunter can add a tremendous amount of knowledge this time of year. By getting your trail cameras out in early summer you are addressing all three aspects of learning how to kill big bucks, or bulls, or whatever you’re hunting.
Every ten years the US government administers a census to it citizens. It wants a snapshot of how many people are living in the country, and a little basic information about those people. Early season trail cameras can offer up similar information. Knowing how many deer are using the property you hunt can really impact the strategy you use to hunt deer. Even principled public land hunters can use this information to hunt wisely. If you’re seeing an abundance of does, perhaps some herd management should be considered. On the other hand, if the deer just aren’t there you’ll want to keep that in your mind for the upcoming fall. Keeping tabs on the animals in your area is essential for herd management.
Scratch the Itch
The final reason to run early summer trail cameras is simple; you know you want to. Trail cameras get you outside, into your hunting area, and learning more about the animals you chase. It might not be the time of year to go with an all-in approach, but it doesn’t mean you can’t dabble and learn as much as you can. Sure animal movement will change from early summer to opening day, but the overall body of knowledge you will gain is important as well.
There you have it, the top 3 reasons to run early summer trail cameras. You never know, a tip learned in early summer might pay-off big in the fall. It also could just lead to more general knowledge of your herd and get you out of the house a few nights.