Trail Camera Placement Tips

Midwest Whitetail • June 05, 2023

In early summer, bucks start to throw on velvet. At this time, you might be eager to go see what's out there and get some summer inventory. So, before you go out to the field, consider these tips for the best placement of your trail cams!

The Benefits of a Stake

Using a stake rather than a tree lets you put the camera exactly where it needs to go. You might be walking a field and find a scrape or trail just beaten to the ground... If there is no tree nearby, what do you do? That's where these stakes come in handy. Another reason to use stakes is to avoid getting ants and bugs all over your cameras. Putting cameras up in trees this time of year tends to result in bugs taking over them. On a stake, you will get fewer bugs in your cameras, if any.

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The Benefits of a Solar Unit

We've been running solar cameras for the past two years, and any solar camera we still have out has full charge with the same batteries. Solar units can be an excellent investment and save you much money in the long run.

The Benefits of North and South

The sun rises from the east and sets in the west. If you have that camera in an open area and it's facing toward the west or the east, then you’re likely going to get blown-out and overexposed photos. You will not be able to tell what's in front of your camera. So, when putting cameras out try pointing them north or south if they're in open areas.

The Benefits of Pinch Points

As for trail camera locations, man-made pinch points can be an excellent choice. There is a point we like to use for example that has two fence openings and all pinches down to one trail leading to a water source. There's a scrape that has probably been there since last year. It looks like a high-traffic spot where deer are getting pinched out. This is especially useful for getting natural movement photos where deer are not being directly manipulated. Using minerals or feed in front of your camera is more manipulative, and it's also a great way to get inventory. Sometimes it's preferable to get inventory in the summer via the natural movement of deer throughout a farm. This will serve you better in the fall when you know which trails deer use most. Look for pinch points the deer use more often instead of random trails.

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The Benefits of Vine Scrapes

Another great way to get photos during the summer is vine scrapes. You could put a bunch of vine scrapes on field edges. That's one of our favorite spots to put a camera. We get more bucks than does, even though does and fawns work the vine scrapes all summer. It's enjoyable to get intel over vine scrapes and natural movement in the summer months. It also serves you well in the fall. In contrast if you put food out, you're taking deer off their natural movement. They're going out of their way to come to that food source. However, if you're hunting over corn or mineral come deer season it would make perfect sense. In most cases, you may not be. Natural movement is what Midwest Whitetail is looking for this time of year.

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Good luck this season and stay safe out there.

--Midwest Whitetail