Let's Talk Hunting!

It’s that time of the year again. Archery season is fast approaching and time to get last minute prep work finished.  Mother Nature has been very nice to us with the abnormally low temperatures this summer. It has been perfect weather to get out in the woods and do a little bit of trimming around your stands or put out some trail cams, mineral or even build a food plot or two. With the increase of big buck sightings on my farms this year, I think it’s going to be a great season for us all. The deer numbers have really bounced back from the die off we had a few years ago. I still don't have the numbers on my north Missouri farm as I did before the event but it has improved dramatically. My farm here in central Missouri has improved even more. It depends on where you hunt, but I think it will be a much improved year. With more rain to come, hopefully we can put the drought behind us for now. Make sure you pick-up a copy of the 2014 Fall Deer & Turkey Booklet here at Bass Pro or visit the Missouri Department of Conservations website for all of the harvest changes here in Missouri. It will mostly affect gun hunters.  It’s still a great idea to grab one and catch up on all the changes so you are not surprised when you go buy your tags this fall.

A few pointers to get your season started: If bow hunting is your passion, my best advice I can give you is to HUNT EARLY!!!!!!!!!!! I used to be really bad at not spending enough time hunting September and early October. I got caught up in watching all the hunting shows of Bucks chasing Doe's all over the place during the rut. So I thought that would be the absolute best time to hunt. I would take my vacation around that time every year. Here in Central and North Missouri, the rut is right around the 1st and 2nd week of November. Don't get me wrong, it is a great time to be in a tree and there are a lot of really big deer harvested every year from trick or treat day (Oct 31st of course) to November 14th. But, and that's a big but, little do most bow hunters know that they have past some of the best hunting of the year in September and early October. Mostly because of the hot temps that are present at that time of the year. But the deer are still there and they have to feed and drink. When archery season starts on September 15th, you can bet that this guy will be in a tree or ground blind overlooking a food source or water hole. The best thing about September that you don't normally have in November is that you can pattern that big ole buck in daylight hours near a food or water source. Sometimes you can set your watch by it. In November that same buck is up on his feet during daylight but he more than likely is running all over God’s green earth looking for that perfect girlfriend. That could take him right off your farm and into someone else's sights. Spending some time now with the help of a few game cams, like Bushnell's Trophy cam ($229.99) or Moultrie's M990i ($199.99) you should be able to get a good idea of when, where and what time those deer are coming through and still have plenty of time before season to get a couple of stands or ground blinds set-up and ready to go. Tips for Game Camera Placement

Ground blinds can be really effective this time of the year because they will help control your scent and cover any movements. Redhead Blackout Hub Blinds are a great choice to help your blend right in ($139.99 - $279.99). There are three different models to accommodate multiple hunters if you decide to share your experience with family or a friend. Also, always try to give yourself options for different wind directions. Early season can be full of surprises. I have seen 3 different winds in 3 days. Always play the wind and brush in those stands and with a little luck your taxidermist will have a little more work this fall. That's all the time I have for now.  From all of us at your local Independence Bass Pro Shops, have a fun and safe hunting season.

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Game Camera Basics


 
What is the best game and trail camera? What is so great about the $ 250.00 camera compared to the $79.00 one?  Which one gives me the best value for the buck? All common questions regularly asked here at Bass Pro.
 
Here's my first question and comment to almost everybody. What are you using it for? Is it wildlife, security, or both?  What is your budget?  My first comment is a reality check. This is technology. It changes every year, so buy the best that you can afford and plan to have the camera for 3-5 years. Mine is a Moultrie D-40 that still works and is at least 5 years old. It has virtually none of the features of today's cameras, but still is a well built camera. Common features : all are water resistant, have the ability to turn off flashes, some type of battery power, SD card, a port, and the most important feature,  ease of use.     
 
Most cameras are getting smaller. Moultrie has a variety of sizes from the Panoramic to the A5 providing a camera for every budget. Primos has the smallest camera and most extensive battery pack. This 24 AA pk. coupled with a 32gb SD card gives the user the ability to leave the camera alone and not contaminate the viewing area with human scent. Other manufacturers offer large battery packs or rechargeable batteries with solar chargers.
 
The size of megapixel is always a question. The larger the megapixel, the better the clarity, but at 5 megapixels your clarity is great even at night. Clarity at night is reduced with a digital camera, so that's why you see so many 8 mp or 12 mp cameras. Remember, animals aren't bothered by flashes, but a flash will show poachers or trespassers the location of your camera in the dark or in low light situations.

 

At this time of year, more cameras are sold for security reasons. They work great for this purpose. We sell cameras with a black out lens that do not give out any flash and have good low light capability. Other cameras have a low glow feature that works when the flash is off.
 

 

Trigger speed is important for getting pictures of animals on the move. If a deer walks by, 1 second is too slow. The faster trigger speed, the better. To capture the deer fully, try setting the camera at 3 or 5 frames per trigger. 3 frames at a time seem to work the best for me.
 

 

Moultrie, Primos, Cuddeback, Stealthcam, Bushnell, Eyecon, Wildgame, Reconyx, and Plotmaster will all be adding new and improved cameras at affordable prices between now and August. Once again with technology you get what you pay for. From the basic camera to the top of the line, you can be assured we here at  are here with quality and some of the newest cameras on the market, year in and year out.

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Wave of the Future for Elk Hunting

 Wave of the Future for Elk Hunting

One lucky spike bull

Trail cameras are one of the best tools to use for finding elk or any other type of game you may hunt 24/7. Trail cams price out from a little under $100.00 to over $500.00 depending on what features you want. If you have three trail cams it’s like having four hunters out in the field with three of them looking all the time night and day. The problem I have is that where I hunt elk is over a three hour drive, or if I was to go out of state to hunt, I can’t afford to be driving there every two or three weeks just to look at some pictures. So what I have figured out for this little dilemma is this.

The areas that I archery hunt I don’t always know very well, so what I do when I get to elk camp is take my trail cam and set it up in an area I know the elk like to hang around. Like this water hole, it’s a long way from any road and at the top of a ridge of heavy timber. On the second day after my morning hunt I’ll go in and check it to see what kind of action I have. In a little over twenty-four hours I would have four areas covered, two morning hunts and one evening hunt, all in different areas with one trail cam taking picture after picture of elk, I hope. After retrieving those images and down loading them on my lap top computer, I can make a good educated game plan on where I would want to concentrate my time hunting. Even if I was hunting out of state on a do it yourself hunt this plan would still work.

These three pictures where from my Moultrie M-880 IR trail cam at elk camp this year. While I was setting it up at this water hole I accidentally reset the date and reversed the AM/PM on the time. I didn’t catch it until I downloaded these pictures plus 42 more on my lap top the next day. This was not a mechanical malfunction, this was operator malfunction. The actual date these pictures were taken was September 7, 2013. What was cool was that morning of the 7th around 6:30am about three quarters of a mile northwest of this water hole, that spike that is standing in the water; I had called in to no more than twenty yards from me. Then about ten hours later he’s getting his picture taken. That day was a great day for information and really made me wish I had the new Moultrie Panoramic 150. This trail camera out does my M-880 IR in all categories and I do not have one single complaint with it either but, the 150 has three motion sensors instead of one, a lens that will rotate with no sound to take pictures or HD video with a 150 degree wide angle view.  Plus, it has a built in 2” viewing screen. No more changing out SD cardsSpike bull elk with cow elk.

Now rifle or muzzle loader hunting it is a little more difficult on public land because of the pressure from all the other hunters.  For rifle and muzzle loader hunters on  public land, get deeper into the woods where other hunters aren’t. Remember, pressured elk are going to go where the hunters are not. This could be walking one or two more ridges farther, or going down lower in elevation because most of the other hunters are up higher, just get away from them. Once you have done this and you have found fresh sign, set your trail cam up and keep hunting if time allows and then come back after about twenty-four hours and see what it has to offer. Now I know what you’re saying, I’m not going to carry my lap top five miles back to those spots just to see some pictures. Well I won’t either, but what I do here is I have an extra SD card for each trail cam and then just swap them out,  then when you get back to camp you can look and see if there was any action in that twenty-four hour period. If you know you are going to be hunting like the suggestion above, I would recommend the trail cams that have a display screen so you can review your pictures right there, or get a trail cam viewer. If you come up with nothing and you’re seeing sign that they are in the area find another spot and try it again, if there’s no fresh sign pack them up and try a different area completely. Trail cams are a little too expensive to lose or have stolen. Wes someone will take them, so when you do set them out make sure they are locked no matter where you set them up at. Then make a way-point on your GPS so you can come right back to them. There are a lot of variations with what you can do with trail cams; it’s just a matter of figuring out what will work for you and your type of hunting.

Cow elk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Campagnola

Hunt Hard and Shoot Straight

 

 

 

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Fall Deer Hunting with Trail Cameras

Well summer has ended and it is time to get ready for the upcoming deer hunting season. One of the most important parts of preparing for deer season is scouting. Now if you are like me there are always too many demands on your time which limits you ability to get out in the woods and go scouting. With the cooler but comfortable days of early fall there is nothing I like better than to be out looking for deer sign and trying to locate the best spots to hunt in the approaching season. I do this as much as time allows as it the best way to locate deer. Unfortunately there just doesn’t seem to be enough time. Whitetail buck

An excellent tool that we have available to help us in our scouting efforts is the game camera. These cameras can monitor and pattern deer activity 24 hours a day seven days a week. Once you have identified an area where the deer are active, placing a game camera  there will not only identify the deer coming through there it will also tell you the exact time and date that they were there. There are many brands and models available with varying complexity, features and prices. Some of the more popular brands are Primos, Wildgame Innovations, Moultrie,  and Bushnell. Most of the basic units have infrared light for black and white night pictures along with the capability to take color pictures in the daylight. The infrared light  does not spook the deer as a white flash can sometimes do. I have actually got a beautiful close up picture of a deer’s nose this season on one of my cameras so obviously the infrared light did not spook it. Some of the cameras allow you to review the pictures right on the unit and others require the pictures to be viewed on a computer with a SD card. The units have different levels of mega pixels with the higher the mega pixels the clearer the pictures.Crush Cam 8

It is not really possible to cover all of the various features available here in the blog so just be sure to come visit your Bass Pro Shop and come see these and more of the different models we have in stock. Our knowledgeable hunting associates will be available to make recommendations and answer your questions about game cameras and their set up and use.

Hunt safe,

Don Nelson

Bass Pro Shops Hunting Associate

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=94&storeID=58&tab=3

 

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Trail Camera Common Questions

I have been getting a lot of questions here lately about trail cameras.

Which ones to buy? How do you use them ? Where do you put them?

So, I have put together a list of list of my favorites. If you are looking to purchase a trail camera for the first time, you maybe in for a big surprise. There are hundreds of makes and models out there to choose from. My best advice to you would be just keep it simple. What I look for in a trail camera, also known as a game camera, is 4 simple things:

First - The last thing I want is to show up to check my cam and realize my batteries are dead. So I try to pick a camera that uses AA batteries. AA's will hold their power so much better when the temperature falls into the 30's or colder. Especially when you use lithium's batteries.

Second -  IR capable. Most of your cameras will be IR today instead of white flash. It is a highly debatable question in the industry over whether or not a flash will spook game. I have used both and I will say that I have had deer shy away from a flash compared to an IR, but I also have had a lot of deer not notice it. So the jury is still out on that. My main reason for choosing a IR cam would be to keep them unseen from the two legged mammals. I have had my fair share of cameras come up missing or damaged from someone trying to take them. The IR LED'S do put off a slight glow when they take a pic. But nothing over barring like a white flash. You have to be right on top of it to see them.

Third - Trigger speed. Trigger speed is another highly debatable thing. Most cam's will have at least a one second trigger speed, with some at a half second. How you set your camera on the tree will help or hurt you with. If you are getting a lot of tail end shots it is normally because the camera is pointing across the trail instead of slightly angled. Angling it up the trail more will allow the target to be in the cameras field of view longer giving the slower speed cam's ample time to power up and take the picture.

Fourth -  Consider mega pixels. Higher mega pixel cameras will give you that sharp image when you need to zoom in when your viewing your pictures. You won't have that real grainy look that you get with the lower pixels. It may be the difference between your million dollar picture of Bigfoot and a dark blob.

With all of that said Moultrie, Primos and Wildgame Innovations all have new dependable cam's on the market.  

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Wildgame Innovations Crush 8 Lightsout  ($199.99) 8mp, black flash, video w/ audio and up to a 70' flash range and with 12 AA'S needed, it is sure to be a great battery life cam.

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Moultrie's M880 IR. ($159.99) is a much improved version in their game spy series. Long battery life with 8 AA's and up to 100' night range is sure catch anything walking by. 

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Primos Truth Cam Ultra 35 ($119.99) is by far the easiest game camera I have ever set up to use. This is a perfect camera for the beginner. The toggle switch design is a snap. Just slide the color coordinated switches to you desired setting and your done. 8AA's,4mp,40' night range, time lapse/w video. Very good camera for the budget hunter.

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Now, the one camera I rely on year end and year out is Bushnell's Trophy Cam. ($199.99-$249.99) They have been the best i have ever used. 1/2 second trigger speed,8mp, HD video/w audio and 8AA's. This will be season number 5 for me using them. I have nothing but great things to say, I have had up to 7 months of battery life out 1 set of lithium batteries. Yes that's 7 months of taking a ton of pictures. If you are in the market for a cam. You have to check out Bushnell's line.

If you are interesting in reading more, check out this blog as well written on game cameras - Trail Camera Time is Here

That's all the time I have for now. I hope i could shed a little light on the subject for you. From all of us here at your local Bass Pro Shops. Have a Happy and safe hunting season.

 

Hunting Lead - Anthony Alkire

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7 Places to Relocate Missing Bucks (Part II)

Here are the rest of the tips on using trail camera placement to locate the mature bucks.

Scrapes and Rub Lines5. Scrapes and Rub Lines:  you can get some of your best buck photography this time of year on licking branches over scrapes. As soon as the velvet drops and the first scrapes appear, bucks will start to scent-mark these spots almost daily, and you can quickly inventory the individual bucks using your hunting area. You will find that the majority of scrape activity occurs at night, but you can still learn a lot about which bucks are using which general areas where you hunt. Combine this information with photos from food sources and other sites mentioned here, and you can quickly dial in on likely stand sites. Rub lines can also be productive camera locations, especially larger rubs that are used repeatedly by multiple bucks. Some rubs are used less often, so if bucks don't show up after a couple of days of monitoring, move your camera to the next line.

6. Pinch Points: As the weather cools, deer start to move more and more. Place your game camera's, Moultrie, Bushnell, and Primos to name a few available at your local Bass Pro Shops, on trails in major pinch points for funnels between bedding cover and food sources. When placing your camera on a trail, orient the camera at a 45-degree angle to the trail, or straight down the trail (a camera placed in perpendicular to a trail may only get you pictures of half the deer, as the deer may already be moving out of the image frame by the time the camera triggers). Start with the main trails leading to food sources, and if you don't get the buck you're looking for, move the camera to the next trail. The heaviest used trails will generate the most trail-camera pictures, but I have found the mature buck you are looking for is often using more secretive trails with less traffic.

7. Water Holes: Don't overlook a simple water hole. There are a lot of areas still faced with drought conditions this year, and water will be a key factor in those areas this fall. Look for small ponds or even seasonal wetlands next to prime food sources to place your trail-cameras. It should be easy to tell if deer are hitting these water holes by the amount of tracks around the edges. Some of the coolest pictures can be from around a watering hole, and they can also alert you to some great stand set-ups.

Scent Control and Timing:  Using a trail-camera in the fall can give you a huge scouting/huntingScent A Way advantage, but don't forget to keep a low profile when checking trail-cameras as too much human activity and scent can spoil what would otherwise be a great hunting area. Before hunting season, I only check my trail-cameras every two to three weeks, and i practice scent-control techniques by using Scent-a-Way products available at all Bass Pro Shops, just like I am going hunting. However, during the season I'll only check or move a camera on my way out of the woods after a hunt. I will also move trail-cameras more often in the fall. this allows me to keep the human pressure evenly distributed and not concentrated in certain areas while I try to get a handle on buck movement.

Attracting and producing mature bucks through quality deer management and quality habitat management is one thing; killing those mature bucks is another! A well-placed trail camera can help you stay in touch with those mature bucks as their movement patterns change throughout the fall, increasing your hunting success.  So, use these scouting devices to your advantage.

Good luck this season!

 

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7 Places to Relocate Missing Bucks (Part I)

Whitetail Deer in VelvetIt's that time of year again, velvet  is dropping, bachelor groups are breaking up, and those easy-to-find summer bucks are changing patterns and will soon "disappear" as they spread out into the far corners of their home ranges. It's time to use your trail-cameras to relocate mature bucks, discover their new fall movement patterns, and set up an opening-day plan. Here are some tips on trail-camera placement for early fall that will get you back in the hunt.

1. Acorns:  Right now, deer are shifting from summer to fall food sources. In the fall, a main attractant for whitetails is acorns. When available, acorns are one of the strongest natural attractants for deer at any time of the year. Move several of your trail-cameras into oak timber during early fall and monitor area until acorns are gone and deer are shifting to other food sources.

2. Food Plots:  If you have planted fall/winter food plots, like Hunter's Specialties Vita-Rack Winter Forage, you need to Vita-Rack winter foragemonitor them with trail-cameras now.  If the acorn crop is heavy in a particular year, deer use of food plots may be light until acorns are gone, and then deer will gravitate toward your green food plots. If acorns are scarce, deer will hit food plots early and heavy. Also use you trial-cameras to determine when a deer are using food plots; deer tend to hit secluded food plots first before heading out to any large agriculture fields or more open food plots to feed after dark. If you didn't plant any food plots, look for movement patterns around any available agricultural crops like alfalfa.These fields will be one of the main food sources during early fall while the deer fatten up before winter. Use your trial camera's, like Moultrie, Primos, Bushnell and Cuddeback Excite sold at your local Bass Pro Shops, to find the main food source in your area and how/when deer are using it. 

3. Corn: Once soybean leaves start to turn yellow and natural forages mature and become less digestible, deer will move into cornfields, whether they are agricultural crops or fields planted for deer. Standing corn can provide both cover and food for deer, so these fields shouldn't be overlooked. As soon as farmers start to combine their corn, deer will move in to feed on dropped corn. Also look for fields that have been hit harder by wind or drought. i have found that more corn is left behind by combines in these fields. Cornfield edges will be a prime-spot for trail cameras this fall.

Moultrie Camera4. Fruit Trees: Just like oaks, productive fruit trees can really draw deer. Deer love apples, pears and peaches and will travel to find them.  Also don't forget about smaller fruits like crabapples and persimmons - deer find them just as tasty. Once the fruit begins to fall, deer will start to show up. Place you camera facing the fruit trees to get some great deer pictures and find out which bucks are using these sites, and when. 

 

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Trail Camera Time is Here

If you haven’t already started your deer scouting it is probably time to start thinking about getting started. Nothing can replace actually walking the woods and getting first hand knowledge of the areas that you plan on hunting. Once you have identified potential areas where whitetails are frequenting then it is time to determine the actual deer patterns. Trail cameras make a great tool to bring your scouting to a new level. A trail cam can be used to tell you the deer that are coming through (bucks, does, sizes, how many, and also when they are there.

Selecting a trail camera that fits your needs is important as there are many options available. There are a number of things that you should consider before buying a trail camera. One is ease of use. This is an important characteristic for me personally as I want a unit that is simple to operate. I don’t want to be fumbling around in the woods trying to read the owner’s manual while I am setting it out. Another important consideration is the megapixels of the unit which basically determines the quality of the pictures. The rule is the higher the megapixels the better the quality of the pictures. Usually there is also a direct relationship between the number of megapixels and price. Battery life is also an important consideration as you don’t want to be changing batteries every week. Another consideration is an infrared trail camera vs a flash camera. The pictures will generally be of a better quality and in color with the flash type, but trigger speed may be a bit slower and battery drain will be greater. Another potential problem is that the flash may spook some game. On the other hand the Infrared trail cameras will have a lower battery draw, a faster trigger speed and will not spook game. Range of the unit can also be an important consideration based on where you are using your trail camera. Another concern is price with these units, more money does not always yield better results you have to ultimately decide what you want and don’t want in a trail cam as there is no point in paying for capabilities you don’t need. One final consideration that you will want to consider is reliability.

cam    cam    cam    cam

 One good way to determine which unit(s) are best for your needs is to read online reviews. Bass Pro Shops maintains a large collection of customer reviews and ratings on its website which can be a valuable resource in deciding which unit to buy. Bass Pro Shops carries a large selection of the popular brands of trail cams such as Moultrie, Primos, Bushnell and Reconyx. So don’t put off your scouting any longer stop by and get a trail cam and get started. One hunting associates are ready to help you make the right choice.

 

Good hunting,

Don Nelson

Bass Pro Shops

Foxborough

 

 

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Tips for Game Camera Placement

The digital game camera,  like Big Game Eyecon Black Widow or Primos Truth Cam Ultra sold at yourPrimos Truth Cam local Bass Pro Shops, really has given hunters one of the best scouting tools available for white-tailed deer and other game. However  most users fall short of using their camera to its potential. The game camera can be a great tool for seeing what's out there, but like any tool, it must be used properly for the user to get the full benefit of using the "hunter that never sleeps."

First and foremost, a digital game camera will let you see many of the bucks you have available for harvest in the area where you hunt. Most of the bucks you probably would have never seen otherwise. The most common practice employed by game camera users is to set a camera adjacent to their feeder or food plot. Although this usually gets hunters lots of pictures, all it really tells you what deer are present.

You're probably thinking, "Well, if I know a certain buck is coming to my feeder, then I will just sit there and wait for him." But, if you really intend for the camera to help you not only get a look at your deer, but also want it to help you bag "your" buck, then you will have to get a bit more creative, so pay attention.

By keeping your camera's moving, such as to different locations, trails, watering areas, etc, you can get a better idea of which bucks are using which trails - and at what time of day - thus helping to pattern your buck. This data then allows you to identify the area where a specific buck  is spending the majority of his time. We've all had this happen before: You see a really nice buck prior to the season,  but then once hunting season kicks in the buck just seems to have disappeared. At first you think someone else tagged the big boy, but then camera shots after the season show that he is in fact still there. So what gives?

Bucks may avoid certain areas at times (like when you're there), but they will not abandon their home range altogether. So, to gain more knowledge about the habits of the bucks or a specific buck in your area, you will want to set out your cameras in various locations, but of course not just randomly Moultrie Tripod Deer Feederthrough the woods and hills. Yes, mineral blocks, (Redhead On Track PremiumHunters Specialties Vita-Rack Protein Block, Big & J BB2), and feeders (American Hunter, Moultrie Easy Fill Tripod Feeder and Primos Flat-Out Ground Feeder), will allow you to rapidly photograph a large number of deer, and that will give you a better handle of what is available, but you still need to identify a particular area to hunt for your buck.

Once the season starts and people enter the woods, the deer know you are there. you may be very careful going into and out of your hunting area, but you are likely not the only hunter in a buck's home range. With that said, bucks will not behave the same into the hunting season as they have prior to the season, especially in areas with high hunting pressure. What you need to learn is where the buck you are looking for is when he's not at the feeder. He has to move and he has to eat, but you want to find out how he gets from point A to point B and where to intercept him.

Be very specific when placing out your cameras. If there are deer trails between areas of good bedding cover and food sources, there are the places you definitely want to investigate. Also, patches of woods with thick cover or areas that people/hunters avoid all together should be examined. Deer can pattern you too, you know.

Deer scrapeA good place to set up your game camera would be over a deer scrape. Scrapes are like magnets to white-tailed bucks and does - and scrapes will serve to concentrate the activity of deer moving through an area. With a scrape you know exactly where the deer will be, so getting a high quality picture of the deer is not a problem.

In addition, look for funnels when placing your camera out. Funnels can be either natural or man-made. Funnels can include anything from strips of woods, areas where larger wooded areas narrow down, overgrown fence lines, river bottoms, or even roadways through thick cover. Deer can be lazy, too. Of course, it's usually when you're not there - but at least you will have the photos! Also, don't overlook water holes and creek crossings. Deer will frequent water holes, especially during hot weather, and deer know where to find reliable water. Once you get away from a stable water supply, deer spread out in the woods and the movement of individual animals become more difficult to predict water sources are great places to hunt prior to the rut. Use your cameras to cover as many trails as possible and you will be surprised at what you find.

James Sullivan

Events

 

 

 

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NOW is the Time to......

Ross

...get ready for hunting season. 

Not later.

Now.  

Archery season starts October 1. Let's start with that. Ross McInteer, Bass Pro Shops Archery Lead, has these tips:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice - "One of my favorite sayings with archery is “practice, perfect, practice,” says McInteer. 

2. Early season scouting - Scout, but don’t spend too much time in the hunting woods...you don’t want to disrupt the deer from their patterned movement.  But, getting topographical maps and scouting the ground is always a good thing.

3. Practice at 3-D courses - This is one of the most beneficial things to do this time of year because it puts you in the woods with targets and realistic shots that you would face in the wild.

"3-D courses are 15-60 shot courses laid out throughout wooded areas that have 3-D archery targets (bear, deer, elk, turkeys, etc.) They give you a realistic approach to shots that you might run up against in nature. Plus, you get to compete against others in different classes (Women's, Men's target, Men's Open,Youth), so it’s for everyone."

To find 3-D courses or shoots in Iowa, or around the country, visit some of these resources:

www.iowabowhunters.org/

www.3dshoots.com/search_3d_archery.

www.https://secure.dmtargets.com/archery-clubs/listing

4.  Set your trail cameras - Monitor the movement and growth of Whitetails without disrupting their movements. When it comes to trail cams, McInteer says he has only used three different brands of cameras, with his personal favorite being the Primos Truth Cam 35.

"This camera is priced right and can give you good quality pictures with color pictures in the daytime and black and white at night. They have a 40 foot flash range and a one-second trigger speed."

There are several new cameras that hit the market each year and Cuddeback & Moultrie really lead the way with both reasonably priced cameras and very effective units, such as the Moultrie M-80XT and the Cuddeback Attack IR.

 For more great information on trail camera purchasing tips, check out our YouTube video!

5. Upgrades - Every bowhunter wants a few new things to try each year. Buy the new equipment now then take time to shoot it, and get familiar with it, BEFORE the true test comes around!

Right now we have more new products in the store than ever before:Injexion, such as:

Easton Injection Arrows

 

Deep Six broadheads by NAP

 

Redhead Arrows by Gold Tip

 Scott Fox Release

Scott Fox Release

 

 Come on in and check them out...no better time to do it than at the Fall Hunting Classic that starts August 3!

_________________________________________________

Get your Iowa Hunting and Trapping regulations at this link http://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/HuntingLicensesLaws.aspx!

 

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Outdoor Essentials - Trail Camera Basics

Learning about wildlife, tracking game in potential hunting sites, protecting your personal property...a trail camera can be useful for hunters and non-hunters alike. At Bass Pro Shops, during the Fall Hunting Classic and always, customers have the opportunity to shop our best sellers from the likes of Moultrie, Primos, Cuddeback, and Wildgame Innovations, just to name a few. But where do you start when buying a trail camera? Stephany

Several factors come into play. Distance, surroundings, lighting, quality of pictures desired, and purpose, are just some of the things to think about. BPS Hunting Lead Dan Stephany walks you through the key "ingredients" for buying a trail cam in this Outdoor Essentials video. Post your questions and we'll have Dan answer them!

 

 

 

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Tips for Game Cameras - Not Just For Deer!

Trail Cameras are not just for hunters.  Although most people use them to bag that monster buck, they have helped some catch a thief. Others, enjoy nature when they can't get in the woods themselves.  Cameras come in a wide variety of prices.  Bass Pro can help you determine what you want and expect from the camera.  The people at Bass Pro have the knowledge to help you find what price range you are looking for, as well as what camera will suit your purpose.

Lets start off with the Hunting Master.  Like most hunters, my husband starts scouting right after muzzle season ends here in Upstate New York.  He places cameras in different spots way before hunting season and waits for the chance to catch a glimpse of  a monster.  That buck knows you are out there and you have to be creative in order to find him.

The most common game camera that people like have infrared technology.  Infrared prevents scaring the animal, because a flash does not go off, and scare them.  Not to mention if you have unwanted guests (people or animal) on your property they also will not see the flash and you can figure a plan from there once you get a good shot of them.  Now this is also good for those who are not looking for their trophy buck.  Bird enthusiasts can take pictures of their feathered friends, or forest animals they normally would not sit in the woods to watch and wait for.  What about that bothersome raccoon getting into your garbage? Well with the infrared you can figure out his strategy without frightening him then figure out how to get rid of him.

The battery life with a trail camera is important.  First, batteries are expensive not to mention if you have to run back in to the woods you waste your time and disturb the area making the deer/animal apprehensive about coming back to that site for a while.  The other thing to take into consideration is a lot of the smaller game cameras take AA batteries.  They tend to be less expensive and have a longer life than the larger batteries.

If you do decide to go with a expensive model, I would suggest getting a security box . It just makes it harder for thieves to get at your camera.

If your camera does not have a on-board viewer (high end) then you want to get a SD card.  Most people recommend two.  The extra allows you to study your pictures way before hunting season begins. Once you find a good spot you can get it set up and then not disturb the area again.

Now it's time to find that spot.  For deer,  focus on high volume areas.  Where they bed, feed, thick cover, deep woods.  Heavy cover is good because the mid-day sun won't trigger the sensor.

Found that spot?  Make sure you spray scent control on your clothing, gloves, and wear rubber boots.  Then spray the scent control on the camera making sure your don't get it on the lens.  Scent control leaves a residue and will blur your photos.

Make sure the lens area is free of twigs, weeds, vines and especially leaves.  Anything that may blow in front and trigger a picture.  This will waste your batteries, and most of all your time.

Place the camera in a tree higher than the deers' sight.  Keeping them unaware of the camera's presence.

If possible face the camera northward or southward to prevent the sun from backlighting your subject and making it a silhouette in the photo.

Now here is the hard part,  Get out of there and leave it alone!  For mature bucks leave the camera for 8-12 days.  This gives enough time to let human scent disappear.  The deer gains security and starts using that spot again

So - You got a great picture!  Here are two questions to ask yourself!

1.     Where do I think he is bedding down.  You can go on earthgoogle.com they have aerial photos and maps to help you gather information and find him.

2.     Did I get any pictures in the morning?  If yes, you need to go further in and up trails you suspect he is using.  You want to find his day spots before he beds down.  Mature bucks move during darkness. 

By preparing, and watching you will be ready for hunting season.  Not hunting? you will enjoy your pictures for hours on end, or get rid of the pesky animal or thief  by being smarter than they are. 

Bass Pro has a large variety of Game Cameras to pick from.  The Bushnell Trophy Cam, Moultrie Game Spy M80xt, and Stealth Cam Archer's Choice are just a few that our people in Archery recommend.

Bushnell is 8.0 megapixel, has a easy to read LCD display. A time/date stamp to keep track of when the picture was taken in case you journal year to year.  It has up to a one year battery life and takes 4 AA batteries.   The case is weatherproof and has infrared technology. 

Moultrie Game Spy has a night range up to 60 feet. It's a 5.0 megapixel with motion freeze technology.  This reduces infrared night time blur of your photos. 

The Stealth Cam Archer's choice is a 8.0 megapixel with infrared technology.  This camera takes great night and day pictures.  This camera also takes AA batteries.    

So whether you are going after that monster buck, enjoying birds, catching troublesome animals or humans who should not be on your property, a game camera comes in handy. 

Stop in to Bass Pro Shops and check out the wide selection of cameras.  Ask as many questions as you need,  you will never be disappointed.  The know how and skill of our associates will make you feel confident with your purchase and how to execute what you need to do.

 Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator

 

 

moultriebushnell

 

 

stealth

 

 

 

 

 

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Must-Have Items for Deer Hunting


What are some of Bass Pro Shops Altoona Hunting Associates "must have" items when they head out for deer hunting?

Hunting Department Manager Shaun Bequeaith says his number one necessity is proper scent elimination. Using scent control products for your shower, washing clothes, storing cBPS Altoona Hunting Manager Shaun Bequeaithlothes scent free, and field spray will help keep you invisible to the deer.  But, he warns, even if you take all the precautions in the world, sometimes you just can't fight Mother Nature and you may not be able to sit in your favorite treestand if the wind is wrong.

Second thing he won't go in the woods without is his favorite deer call and always takes his grunt call. "That way if I can see a buck, I can bring him in."
 
Third would be rattling antlers. He says the first time he used the Knight and Hale Pack Rack Rattling System Deer Call, he had three bucks run in within ten yards at the same Pack Rack time. "They're simple to use and quiet to put away in a hurry, unlike real antlers."

Hunting Lead Dan Stephany says have a good scent eliminator plays a big part in his three "must haves," as well, including two Hunter's Specialties products.
 
"I use Hunter's Specialties Scent-A-Way Odorless spray. Almost all deer will get a scent of you even after you've left the field, if you aren’t conscious of your scent trail."

He also uses Hunter's Specialties Windicator.   "Swirling winds can mess up any hunt. I always try to hunt with the wind in my face if at all possible."

He says it's always better to move locations and hunt the correct wind than push your luck and ruin a potentially great stand. 

Stephany considers having a good rangefinder for hunting a must-have item that's invaluable to him and the deer. 
Leupold Rangefinder
"It doesn’t matter if I’m bow hunting or going with a muzzleloader," says Stephany. "If I don’t know the correct distance, I may not make the most ethical shot placement possible."

He adds, "We owe it to our quarry to be good sportsmen and make excellent shots. Having a quality rangefinder allows me to do this."

While not necessarily a must-have item, Bequeaith and Stephany both appreciate the benefits of using trail cams. Bequeaith says since they let you know what deer are using the timber and at what times, it definitely increases your chances for a successful hunt.

"I currently use Moultrie cameras but the next camera I'll buy is the Primos Truth 35. Primos Truth Cam 35
Simple, easy to use and a good price," says Bequeaith

Stephany uses deer cameras to determine where to hunt, as well as where NOT to hunt based on observed movement. 

Stephany says, "I usually only keep them out from July to November. Once shotgun season hits, deer are harassed enough, and don’t need a camera in their face to do that even more."

Hunting Associate Alicia Bricker says she prefers to hunt deer and squirrel.  Along with her trusty Remington 870 20 gauge, she has two constant accessories.

"A Winchester three-blade knife (with a gut hook, straight edge, & saw), and a hat light, since I go in before sun up and often leave at sundown," says Bricker.First buck

As the weather turns cold, Bricker throws in handwarmers, too. 

There are many hunting accessories no matter your target.  What's your favorite accessories or "must haves?" 



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Can't wait for Labor Day!

I love Labor day for several reasons; the end of hot weather, hunting season is almost here, and the Louisiana second amendment weekend. The second amendment weekend means completely tax free shopping for hunting supplies.  I have a shopping list ready to get my supplies. Last year I bought a Walker's Game Ear hearing muff. The clarity is amazing, I used them when I took my son hunting and he never got bored listening to all the animals like they were in the blind with us. This year I'm going to try the Buck Jam. It has been so hot and dry I don't think that I can plant a food plot, and I want something that will make my corn stand out. The guys in the hunting department have raved about how many pictures they've gotten on their trail cameras.

The trail camera I'm picking up this year is the Moultrie M-80. The camera has bright infrared, and a 1.5 sec trigger speed. I hope to get as many pictures as I've seen some of the hunting guys bragging about. I'm planning on this being the best hunting season I've ever had...as long as my wife doesn't come up with some honey dos! Even with the honey dos, I'll still find time with the help of my friends at Bass Pro Shops in Bossier City.

James
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Fall Hunting Classic 2011 - Get Ready!

The Bass Pro Shops Fall Hunting Classic is just a few days away starting August 5 and going through August 21. Seminars from national pro staff, a special hunter appreciation Weekend, and a weekend just for kids are just some of the reasons to join us for Bass Pro Shops greatest hunting event ever!

What are some of the new items to look for in hunting this year?  For crossbow users, it's  the Parker Concorder Perfect Storm Crossbow Package - the first ever automatic cocking crossbow, powered by a replaceable 9 oz. CO2 cartridge. 

BPS Hunting Manager Shaun Bequeaith says trail cam users will want to check out three new models.  The Moultrie M80 trail camera offers three different ways of use - IR triggered game camera, time-lapse plot camera, or plot camera by day, infrared camera by night! He says also new this year is the Bushnell HD Trail cam , as well as the Primos TRUTH Camera Blackout, which is designed to be undetectable by animals or humans!

So, what's happening for seminars and activities throughout the Fall Hunting Classic?

Saturday, August 6, 1 p.m. - Iowa's New Dove Hunting Season - What you need to know! - Presented by Rick Trine, Central District Wildlife Supervisor, Iowa Department of Natural Resources


Sunday, August 7 - Bass Pro Shops Hunting University

2 p.m. - Hunting with Trail Cameras:  Improve Your Odds
Presented by Brad Mormann – Co-Host of “GrowingDeer.tv” TV Show
 
3 p.m. - Mastering the Art:  Deer
Presented by Chris Ashley – Team Primos

Hunter Appreciation Weekend is August 12-14. The weekend features many seminars, with one $25 gift card given away at the end of each seminar, and a free BPS key ring to the first 100 people each day who sign the Hunter's Pledge!  Seminars will be presented by BPS Associates and experts from local organizations.

Friday, August 12

6pm           Using Big Game Scents & Calls Effectively
7pm           Hunting Public/Leased Land: The ins-and-outs of finding places to hunt
8pm           Food Plots & Land Management: Managing Food Plots in order to Harvest Trophy Whitetail

Saturday August 13

1pm           Using Big Game Scents & Calls Effectively

2pm           Hunting Public/Leased Land: The ins-and-outs of finding places to hunt
3pm           Food Plots & Land Management: Managing Food Plots in order to Harvest Trophy Whitetail
4pm           Choosing the Right Optics

5pm           Fundamentals of Long Range Hunting & Shooting

Sunday August 14

1pm           Tips for Game Camera Placement

2pm           Fundamentals of Long Range Hunting & Shooting

3pm           Field Dressing, Transporting & Processing Game

4pm           Choosing the Right Optics



ATV Obstacle CourseAugust 13 and 14 you can also drive the ATV obstacle course and enter for a chance to win a prize!  Must have a valid driver's license to drive.  Under 18 must have waiver signed by parent or guardian.




Saturday and Sunday, August 20 and 21 is Next Generation WeekendCamping Basics Workshop for Kids
Designed with kids in mind, this weekend allows children to learn more about the outdoors through free activities, such as the Deer Camp Challenge, free crafts, and youth seminars on Archery Basics and Camping Basics.  (Seminars are geared for 8-12-year-olds.) 



The paintball cage will be open, as well as the PictureU screen -have your picture taken like you're holding a turkey on the cover of Outdoor Life magazine!


So, head on over to Bass Pro Shops for the greatest hunting event ever this coming weekend!
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Scout Out Your Archery Buck Today

Summer is off-season for most deer hunters.  We are busy working and trying our best to stay cool.  However, you could be missing some of the best scouting of the year!  If you're in the Midwest the bucks are in bachelor groups right now and are coming out regularly to feed on the delicious beans and alfalfa.  I'm sure some of you guys have food plots that are beginning to get chewed up as well.  The best part is that the bucks have had enough antler growth at this point to be able to see their potential and know what you have running around your hunting area. 

Setting up a ground blind on a likely field and getting video footage is fun to do this time of year.  It also serves as good reference to see how your deer develop and how their habits may have changed from summer to season.  I like to look for an area that has alfalfa or young beans with several woodlots in the vicinity.  Second crop beans will be the best choice for deer season, although you may see a lot of deer in early beans in July.  If you can find an edge that has some white oak trees around it, that is the best spot to start.  Monitor the field to see where the deer enter and exit the field and set up a spot to watch them from a blind one hundred to two hundred yards away.  Sometimes it can get hot, so pick you up an Ameristep Blind Fan.  They run quiet and even have a LED light system built in.

If you do not have the time or means to set up and video deer during the summer, the next best option is to set out game cameras.  Really, you can get better surveillance on deer using a game camera because it captures everything that happens for multiple days, even when you can't be there.  In addition, you can fine tune your scouting by pinpoint certain deer, which we will talk about later.  Choose a spot just as you would if you were going out to video deer.  Walk the edge of a woods along the field and look for trails leading into the field.  Again, you will probably find that an area with white oaks is a preferred route.  The acorns have not really fallen at this point, but later in the summer and early fall, big bucks will stage just inside of the woods and eat acorns and green briar while they wait for the cover of darkness to enter the field.  Whenever you find a good trail, set your game camera up either facing into the woods down the trail or straight out into the field.  This will allow your camera to take multiple pictures as the deer come or go.  Of course, some of the new game cameras, like the Moultrie® Game Spy® M-80 Mini, have a time-lapse feature.  This is really neat because instead of taking pictures every so often, it takes a constant video of the area during daylight hours.  It will automatically switch to an infrared camera at night and begin taking photos again.  You can stream the entire daylight video on your computer whenever you view your SD card.  Although not available with the time-lapse feature, Wildview Cameras and Wildgame Innovations cameras are also great choices at a lower price. 

Now we will talk about fine tuning your scouting to pinpoint certain deer and locate their bedding areas.  Deer are willing to enter the fields freely during the summer. As season draws near and the days grow shorter, the deer stay in their bedding areas longer into the evening and begin using the fields more after dark.  They will leave their bed closer to dark each day.  I believe that they try to time it so that they are entering the field right at dark each night.  This is why it is important to find their bedding area and the trail they use to get from there to their feeding area.  What you can do to accomplish this is adjust your game camera down the trail, into the woods a little bit at a time.  You start out covering the entry point of the field.  Move your game camera back the trail into the woods to the first good split or crossing in the trail.  Usually this should be no more than 50-100 yards back, depending on the terrain and type of woods you are hunting in.   Set your camera up there and watch it for several days.  If you lose track of the deer your were trying to scout, move your camera closer to the field on the first trail, and confirm that the deer is still using the area.  If you kept contact with the deer on your second game camera setup, continue to move your camera down the direction that it came from until you feel comfortable that you know where it is bedding.  Resist the urge to enter the bedding area as you can spoil your chances if it is a mature buck that you are chasing.  Even though it is early in the summer, you may spook him just enough to make him change his habits and you would have to start over with your scouting.

You can now add all of this homework up and make a good decision on stand placement.  Obviously, you want to be between the bedding and feeding area.  Furthermore, it is ideal to get as close to the bedding area as possible without spooking the deer you are hunting.  With the right conditions (strong wind, wet ground, etc), you may be able to slip inside of one hundred yards and climb a stand without the deer knowing you are there.  If you happen to find a staging area inside the woods that the deer are using, put a stand there.  Remember, you are looking for white oak trees and green briar as a staging point identifier, along with heavy deer traffic.  I have had many encounters when deer slipped into a staging area, stayed there until it was dark, and then entered the field.  Some deer do not make these mistakes and stay close to their bedding area until the light is gone.  It is absolutely critical to hunt these areas only when the wind is right for it, even if it means letting your stand sit empty for opening day. These deer have been in a feeding pattern all year and see the same things everyday, so anything out of the ordinary may throw them off.  Get your stands in now so they have plenty of time to adjust.   

Good Huntin'
-Brian
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Game Camera Buyer's Guide

By Keith Sutton

Trail Timer
Dean Reidt's TrailTimer was the original electronic game monitor.

Dental-product engineer Dean Reidt began tinkering with the idea of recording deer movements in 1985 and soon launched a new industry. The idea started when Reidt, a bow hunter, was waiting along a deer trail wondering what deer hunters have wondered for generations: How many deer use this trail when I'm not here?

To find out, Reidt placed a digital clock inside a box that could be attached to a tree. He added a string to place across the deer trail and tied the string to a switch closer connected to the clock.

"What I did was turn a digital clock into a stop watch," Reidt said. "When a deer hit the string, the clock would stop. So then I knew what time the deer came through and from which direction."

Reidt called his invention the TrailTimer. It was the first device hunters could use to monitor game movements and the cornerstone of today's constantly evolving game-monitor industry.
 
Today's devices bear little resemblance to Reidt's TrailTimer. No longer are trip strings used to determine the time an animal passed. Hunters now employ sophisticated cameras that photograph the animal and record time, date and other information. Many types are available, from simple film cameras to high-tech digital models. The technology is changing so fast it's hard to keep up with it. But if you're in the market for a game camera, this basic buyer's guide can get you started.

WHY USE A GAME CAMERA?

Game cameras allow users to scout their hunting areas 24/7 without actually being there. That's a great advantage. After the camera is set up, animals passing in front of its infrared heat-and-motion detector trigger the camera so it shoots a photograph and records pertinent information. This provides a visual image of the animal so you know its sex, relative age, the time it was using the area and other information that can increase chances for hunting success. A game camera can help you determine if a quality buck is using a scrape, which waterhole is being visited by pronghorns, what time a bear is hitting a bait pile or other facts about your quarry.

Sample Photo from a Game Camera
This photograph captured by a Moultrie Game Spy 1-60 game camera not only provided the user a visual image of a nice buck using his hunting area, it also recorded the date and time the photo was taken, as well as the temperature and moon phase.

A single camera provides lots of useful information, but several cameras placed strategically throughout the area you hunt can be even more helpful. If a big buck is spotted, for example, it can be tracked through the property using the different cameras, which provides an idea of the deer's range. This helps you pinpoint the best places to hunt. As photos are collected, they can be cataloged to provide a record of different animals and their movements so you'll be better prepared when hunting starts.

The biggest advantage of a game camera is it leaves the animals less disturbed. The camera serves as your surrogate "eyes in the woods" and does so much less obtrusively than if you were there. You don't contaminate the area by going in frequently to scout.

FEATURES TO CONSIDER

Some features make certain cameras more applicable for particular situations than others. The proper selection often depends upon the individual hunter, area and species pursued, but here are features to consider before making a purchase.

Date/Time Function

For most hunters, this function, which records the date and time a photo was taken, is imperative. Most, but not all, cameras have this feature, so check before buying. Having a photo of a monster buck is nice, but knowing the exact time he came by is what you really need. Some cameras record additional data as well, including moon phase, temperature, barometric pressure and, as a security measure, the user's name and phone number.

Resolution

The term "resolution" refers to the size of the digital images a camera produces and is usually expressed in terms of "megapixels." When comparing cameras, this is one major difference you'll see. For example, the Stealth Cam 1230 camera has a resolution of 2.0 megapixels, Moultrie's Game Spy 140 is a 4-megapixel camera and Bushnell's Trail Scout Pro is a 7-megapixel camera. Some cameras, such as the latter one, allow a variety of resolution choices -- in this case, 3, 5 or 7 megapixels.

Game Camera
Bushnell's Trail Scout Pro game camera allows users to set the device at one of three resolutions: 3, 5 or 7 megapixels.

A discussion of resolution can get very technical, but for the sake of discussion here, let's just say that the higher the megapixels, the larger each image will be. And as long as the optics and internal components of the cameras are the same quality, the larger the image, the higher its quality. If you don't plan to print a lot of photos, this is less important because photos viewed on a computer or TV screen can be smaller and still look good on the monitor. If you want clear, crisp prints to show your buddies, however, you'll be happier with a higher-resolution camera.

Here's another factor to consider, one that accounts for variable-resolution choices on some cameras. Larger digital images take up more space in your camera's memory. So if you opt for a 3-megapixel resolution on the Bushnell Trail Scout Pro, for example, there will be room on the memory card for many more photos, allowing you to return to the camera site less often to download images. If you opt for a 5-megapixel resolution, the photos will be higher quality but the camera can't shoot as many before the memory card is full. Opt for 7-megapixel resolution, and the photos will be of the highest quality but even fewer in number. Nevertheless, even high-resolution cameras will hold enough photos for general use by hunters in most situations.

As you might expect, higher-resolution and variable-resolution cameras are more expensive than others. If you want decent photos you can print but want to use multiple cameras, you may want to go with a mid-range choice. If capturing high-quality photos of animals you can print and frame for the wall is your goal, then a more expensive high-resolution camera is best.

PIR Width and Range

Many camera descriptions refer to PIR (passive infrared) width and/or range, which refers to the camera's sensing mechanism. The infrared beam on most cameras has a very narrow scope of coverage, usually about 10 degrees. This means an animal must be centered in the field of view for the camera to trigger. Cameras with a wider PIR angle can sense activity up to 180 degrees, which allows them to capture photos of animals that cross anywhere in front of the camera. Wide-view cameras also are better able to capture pictures of faster-moving animals.

It's also important to note the furthest distance at which a game camera can detect trigger-activating motion, which may range from 30 feet on the low end to 100 feet or more.

Game Camera Image
A camera's PIR (passive infrared) width and range determine where an animal must be within the camera's field of view, and at what distance, for movement and/or heat to activate the device and capture a photograph.

Trigger Time

The time that elapses from the moment the camera detects motion until an image is snapped is called trigger time. This can vary from a small fraction of a second on some cameras to as long as 6 seconds on others. While this may seem relatively unimportant, you'll capture many more good images of game animals using a camera with a quick trigger time.

Memory

Almost all game cameras allow use of removable SD or Compact Flash media cards for photo/information storage. SD cards are far more prevalent and much less expensive than Compact Flash cards, but if you already own a specific type of media card you want to use, be sure it's compatible with the camera you plan to purchase. Most cameras have a media card included, but if one is not, you'll incur the additional expense of buying one and will need to know the maximum size media card your camera will accommodate.

Flash

Game cameras use incandescent or infrared (IR) flashes to illuminate the subject in low light and at night. The picture quality of incandescent tends to be far superior to IR, but IR flashes use considerably less battery power, fire much quicker than incandescent flashes and, many hunters say, are less likely to spook animals because the animals can't see them. A few high-end cameras allow changing from IR to incandescent with the flip of a switch, offering the best of both worlds.

Also important to know is the effective range of the flash, which may vary from 10 to 50 feet or more. A flash with a low range may be ok for photographing animals coming to a feeder or on a trail where the camera can be set at close range, but may produce nothing but the glow of red eyes when photographing animals at a distance in a food plot. Be sure the range will be effective for the area you'll be shooting in.

Additional Features

Among the many additional game-camera features you may want to consider are these:

  • External LCD: Some models have an LCD display that allows you to check how many pictures have been taken, as well as other stats, without having to open the enclosure or trigger the camera. Built-in viewers that allow previewing your photos also are available.
  • TV Jack/Cables: With one of these, can connect directly to a TV to view your photos.
  • Aiming Aids: Many units have a test mode or laser aiming device to help aim the camera properly so you won't miss a shot.
  • Event Counter: Some units incorporate this feature, which will tell you an animal crossed the sensor beam, even between photos. That way you can get an accurate count of how many times there was activity on a certain trail or area and around what time the activity centered.
  • Video: Many cameras now are capable of capturing video in addition to photographs. Some only offer fixed-length videos, while others offer programmable video length.
  • Multiple Shot/Burst Mode: When this feature is used, the camera will shoot multiple images over a specified time range to capture action that might be missed with a single shot.
  • External Battery Jack: Game cameras usually are powered by standard or rechargeable 9-volt, AA, C or D batteries. If you can't make timely visits to your camera, however, you want to make sure you don't lose battery power between trips. Cameras with an external battery jack can be hooked up to 12-volt batteries for almost unlimited field life. Add a solar charger like the Moultrie Power Panel and they can run indefinitely.
  • Security Features: Game cameras are subject to being stolen, or damaged by animals like bears. For this reason, many security features now are incorporated into the designs (camo finish, padlock tabs, password protection, etc.) or are available as accessories (locking bars/brackets, cable locks, security boxes, etc.).
  • Wireless Capability: If you don't mind paying the extra cost, you can purchase a wireless camera like the Smart Scouter or Buckeye Cam Orion that will transmit images to your personal computer or the Internet for off-site viewing. These eliminate the need to travel to or through your hunting area to retrieve camera images, creating less disturbance and saving time and money.
  • Special Features: As game cameras evolve, more special features become available such as the built-in programmable game calls (deer, turkey, moose, elk and predators) that attract animals to Bushnell's Trail Scout Pro. Expect to see more exciting innovations in the near future.

Once you use a game camera, you will never want to scout without one again. Imagine being able to keep tabs on a favorite rub, waterhole or hot bear bait day in and day out, even when you're working. Game cameras allow you to do all that and more, helping you know more about your quarry so you have a greater chance of success on all your hunts.

View all Game Cameras

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