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Illinois hunting and fishing

Lick your way to better pictures

June 21, 2010 at 03:13 PM

Here’s a simple tip for deer hunters looking for ways to get better trail-cam pictures of deer.

Find a licking branch and set the camera up about 6 feet away. My best licking branch setups are near the edge of agriculture fields or food plots. Deer use and mark many of these year round, find their favorite and it is easy to get multiple buck pictures and good pictures every week. 

I use a fence post to get the perfect angle and setup. One of the big advantages of these sites is that they can be easy for you to get at and to not disturb deer in their safe zones. The deer are used to vehicles near the farm fields, and I can drive right to the camera and get the SD card, change batteries etc. 

Just like deer hunting, look for funnels. My best spots are apple trees in old pastures, tree limbs overhanging the corner of soybean fields and licking branches in waterways between corn fields. 

Let the deer come to your camera!

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

When these turn to scrapes later in the year… its not uncommon for me to get 6 to 10 bucks a day on them… Very good for seeing whats in the area but most of the pics i get on them are at night later in the year so the deer could be coming for miles but i agree great picture sites.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/21 at 04:40 PM

I get the same results, Clint.  Half dozen pics per night over a good scrape and each pic is of a different buck.  My old property had a huge and very active scrape.  I left a camera ove it for two weeks straight and got like 20 different buck pics.  I never even knew I had that many bucks.  Mostly small bucks and mostly at night, but a great spot for pics nevertheless.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/21 at 07:31 PM

The problem is… i would say 80 percent of those bucks you will never see on your property.  I dont have much experience with that this time of year since it just frustrates me seeing no tine length.  Im after world class deer not 140s and at this point its impossible to tell the difference.  3 more weeks and ill know more about the deer and may start a few cameras. I have ten plus digitals but running that many this time of year can be frustrating/

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/21 at 08:17 PM

I agree.  I can only remember one time when I saw a buck that I had a scrape pic of and he was only a 1.5 year old.  When I get a crack at a real good buck, it’s usually the first time I’ve ever seen him.  I know a lot of hunters have their sights on one particular buck, but I swear I rarely see a real monster twice.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/22 at 09:36 AM

I have plenty of experience putting cameras out on scrapes during the fall/rut, but none in the summer. Will deer use the same scrapes in the Fall and summer?  If so will the deer literally paw at the ground during the summer months and leave scent on the scrape like they do during the fall or do they just leave scent from their foreheads on the above branches? I am judging by your pics that these scrapes are made on field edges and not in deep timber, so is that where I should be looking for them? Does it help to use any kind of a scent also? Questions/comments appreciated. thanks

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/22 at 09:17 PM

I find that field edge scrapes are used mostly at night.  Timber scrapes are also used mainly at night, but are also used during shooting hours, especially those on the edge of a bedding area.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/23 at 09:55 AM

Dustin,  I use some of the same scrape locations in the summer that I use in the fall.  But, I really like the edge “licking branch” camera setup to target the bachelor buck groups.  I find I get good pictures of the bucks in the area (1 or 2 miles!)and I do not disturb them in their core bedding area.  From these summer pictures and camera setups I see very little hoof scraping action.  It appears to be gland marking with the facial glands on the overhanging limbs.

I will get a high percentage of daylight buck pictures until the velvet is shed (about September 1st).  And then the bucks start becoming more nocturnal.

The best part is I get pictures of bucks that I may not know are close by.  I will get several mature bucks on camera each year in the summer and then they “disappear” in September and October, return for a day or two during the rut, and then they return full time at the end of December or January.

The summer pictures allow me to see the antler development and know what mature bucks are in the neighborhood.  The mature bucks in my area can be very well traveled.  Several with very unique racks have been tracked over ranges of 2 to 3 miles with camera setups and kills. I hunt land in the Illinois river bluffs, with good deer habitat and with a group of happy does living on a property (even a very small property), any day during the rut can bring a monster buck a calling.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/26 at 02:30 PM

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