Trail Cameras: Detailed Tips For A Deer Survey (Episode 197 Transcript)

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GRANT: Late August and we're continuing with our trail camera survey, preparing for season, so we've got some big antlers showing up here at The Proving Grounds.

ANNOUNCER: is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops. Also by Reconyx, Trophy Rock, Muddy Outdoors, Non-Typical Wildlife Solutions, Eagle Seed, Nikon, Winchester, Redneck Hunting Blinds, Dead Down Wind, Record Rack, Antler Dirt, LaCrosse Footwear, ScentMaster, BloodSport Arrows, and Prime Bows by G5.

GRANT: We do an annual trail camera survey to monitor our population, every year during August, here at The Proving Grounds. Trail camera survey is a fancy term, but don't let it put you off from using this valuable tool. We simply shift our Reconyx cameras from watching food plots, or something else, to an attraction, such as Record Rack feed and a Trophy Rock, you get as many deer coming to that attraction as we can in about a 14 day period.

GRANT: I've been working with trail camera surveys for almost 20 years. And over time, we’ve refined our steps and how we use the cameras and what we use as an attraction to get the best results with the least effort we can.

GRANT: Trail camera survey is simply a tool to get a really accurate estimate of the number of bucks, does, and fawns using the property where you hunt.

GRANT: It's also a great way to see the age structure of the bucks in that area and their antler development, but even more important than that, it shows you individual characteristics of bucks.

GRANT: I'm looking for a mature bucks that tend to come to the area during daylight hours or act more aggressive around the site. Maybe they're chasing other bucks off and I know those bucks are more likely to respond to grunt calls or rattling, decoys, or other techniques. So a trail camera survey gives me the demographics and the huntability of the deer on my property.

GRANT: I almost always have my trail camera pointed north and I do that almost everywhere I use trail cameras. That way there's less interference from the sun and I have better quality pictures so I can really see the individual characteristics of the deer. We program our cameras to take two pictures, ten seconds apart, and then every five minutes, that way we don’t get so many pictures it's impossible to go through ‘em all.

GRANT: We do what we call pre-baiting, putting the feed and the Trophy Rock out at least two weeks before we actually start collecting data. It's important, if you're in an area that has a lot of oak trees, or another attractive food source, to start your trail camera survey before those acorns start falling or the deer will disperse and you won't get pictures of all the bucks in your area.

GRANT: Once a site's established, I'll probably refresh it twice a week. I figure out how much feed I need to put down to last three or four days and deer almost clean it all up before I add some more.

GRANT: I've learned over the years to keep all my batteries and trail camera cards and lens cleaning equipment in a tackle box, that way every time I go to check my cameras, I've got it all in one place and I have everything I need.

GRANT: Take the time to do it right so you have meaningful results because it will end up making you a better hunter on that property.

GRANT: We've got line by line detailed instructions of how we do a trail camera survey here on the GrowingDeer website.

KABLE: It's August 26th, it's actually my birthday. Uh, we've been seeing tons of bucks in this clover food plot, Reconyx images are just all over the place. We've got some, we've got some nice ones, we got some up and comers.

KABLE: We'll see you soon.

ADAM: Just finished up weighing our new BloodSport Arrows, it is very clear the sacrifice of the people that made at BloodSport to produce a great arrow for both you and me. From hand selecting each arrow to go together in the dozen to be almost identical, to sending out a .001 straightness. Needless to say, we can't wait for season to get here so we can start flinging these arrows down range.

ADAM: Where's my powder? (Laughter)

ADAM: Yeah, where's my powder? (Laughter)

GRANT: The Proving Grounds is really the ultimate test site for odor control cause our property has seven major ridges that go up and down approximately 400 feet each one and the thermals in those steep ridges make for consistent swirling winds every day.

GRANT: Through the years we've tried a lot of different systems to reduce our odor. Last few years, we've honed in on a combination that we think is giving us great success in the field.

GRANT: I can't think of a better hunt than last year's Kansas hunt, when we were hunting during muzzleloader season and had a very mature buck, downwind of us, for over ten minutes that we filmed, before he stepped into a clearing and I was able to punch my tag.

GRANT: Simply stated, there are literally billions of bacteria on your body at any one time, and if you killed ‘em all, you would die. So we just want to kill the select ones that cause the most odor, or are known to be problems.

GRANT: We like that Dead Down Wind is based on enzymes, which is a fancy word that simply means there's parts that attack certain bacteria and certain other smells, like petroleum, fuels, other stuff, versus just one anti-microbial that tries to kill everything.

GRANT: Even though we've showered and taken care of our personal hygiene before each hunt, we're wiped down with wipes right before we go hunting and that way it's like a shower literally a couple hundred yards before the treestand.

GRANT: Using this complete system, versus just putting some field spray, has resulted in us having a lot more downwind encounters. Not perfect, and we get busted every now and then, but our odds, as you've seen on our shows, have went way up.

GRANT: Whatever you're doing to prepare for hunting season, don't forget to get outside and enjoy Creation a little bit along the way, and more importantly, slow down and listen to the Creator. Thanks for watching

ADAM: You feel lucky? Well, do you punk?

ADAM: You're never not rolling, I know.

ADAM: Get that camera out of my face.

ADAM: Seriously. Yeah, I've been working on this for a very long time. (Laughter)