I use trail cameras. All year round.
I think they are great tools, they can give you a good idea of what is moving around in the woods. I like to have an idea of what I am going after. Just my opinion.
The surprise of seeing other animals is nice too. It is also a hobby of mine, I get all kinds of animals year round. Im always excited to see what I get on my cameras in the spring.. that seems to be the best time to have them out with the most variety of wild animals.
I have spent countless hours glassing fields and scouting to see what is out there, using the cameras just helps me out. I primarily hunt public land now. The private properties I hunted got too caught up in not managing, but trying to "grow" monster bucks. That was not fun to me. I now get enjoyment of the added challenge of hunting public land and the even bigger challenge of hunting mature bucks on public land. There is a certain sense of extra fulfillment for me.. harvesting mature deer on public land. There is a general etiquette usually followed on the public land I hunt... not saying its followed all the time but... for the most part on the public land I hunt, most of my stuff doesnt get bothered. Even on the patch of land I was having troubles on.. the etiquette has been followed. So i do not worry about leaving a camera or a stand out. Usually people tend to stay away.. even if itss only 25 yardss a way... most people still show respect.
Anyway, the cameras def give me an advantage... probably the biggest one is the time of day trails are getting used. I have got burned on that many times before... you see great sign, good usage.. later to find out its all night time activity. The use of cameras helps with this.. doesnt solve it, but def keeps me from hunting a stand that may not produce. I enjoy using them, the help me decided where to hunt and thats about it.
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