Trail cameras are an invaluable tool when used properly for scouting. Whether setting up on game trails, food plots and feeding areas, the camera can pick up game animals visiting those areas, providing you with a census of the game you have.

Bill Howard shares some basic information on how to set up the cameras as well as some tips on how to program the settings of the cameras for maximum effectiveness.

There are basically two locations to set the camera. The first is the actual trail the game is using to go to and from bedding areas and food and water locations. After scouting and finding tracks where deer or other targeted game animals travel, find a tree suitable for placement of the camera and hang it about 2 to 3 feet high angled slightly down. If a bear lives in the same area, it may be necessary to use a bear-proof protective box over the camera. Set the camera to take bursts of 2 to 3 photos at a time. Set the time between bursts at a low setting such as 1 minute. The reason to set the time low is on a trail the animal is constantly moving, so if there are several using the trail, the camera may not pick up all the animals traveling the location.


You can also set up a camera is on a food plot or feeding area. Since this is usually overlooking a field or open area, be careful setting infrared camera facing the sunrise or sunset. With the infrared camera, a white-out effect can occur during these times if motion is detected as the infrared sensor may still read low light conditions even though the bright sun is shining directly in the path of the camera. Again, set it for 2 or 3 bursts but increase the time between sets of bursts up to 5 minutes or maybe even longer. If the setting is too short, you may fill your memory with the same deer feeding as well as killing the batteries with the excess shots. Since the animals tend to move slowly when feeding, the longer time allows movement without using these resources and you still will get the shots of other deer and game that may enter the area to feed.


One other note, make sure there is no high grass or weeds in front or near the camera, as wind can blow the grass leaves in front of the motion sensor and provide you with lots of photos of an empty field or path.