August 02, 2022
By NAW Staff
A lot of people ask, “Do you run your trail cameras all year, or just seasonally?” Ultimately, it depends on the property.
Year-Round Trail Cameras
If it’s a property you’re unfamiliar with and you’re trying to gather as much information as possible, a year-round approach is best. But, to do that, you'll need the ability to change the batteries and SD cards in the camera. This truly helps to determine if whitetails are using the property 365 days a year. It is common for some properties to hold deer well in the summer months, but then they seem to vanish come the rut. Depending on how the property is set up, it can be more of a travel corridor than a year-round oasis.
Seasonal Trail Cameras
The main benefit to only running cameras seasonally is to prevent human intrusion on the property. Since you won’t be constantly checking cameras, you’ll help turn your property into more of a sanctuary where deer from other places come to get away. This is beneficial because after the most stressful part of the year, it gives those deer a place to feel safe, relax and rebuild their nutritional supply after the rut.
The Choice Is Yours
It is important to remember that trail camera use is an individual choice. You must ensure that first and foremost it is legal to do so, and then decide whether or not you want to invest all that it takes to run cameras. There are plenty of hunters that prefer the old school approach to hunting, where they don’t necessarily know every deer on their property. That is really the classic hunting style, used way before we had trail cameras. And, on the other hand, trail cameras allow you to have a ton of information about your herd. You’ll get to know them intimately by having years of backstory and history. This builds anticipation, because you’re so invested with that deer when you ultimately harvest him. It’s just really cool.
The trail camera is the ultimate link that helps connect you with the deer. So, to each his own. If you’re the kind of guy who would rather be in total surprise, then that’s awesome. But maybe you’re wanting to build that connection and extend your hunting season to 365 days a year. That’s where running cameras year-round can really come in handy.