Scouting by trail cam has long been in the whitetail hunter’s playbook. But nowadays, elk hunters are using trail cams on wallows, along game trails and in elky looking areas. Here are some tips to get the most out of your trail cam.
First, check the regs. Make sure trail cams are legal to use on public land where you plan to hunt.
Once the regs give you the green light, be conscious of other trail users when picking a spot. Don’t pick a heavily-used trail where hikers and bikers are going cruising by. Chances are you’re going to get a lot of pictures of dog-walkers and very few elk.
Once you’ve found an out-of-the way location, position the camera so it’s ideally facing north. If you point it due east or west, the sun’s glare will ruin many a photo.
Because you are on public land and not everyone is as honest as we’d like them to be, make sure to lock up your camera with a quality cable.
When your camera is positioned, clear away low limbs and other brush, especially anything close to the camera’s trigger. If you don’t, you’ll have plenty of shots of swaying grass every time the wind picks up.
For a few extra bucks, lithium ion batteries are a better choice than alkaline batteries, which will lose power much faster in cold temperatures.
And finally, invest in a memory card of at least a few gigabytes—more if you’re taking video or anticipate lots of animals. Not every trail cam uses the same kind of card, so read the instructions to see which card fits your camera.
Checking on trail cams is a great excuse to get out in the woods. And with these tips, Christmas might come early for you in elk country.
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