Deer in the wild

Summertime Scouting for Deer Day 3: Use Trail Cameras...

A deer spotted in the wild

Summertime Scouting for Deer Day 5: Use Mineral Licks...

06/30/2022 Comments Off on Summertime Scouting for Deer Day 4: Continue to Use Trail Cameras Deer Hunting, Hunting Advice, Tips & Tricks

Summertime Scouting for Deer Day 4: Continue to Use Trail Cameras

A deer eating grass

Editor’s Note: Avid deer hunters recognize the importance of scouting for deer in the summertime – perhaps in places you’ve never considered.  


An automatic deer feederYou must remove all bait and deer attractant from the property where you’ll hunt deer in many states at least 10 days before hunting season starts. (Be sure to carefully check the regulations regarding baiting deer and using deer attractants in the state where you hunt.) Many hunters recommend removing all feed or attractants 15–20 days before the beginning of hunting season, so as not to have any problems with game officials. You still can leave your trail cameras out once the season starts to see if the same deer will walk the same routes they’ve used when you’ve baited them, or where you’ve used attractant in months past. By putting-out bait or attractants before the season and placing your cameras close to those places, there’s a very-good chance the deer will walk the same routes they’ve used as they’ve come to the bait or the attractants. If you remove your bait or attractants well ahead of deer season but leave your cameras out, your cameras will let you know what’s happening. 


Deer in the wildSome trail cameras feed photos and videos to a website you can visit anytime day or night to see what deer are moving in front of each one of your camera locations or even directly to your phone. These trail cameras allow you to stay at home and do your scouting from your computer or phone. A trail camera that shoots video usually will let you get a longer look at the deer on your property and better study the antler development of each deer that walks in front of your camera. Don’t forget to look for deer sign also when you’re in the fields hunting doves in September. You may be able to pinpoint deer trails and bedding areas near green fields. 


A hunter inspecting his trail cameraEarly-season scouting for deer has become so high-tech that today we can learn 100 times the amount of information through using bait stations and trail cameras as we’ve once learned by scouting all season and after deer season on foot. You can learn information now that will help you hunt more efficiently during the rut too. If you’re getting far-more pictures of does than bucks on a camera at a bait station, don’t forget – that’s where you need to hunt during the rut. A concentration of does means the bucks will show-up there then. 


Yes, trail cameras, feeders and attractants can be expensive to use. However, if you consider the amount of time required to scout effectively, and the vast information you’ll learn from these tools, you’ll find them inexpensive and learn they’re much-more reliable than the hours you spend in the woods. Although scouting for deer has gone high-tech, it enables you to manage your deer herd better, determine the quality of bucks on the property you hunt and better learn how and when the deer on your property move. 


Cover: Jim Crumley's Secrets for Hunting DeerTo learn more about hunting for deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “Jim Crumley’s Secrets of Bowhunting Deer” available in Kindle and print and Audible at You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on the book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read and hear 10% of the book for free). On the right side of the page and below the offer for a free Audible trial, you can click on Buy the Audible book.  To see more of John’s deer books, visit, click on all formats and look at the bottom of the page to see books.  


Tomorrow: Use Mineral Licks for Preseason Deer Scouting 

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