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Posted on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 10:20 a.m.

Scouting for deer with trail cameras

By Rick Taylor


This gorgeous 10 point buck was taken with one of my trail cameras just a few days ago.

It’s hard to believe that the bow hunting season is a mere two weeks away, beginning Oct. 1. This year has gone by so fast yet I had an epiphany about early season scouting. I didn’t want to repeat the mistakes of last year by not scouting like I should have.

So, I found three of my trail cameras in the garage and bought 2 more along with fresh batteries and SD cards. I was going to make sure I had my trail cameras taking pictures of deer in the woods long before the Opener of Bow Season.

I made the necessary phone calls to landowners who extended me the courtesy to hunt their land again. I’d be nowhere without the hospitality of the landowners, so I’d like to sincerely thank them for making my hunting season a reality.

I set out my trail cameras in late August and left them alone for two weeks before returning for my SD cards.

I was excited to see what images I may have captured and hoped to see that buck of a lifetime.

Trail cameras do much more than take pictures of wildlife. They illustrate which deer keep coming back, how many times and what time of day they visit these areas.

Finally, these cameras let you know whether you’re in a good spot or not. I find these cameras to be an invaluable resource and highly recommend them to all hunters.

There are downsides to owning a trail camera. First, thieves do exist, and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had them stolen. Thieves are the scum of the earth — just saying.

Secondly, hunters have a tendency to return over and over to their hunting spot to see if new deer pictures have been taken. Simply put, the more you visit your hunting location, the more human scent you put out for big bucks to notice.

Trail cameras can’t do all of your scouting for you. The cameras only work in very short distances up to 50 feet or so. Nothing beats getting out to an adjoining ridge with your binoculars and glassing.

So, get out there and start scouting and good luck.

Finally, I’ll be doing an elk hunting story on the Moriah Ranch I hunted last year through the eyes of another hunter. This is a story I’m so excited to share with you so stay tuned!

Rick Taylor warmy welcomes your story ideas and comments. Rick can be reached by email at or by cell at 734-223-5656.


Kyle Mattson

Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

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ypsi 1

Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Very nice 10 point! With the overpopulation of deer a well managed herd is critical. Keep on hunting Rick and bringing good articles to us. p.s. I'd rather have this one in the freezer and on my wall than half way through my windshield.


Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

This story reminded me of the following quote by the late actor, Jimmy Stewart (1908-1997): "Animals give me more pleasure through the viewfinder of a camera than they ever did in the crosshairs of a gunsight. And after I've finished "shooting", my unharmed victims are still around for others to enjoy."


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

@jcj, I don't dispute that. If you can show me where I stated or implied otherwise, I would appreciate it. Mr. Stewart's quote was offered by me because it was relevant to the story and expressed my feelings on the matter. I could have said essentially the same thing and attributed it to myself as an original thought, but that would have been plagiarism. I don't engage in plagiarism. And for the record, I don't eat meat either, reinforcing Mr. Taylor's tendency to make invalid assumptions. And, I must say, based on comments in the first paragraph in his last reply, Mr. Taylor appears to be rather fearful of seemingly trivial matters. I wonder if he might be concerned about karmic repercussions.


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 1:29 a.m.

DBH Jimmy Stewart was a great actor BUT that does not qualify himas anything more than another person with an opinion.

Rick Taylor

Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

Thank you for your thoughts regarding our varing opinions on the matter. I've only had and continue to have one email account because I'm afraid I might miss an important email and don't like the idea of logging into different accounts. I'm afraid I like things simple. I thought about my comments after they posted and realized I was completely off topic and going into other area's outside of that. So, let me say that I shouldn't be so defensive. Of course I'll get people who don't like what I do and they'll make sure I know it. It's a part of the job. So, thank you for taking the time to post your comments.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

Quid pro quo. You assumed I eat meat; I don't. Thank you for sharing your philosophy. I agree with you - I wish people would put more effort into connecting with and understanding the source of their food, especially meat. Share your thoughts with others who hunt and don't have the same appreciation for the animal; I suspect they are giving like you a bad name. On another note, a marketing suggestion. You're using your professional email address as a contact for a community contribution and responding to comments with a *tone* that may leave some people cold. People remember that sort of thing and people often research real estate agents on the internet before they choose one. Perhaps you should post these with personal contact information.

Rick Taylor

Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

Well, here we go again. Call it a sport or don't call it a sport (I didn't call it a sport so I thank you for putting words in my mouth). I eat venison because I like it and venison is the leanest meat out there. I'd rather hunt an older buck because they're older and I'd rather let the younger deer grow up. Why is it that anti-hunters don't seem to mind eating their pork chops, chicken salad and porterhouse steaks but think I'm inhumane because I hunt? I think every person out there should kill their own food every know and then so they can take responsibility for what they eat. That means you too. One of the biggest beefs I have is that anti-hunters think we don't truly appreciate wild animals on their own merit; that somehow we need to kill in order to feel better about ourselves. That simply isn't the case and you should give hunters like myself more credit. To actually think I'll feel better if I simply take a picture of an animal is almost comical if not so insulting. Simply stated, I eat meat and I'll hunt to get it as I'm allowed to by law. I hope this puts any questions to rest.


Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 6:56 p.m.

Well said. I don't understand how this is a 'sport' when you put cameras out to record their habits. I suppose it is a 'sport' when hunters do that and track the animal themselves.


Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

"You can't eat a picture, sorry." Never said or thought you could (well, actually, you can, but who would want to?) nor, as far as I know, did Jimmy Stewart think one could or should. The point is that ceasing the killing of animals for sport benefits not only the animals but others (like myself) who enjoy seeing them in whatever natural habitat remains. Another quote for your consideration, this from a former hunter, the late Steve Ruggeri (1949-1998): "When we have exposed the specious reasoning of the hunters' apologists and stripped their sport of its counterfeit legitimacy, the naked brutality of hunting defines itself: killing for the fun of it."

Rick Taylor

Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

You can't eat a picture, sorry.