Are you trail cameras giving you valuable information or scaring deer away? Have you captured images of big bucks that were never to be seen again? Perhaps you’ve spooked them from the area with your presence, or just your scent. Bruce Ryan, a native West Virginian, has been on the cutting edge of deer hunting for decades. As an outfitter, he once offered horseback hunts in wilderness areas. His experience can help you avoid trail camera blunders that can actually cost you big bucks.

WV Deer 2013 038 (2)In a lifetime of hunting Whitetail Deer, I have witnessed nothing that changed the sport more than the advent of the Trail Camera. In the past, we hunters had to depend on fresh deer sign and the interpretation of that sign, as a major way of scouting for deer and any mature bucks that might be present. We learned to scout out food sources and the trails leading to and from these sources and bedding areas. Often we scouted sign that showed a nice buck was in our area, but could only guess at what that buck might look like.

The development and evolution of the trail camera changed all of this. When used correctly, we can now see photos of the deer in our areas, and keep better track of their daily habits. This includes different behavior and travel routes, as food sources change with the season and deer adjust their patterns relative to these changes.

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.