Deer Reaction To Trail Cameras
It’s been a busy last few weeks for me and most fellow habitat junkies like us here at WAS, getting the late season food plots planted and trying to time them with the rain or moisture that’s in the ground can be and especially this year is a challenge. But I sit here this morning writing this blog to the sound of a much needed straight down rain is pelting onto the earth.
About 2-1/2 weeks ago we did get a very much needed 2+ inches of rain and I was lucky enough to be able to get out into my R-R soy bean fields just as it started raining and over seeded my warm season food plots with my fall mix of brassica’s and turnips. I also hit some individual areas with winter wheat, winter oats and ryes as well, so this November there will be lots of greens underneath those brown bean stalks.
It has been a very hot dry summer, but despite all those kinds of challenges I have had some success. I hope all of you that read this understand that not every year will you have the conditions it takes to have the perfect food plots and this year was one of the worst throughout the entire mid-west. So one of the ways I work at building success has always been to diversify the food sources, planting dates and conditions so hopefully I’ll have at least something that turns out to be a hit.
I’ve also been working at trying to get a decent inventory of my local deer herd the past few weeks. I just purchased a newer game camera and have been getting good results with it. I want to show a few photos of what I caught on film in a really good funnel location I set it up in. The first two deer that came by the camera were bucks, a nice 2-1/2 up and comer and a young first rack 1-1/2 they were basically oblivious to the new camera. The next series of photos were of a mature matriarch doe and she really raised cain with the camera stomping her feet and letting all the other deer in her family group know about it. What is good to learn about this series of photos is this particular doe I had on my hit list last fall and let her pass one evening due to having a nice shooter buck with-in eyesight. If I had it to do over I would and will this year take this old doe out. She has a small white strip in her nose so she is easy to identify. This is a testament as to how older mature does train all of her offspring and other females within her family group about things that we just don’t consider.
What I find very educational about this is I used scent free gloves, boots and outerwear when I set the camera; she’s not sniffing it she just doesn’t like that little black box on the tree that wasn’t there yesterday. This is one of the small Moultrie M-80 cameras and a lot of us just plain underestimate mature deer’s ability to not miss a single detail in their environment. Although she and the others didn’t care for the out of place black box on the tree, they eventually decided it wasn’t a threat, but it took her a good amount of time.
I think this can be a great example to us Michigan deer hunters as to the levels of caution these high pressured deer go through each day. Those that don’t follow each detail or decide to take a shortcut can be sure that these old matriarch does will not.
I have relocated the Moultrie camera to an active scraping area on the back side of my property; I will pull the card this week and see if I have been rewarded with photos of some of the more mature bucks using the property. When I do I will post them on my next blog.
I thought I’d leave this photo of a doe that appears to have a slug hole “notch” in her left ear. She will be easy to identify this year and my guess is she came very close to not making it last season, but you can bet she is now one tough doe to get close to.