IR- We are not kidding ourselves, the deer still know they are there. Just makes them a little less spooky and doesn't look like the Fourth of July when you are in a stand watching some flash bulbs going off. Makes them harder to pinpoint for thieves in my opinion.
How many per square mile? Truly depends upon the terrain. If it is agricultural fields with minimal woods it will take less than say an area with 100% woods. You have less places they are exiting the woods to enter the fields. In the end, the best you can do is scout from a distance, scout in the off season, and put them in the highest traffic areas to access your inventory. Buy as many as you can afford I suppose could be the best answer to this question. I do not think you will ever know just how many deer you have in an area. I think you have a ballpark estimate, but that is as close as you will get. Don't listen to the ODNR guesstimates on numbers of deer.
Hope this helps and welcome to the website with the most laid back attitude you will find. . . until it is killing time.:smiley_cowboy:
I've only got about 1 year of experience running a trail camera, but these items are what I consider important when choosing a camera... in no particular order:
2) Battery life
3) Size of the camera
4) Picture/video quality
6) PIR sensitivity
Now my opinion is going to be biased because this is the only camera I've ever run on a regular basis on my hunting grounds, but in my opinion the Bushnell Trophy Cam is the best 200 dollar camera on the market right now. When I worked for USDA, we ran nothing but Reconyx cams... and let me tell you, those cameras are amazing. And of course we've all seen the quality and performance of the BEC cams, thanks to members of this site and others. However, those cams are high in price and just aren't practical for MOST of the deer hunting community (again, just my opinion). My Bushnell only cost me 200 bucks, plus about 15 bucks for a couple memory cards, and 16 bucks for a set of batteries... so say 231 bucks total. I bought this cam in December of 2009, and to this date I have not put any more money into it. I'm still running the same set of AA batteries, even after over 7000 pictures and a couple hundred videos. Sure, you can find cheaper cameras, but if you're changing out batteries every month or two, what's the friggin point? The Bushnell is about as easy to use as it gets, the 8 mp picture resolution is amazing, it's tiny so people can't easily see it on a tree, and with 3 different PIR sensitivity settings this camera doesn't miss a thing that walks in front of it. If necessary, you can also buy a security box. In my opinion, this camera is by far the best bang for your buck. Especially for a guy like me, who doesn't live at the property he hunts... I make it down there every couple weeks if I'm lucky, and I know the whole time that my cam is out there doing its job, just like it should be.
When it comes to effectively patterning deer, due to lack of experience I really don't know how many cams it would take to cover 640 acres. I think the biggest determining factor is going to be the type of terrain that is on this 640 acres, though. I do know this though... the property I hunt in Carroll County is less than 100 acres total, and I wish I had at least 3 to 5 cameras on it. Multiple that by six, and you're looking at a shit ton of cameras to monitor one square mile.
Even though I'm not a seasoned veteran when it comes to running cameras, I think I've gotten pretty good at effectively setting them up. The way you position your camera will vary, depending on the type of the cam, its effective range, and whether you're capturing still images or videos. The time of year also plays a big role on where you place your camera. I like to set mine up relatively low on the tree, usually right around waist-height. I find that positioning it low results in well-centered pictures of the deer... which of course is the goal... good pictures equate to good scouting. I always pay attention to which way the camera is pointing. If at all possible, I try to position facing north or south so as not to get blinded by the sun... of course this isn't always feasible. When capturing still images, I'll set the cam up overlooking frequented trails and funnels, and I'll usually set it up to take 2 or 3 picture bursts. Video capturing is usually saved for scrapes or concentrated food sources, like a loaded apple tree.
For me, the bottom line is that I only have a limited amount of cash to spend on hunting and fishing related gear each year. This is why it took me so long to even purchase a trail camera. And when it came down to deciding which one to buy, I needed to get the most performance for the money. It's the same reason my wife and I are buying a new Chevy Cruze today instead of the Ford Fusion... my family all works at Ford, and the Fusion is a great car... however, I can get a fully-loaded Cruze for about 1500 bucks less than a base-package Fusion, AND still get better gas mileage with a turbocharged 4 banger. The Bushnell TC is a very affordable, yet extremely capable trail camera. It's done nothing but perform for me in this past year, and I couldn't be any happier with it. If I were to buy another camera today, without a doubt it would be another Bushnell.
Good luck with your article, Mike. I'm sure you'll get some great feedback here. Welcome to the site!
I run all types and feel the most important thing is to leave them out as long as you can. It's tough sometimes to leave them out there for weeks without disturbing them. But I know with the farm I am hunting now I am so worried that I will bump deer out I just have to leave them. Maybe I am just being paranoid but it seems to be working...
My area is slightly seasoned w/ foot traffic. The deer get use to it. Just like hearing trains, chain saws or lawn mowers. Sucks that some areas I hunted as a kid are now subdivisions. What gets me fired up are the city guys that lived on 1/2 acre in town; sell, buy 5 acres in the country and think they can now walk where ever their little legs can carry them. (Errrrr)
Had 1 slob that did gang drives at the end of the week but that year he and his low life trash gang drove the local blocks on opening day, poached a doe 75 yr. from my stand. I photoed the event, came down, called the GW. He showed up at the house later that day, took a statement and downloaded the photos on a USB key. The slob,lost the deer, his gun and pd. the court fines but was back out in ML season...
I'm just waiting for him to show up on a trail cam...
Makes me want to run sets of 2 just to document the theft or destruction of 1
I have had great luck with the Bushnell, 8 MP, IR (2010)
I found my most important points were battery life, trigger time and photo quality.
Mine has been out since May 1, 2010, taken thousands of picts, a weeks worth of movies and still shows over 3/4 battery life.
The day and night stills are great. The options to set frequency and resolution have become next on my list.
The movie mode is so-so but 8MP Pict's more than off set that.
A viewer on the camera would be nice but was in no way a deal breaker because I spend more time looking over the shots at home. It can handle up to a 16MB SD card so it can be left out for long periods.
I also like the smaller size of the unit. They make a "bear box" for it which may offer some peace-of-mind but as they say, "locks only keep honest people out"
I will buy another and not think twice about shopping other mfr.. Bushnell has my business as far as trail cams go.
what about gps , cause i head a story somewhere about a trail cam thief that was busted cause of gps in a camera , if bushnell carries ones with gps i would definetly buy a bushnell , seen a guy at the flea market this morning with some trailcams if he still has them tomorrow im gonna get one