Deer Hunting – Spypoint Trail Camera – Jacob Hacker this is my summer series, this is preseason prep. And I’m very happen to have Jacob Hacker on, he’s the Regional Sales Manager for SpyPoint https://www.spypoint.com. What’s SpyPoint? Well, you’re going to hear all about it in the next hour so. But more important than that we’re going to be talking about preseason prep with your trail cameras, of which SpyPoint is one brand.
Jake, welcome to the show. And let’s roll up and talk about, you know, just the development of the use of spy cameras. Now, you know, security cameras have been around forever, but all of a sudden motion sensors, whitetail deer, and we got a huge industry, don’t we?
Oh, yeah, it’s everywhere. You can’t be in and around the hunting industry now without seeing trail cameras everywhere.
Now do you know the history of when this whole thing started? You know, who was the first guy to figure out, “Wait a minute, if I can use this in my office, I should hang it on a tree”?
I can’t answer that one for you, but I bet he’s sitting pretty and he’s killed some big deer with it though, that’s for sure.
Yeah, because how long… You know, I’m just trying to think. Trail cameras being used, it’s get to be over 10 years, 10, 15 years, don’t you think?
Oh, easily, yeah. I know I started hunting, it was 1999 is the first season that I really started hunting. And, you know, we had trail cameras then. You know, they were 35-millimeter flash cameras, but we still used trail cameras then. So that’s been, gosh, 20 years now? So it’s well before that, I’m sure.
Yeah. And talking to some older, more mature hunters, they used to take silk strands. And they would put out silk strands on deer trails. And they would obviously have to check the silk stand, but they’d have it. And so they could tell…you know, basically they could tell which way the deer was going and they could tell the 12-hour period time or whatever. So we have been using those devices, rudiment as they are, to see if deer are using, you know, a certain pathway. You know, military use it all the time, you know, even way before trail cameras. You know, they had tripwires and stuff like that, so you really knew when somebody went by.
But having said all that, you know, hunting has used some way of saying, “Okay, something passed here at some point in time,” and that’s all they’ll know. Now, I mean, we can get… What’s the stuff we can get off a trail camera picture? I mean it’s just…
Oh, you can get whatever you want off there. You know, our cameras, just as a basic feature, are showing you time, date, and moon phase, as well as, you know, the image itself. You know, a picture is worth 1,000 words and you can learn a ton from just analyzing an individual trail camera photo. But the data and information stored within the picture file itself is just light years beyond what we used to see in trail cameras.
Now we’re even talking about you can get barometric pressure, you can get wind direction, right?
We already talked about the moon. Can we talk about moisture? Do they pick up moisture, you know, if it’s raining, foggy, clear, any of that?
You know, our cameras do not as far as a data point, but you can look in that picture and see that…you know, that much information, what you’re looking for. Is it raining, what’s the weather, cloudy, overcast, that’s just another clue you can pick out of your trail camera photo. You know, we as hunters tend to focus on the subject in that picture, we tend to look at the deer or the raccoon or the turkey, or whatever is in our picture, and we skip on past it, when there’s so much more data in there we can be looking at with weather patterns, with shade, with plant growth, everything that’s contained in that picture just besides the animal that we can look at.
one thing that’s helped quantify barometric change and cold fronts coming through are trail cameras
You know,. Because we all knew the cold front of 20, 30-degree difference in temperature deer will move. But you never knew, you know, how much they moved, were they moving just a little bit earlier than sunset and sunshine or were they moving all day, all those type of things. Because, you know, to me, other than the rut, if I want to see deer, I want to hunt a cold front.
Yeah. Yeah. For sure, yeah. You know, you can look at the…at your weather forecast or look at what the trees and the other wildlife is doing and plan that hunt out and, you know, hunt within 24 or 48 hours of that cold front moving through, or hunt on the front edge of that storm front, couple that with your cameras and the pictures you’re seeing and you can set yourself up really, really well for a hunt that way.
Yeah, listen, it’s important what Jake just said, hunt in the front of it. Now you can hunt on the back end, also, but it depends on the veracity of the storm. But in the front the deer, all the critters, know something is happening because the barometric pressure is changing. And so they know if they want to get groceries, they better get groceries. And that’s why they’re moving, you know.
And so, you know, if you have to take off of work when you see a cold front coming, time it out, figure it out, call in sick, and get in your stand. Your thoughts?
Yeah. No, I agree. And that’s something you can start doing this time of year. You know, we see this time of year, with our cameras out, if we’ve got a storm coming in… And we’ve got tons of storms here late spring, early summer. You know, you see these storm fronts rolling through and you start seeing deer out in the bean field at 1:00, 2:00 in the afternoon because that storm front is coming through.
is monitor particular deer this time of year
So with my trail cameras what I like to do. If I can start telling which particular buck it is and I say, “Look, in two days I got a storm coming in, according to the weatherman.” Which who knows if I can trust that or not? But let’s take notes this time of year on when that storm comes through and compare that to when that deer starts moving.
So when November rolls around and a storm front is coming through, you know, I know this, you know, specific 10-point buck, “Hey, back in the summer he moved, you know, 18 hours before that storm, that’s when he fed. That 12 pointer, he fed six hours before the storm.” That’s when that deer started feeling that pressure and that’s what pressure activates that specific deer. I can go to my trail cameras and start watching that and patterning that with the storm fronts that are coming through and use that as a time frame and a calendar come November.
And, folks, you don’t need fancy equipment to do that. If you’ve got a smartphone, you make a note. You just start building a log, you know, on your dear, your hit list log. Because you should start thinking about it because we’re coming out of winter, the horns are starting to grow, and so you’re going to get an idea who’s around and who made it through, and then you’re going to start building your hit list. Because Lefty did make it through, he did make it through the winter, you know that. You found his sheds and, you know, you’ve sort of seen a deer that sort of might be him already on a camera anyway, even this early. I mean there’s bone being grown, there’s no question about it.
And so when you start doing that, keeping a lot so it isn’t, “Hmm,” and you have to think about it, you just go, “Okay, log, eight hours before. I think I’m going to sit that stand, I think I’m going to be there.” And that’s how much this technology has helped us become better hunters, because we’re more observant. And I know that’s helped me become, you know…I’m big into long-distance scouting and sitting and watching what the deer are doing, when they’re doing it, why they’re doing it, and how they’re doing it, and what all the other factors are. Because it isn’t just going out and sitting. If that’s what you want to do, great. You know, and just go sit in your stand and enjoy it, that’s wonderful. Mature buck hunters take it a little step further.
Yeah, I agree with you. If you’re a mature buck hunter and you’re not keeping a log, you’re not a serious mature buck hunter, in my opinion. That log for you is the life of that buck, that’s why he does what he does. You know, my trail cameras are a huge part of how I hunt and why I hunt. I kill some big deer, but, you know, that picture is only showing me part of it. I know this buck is here. You know, a few years ago I killed a 187-inch whitetail and I knew that buck was in the area. But until I understood why he was in the area, when he was there, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly when to hunt him.
If you’re a mature buck hunter and you’re not keeping a log, you’re not a serious mature buck hunter
So by looking at my pictures and my weather patterns and my log that I’ve kept meticulously on this buck for the last couple years I can start putting together that puzzle of why this particular buck is in an area. And when I figure out why he likes an area and why he’s there, then I can figure out when I need to go in and hunt that buck.
Now on a mature buck how many days are you actually hunting that buck?
Hopefully one. You know, sometimes we’re not that lucky. If I’ve got a mature buck, you know, the last couple years there’s been a particular deer, he’s well up north of 200 inches, I’ve been hunting. And I’ve hunted that buck a lot of days. You know, I’ve spent 20 days in the stand on that buck. But he’s outdone me and I haven’t been able to piece together exactly why that deer does what. That 187-inch deer, it was the second day that I hunted him. And it was in late November. I didn’t hunt that spot at all until late November because the conditions weren’t right and it wasn’t when that buck wanted to be there. The first time that I guessed he would be there I was wrong by about three hours. And when I got it in and checked my cameras, that buck had been in there three hours before. The second time I hunted the conditions and everything just felt perfect and that buck was in there about 20 minutes after I climbed in the stand and I put an arrow in him.
Your first time that you sit an area is your best chance to kill that big buck. Because once you’ve been in there and put your stink and your scent in there, you’re starting to change the game then.
Your first time that you sit an area is your best chance to kill that big buck
Just heard a lot of things about killing the buck. He missed him, checked the card, went back, and 20 minutes after being in the stand. So he got into a stand really quiet and his whole setup was real quiet because the buck didn’t know he was there or he would have never seen the buck. Is that true?
Yeah, that’s absolutely true. And it was kind of a cat and mouse game getting into that stand because what I found is if I would go in too early, if I’d get in there at, you know, 5:30 a.m. an hour before sunup, I would bust deer out going in. So I had to find that sweet spot where the deer were no longer out feeding in the fields, they were in their staging areas going back to bed, they were headed back to their bedding areas at 6:30, 7:00 in the morning. And I’d sneak in right in there at daylight so I knew I wouldn’t spook anything. And, yeah, you know, it’s likely that when I walked in there, I was within a couple hundred yards of that buck while walking into the stand.
So why didn’t you spook him?
Well, this particular spot there’s a real nice logging road getting into the stand. And the stand location partly where I picked to put that stand in there, I was on the right side of the wind, right? So the buck was upwind of me, he wasn’t going to wind me, which is 10 times more important than their site or hearing or anything else. You know, I can get away with some movement as long as he doesn’t smell me. But I can go in quiet on this old logging road, stay on the right side of the wind, and get up in that stand. And a lot of that goes into making sure I got the right wind direction when I go to hunt that stand and hunt that buck that I’m not going to bust him out of there when I’m in that tight and that close with him.
Yeah, so many times people, you know, they just walk into their stand and see what’s going to happen. You know, I used to park a quarter-mile closer to my stand than I do now. Now I just…I park at the farm and just walk over half a mile to get into my stand. Why? Because the deer know, before they knew. I didn’t have…I had no lights on, I didn’t slam the door, I didn’t do anything, they knew I was there.
Yeah. You know, they flat knew I was there. And so…
Yeah, they’re a lot more observant than we give them credit for. You know, when it’s dark and we can’t see them, we just assume they can’t see us a lot of times, and that’s just not the fact. We can bite ourself in the backside pretty quick doing that.
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