Trail Camera Strategies for Different Times of Year

Trail cameras are an amazing assistant for your hunting trips. Unlike the old days when you had to stay up and wait for your prey all day long. Now, with trail camera strategies, you can enjoy your cup of coffee and leave the scouting work for the camera. The perfect scenario is when your camera blends in with its surrounding. This means that there is not human scent, no sound, it triggers right when there is movement, and most importantly, it must not oversleep. With this guide to trail camera strategies, we’ll help you to set up your hunting buddy for maximum efficiency.

General tips

Before setting up the camera, use Google Maps or any mapping software to help to identify the potential location for your prey. It should be an area near water.

Before setting up the camera, use Google Maps

Image sourcE: Công Nghệ Việt

Make sure that you know the area well before setting up the camera. You need to know the place by heart and all the directions before you can harvest anything from it.

Place your camera in a flat and open zone so that the scan range will be as wide as possible.

Use straps and buckles to hang it on the tree. That way, the scouting area will be even larger. Also, you don’t want your camera to get damaged by animals passing by.

Stay away from tall grass, dust and water. These things can damage your camera and one way, or another reduces the lifespan of your camera.

It’s also a good idea to buy a security box for your camera. You have to invest some more money, but in return, your camera will be much safer.

It’s also a good idea to set up multiple cameras so that you can have a better control of the area.

Depending on the size of the game you are looking for. Set the camera sensitivity level to match that type. If you are going for the small game, the level should be high and vice versa.

Set up Time Lapse mode so that you can have a clear view of their pattern.

Trail camera strategies for different seasons of the year


You need salt as an attractant for deer. Use it to make your area an interesting place to visit.

As the beginning of spring, deer will start looking for salt as well as other minerals. They will be attracted to these sites.


Image source: CHEAP TRAIL Cameras

This is the time when you need to attract them to the area. Gather information on how many of them are there in the area.

Establish a mineral site at the doe bedding areas and suspected hideouts areas. Look for pinch points and funnels that will drive deer to your salt block and ultimately your trail camera.


Trail camera strategies for summer are to estimate the density and pattern of the bucks.

Food will be the primary attractant for deer.

You should consider establishing scraps and water source near your trail camera.

Set up a trail camera along the fringes to capture a nocturnal buck.

Early fall

The trail camera strategies here are to have a source of deer. We’re looking for a number as well as quality.

The perfect scenario would be deer standing still in front of your camera. You can make this happen by buying bait or commercial food scent and place it in front of your camera. This will attract your prey and make them stand still in front of the camera.


Image source:

You can try this technique at a heavy deer traffic spot.

It’s is important to put the bait on the ground and away from your camera for at least 10 feet to avoid damaging the camera. Also, you don’t want a deer to stand too close and block all the vision.

Hang your camera high up on a tree. This will increase the area that your camera scouts. Also, you don’t want it to get damaged by animals passing by.


The goal here is to find the source of deer after they have relocated.

Similarly, you can use bait and scrapes to lure them close to your camera.

Hang the camera on a tree (5 to 7 feet from the ground)

You can establish multiple baits in the area to lure them there. At that moment, the baits don’t have to be directly in front of the camera.

Wear latex gloves when working with the baits and scrapes and your camera. You don’t want them to be covered with human scent.

When retrieving the camera or the prey, approach the site using one same path. You don’t want to mess up the site and fill the place with human scent.

If you need to fix or adjust your camera, approach the site at the same time of the day. It will get deer to get used to your presence.

Post rut/ winter

Similar to the spring, there will be an urge to search for food and breeding.

Post rut/ winter

Image source: North American Whitetail

The best trail camera strategies are to keep your camera high above the branches where there is a food source.

You can still keep one of the cameras you use in the rutted area because there are always some bucks still hoping to find a mate.

This is the time for you to locate where they live and get prepared for the coming year. You should gather information like the density, their age structure.

Trail camera strategies for different time of the year

Early season

Concentrate on food:

Place your camera close to the mineral licks and establishes and feeding pattern for them. Field edges, bedding, and feeding transition routes are the places to consider. It is important that you access the location with little-to-no disturbance. You may want to relocate your trail camera to a spot where it’s easy for you to enter and exit without messing up the surroundings.

Avoid spooking

The most important thing about hunting is that the deer must not be aware of the hunting season. The camera and you need to blend in with the surrounding. If deer notice the presence of human, they will adjust their pattern and travel somewhere else.

Control your odor

Scent control is very important. Besides from visually noticing our presence, deer may be aware of your presence through scents. Wear latex gloves when you work with the mineral licks and your camera. Make sure that you are not sweating and scent-free when approaching the site. Don’t approach the site when the wind is blowing from where you are standing to the site where the deer live.

Wear latex gloves when you work with the mineral licks and your camera

Image source: Huffington Post UK

Late season

The main purpose of this time is not to hunt but to gather information and to prepare for the coming year. So, don’t put your trail camera away.

Back to the food source: Similar to the beginning of the season, deer will start looking for a food source and a place to breed. Having information about their hideouts will make the next season easier for you.

Set up camera along used trailed: This will help you to know where they are migrating to.

Learn about their bedding areas: Their preferred bedding locations should be marked and observed. It may help you to put a tag on a particular buck for the next season.

Shed hunting: Trail camera will help you to find out whether or not the Bucks have started to shed their antlers. You need your cameras to get this information before someone else does.

Maintaining your camera

Most trail camera only has the lifespan of fewer than two years. But you can improve this by taking care of it. Replace the batteries. Clean it and take it to a professional to repair the damaged parts. It’s also a good idea to invest in a security box for your camera. Hang them high above the ground so that they don’t get damaged by animals. Empty your SD card.


Deer hunting must be taken care of through all the year. Having good Trail camera strategies will not only help you to hunt better. They help you to gather useful information which you can use to prepare for the next year. Information is everything. It helps you to have better control of everything.

Moreover, movement is one of the most important keys to getting the most out of your trail camera. Adjust your trail camera strategies to match each phase of the whitetail season and you will gain a plethora of knowledge that will ultimately lead to more filled tags. The trick is finding a way to manage all of that trail camera knowledge and data. Once that happens, all of the pieces of the puzzle will start to fall into place.