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Ask Winke
Trail Cameras and Scouting

  • Jacob from MI asks:
    Love the show as always. As far as the sponsors, I'd much rather hear about products through MWW because I can trust your opinion, and I am still not obligated to purchase. My question: I have put my cameras up 10-14fth pointed down, spayed them used gloves ect. I still find bucs looking right at the cam for 1 or 2 pics and then gone. My cameras are cheap. Do you see this on your cams when you run them? Any advice would be great? Maybe a "quieter cam"?
    Winke Responds:
    Jacob, I appreciate the support. Thanks. Deer never trust anything new, especially when it is that close to their face. I have bucks walk in staring at the camera, but it seems that over time they get used to it. I am sure a few avoid the cameras, but I don't think it is a large number. My feeling is that they are more put off by the sound of the shutter (if there is a sound) than the simple fact it is hanging there. The cameras we use are quiet and I think that really helps. Good luck. (8-29-14)
  • Robson from AL asks:
    So through trail cam pictures and actual sigthings during hunting, I'd say as high as 80% of the deer movement through my property is in the AM hours (dark and daylight). Does this tell anything about my little parcel? If it does, any actions I should take to improve/change patterns to be even more huntable?
    Winke Responds:
    Robson, Obviously tells you that morning hunts will be better. It may tell you that your property is primarily a bedding area as the daylight photos in the AM suggest you are not too far from where they bed. It could also tell you simply that you aren't placing your cameras near the food sources. The only thing you may want to do is look into whether you having more attractive food sources there might increase afternoon-evening activity there. Good luck. (8-29-14)
  • Seth from IL asks:
    First of all so excited that another year of MW has started! been a weekly follower since 2009! This time of year I always question how often too check my cameras. All Summer I've been checking them every two weeks, but now Im thinking of leaving my cameras untouched from Sept. 1 to the first time I hunt near that particular camera. Is this a descent strategy and what is your waiting time between checks for summer and fall? Good luck this year!
    Winke Responds:
    Seth, I appreciate the support. That would not be my approach. In fact, it is not my approach. I actually get more aggressive with my cameras after mid-September when the bucks are settling into their fall ranges. I need to find them back and the only way to do that is to move the cameras around and check them often to see what is going on out there. I am careful to only select camera sites I can get to and from without bumping deer (or drive to) and I only check them when wearing waders to eliminate ground scent. I usually stop checking mine after I figure out what is going on, but some years that may not happen until near the end of October with certain bucks. Some I never figure out - ether way, I stop checking cameras once I start hunting every day - usually around Oct. 25. Good luck. (8-29-14)
  • Eric from MN asks:
    Bill, just wondering what time of year you start your deer inventory via corn piles in front of your game cameras. Also any plans for the future on what type of summer scouting you do, as far as filming bucks etc. thanks for all you do at Midwest Whitetail. I really enjoy the quality programming and information you provide.
    Winke Responds:
    Eric, I start getting serious in mid-September after the bucks have dispersed (or at least started to disperse) into their fall ranges. Good luck. (8-21-14)
  • Hunter from OK asks:
    Hi Bill, Hope you're having a good summer. I'm curious, it appears Trail Cam Pro is no longer one of your links/sponsors? Why is that? I'm considering trying out a new brand this year. Have you considered using the network cameras that you can view remotely from your computer? I tried one about three years ago but it was faulty and the technology just wasn't there...it became more of a hassle than it was worth. Is that why you haven't used those cameras yet? If you've looked into them, which one would you recommend? Thanks, Hunter
    Winke Responds:
    Hunter, No, they dropped out. That was a partnership between Trail Cam Pro and Bushnell and when Bushnell was purchased by a larger investment company they put their own people into management positions and as always seem to happen in those situations, the new people believe they can make better decisions than the people who were there and dump many of the marketing/sales relationships in favor of starting their own. I don't even know that they understood the deal, because MW was a no-brainer. Our pro staff alone was buying enough cameras to pay for the sponsorship. When Bushnell dropped out, Trail Cam Pro dropped out too. Here is my problem with cameras that transmit to phones or computers: it gives you an unfair advantage, I believe, during the hunting season. I could select stand locations based on where the most recent buck movement took place, maybe only minutes ago. May be legal in some states, but crosses a line for me. So I have never tried them and probably never will. Good luck. (8-21-14)
  • Nick from MO asks:
    What is the most effective way to figure out a buck's range without disturbing him? I have one on camera that I want to go after and I am trying to decide whether or not he is an achievable kill. I don't want to put any pressure on the deer by checking cameras, so I am using a spotting scope and trying to see him in person.
    Winke Responds:
    Nick, You have to run cameras in spots where you can get in and out without bumping into deer. That means stay clear away from bedding areas, check them at midday and wear waders. That has worked well for me over the past few years. I would set up a few cameras around the area where you think he lives, but I wouldn't start yet. There is not much you can learn now that will help you in Sept. when the season opens. I would wait until early September and hope to find the buck's fall range. I would not get impatient hunting him until you have found him and then still be patient until he is showing daylight activity. Again, summer scouting is fun, but it doesn't offer a whole lot of info because many bucks disperse from their summer range to their fall range in early September. Good luck. (7-11-14)
  • Patrick from OH asks:
    Bill, I'm preparing to embark on my annual trek from Louisiana to Ohio for a work week on our farm. I am hopeful and am encouraging my nephew to go with me indicating there will be fun opportunities included along with the value of sweat equity. He has and likes to run trail cameras; however, most of the ones he has are inexpensive with regular visible flashes. My question is would you go ahead and run them for 5 or 6 days knowing they will spook deer, or say no and and throw a wet blanket on his enthusiasm and excitment? A couple years back we ran them for a few days (at the end of June) and got pictures of spooked bucks, with no "noticable" difference in hunting season patterns. I probably should say have fun given his limited opportunity for farm experience?
    Winke Responds:
    Patrick, It is a long time til hunting season. I would let him have his fun. I am certain that flash cameras do scare deer to a certain extent - I have seen it - but getting your nephew fired up is worth it. The impact you have now will be long forgotten by October. Good luck. (7-11-14)
  • John from AL asks:
    Hey Winke! My son and I love watching your videos. We really get into them and feel like we are in the tree with you. My question is: I have been checking my trail camera once a week. Is that too often? It is on a trail about 75 yards into the tree line. I believe the bedding area is about 200 yards further back. Thanks for your time. John
    Winke Responds:
    John, I don't check them that often in the summer because I don't need to have current information at that time. I do like to check them every few weeks - three weeks is about right for me. If the cameras are in spots where you won't impact the deer, there is no downside in checking them once per week, but at the same time, it is definitely not necessary. In the fall it is a different matter. Then, current info is the key to being in the right place when a buck starts moving in daylight. I check them every three days in the fall (sometimes even more often) but the cameras are in places where I won't impact the deer and I am very careful to keep my scent to near zero. Good luck. (7-11-14)
  • Bennet Krueger from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, I recently got permission to bowhunt some great property. I watched lots of huge bucks from the road there last year. I put out some mineral and a camera to figure out what's around for bucks. It has been a week now. Should I check it now? Wait another week? What's your thoughts on how often to go in and out in the summer months and in the early bow season? Thanks Bill. Great show.
    Winke Responds:
    Bennet, I usually don't check them very often in the summer when they are over mineral. I would wait another week or two. Every two to three weeks in the summer is often enough assuming you have a decent sized SD card in the camera. Good Luck. (7-11-14)
  • marc from MN asks:
    What do you do when you have coyotes frequenting your trail cameras? Or is that normal?
    Winke Responds:
    Marc, I guess it is normal where coyotes are numerous. I would be tempted to move the camera if they are there all the time. If just once in a while, I would not worry about it. Sounds like a winter trapping program might be in order to help reduce those coyote numbers. Have a great day. (7-11-14)
  • Corey from IL asks:
    Bill - do u use some sort of a card reader for your trail cams? I am running 8 cameras and have bought 16 sd cards so I can switch them out each time. I've done a little research but I'm not a computer guru. Is there a "card reader" out there that I can plug the sd card into at the camera site and it will just copy every pic...put same card In and go to next camera and do the same thing...u get the point! Please help as I hate fumbling around with 16 cards! Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, For sure - something like a laptop or netbook. But I think that is an expensive solution compared to just carrying a card in, swapping them out and bringing the full card home to your computer. That is how we do it - just bring in an empty card. Good luck. (7-7-14)
  • Mike from MI asks:
    Hi Bill, I am looking to buy several trail cams. I bought 1 Bushnell HD and 1 cuddeback (both black light cams). All of my night time cuddeback pics are blurry. Do you use Bushnell black HD and are your night time pics blurred?
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I have not used the Cuddeback but I have used the Bushnell HD Black. I can't remember off the top of my head if that one was blurry at night or not. Most of my images are a bit blurry unless the deer is standing completely still. That includes the infra-red models too though it may be worse with the black flash now that you mention it. I will have to watch that closer. Good luck. (7-4-14)
  • Isaac from MO asks:
    Hi Bill, I'm looking to intensify my trail camera use more than ever this season. I want to keep up on movement throughout the season. I am most concerned about the disturbance I would be making by checking 8-15 cameras on my property on a weekly basis. Do you have any suggestions or strategies I could use to do this more efficiently? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Isaac, I would keep the cameras on the fringes and ideally in places you can drive to. I use a lot of open fields and clearings - travel routes and feeding areas. I never set cameras near bedding areas. Then always wear waders when you check them to keep all scent to a minimum. Good luck. (6-23-14)
  • Ty from AL asks:
    Bill, I have recently purchased some used cameras that are slower trigger speed cameras than most. I hunt a lot of different farms so I can't afford buying expensive ones for each farm. Since I have limited hunting time during the year I like to strategically select which stand I am going to hunt based off of what my trail cameras show. Do you feel that putting trail cameras right near my shooting lanes or trails can alter or effect the deer movement? Also, would it be a good idea to make mock scrapes with a spade or rake in front of my camera sights so that passing deer will stop to increase my odds of getting them on camera since my cameras are slower.?. Cameras are very important in pointing me towards what stands to hunt since I have limited time to hunt. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Ty, I think that is not ideal. The reason is because some of your stands may be in areas where the deer are more sensitive to hunting pressue and just smelling where you walked in and out on a regular basis makes them more leery of that area. And the last thing you want is for the deer to shy away from your stand sites. I would rather place the cameras in the area somewhere but in a low impact spot that is easy to check. You can tell by the amound of activity and which way the deer are approaching where they are coming from. You don't need to have the cameras right next to your stands to know which stands to hunt based on daylight activity of bucks. I would still take maximum precuations and wear waders when checking the cameras. Also, the idea of creating a mock scrape to slow the bucks down for a better photo is a good one. Good luck. (6-23-14)
  • Patrick from IL asks:
    I use to own the first deer cameras that came out. You know the ones with the 35 mm cameras in them and when you went and check them and they had 21 or more pictures on them. Then went and got them develop at the store and every picture had a deer on it. Now with these digital cameras that are more sensitive and take every picture, like a bug that flies by or branches that sway in the wind. I've owned about 4 or 5 of these digital cameras and can't seem to find any that with take pictures of animals only. I go check my cameras after it's been in the woods for a month or two and see that I have about 4 or 5 hundred pictures and I get so excited and when I check the pictures...I find that there all most pictures of the woods and back ground but no deer. Is there any deer cameras that I can buy that won't trigger any false pictures on it and more deer on it???
    Winke Responds:
    Patrick, I am no trail cam expert, but I think the sensitivity of the current cameras are higher because the "cost" of a false shot is so low (using the SD cards there is no actual cost other than the time to weed through them). I think you can go into the menu and turn the sensitivity down on most of the cameras. That is one thing you might try. Good luck. (6-20-14)
  • Ed from IL asks:
    Bill, I love the aerial views you're now able to provide with your DJI. Have you ever considered using this to scan fields during the evening/feeding hours to see deer grazing, similar to a trail cam? I'd be curious if the camera quality could zoom in enough to tell whether it's a specific deer or even a buck vs. doe?
    Winke Responds:
    Ed, Thanks for the support. I think it would be too noisy. Given we have to fly a GoPro on this particular craft we need to be fairly close and to do that, I am sure they would not stick around for long. In some areas, I don't know for sure if it is even legal. Not sure in Iowa, but I would definitely check if that idea ever takes off (so to speak). Have a great day. (6-9-14)
  • Joe from KS asks:
    I have come across a cheap and easy way to view and transfer your files from your game camera to your phone right in the field. If you have a newer android smartphone (aka: Galaxy s3, s4, note 2, note 3, LG G flex along with many others) then it should be usb OTG compatible. USB OTG stands for USB "On The Go". You can buy an OTG sd card reader on ebay for as little as $5.99. What this does is plug into your phone's micro usb port (the same port that you plug your charger into). You can then insert your sd card from your trail cam directly into the otg sd card reader that is now hooked up to your phone. This will allow you to view your photos and transfer them to your phone. A very cheap alternative to the viewers that are on the market today.
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, That is an awesome tip. Thanks for sharing that with our viewers. Have a great day. (6-8-14)
  • Jordan from SD asks:
    Bill, have you used the trail cameras made my Cabelas yet? If so, how do you like them compared to the Bushnells? Do they have a field scan mode? Thanks for answering my questions.
    Winke Responds:
    Jordan, I have not used them personally, but I have heard that they are good. They have good, solid features from what I can tell. The nice thing about Cabela's is how easy it is to return a defective product. So there is very little risk when you buy from them. Have a great day. (6-4-14)
  • Jody from MO asks:
    Bill, Great show and delivery. I read in the American hunter magazine your article where you stated you have a system using trail cameras to locate and pattern specific bucks. What is the system and is there anything in you article or video archives?
    Winke Responds:
    Jody, I don't have that on the site but it is something that I should add. I will definitely touch on it in detail during the early season episodes that will start in late August. Thanks for the support. Have a great day. (6-3-14)
  • Cody Carothers from IA asks:
    What would you say would be the latest possible date to check your sets and trail cameras come opening day in Iowa with minimal disturbance? I feel that going in a couple weeks before would do more harm than good, but I would want to make sure I am still on the right feeding/travel patterns come opener.
    Winke Responds:
    Cody, I check mine well into the season. But I place my sets near openings that I can drive to without much trouble or where I can walk to quickly without having to get near a bedding area. I also wear waders when setting and checking cameras so I don't leave any ground scent. Like I said, I don't worry about keeping them going when I am hunting. Obviously, you can't run them over any kind of bait if you are going to hunt that area in the near future or hunt near that area. Good luck. (6-3-14)
  • Tom from IL asks:
    Bill, Do you find that being so thorough with your census using your trail cameras takes away from the mystery of not knowing what you will see from the stand? When I get to hunt somewhere I've never been there is something extra that I don't get at home. Just wondering if it was the same for you. Love the show! Keep it up!
    Winke Responds:
    Tom, I don't like wasting my time so I would always rather have a general idea what is in an area. The cameras do take away from the mystery for sure, but I still never know for sure what I will see. The cameras add an element of history with the bucks that you hunt that makes up for that. For example, I have some bucks on the farm that I have only seen a few times and some I have never seen. They aren't serious trophies, but after photographing them for a few years I start to develop a history with them and when I finally do get a chance at one of them, the success feels much better than if that buck had just walked past. I am not sure I would have even shot some of these deer without the feeling of history I have gotten with the cameras and I definitely would not have felt as satisfied when I did. So, from that standpoint, I do think the cameras aid in making the experience better. You just have to use them with some balance and never let them turn the hunt into something that is too systematic. You want to keep things, exciting, sporting and satisfying and if done right, the cameras definitely add to that. Good luck. (5-29-14)
  • Mark from OH asks:
    Bill sir, the more I learn from you about impact, the less I like heavy trail cam use. It almost seems that with one pic of an old deer I want to hunt I should pull cams. I'm not a landowner and hunt small parcels so this is a major factor in this line of thought. I could be more encouraged by more pics on a card or, as you often teach, daylight pics but am I better off with low impact and my instincts? Topo's and aerials + experience hasn't hurt me yet. Cameras are cool extra challenge and I love to show family and friends but I need no extra challenges in the woods. Thanks man, Happy Mother's Day to your wife and all.
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, Yes, for sure. There are places and times when you can be more aggressive with the cameras and places and times you should avoid completely. I try to keep mine near open areas and fringes. While I may not learn as much as I would with the cameras deeper in the woods, I don't have to worry as much about my impact either. Stick to the fringes and if you get daylight photos there, you know the buck is killable. Getting them deep in the timber isn't as valuable, in my opinion, because I don't often hunt those high risk areas anway. When I do, it is after very careful thought and I know that the risk is high of educating the deer. Have a great day. (5-12-14)
  • Mark from OH asks:
    Bill sir, in the most recent episode you refer to the "evolution" of your trail camera strategy. I hunt more small parcels and I glean from you, keep my impact low. My cams are over corn piles or acorns close to traffic areas. No surprise, I get a lot of night pics. Have you held true to this and just been more selective or do you press in a little? Love the cams but question what they prove on small places aside from inventory. Which has it's value in planning, have a good weekend.
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, I generally don't press in. If the bucks are active in daylight near feeding areas or fringe cover, they are definitely killable somewhere. I suppose if you never get daylight photos you could press a bit with your camera locations, but I would rather just keep monitoring the fringes and take my chances with actual hunts in the interior (at carefully chosen times) during the early phases of the rut (late Oct and early Nov) and when a cold front is coming through. That is when the nocturnal bucks are most likely to be on their feet in daylight. Even if you aren't getting daylight photos by then, it is still time to make your move. Good luck. (5-2-14)
  • Matt from TN asks:
    Hey Bill, when you put you cameras over the trophy rocks in the summer, what is your camera setting? (Time delay, picture number, etc). Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I always like to have a fairly quick delay (15 seconds) so I can get a few photos of each deer. The deer don't visit the Rock for long periods and because there are no other animals (for the most part) visiting the mineral, you aren't going to overload a card quickly with a fast turnaround. I just shoot one photo at a time. When setting up over corn I sometimes will do a two shot burst, but I have yet to see where that has really gained me much in terms of bucks I would not have seen/identified otherwise. I often go several weeks over the Trophy Rock between card pulls. Good luck. (4-14-14)
  • matt from MO asks:
    Bill, Great show!! I appreciate the insight. I'm Thinking about checking my trail cams on a mountain bike this year instead of driving to them in my truck. They are all set up on feeding areas. Just concerned about the impact on the deer when they encounter me riding up on my bike. I almost never bumb deer normally, But I'm not sure if they heard me coming and just slowly slipped away. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, It really depends on how close they bed to the feeding areas. I have not seen the vehicle approach be a big problem if you check the cameras at middday and then just use the field lanes that the farmer uses. Even if the deer see you drive up, they likely won't run and will forget about it shortly after you leave. Driving the vehicle to the cameras will work fine when they are situated at feeding areas. Deer are used to some human activity in these areas and if you match the normal activity as you come and go, they won't think much of it. Good luck. (4-2-14)
  • Shane from IL asks:
    Bill thanks for always sharing your knowledge. I have a question that I go round and round about with my hunting partner. He is always running trail cams in and around our food sources and bedding areas even into bow hunting season. Is this the wrong thing to do? I don't think you should enter the center of your property to run trail cams. I think if they are set up on the outskirts and checked less during season. Should you enter your food plots that are next to bedding areas? If so when? And when should you not? Should you not set cameras next to bedding areas? It upsets me because I think he is pushing deer over to the neighbors property where there is no pressure of this sort. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Shane, I think it is OK to run the cameras near feeding areas but not bedding areas. You can check them near feeding areas at midday and take scent precautions, maybe even drive right to the cameras. There is no good time to check cameras located near bedding areas. Good luck. (3-13-14)
  • Brushmaster from IA asks:
    Bill, This will be my first year hunting Iowa and first year hunting public land. If you were hunting public land, what would your process be? I've figured out the areas I want to hunt from a little bit of scouting last summer and looking for sheds recently. I would like to use cameras but don't want to worry about someone stealing them. I know some of your staff run cameras on public land, do the have any issues? Thank you in advance for the response. Keep those boot laces tight. Brushmaster
    Winke Responds:
    Brushmaster, The guys have had cameras stolen. You definitely have to use a lock box for the camera or something similar. Look on TrailCamPro.com for some options there. If you leave it unlocked, it is likely to get stolen - unfortunately. Keep those laces tight my friend! (2-24-14)
  • sam from AL asks:
    With using Cameras you get to pin point where the deer is going to be. you know what time they are showing were they are coming from. instead of calling it hunting would you not call it waiting you know when they are coming and when. your not going out hunting by trial and erro.
    Winke Responds:
    Sam, Cameras have definitely changed the game, no doubt about that. They have made success easier. But most bucks aren't super patternable so the cameras just give you a starting point. You still have to fine tune the hunt. Cameras help with killing bucks that are highly patternable (a minority), but not with all bucks. Best regards. (2-20-14)
  • Mike O from KY asks:
    After the season we start the process of post season scouting. In the spring is food plots and trail maintanace. How close to season do you get before really cutting back on human activity? Ps , I really look forward to joining Midwest Whitetail team this fall.
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, We will be looking forward to your contributions. Our projects wrap up in August with planting the Big N Beasty plots or overseeding the soybean plots with Big N Beasty. After that, I am not in the fields or woods much. I don't worry about tractors in the fields (or even ATVs) pushing deer out of a certain area. They are used to them in those areas. Have a great day. (2-16-14)
  • Shane from IL asks:
    Wanting to know your thoughts about trail can placement. My hunting partner thinks it is ok to check cams during season and next to feeding and bedding areas. I think you do more harm than good. What are your thoughts? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Shane, I think you are OK near the feeding areas if you check that at midday and wear waders to prevent scent from lingering, but I am not a big fan of placing cameras near bedding areas at any time of the year. Good luck. (1-21-14)
  • Curt from IL asks:
    When your Bushnell trail cams are in picture (not field scan) mode what is your % of animals to pictures taken? My Dad has an older Cuddy Capture that is probably 90% or better. I recently bought a cheap Moultrie A5 and I get about 10 animals for every 100 pictures taken. Moultrie says that since it's IR, don't face the camera E or W - the sun's rays will set it off. Doesn't seem to be a very practical camera to me.
    Winke Responds:
    Curt, I think that is common advice from all the camera manufacturers. I always set mine facing north - at least whenever possible. I also clear away any grass that might wave and set off the camera. I get nearly 100% animal photos, but I am normally setting the camera over corn to get a quick inventory of the deer and then moving it, so they are stationary targets. Good luck. (1-20-14)
  • Brushmaster from IA asks:
    Hey Bill, are you still running your cameras? Do you have any updates for us on Big Jr or any of the other up and coming bucks on your farm? Brushmaster
    Winke Responds:
    Brushmaster, I just answered one for Jeff in NY on this very topic. Please check that one out. Thanks for the support. Good luck. (1-7-14)
  • Jackson from IA asks:
    Enjoy your show and all the effort you and the MW crew put forward to helping others out. Thank you! Now that season is wrapping up here I want to start getting inventory on bucks and see what's dropping horns. Do you just suggest putting corn out late season too? I know you run it hard right before season but was curious what you put out this time of year? Being in north central iowa with dropping numbers I'd also like to help the keep herd healthy with this brutal cold. Thanks again, stay warm, and hope the ATA show is a success for you!
    Winke Responds:
    Jackson, Thanks for the support. Yes, I think that corn is by far the best way to learn what is there as quickly as possible. Didn't make the ATA this year. Every flight going east out of Des Moines for two straight days (Sun, Mon) was cancelled. The first ATA I have missed in 23 years. Have a great day. (1-7-14)
  • Skylar from IA asks:
    Bill, I was wondering if there is a certain temp. range where you don't use your Trophy Cams. Im concerned I shouldn't have let mine stay out in this below zero weather the last couple weeks.
    Winke Responds:
    Skylar, I would not be worried about it being ruined, but the batteries do run out a lot faster in cold weather. Good luck. (1-6-14)
  • tom from IL asks:
    Bill, I see a lot of people asking about scouting cameras and cards, my solution was I bought a covert special ops black, I pay ten bucks a month and it automatically sends me pics on email and phone, that way I put a 8 gig card out and it lasts all season without trampling my hunting area up,no flash and 1000 pics a month which is 33 per day and the batteries last too. I have 2 of these, great cameras
    Winke Responds:
    Tom, That is good information. Thanks. Have a great day and a Merry Christmas (12-20-13)
  • Jerod from TX asks:
    You have any hunting buddies that have decided to ditch the game cameras? I've grown weary, to say the least, of checking cameras that have pics of bucks I NEVER see, or thousands of pics of other critters that obviously don't get enough attention at home.
    Winke Responds:
    Jerod, No, not yet. I don't run mine to death so that keeps it fresh for me. In fact, I only have one out right now. I will get them back out in the next few days so I have an idea what to look for in the late season, but I am not a camera addict. I use them for specific things at specific times and then I pull them back in. It keeps me from getting burned out on pulling cards all the time. Good luck and Merry Christmas (12-18-13)
  • Justin from KS asks:
    Thanks for the show and site, seems like you are always giving me something else to ponder or utlize on my farms. How do you catalog/sort all your trail camera picture in a way to keep track of indiviual bucks for years? Im guessing you don't name every single buck you get a picture of. Mine are sorted by farm for each year, but I still have a hard time going back through and matching up a 4 year old to one of the muliple 3 year olds on the farm the previous year? Additionally what is your guess on the number of mature deer a farm can hold when the cover is limited, but heavy. on an average my farms are 60%-70% Tillable.
    Winke Responds:
    Justin, We only name a buck after some time and a few encounters that generates some history. We actually name very few bucks. Maybe just the main ones on my hit list. So if they are not on the hit list (or big young deer) they are not named. I don't remember deer really well from year to year but some of the guys that work for me are really good at this. I remember the big ones, but some of the guys remember them all! I am sure that if they get to poking through old footage and old trail cam photos, they will find some history for the buck I shot last week. Other than earlier in the summer/fall I have no memory of that buck. All I do is store the images by location and date of the card pull. I have a lot of photos that are archived and I can usually find what I need to find using this simple system. Not too sophisticated! I would say you can hold about 50 to 70 wintering deer per square mile at the top end (that is total head count after the seasons). You can pack more on there, but they will run into some stress in winter and will eat a lot of the crop during the summer. I would not try to go a lot about that number - about a deer per 9 to 10 acres max. Good luck. (12-2-13)
  • Chris from LA asks:
    Sorry, I had to cut my last comment short. But back to my point about the trail cameras. On a big farm that is well managed the trail cameras are a valuable tool. For small blocks of land, hunters that settle for whats showing up on camera each season are becoming more successful. Cameras are much more affordable than they used to be and therefore more ground is being covered by them. It's pretty easy to decide which stand to hunt after we've checked our cards. It is important to let those young deer with great antler potential reach their full maturity. By doing that, it seems that deer numbers will take care of themselves.
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, I agree, we still need to manage deer and possibly the cameras make it easier for people to shoot any old buck. So, yes, I can agree with you there. We still have to practice good management in areas where it can work. Eventually, the people who are willing to shoot any buck will start to focus on bigger ones and then the ages of bucks will increase in those areas a bit. I am with you on letting the great young bucks get old. I also think that cameras can make hunters better at targeting them. So, again, you are right that without some added restraint, the cameras are probably reducing the age of bucks in some areas. Good luck. (11-21-13)
  • Chris from LA asks:
    Bill, I see a few people still stating that they aren't seeing what they used to see. Yes, it's very evident that EHD had something to do with reduced numbers, but I'll say this again. Trail cameras are a big reason numbers are down. We've discussed this before. Trail cameras have increased hunters odds so much that mature deer growth or whatever you want to call it can't keep up with harvest.
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, No, not in my area. Only a few of my neighbors use them and the ones who do are serious hunters who pass up the small bucks anyway. I believe that trail cameras make us more effective on specific deer, but in no way do I think they have contributed to less deer - at least not here. I think the numbers here (and likely most places in the Midwest) are down because of over-aggressive doe harvest by the state DNRs, possibly some heavy predation from coyotes and in some pockets, a hard dose of EHD. Good luck. (11-21-13)
  • Steve from MO asks:
    Bill, Love your website. Concerning trail cameras, do you think the no-glow black LED's are worth the difference in price verses the red glow red LED's? I'm not concerned about humans spotting my cameras but do you believe that it makes a difference with mature bucks? God bless and good luck, Steve
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, I have not seen any real difference here on my farm between how the deer relate to the two different cameras. Good luck. (11-20-13)
  • Adam from NC asks:
    I'm looking to buy a couple of trail cameras. I was about to buy two moultrie low glow a5's but it said the picture delay was 1 minute and a lot can walk by in a minute. What do you like your pic delay to be and what do you look for in a trail camera? I don't really want a flash in case it spooks deer off.
    Winke Responds:
    Adam, I set my cameras for 30 seconds over bait and 10 seconds over trails. I would not use a flash. I like a fast trigger so if you are set up on a trail you can catch the deer in the frame. I also like the field scan mode for taking photos of food plots at programmned intervals. We like the Bushnell Trophy Cam cameras. Small, efficient with batteries, fast trigger and priced decent. If you are serious about trail cameras, you need to check out www.TrailCamPro.com for all kinds of testing and information. Good luck. (11-16-13)
  • Matt from TN asks:
    I have a brute of a buck pushin 190s on my lease this year. He lives in a area thats real thick which is a deterent to most hunters...but this is the year im hunting him hard. theres a pretty good sized area of cutover that was cut 2 years ago and has gotten too thick to shoot from a shooting house. I plan on hangin a stand where i will have more visibility in the bottom of that area. I want to get a pattern on him, but with this cutover, im having trouble decideing where to put my cameras. Any siggestions? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I would focus on any potential feeding area, any trail or any well-used scrape. If baiting is legal there, I would put a bit of corn out in front of a few cameras in any openings to see what shows. This should give you some information. Just be smart about it. There is no point in pushing too hard when trying to pattern him. Stick to the fringes of his known range. Good luck. (11-3-13)
  • Gary from NY asks:
    Hello Bill,I have a black max HD bushnell. Sometimes when I set it out the red light will stay on sometimes after I have armed it. I always use the video. The other night I had set my Reconyx watching the Bushnell. Deer came between the two and the Reconyx recorded the red light coming on in the Bushnell. It hasn't done that before.. I know you use Bushnell's so I thought you might know what is the issue with it.. thank you for putting out a show that deals with no window dressing so to speak.. In other words you tell it like it is. No bragging and no wind-bagging it.. It's about time that I see someone that thinks along my way of hunting and telling a story.. By the way great video of Curly.... thanks gary greene
    Winke Responds:
    Gary, I am not sure about that one. You may want to contact the store where you bought it if recently or contact Bushnell for instructions on what to do next. Thanks for your support and for the kind words. Good luck this season. (11-3-13)
  • Derek from MN asks:
    First of all thanks, for the efforts of everyone involved with the site. I took your advice and went to the TrailCamPros. Their info was invaluable to help me narrow down the right camera for my needs. Do you do anything special to a new trail camera before you put them in the field? Try to remove scent, etc? Thank you.
    Winke Responds:
    Derek, Great, thanks for supporting our sponsor. I don't do anything, but spraying them down with a scent eliminator is a good idea. My cameras have been in a box in my shop for a few years when not in the field, so they are pretty much scent free. Good luck. (11-2-13)
  • James from FL asks:
    Mr Winke, in your experience does a game camera with a flash spook deer at all?
    Winke Responds:
    James, I do believe that it does. We have trail cam video of deer coming to a flash camera and after getting his picture taken he runs off. That was good enough for me. Good luck. (11-2-13)
  • Scott from WI asks:
    Bill-I notice some deer, especially mature bucks, pick up the IR glow coming off of the Trophy Cam HDs at night. They seem to spook and meander off in a different direction. Have you noticed this and would it concern you at all? I'm still running the cameras to try to pick up daytime patterns as most are still nocturnal. thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Scott, I notice that they stare at the camera a bit, but that may be because of hearing the shutter on the camera. Not sure. They don't seem to shy away from it that I have noticed. I seem to eventually get close up photos of all the bucks that show up first on the fringes of the IR flash so I don't think they are afraid of it. I will look at the deer closer on the next card pull to see if it seems that they are showing caution. Of course, it will be the second image in a sequence that will give them away, and I have only been taking singles with a 30 second delay so I will see how long the bucks stay in front of the camera. They should start to become daylight active now. Good luck. (10-30-13)
  • Andy from IA asks:
    Bill, love the show just found out about midwest white tails this year, I must have been living under a rock! Well, love watching the older shows online.. My question is that I today I was granted permission to hunt a 40 acre piece, half timber half ag corn. I have never stepped foot into it, but topo maps and knowing the area makes me think it will be a good spot. Since the season is under way, and the rut 2ish weeks away how should I attack it? Set a couple cameras for a week or so, or go stomping around on saturday and hang stand in trees that look good?
    Winke Responds:
    Andy, I would hang the stands, but I would not stomp it. I would use the photos and I would use aerial photos to pick a couple of good spots and then I would just sneak in one afternoon, hang the stand, hunt it and then sneak out. I would either hunt the same stand again the next morning or hunt somewhere else and then sneak in again that afternoon and set another one. In other words, I at this point in the season, the element of surprise is more important than a thorough scouting trip. I would hunt it carefully, no scouting and start about October 25, or so. Good luck. (10-22-13)
  • allen from PA asks:
    I love in Pennsylvania were it is illegal to bait like Iowa. The one episode you did on cameras and bucks you said you talked to your local game commission about putting out baited sights. What did they tell you? We are aloud to bait up to 30 days before the season. All of our pictures are still in velvet up to that point. Then after that all I can do is put my cams on trails or fake scrapes hoping to get a hard antlered deer. I would love to be able to have certain areas so that I could keep getting bucks without the velvet to get a Mich better idea of what the buck look like. Any ideas? Thanks Allen
    Winke Responds:
    Allen, It doesn't really matter what is legal here. It only matters what is legal where you hunt. Each state is different. We can use bait for our trail cameras as long as we aren't hunting it or hunting any travel routes leading to it. I always stop the bait well before hunting in that general area. Most of my bait sites (camera sites) are on the edges of food sources so the deer really aren't coming their just for the bait, but the bait does help to concentrate the deer in front of the camera for a quick inventory. In your case, the mock scrapes are likely your best bet. Another option is to run the cameras on field scan mode on the edges of food sources to see what is coming out and when. Good luck. (10-21-13)
  • Chris Duane from NY asks:
    I have 2 bucks I'm targeting this fall and have great trail cam pictures of them in velvet and early september. About two weeks before the opening day (October 1st) they have disappeared. What are some features I should key in on and where should I put cameras in order to re locate them?
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, It can the be the result of two things: acorns or a changing home range. Some bucks change from their summer to their fall ranges and that may have happened here. If that is the case, all you can do is move the cameras around until you find them back. I don't know of any indicators that might suggest where the new range would be. It could be in any decent habitat. If acorns are dropping, you can be sure the deer are on them. So that may be where the bucks went too. They might not be moving much since the acorns are probably falling close to where they bed. You can go in after them by targeting oak groves and hope for the best or you can wait until they are done on the acorns and back on plots and crops - usually arond the end of the month - to find them back. Good luck. (10-18-13)
  • Joe from WI asks:
    A friend of mine put mineral on several different stumps and the deer have hammered all but one stump. Do you know of any tree species that deer will shy away from in this instance?
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, I am not aware of that one. I have not experimented with this and have not heard of this before. That is interesting. Have a great day. (10-16-13)
  • George from MD asks:
    Bill, do you believe in mid season scouting to the point where you find yourself walking your whole property, or do you tend to move stands only after something shows up on the trail cam? I refuse to walk our farm during the season in fear of pushing deer, so i rely on stands that were previously hung. Thanks for the many years of outdoor education George
    Winke Responds:
    George, No, I don't do any of that. If I need to scout an area thoroughly (rarely do I feel this need, by the way) I do it in Feb. I am with you. I rely on previous stand sites or I use my topo maps and aerial photos to suggest a few new ones to try. Good luck. (10-14-13)
  • Patrick from IL asks:
    I have bought some cheap and some high price deer cameras and they all have over 2 or 3 hundred pictures on them when I set them up, but they are all false readings. I have deer on some of the pictures, but it gets frustrating when theses cameras takes false pictures. Is there any cameras out there that hunters can buy and setup in front of weeds or tree limbs that only take pictures of heat instead of movement? I'm so tired of getting my hopes up when coming to my cameras and having a lot of pictures and then finding out it was because of the weeds and tree limbs were blowing in front of the cameras and giving off false pictures.
    Winke Responds:
    Patrick, Most of the false pictures I get are from grass or weeds blowing in front of the camera. That sets it off. Be sure there is nothing in the way that can move and trigger the camera. Also, if you point it in certain directions (I understand) relative to the sun you can get false shots from the moving shadows or whatever). I have not seen this because I try to always set my cameras pointing to the north. You just have to clear those weeds and branches or you will always get false photos regardless of the make of camera. Good luck. (10-8-13)
  • Brandon from WI asks:
    When you use field scan on the Bushnell trophy cam and set your time settings does it take pictures during darkness or does it sense daylight? Also it takes pictures like normal set up aswell?
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, You actually have to set the times for the field scan mode. So you can program it to take them at whatever time you choose. It will take photos based on movement just like it normally would between the field scan photos. And it will also take motion-activated photos at other times of the day. Good luck. (10-4-13)
  • Aaron from PA asks:
    I wrote to u earlier about pa and wv not getting no bucks on camra in sept I just wanted to tell u I do get bucks on camra in that same spot the last few years it was a little slow last year too. how long should I leave the camra up till I should take it down and move on
    Winke Responds:
    Aaron, If you aren't getting them by now, it is time to move on. Good luck. (10-3-13)
  • Eric from WI asks:
    How many cameras do you recommend putting out on a 200 acre piece of property?
    Winke Responds:
    Eric, If you can put them over bait I would say about four or five. You can always move them around if you have less and then focus in on a shooter buck once you find him. If you have to put them over trails or in Scan mode (time lapse) on your plots of fields I would say a few more. Just be sure you can get to them all without bumping around in areas where the deer are not used to seeing people. You can get away with a lot more by sticking to the fringes where they are used to more interaction with people. Good luck. (10-3-13)
  • aaron from PA asks:
    I am hunting in PA. AND WV. just wondering y am I not getting buck pic. on my trail cam threw the month of sept do u think I am too early and jumping the gun but just wondering y getting a nice amount of does
    Winke Responds:
    Aaron, I am not sure. It is possible that your camera is in the wrong place to pick up the bucks. It might be worth moving it. Bucks and does don't always run together. Sometimes when you are getting tons of does in one area, the bucks may just be holed up somewhere else. Or, you may not have many bucks in that area. The bucks do often move from their summer ranges to their fall ranges so you may just need to try a few more spots. Good luck. (10-2-13)
  • Elliott from WI asks:
    First i want to say im a weekly viewer of the show and i love it! Second i have a question that i am not sure of. I have 160acres in Buffalo County Wisconsin and practice QDM. I do my best to not pressure the deer and i watch my scent as best as i can. I love trail cams so i have 12 covering the property. Do you think that to many Cameras can kill mature buck activity on your property?
    Winke Responds:
    Elliott, I think you have way too many trail cameras out there. If you are checking them regularly you are impacting the area a lot. You have twice as many cameras on 160 acres as I have on 1,000 acres. I would not check most of them very often, maybe only when you are walking past them to and from tree stands. Good luck. (10-1-13)
  • Daniel from PA asks:
    I am looking at patterning some trails in front of my stand on public land in PA I live about an hour and a half away from the stand so I can't do much scouting or check the camera regularly. How and when should I set up my camera to see what deer are traveling the trail.
    Winke Responds:
    Daniel, I would try to set it where the deer are coming toward it so that you have longer to get a good photo. If you set the camera so the deer pass in front of it, you may not get them all. Also, set the interval between photos to just a few seconds so that you can get multiple photos each time a deer goes past and also get all the deer in the group if the camera triggers the first shot on the first deer. If you think theft is an issue, you may want to set the camera at ground level and mostly cover it with sticks and leaves to hide it. Just be sure to keep the lens, sensor and flash uncovered. Good luck. (9-29-13)
  • Matt from TN asks:
    Bill, I recent have recieved pictures of a GOLIATH buck. Im talkin 180+ 6 year old with a non typical point that sticks strait back about 7 inches. Huge deer I call Goliath for obvious reasons. We have had pictures of him last year as a 5 year old and this year as a 6. The pictures are all in the middle of the night. How would you reccomend I go about making a pattern on this deer without ruining my chances? Good luck this season. Matt
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I would keep running cameras anywhere in his area where you won't bump into him or your scent won't reach potential bedding areas when you check them. If there is normal human activity in the area, try to match it hwen checking cameras. Attempt to figure out the size of his range. I would just keep monitoring the buck to learn as much as you can and I would only hunt him under two conditions: after he starts to show daylight movement patterns or when a cold front is coming in. Good luck. (9-29-13)
  • Brandon from WI asks:
    Bill, I am a huge fan. I have read your book I ordered from you earlier this year 4 times. It is awesome and helped me a lot. Also I don't miss an episode. I like the Bushnell game cameras. I have 2 questions. How big of an sd card do you use when you put your cameras on the field scan mode? Also do you have to have some sort of program to view the sequences after you check your cameras and upload them to your computer?
    Winke Responds:
    Bramdon, Thanks for all the support. I use a 2 GB card except when shooting video. Then I will use a 4 GB card. I check my cameras every four days, or so, and the 2 GB card is big enough for that rate. If I was going to wait much longer I would likely need a bigger card. However, the corn is gone from in front of the camera after about two days and the number of photos I get after that is pretty minimal. I am sure there are some good programs out there, but I just use the normal photo viewer that comes with Windows 7 to view the images. I just bounce through them really fast unless something grabs my eye. Good luck. (9-26-13)
  • Travis from WI asks:
    Bill, How many cameras are you running this time of year? What is the most amount of cameras you have going at any one time? Do you have a ratio that you try to use: ie. 4 cameras per 100 acres?
    Winke Responds:
    Travis, I am running six right now. I move them around a couple of times. I just put them back out in new places this morning after they ran for roughly 10 days to 2 weeks in their previous spots. I ahve had as many as 10 going at once. I figure on this farm about one camera per 40 to 50 acres will get most of what is here as long as it is running over corn. If running over trails it will take a lot more. Good luck. (9-24-13)
  • Jason from IA asks:
    I hunt 80-100 acres of hunting ground. The food supply is very abundant. 2 creeks run through it to give deer the water they need. It's surrounded by CRP, bean & corn fields, alfalfa fields, 8 apple trees bursting with apples in a smaller location. How would you even start trying to locate travel routes when food and water is everywhere? I was thinking about planting food plots next year to help with this problem. Any ideas? Would food plots even help?
    Winke Responds:
    Jason, You are describing a good hunting area. You can treat each food source as a seperate pattern. You don't want the deer bunched anyway. It is too risky that way. It is too much like all or nothing. If they are spread out you can make a mistake or two and not educate every deer on the property. Small food plots will help if set into the cover near bigger fields so they serve as staging areas. These work very, very well to create good, close shots. Good luck. (9-20-13)
  • Rod from IL asks:
    Could you share the camera settings you use on your Bushnell Trailcam's?
    Winke Responds:
    Rod, Here are my settings: 5 mpixel, full screen, 1 photo per sequence, Medium LED control, 640x480 video, 10 sec video, 30 sec between photos, normal sensor, NTSC video mode, Time stamp on, Field Scan on or off depending on location. If on, set interval to 1 min (there is another menu you have to get to to set that), coordinates off, sound on. That is pretty much it. There are other settings that make sense if you have a camera on a trail for example. Then you might want a sequence of images or set to shorter time between images to be sure to catch everything. Good luck. (9-19-13)
  • Brad from AL asks:
    Which batteries are you using in your Trophy Cams and how do you find they preform using the feild scan mode?
    Winke Responds:
    Brad, I have been using mostly Tenergy batteries from TrailCamPro.com (and a few others off the grocery store shelf). Rich says the Tenergy are the best he has tested. They hold up for several weeks on Field Scan mode, in my experience. But I only run Field Scan for about 90 minutes per day. Have a great day. (9-17-13)
  • Travis from WI asks:
    Bill, What kind/brand of mounting device are you using to mount your Bushnell cameras. Is it something you make on your own? If not, where can I find one?
    Winke Responds:
    Travis, That is a Stic N Pic - www.sticnpic.com. Good luck. (9-13-13)
  • Mark from KS asks:
    I am going to be hunting public land this year. I just moved to the area so i haven't been able to scout very well and the season opens in less than a week . From the topo's it looks like a creek runs all the way through the land. Should i walk the creek to try and find good deer signs or just walk the property? I dont want to bust deer out this close to season a from road scouting tree's block a majority of the land.
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, I think you are on the right track. I would just focus on the creek for starters and find stand locations near the creek and spots that you can get to easily by using the creek to get in and out without alerting any deer. Sounds like a good plan to me. Good luck. (9-13-13)
  • Corey from AL asks:
    Bill - What brand or where do you get your trail cam stands? Thanks and Good luck this year
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, Those are made by Pic N Stic. You can find them at their website www.picnstic.com. Good luck. (9-13-13)
  • Mike from IA asks:
    Hey Bill - I was wondering how you get an inventory of all the deer when you spread out your corn piles that far. How can all those deer find the corn pile out in the field. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I am sure I don't find all the bucks. If I feel that I am missing some areas I will go back and try a new spot a couple hundred yards away. I do figure that a camera every 50 to 60 acres over corn will likely get most of the bucks in that area - not all, but most. Good luck. (9-13-13)
  • Dustin from MO asks:
    Hey Bill, I just watched the new show about how you find your bucks back after they disperse from their summer ranges. However, Missouri's season starts in the middle of September (Sept. 15 this year). So, there is a very short window from when the deer disperse and the start of the season. Therefore, I don't believe I can put corn out to find the deer back before the season since it would have to be gone ten days prior to season for me to hunt that area. So, what would you suggest I do to find the deer back by using my trail cameras? Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Dustin, I would place them in travel funnels (not close to bedding areas) and I would use the Field Scan mode and place them on the edges of any likely feeding areas. That is the starting point. When we get into October you can also place them over well-used scrapes. I like the ones on field edges to keep my impact down. You may only get night time photos but you can learn much from them too. Good luck. (9-12-13)
  • Daniel from IA asks:
    Apples for your camera. A lot of people in town have a tree and a thousand more than they want. Just ask to clean them up. Works nearly as good as corn and the coons/turkeys are not as interested. Much better price than corn. I just leave a few buckets at a friends place and collect them periodically.
    Winke Responds:
    Daniel, Good idea. I will ned to find a good supply in order to try that. A few trees in town, but not too many. Good luck. (9-12-13)
  • Travis from WI asks:
    Bill, I watched one of your episodes recently, and I have question. You stated that you are setting your trail cameras on field scan mode and running them the last hour and a half of the day? I'm assuming the obvious that you want to monitor what is using your food plot at the same time you would be hunting the area. But, aren't you worried about missing something that may moving past the camer in the morning or just prior to the camera turning on field scan mode?
    Winke Responds:
    Travis, That camera also takes photos in the normal motion mode too, even when set on Field Scan so you never miss anything. Good luck. (9-12-13)
  • josh from IN asks:
    Hi Bill, I have a trail camera in a thick bedding area and I'm ready to go get it. Should I bring the kids and dog and make as much noise as possible or go in stealth and sent free and try not to jump any deer? What do you try to do when you know the deer will be bedding there? thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, With all the cover in the woods right now, I would try to sneak in. If it was during the season, and cover was thin and the deer could see me a long ways off, I would likely then make more disturbance so they have plenty of warning that I am coming in. However, I would still make the final approach to the camera with scent containing waders to keep from leaving scent there. Once they ease off, they don't know where you went so it still benefits you not to leave odor. Don't let them know were right there in their bedding area. Good luck. (9-10-13)
  • Victor from OH asks:
    Not sure if this has been asked, but can you tell me who makes the tripod you use for your trail cameras. I have some areas where there aren't any trees and that set up would be real handy. Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Victor, It is the Stic N Pic. They have a website you can order from (www.sticnpic.com). Good luck. (9-9-13)
  • josh from OK asks:
    hey Bill, have you ever tried any unorthodox methods for getting deer on camera? I know you put corn out just for the picture taking but anything else you ever tried? i have an idea and if it works like i think it will i will let you in on it but until then i can't.it may take a couple of weeks but i will let you know.
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, I have only used corn or nothing. I don't like attracting deer to the camera past the initial inventory stage because I want to know their natural patterns and having any kind of attractant out will change those. I will be interested in your idea. Good luck. (9-3-13)
  • Miles from ME asks:
    Do you have any tips on how to read more into trail camera photos? Such as the direction in the morning usually points the way to the bedding area and in the evening towards the feeding area?
    Winke Responds:
    Miles, You can read a lot into the first photo you get of a buck in the evening, but beyond that I think it is a stretch. I think that the buck will approach the camera in the evening from roughly the direction of his bedding area. I would assume this especially if you see it happen several times. That first photo should give you some idea because it butt will point toward his bedding area - at least roughly, and again, it is more reliable if it happens several times the same way. Good luck. (9-3-13)
  • Mike from IA asks:
    Hey Bill, I only get to check my camera's every week or two in the fall. I was wondering if there was something that would last longer to put out than a bag of corn or if you would just put out a bag of corn anyway. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, Between the coons, crows and turkeys, I probably lose 1/3 of any corn I put out. My guess is that corn is still going to be your most cost effective choice. In the summer, you can use Trophy Rock, but deer stop hitting that around this time. I don't have any other good ideas (viewers may have some ideas), so I am going to say corn. Good luck. (9-3-13)
  • Matt from AL asks:
    Bill, I hunt a 100 acre farm in Central Wisconsin and never seem to get a good inventory of the deer on our property. Part of the problem is that any form of baiting (mineral, corn or others) is against the law due to the spread of CWD. Do you have any other suggestions on how to get a more accurate buck inventory? Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I would run trail camderas in Field Scan mode on any bean, clover, alfalfa food sources. Corn is not a good choice until it gets harvested. Also, any heavy trails and water holes make sense. That is all you can do at this point. Later, in the rut, you can run on scrapes too. Good luck. (9-3-13)
  • Brandon from WI asks:
    Bill, like many others, I love everything about hunting whitetails and take it very seriously. I enjoy all the things that go with being a successful hunter, including scouting, checking cameras, planting food plots, etc. My question is when is it too much? I feel like over the last 4 years any buck over 3.5 years is nocturnal until you get that one or two cruisers during the chase phase of the rut. Im sure I am like many hunters in that I feel the need to be in the woods, drive my ATV to my cameras and check them every two weeks, trim stands, and plant some B&B, but am starting to wonder if it is too much some times and turns deer nocturnal. Thanks and good luck this fall!
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, I think if you are careful you can spend that time and enjoy the outdoors. I would not turn you away from that. Most bucks in WI that are 3 1/2 are nocturnal anyway. If they have a personality where they like to travel during the day, they get shot when they are younger. I think being nocturnal is as much personality driven as learned. The ones with the nocturnal personalities get shot when they are young. We see young bucks here that are daylight roamers and they tend to remain daylight roamers as they get older - not as much as when they were young, but more than other bucks their age. So, maybe you aren't making those bucks nocturnal like you think. Maybe most of them will be nocturnal no matter what you do. Something to think about at least. Enjoy the land and outdoors. Keep it in balance. Have some sanctuaries you stay completely away from, but don't stress about bumping the odd buck on your ATV in the summer. However, I would stay out except as needed starting about now (Sept). Also, stay away from known bedding areas and stick to the fringes more starting now. Good luck. (9-2-13)
  • Nathan from IA asks:
    What camera stand are you using in your latest video? I'm looking to buy one like that for my trail camera. Keep up the great work! Love your shows and have learned a lot from you. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Nathan, It could be the Pic N Stic. You can find them on their website. Good luck. (8-29-13)
  • Daniel from PA asks:
    When should i put out my trail cams to capture buck in their territories
    Winke Responds:
    Daniel, I always start my fall trail cam patterning around Sept. 10, or so. That gives the bucks time to disband their bachelor groups and spread out into the fall ranges. Good luck. (8-27-13)
  • Joe from MN asks:
    Hey bill, Great shows I am really excited for the new 2013 episodes starting up. I was just curious about the number of trail cameras you run on your property? I am guessing you have a bunch of the bushnells since they are a sponsor. So how many do you run on your property during your prime scouting season? Thanks Joe
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, Surprisingly, I think I only have 7 or 8. I am sure I could get more if I wanted them, but that is enough. I move them around some to keep tabs on all the right places that I have learned over the years to monitor. Once I find a good buck to hunt I move another camera into that area (sometimes two more) to get a better idea of where the buck is ranging and when. It is not foolproof, but I do learn a lot about the bucks I hunt and I attribute 75% of that to the camera photos and the other 25% to summer video and in-season sightings. Good luck. (8-21-13)
  • Eric from MN asks:
    Bill, My question is how do you chose your locations to place corn piles for your trail cameras. The area I hunt has no food plots, but does have agricultural fields, corn/alfalfa, and woodlands. I really enjoy your site/shows and thought your idea of the corn survey would be a good idea to see what is living in the area I hunt. Thanks again
    Winke Responds:
    Eric, I place them near food sources for two reasons. First, I don't really want to alter the patterns of the bucks, I just want to know where they are. More than likely they are coming to food sources on their own to feed and the corn is just concentrating them in front of the camera for a quick survey. If I was placing the corn in other areas, I would never know if I was bringing the deer to me or if they were there naturally. When running cameras away from food sources, on travel routes, I don't use bait except in rare instances. The second reason I like to put cameras in food sources is because they are easy to check because they are usually well away from bedding areas and I can get in, swap cards and get out without the deer knowing. I would say in your situation, try to find spots where you are near feeding areas and away from bedding areas (like edges or along lanes) where you can get a quick survey over corn without affecting the deers' patterns or bumping them. I am not 100% familiar with the MN lawas on this. Just be sure that running a camera over corn is legal where you hunt. Good luck. (8-17-13)
  • Matt from OK asks:
    Hey Bill, The anticipation for viewing the new shows is getting to me! Im anxious to see what new deer are on the Winke farm after you succefully harvested a legend last season. On a property Im hunting there is a really nice buck, looks to be a nine pointer and judging by body features a 4 and a half old deer. I havent gotten any camera pictures of him in any of my stations, and it seems the only time we see him is in person. I put a trophy rock in the block of timber he seems to be frequenting and plan on puttin a camera there this weekend. Im also buying corn to start my surveys. I dont want to get to exctited about this deer knowing his patterns will change. Would you reccomend putting the corn where I have the rock about 60 yards in the woods? Or next to the road at the edg of the plot? Is the fact that we only see him every 4 weeks mean he will keep that roaming personality in the fall? Thanks, Matt
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, Thanks for the support. It will be interesting to see what we can turn up. We have some really nice young to middle age bucks now, but until I get the cameras out in full scale in mid-September I won't know for sure what is out there. You never get them all on mineral, nor have we filmed all of the, I am sure. There are always a few surprises. I would put the corn at the edge of the woods. The deer will find it and it will be much easier to check the camera more often without alerting any deer. It is too early to tell what personality that buck has. Sightings alone are not enough information to make a decision about that. You will need to see some trail cam photos from different locations around his suspected range to figure out how much he roams. He may be mostly nocturnal and you see you only occassionally even though he is there all the time. Only the cameras can tell you that and only after he would have shifted to his fall range (if he does) around mid-September. Good luck. (8-15-13)
  • John from MA asks:
    I have been feeding some good bucks and does corn. the only problem is I don't have a feeder so I have been putting it on the ground. And as you would guess if it rains the corn on the bottom will start to mold and rot. My question is will this turn off deer to my feeding site. I check it once a week and look at the trail camera picks and I rake the rotten moldy corn off to the side and put down new corn every week. The deer, coons and crows about 50 pounds a week and usually its gone before it has a chance to rot and mold but the last 3 weeks its raining every 4 days and the last 3 weeks I was getting a lot of mold. Does the mold bother deer and should I rake and shovel it up and get it out of there. I would appreciate some help here..John
    Winke Responds:
    John, I don't think so. You should be able to do what you are doing just fine. Rake it away. I realize it is a rain thing, but you may be putting down a bit too much each week. I don't like to put out more than they can eat in about three to four days and then I check it a day or two after it runs out. I never have any wasted corn and I still get tons of photos. In other words, there is no big loss in putting out a bit less corn. Good luck. (8-13-13)
  • Matt from KS asks:
    Bill, I hunt 120 acres in ne kansas. I have 3 mineral sites that i place cameras on every year. .i always end up with two or three good shooter bucks. Do i need to move my cameras more to narrow down their movent patterns?its small so i try to check my cameras one Nce a month to keep the pressure down. Thank you for your time. Mb
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I would try to find them back after they stop using the mineral sites in mid-September. Baiting is legal in KS so place a bag of corn in front of the cameras in late September to see where they have shifted to. My guess is that you will have some surprises. Some bucks leave and possibly others arrive. They have a summer range and fall range and you really want to know their fall range as that relates better to where they will be during the season. I would put the cameras near food sources and check them once every three days until you know what is heppening, always during the middle of the day and always wearing waist high waders to eliminate odors. Good luck. (8-10-13)
  • Leon from IN asks:
    How often do you check trail cameras this time of year, and leading up to opening season?
    Winke Responds:
    Leon, I don't check them very often at all right now. However, starting about mid-September I will pull them off the Trophy Rock and put them over corn (legal here) near my food plots. I just want to get a quick inventory of what is living in different parts of the farm once the bucks disperse to their fall ranges. I will run it four days, pull the card and add another half bag of corn and then run it three more days. I may go an extra three days just to be sure I got everything. All in all, I run the camera about ten days per location and move them at least once each until I find something interesting. Then I stop baiting and move the cameras into strategic spots and run them on Field Scan mode (Bushnell Trophy Cams from TrailCamPro.com) until I start hunting. At that point I may check them every two to three days if I suspect a good buck may be using the area in daylight. I want to know as soon as possible if that is happening. Good luck. (8-9-13)
  • Bradley from PA asks:
    where would you try to place your trail cameras when you are trying to figure out high traffic areas, or bedding areas?
    Winke Responds:
    Bradley, I would place the cameras right in the high traffic areas and wear something like waders when I go to check them. I would not place the cameras in suspected bedding areas though. I would look at my photos from each evening and try to determine the direction from which the target deer are approaching to estimate where it is bedded. Good luck. (8-7-13)
  • Daniel from MI asks:
    hey Bill super excited for the upcoming season. Couple questions today. What about splits last year that walked by the redneck blind before you shot loppy is splits still around? When scouting deer right now are you super scent free or are you only worried about the scent you have on you walking/sitting in ur scouting spot and not worrying about the deer smelling you because your scouting from a distance?
    Winke Responds:
    Daniel, Not sure on that buck. We have not filmed him this summer, but we never filmmed him last summer either. He may have a different summer range. Hopefully he shows back up because he should be a dandy this year. We still play the wind and try to keep ground scent away from the deer. The only time I don't worry about scent is when I am going in to work on a food plot or am otherwise making a lot of noise that is obviously not "sneaky". Deer seem to know the difference and will forgive the big "farm" intrusions much quicker than the guy sneaking around the edge of their feeding area. Good luck. (8-6-13)
  • Dustin from OK asks:
    I watch and really enjoy your show and web videos! I hunt a property in South Central Kansas. I hunt a funnel that is around 300 yards West of the bedding area and is on the way to the food source(milo field) along a live stream. Last year was my first year to hunt this land and I captured around 15 different buck that were 8+ points in and around my feeder. I have two 170+ deer on the property. I put out cameras and corn in the feeder about 40 days ago. I have never really used camera in the Summer. So far, I have only captured one small 9 point and several does. The does frequent the feeder but the bucks have been MIA. Is this normal, should I be concerned?? Thanks for your time!!
    Winke Responds:
    Dustin, I see that here too. I would not be concerned. We often have a hard time getting lots of buck photos in the summer. I don't think they travel much and there is so much food around they are seldom looking for any handouts. I would think that starting around September 10 you should start to see them back in their fall ranges and that is likely when they will start to show back up in the area you describe. Good luck. (7-31-13)
  • Matt from TN asks:
    I have permission to hunt a 1400 acre lease. Im puttin 6 cameras over minerals. One spot that i favor is in real thick cover. Im putting minerals there and want to run a camera there to see what bucks are on the land. Because my stand is there, is that a good idea? Thanks, Matt
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, If baiting is not legal where you hunt then having a mineral site near your stand may not be legal. If it is legal, then I see no downside other than having to stare at the ugly hole in the ground all the time while on stand. I like to use the Trophy Rock and place it on a stump because you don't get the big hole like you do with granulated mineral on the ground. I would check the camera only occassionally this time of they year - once per month, maybe. I would not be going near my stands often because I want the deer to feel very comfortable in those areas. Good luck. (7-22-13)
  • rob from IA asks:
    Bill I started some pre season organizing and went back through my trail cam pics, I was surprised to see how much deer activity there was in the cold snaps mid october in hindsight it almost appears that some major breeding activity took place. Am i outta my mind? do you ever re- inspect your photos this way?
    Winke Responds:
    Rob, I don't think there was a lot of breeding, but the deer (bucks too) really do fire up during those hard October cold snaps. We watch for those now and hunt them hard when they come. We usually take all that stuff in during the season. The sooner you can see the trends the better able you are to take advantage of them, so we are always looking for some kind of useful trends in the trail cam photos. Good luck. (7-20-13)
  • Daniel from PA asks:
    How do I do some pre archery season scouting with or without a camera if I live farther away from my hunting land?
    Winke Responds:
    Daniel, I would focus on doing some glassing in fields in late July and early August to get started, but the real scouting starts after the bucks break up their bachelor groups and disperse. That is when they settle into their fall ranges. I start to run cameras a good bit in early September through early October to find a few nice bucks to hunt that are showing daylight activity. You can also do some scouting at that time with binoculars but the deer become increasingly nocturnal after shedding velvet and stay closer to cover (often focusing on eating acorns) so you won't see many during daylight in the open, that is why the cameras are so useful. Place them near feeding areas or the trails leading to feeding areas. Good luck. (6-11-13)
  • Tim from IA asks:
    Looking for a camera to place in a remote location that will sent pics to my cell or email account. I have found a couple online that use tmobile or AT&T for the cell service provider and know they don't have the best signal herein rural monroe county. Have you had any experience with this type of camera? What would you recommend?
    Winke Responds:
    Tim, Unfortunately, I have not. As you point out, you are at the mercy of the provider. Until you can use a different provider, you may be dead in the water. Good luck. (6-7-13)
  • Steve from WI asks:
    Not really a question but a suggestion for Keshone from Illinois. I've been using "Red" flash cameras for several years. The only time I've had deer spook is when I ran the camera on video. It seems that the prolonged duration of the Red glow definitely spooked some deer. I had a GIANT 13 pointer that was coming into a mock scrape regular. As soon as I put the cam on video I got one clip of him....Running away!!! Never seen him on cam again? Good luck :)
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, Thanks for the input. I appreciate it. Have a great day. (6-7-13)
  • Keshone from IL asks:
    Hi Bill i would first like to say you have one of the best hunting shows and website that ive ever seen, i really enjoy watching giant deer shot and its also very helpful. I just purchased a Moultrie low-glow infared camera and my question is do deer really get spooked by infared cameras, im kinda scared to even put it out because ive heard big bucks will disappear if caught on camera. But i do want to know whats out there for me to hunt and figure out where to hunt accordingly. What do you do and when do you put them out?? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Keshone, I appreciate the support. Thanks. I have heard stories that they do, but I have not seen it happen myself. Our deer here do not see to react to the flash. If anything, they may react to the sound of the shutter, but I don't think the flash bothers them. Good luck. (5-27-13)
  • Grant from MN asks:
    Bill, I recal you endorsing some software for trail cameras called WISE. I was wondering if you still use this software at all and if you think it would be a worthwile product to purchase? It looks like it would be a great tool to utilize in the woods! Grant
    Winke Responds:
    Grant, I have not been using it because I rarely have the time to input anything into a database at the time of year I am checking my cameras most, but the guys in the office have been using it and like it. You have to stay on top of updating it when you check your cameras or the tool is not as valuable. Good luck. (5-6-13)
  • Carter from WI asks:
    This past winter, my family recieved a fairly large section up land. What would you suggest on how to learn the deer activity there and what we need to do to make it a better woods to hunt?
    Winke Responds:
    Carter, I would focus on getting out and glassing fields starting in mid-July to learn where the bucks are living. Then starting in mid-September I would put out trail cameras to figure out where they have moved to for the fall. There is much to learn relative to the best ways to do both of these things, but you will learn them as you go. I don't have the time or space to do it here. As far as making it better, you need to improve the food and the cover (if you have that kind of control) so that deer feel secure and have lots to eat. If the area is limited in water, you should also consider ways to enhance the water supply. Good luck. (4-10-13)
  • Max from MN asks:
    What can I do starting until September to scout and find bucks worth hunting before the opener in mid September? What are the bucks doing at this point and how can I find them? Love your show, Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Max, I would not worry too much until about mid-July. That is when I would really start to look and even then you will gain only part of the information you need as some bucks will disperse from their summer range to their fall range starting about the first week in September. The mid-September opener is a good opportunity to catch bucks on the tail end of their summer patterns, but it can also be frustrating because it occurs right as they are dispersing and breaking up their bachelor groups. Starting in mid-July I would start to glass the alfalfa, clover, soybean fields in your area and see what is coming out. Then I would run the trail cameras hard starting about the end of August through the time you start hunting to get a better idea of where the bucks have dispersed to. Be sure to try areas where you weren't seeing them in July, because, as I said, some will move and spread out. Good luck. (4-7-13)
  • Reed from OH asks:
    when do you put up your cameras to see what bucks have lived and survived winter? when do you think would be a good time to but them out ?
    Winke Responds:
    Reed, I think it is already too late. I think you need to do that before they shed their antlers. Otherwise, I would say mid-July is a good time to see what bucks are there as the antlers have taken their shape - mostly. Granted, they will look different from last season, but you should be able to see enough similarities to distingiush particular bucks you hunted the year before - hopefully a year bigger! Good luck. (4-2-13)
  • Matt from PA asks:
    What do you think of the Primos TC 35 Ultra? Do you think it is worth the money? I would mostly be putting it over a mineral like Rough Ridge Rack Snack and maybe sometimes over a food plot. Is there a better camera in the $100-150 range? Thanks for the help!
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I don't know about that one, but there aren't many good cameras in that price range. I think Bushnell's Trophy Cam fits in the upper end of that range and I know it is a good camera. We have used it often here. I would check out the reviews at TrailCamPro.com for more info on the best cameras for various price ranges. Those guys have done the research and the testing and have warranty/return history to back up their reliability claims. Good luck. (3-24-13)
  • Andy from WI asks:
    my trail cam pictures are turning out a red or green tinted color and I'm not sure why I thought and first that it might be from the sun but the camera wasn't facing in that direction.
    Winke Responds:
    Andy, I don't know much about that. I would contact the manufacturer of your trail camera directly to see if there might be an issue with the sensor or lens. Good luck. (1-30-13)
  • Bradley from PA asks:
    How would you go about scouting on public hunting ground?
    Winke Responds:
    Bradley, I would not do much different on public land than I would on private land with one exception. I would probably first start by figuring out where most hunters access it and then look for areas to hunt that are far from those spots. I would study the aerial photos and topo maps to learn as much as possible about the area and property first. Then I would go walk it thoroughly looking for natural and man-made funnels that would narrow deer traffic. I would look for feeding areas and bedding areas and then go back to my maps and photos and put a plan together then go back to hunt it with a stand over my shoulder. Good luck. (1-27-13)
  • Derek from OH asks:
    Congratulations on the season and love the show. I am hunting a new piece of property for next year. I only got out there for one hunt this year. But my question is when scouting this off season what is the best way to go about it? Ways to find the bedding areas? Food sources? It is roughly 150 acres of timber. There is one corn field the borders the property.
    Winke Responds:
    Derek. I would just walk it all and note the places where you see beds, note the high ground (likely bedding areas). Note the oak trees (likely feeding areas on acorn years). Not the terrain and the funnels. Look for any kind of funnels between two bedding areas. Look for trails leaving the timber and note where they go (likely to feeding areas). On a block like this, the challenge will be to find the bedding areas primarily and the interior food sources (mast trees - mostly oak) because the exterior feeding area is pretty easy to note (the ag field). Finally, and most importantly, determine the low profile ways you can in and out of there. That is where you stands will go - very near these low profile access routes. This final step is the most important. After you get the big picture of what is likely happening there, you have to find your entry and exit routes. Good luck. (1-23-13)
  • Brandon from MI asks:
    I have had my trail camera for about a year now and no problems with it, now for some reason at night the picture is blacked out and all you can see is the eyes of the deer. In order to make out an animal or face you need to be within 2 feet of it. when you walk in front of it you can see the red L.E.D's light up so I dont know whats wrong. Any answer? Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, It could be the batteries are dying and the LEDs aren't fireing bright enough. Also, check your settings to be sure the LED strength is set to normal or the default level. If that is not the case, you have only one option, try to send it back in for service or hopefully warranty repair. Good luck. (1-23-13)
  • Mark from MO asks:
    Hi, is there a difference between infrared trail cameras and regular? And are there any good ones in the $100-$150 range? Thanks, Mark
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, Yes, the infra-reds typically don't cause deer to go on alert as much as the flash cameras. That is why nearly everyone purchasing a camera now is looking for either infra-red or black flash. To understand this better, please go to the TrailCamPro.com website for tons of information about comparisons and pricing. Good luck. (1-20-13)
  • mike from PA asks:
    Hi Bil love the show,I've been running my trail cams in plot watcher mode and they seem to stop running.Do you think im running to small of a sd card (2gb)Once this happens the cams wont even work in pic mode anymore.What brand name sd cards do you guys like or seem to have good luck with? thanks mike
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, Not sure, but if they are full the camera will stop taking photos. For sure you want to get something bigger in there. I don't think the brand makes much difference. We use a lot of different brands, but we have had good luck with all of them. We basically just use the ones that Rich at TrailCamPro.com suggests. Good luck. (1-13-13)
  • TOM from WI asks:
    My hunting land is 4 hours away and I can't get away often enough to check cameras. I've heard there are camera systems I can monitor on my computer. Is this true?
    Winke Responds:
    Tom, Yes there are. I think there are a couple of companies that make them. The real camera experts out there are TrailCamPro.com. I would just go to their website, find the number and call them for advice. They sell most of the good cameras on the market so are unbiased in their advice. Good luck. (1-13-13)
  • Don from KS asks:
    How long do you leave your trail cameras in one location inorder to see if a shooter buck is moving through an area? Is it one week, 2 weeks, etc? Is it different if they are over corn? Keep up the good work.
    Winke Responds:
    Don, I leave them for about a week to ten days over corn and then about two weeks, or as long as makes sense, if I find one that I want to pattern. I never try to actually pattern a buck using corn. I just find out if they are around quick and then go to patterning using field scan on the Trophy Cams over food plots or on regular photo mode when keeping tabs on trails or funnels. I often start my whole search near food so I don't have to move the cameras far to fine-tune the patterning once I find a buck to hunt. I know it is legal to bait in KS, but everyone needs to call their game warden before they start putting a camera over corn to be sure you know the laws. Good luck. (1-13-13)
  • mitchell from MN asks:
    Hi Bill, What should I look for in post season scouting for stand locations next year. How much do you think it should cost to get my bow restrung at a proshop. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Mitchell, Priority number one should be entry and exit routes. It is like a chessmatch. These routes are key - find the ones where the deer can't detect you. Getting a new custom string will be about $50 to $75. You can get low end strings for less, but don't do it. It is worth the extra to get a really good string. The string is the one accessory that can really ruin your hunt if it stretches, twists or the serving slips without you knowing it. Good luck. (12-30-12)
  • Tom Krueger from WI asks:
    Hi Bill, Have a question regarding cameras. In the past we have only used cuddeback cameras with flash. I was never a frim believer in the IR's. However, this year I watched two different does approach a scrape, both from different directions, stop at about ten yards and stare at the camera. Almost like they were waiting for the flash. Then proceed to walk around the back side of the tree. But then I have also had the opposite as I have pics of some very nice bucks, not bothered at all. What is your opinion as far as using cameras with IR vs. those with flash? Thanks for your time. Love the show! Tom & Bennet Krueger
    Winke Responds:
    Tom, My friend Jason vickerman once rigged a video trail cam (before they were commercially available - Jason is very smart) to overlook a flash camera. The footage is pretty amazing. He actually got footage of the world record Lovstuen buck coming to the flash camera, seeing the flash and then running away. We put it on an early 2008 episode. Here is a link to that footage. That made a believe out of me. http://www.midwestwhitetail.com/gallery/16/media/15/mw5-world-record-on-the-trail-cam.html Good luck. (12-29-12)
  • John from IA asks:
    I am considering getting the HD Bushnell Trophy cam and saw that trailcampro.com recommended the Tenergy rechargable batteries for best battery life in cold weather. (I live in NE Iowa).Just wondering what your experience was with this camera and these batteries as far as performance and battery life in the cold.Congratulations on the great season so far. I also really appreciate how you include your faith on the show. I can really tell that you and many prostaffers are putting Christ first! Merry Christmas!
    Winke Responds:
    John, Thanks for the support. I have been using the Tenergy batteries for about two years. I have not tried lots of other brands so I am not sure how they compare, but I have been happy with them. I can get several weeks out of them during the fall and winter and a few months in the summer. I don't wait for them to go dead. I just change them out every three weeks or so during the cold weather times. If the guys at TraiCamPro say they are the best, they are the best because they do tons of testing. That is why we like them so much. You never have to wonder about what you are buying. Good luck and Happy New Year. (12-28-12)
  • Logan from OK asks:
    Hey Bill, I just got 2 bushnell hd cams for christmas and was playing around with them. I want to have the best picture quality possible. I know some cameras take more blurry pictures than others and whiteout can occur with close up pictures (both very frustrating). I know that you are using these cameras and was wondering how pleased you are with them and what settings are working best for you to get the best quality pictures?
    Winke Responds:
    Logan, I have put most settings on the factory default level (I set LED and flash range to normal). If you set the flash range to high you will get some washed out photos of close deer at night. I have been very happy with the cameras. This is my third year using them and they have done very well for me. Good luck. (12-26-12)
  • Jesse from MI asks:
    Bill, first I would just like to say I really enjoy the shows, keep them coming! It would be nice to see more hunts from Northern MI (I’m in NW lower MI) , but I know first-hand it’s tough to get a good buck up here. My question is with regard to checking trail cam's. Seems everyone on the shows visit their cameras bare handed. Wouldn’t you leave a lot less scent using gloves? These days I always wear gloves when I’m anywhere near my hunting area, and cringe when I see guys on TV opening their cams and pulling cards without them. Merry Christmas!
    Winke Responds:
    Jesse, I hear you. I do it myself without even thinking about it. We forget that for some reason. I am going to make a mental note to do a better job on that. Thanks for the support and have a Merry Christmas. (12-20-12)
  • Will from MO asks:
    How would you go about scouting a new public land property for this years late season without knowing the pressure or what food the deer are using? walk it or maps? and if it does NOT get really cold would you hunt row crops or timber browse? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Will, You will have to walk it, I am afraid. At least walk the outside fringe to see if you can find where they are going out to feed. You will learn a ton just walking the outside edge in select areas. Find the food, find the deer. Then you can possibly work back into the timber a short ways to cut them off as they head to food. Timber browse is a tough pattern to hunt since it is so diverse and spread out. You can always try a few evenings just sitting back in the timber on oak ridges. You never know how the pressure has affected the deer until you get in there and hunt it a bit. Your mission is a tough one. Hunting public land in the late season is very hard. Good luck. (12-14-12)
  • Steve from WI asks:
    Bill, Not sure you can answer this but maybe other Ask Winke readers can? I'm looking for a inexpensive way to view my trail cam pics in the field. I've tried using my digital camera but it can't read some of my cards. I would like to know what others use. Any help would be great. Thanks and Happy Holidays!
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, I have heard of people using the Asus Eee pad with the optional external card reader for this. I buy tons of stuff from Newegg.com for the computers we use at the office and they sell this device for around $230. I realize that may not be cheap in everyone's book, but you do also get to use the device for other things too, if you are looking for one! If anyone has any better ideas, let us know. Good luck. (12-14-12)
  • Mike from WI asks:
    We had the blurry image problem with our camera and found out that by getting the absorbing patch things that come with the camera and leaving that in the inside by the batteries helped a lot. We are using the Bushnell Trophy Cam from trailcampro and we run them mostly on trails and it really helped the moving picks. Our land is in farm country and whats not an ag field is low swamp land that requires at least knee high boots almost every spring and fall. We have the little high ground we can find in food plots but what else can we do to improve the hunting on our property.
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, Thanks. Good tip. I don't know of much else you can reasonably do. I know some guys will dig in cedar posts on their properties so the bucks have something to rub on if it is primarily swamp. The bucks seem to like that it does seem to give you a place to hunt them. It is kind of a neat idea. Other than creating high ground (how expensive would that be!) there is no much else you can do beyond providing food. Good luck. (12-12-12)
  • Steve from WI asks:
    Bill, thanks for the link to the guys at trailcampro.com I guess I should have explained my problem with more detail. The blurry pics are always at night and it does look like the deer(subjects) are moving at the time of the pic. I was just wondering if the Bushnells you use had the same problem at night? I'm looking to buy few new cams next year & was considering Bushnells. Thanks again & Merry Xmas!
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, They are blurry at night because the shutter is open longer to get more light for the proper exposure. Some cameras are likely better than others because maybe they have different sensors or put out more light in the infra-red flash, etc. Again, I am no expert on which ones are better, but the guys at TrailCamPro.com are. They can get you set up. Good luck and Merry Christmas to you too. (12-11-12)
  • Chris from AL asks:
    Comment on blurry trail cam pics. Not sure if this is the case in Wisconsin but down here with the heat and humidity being as bad as it has I'm getting a lot of condensation on the cameras that are in fields or on field edges. In most of my morning time pics I can't tell if it's a deer or a hog! Haha. Haven't had any problems with cameras that are in the woods.
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, I do get that problem too. I wonder if putting something like they use for keeping eyeglasses from fogging up would work? Something to consider. Best regards. (12-10-12)
  • Steve from WI asks:
    Bill, quick question on trail cam pics. I run several cameras and most have red light array. It seems that most of the night pics I get are blurry. Some are so bad that I can't even tell if it's buck/doe? Do you have this problem???
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, I don't have the problem really because I don't run cameras too much except briefly over corn to get an inventory. Then they are pretty much standing still. When I want to pattern them (after finding them) I go to field scan mode on the Bushnells and put them around food plots or small openings. Then I am only looking for daylight photos anyway. I don't often set up on trails where they are moving. I would ask the guys at TrailCamPro what they recommend. Those guys know a ton about trail cams because they sell nearly all of them. Good luck. (12-10-12)
  • Ben from VT asks:
    Bill, I understand that hunting is your living, but for those of us like myself; a young man with a full time forestry job, a two year old child and another on the way, are there any tips you could give regarding how to best spend my time next fall scouting with my cameras and narrowing down areas to hunt given a tight schedule? I also wanted to say that I love watching the show and especially appreciate the "non-sugar coating" type of attitude to blown hunts etc. It makes it more realistic.
    Winke Responds:
    Ben, I think you might be surprised how much time I have invested in family activities and coaching, etc. too. I am right there with you. To make the best use of your time, I would wait until the bucks are in their fall ranges to get real serious about it. You can get some cool summer photos, but they won't necessarily help you shoot one. Start the search around Sept. 20, or and by about the second week of October you should have a good feel for what is out there. You can narrow your search down to an attempt to pattern a few specific bucks at that time if you like. That way you keep the time to a manageable level and still learn a lot about the bucks. Thanks for the support. Good luck. (12-7-12)
  • Chris from LA asks:
    Bill, the management of the resource is my #1 concern. Never before have we been armed with so many technological advantages on these animals. Don't get me wrong, I love my cameras. I'm nothing without them. My group has gotten very efficient on our farm and we are definitely no rocket scientist. If we can do it so can all of our neighbors and I do believe that is what is happening. More people are having success and I am scared the resource (older bucks) is depleting. I have had trail cameras since they were $400 each for a 35mm flash camera and it's never been this hard to find a buck to hunt. Do you think you're area is experiencing anything like this? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, I think our problem is one of declining deer numbers. We have been on a slide since 2003. We needed to reduce the numbers, but when the numbers drop as much as they have recently and the hunter numbers don't go down with them, the numbers can really nose-dive. So I expect it to cycle. If you think about it, as long as your neighbors are only shooting old deer, there should still be plenty of old deer each year unless two things happens. 1. they are not just shooting old deer but young bucks too. 2. the total number of deer drops and the number of hunters doesn't. Scenario 2 is not sustainable and will eventually correct itself as some hunters lose interest. Secnario 1 is where the problems lie. I am not sure if that is your situation or not. All you can do is educate. Again, if all we kill are old bucks there should always be a fresh crop to take their place. I don't feel like my neighbors are pounding them and yet my numbers of big mature bucks really slipped this past year. I think it is something else. It cycles. Be careful not to read too much into one year's worth of data. Going into the 2011 season, I had photos of 11 bucks of gross 170 or better. This year I had two! I killed one and the other we found dead. We killed a few of the others in 2011, but my neighbors didn't kill the rest. Not sure what happened to the five or six we can't account for now. Good luck. (12-5-12)
  • Chris from LA asks:
    Do you think that trail cameras are making hunters become too successful? Nowadays they are so inexpensive that even people that aren't serious hunters have them. It is getting harder and harder to find good deer to hunt on camera and my group has not killed a buck we didn't already have a camera in nearly 5 years. You seem to be experiencing something similar. Is this just a normal cycle or do you think there may be something to this?
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, Maybe. I am certainly more successful, for one. But am I too successful? I am enjoying my experience more, so that can't be a bad thing. I think as long as we keep managing the resource correctly and keep a proper respect for the game we hunt, knowing more about the deer we hunt and having a closer connection to them is not necessarily a bad thing. Even with the cameras, I still have to hunt hard to be successful. It just helps to know what is out there and where they live. It keeps me from feeling that I am wasting my time when I am not seeing anything. I realize that at any time my luck can change and having the photos to prove it I think helps me stick to it better. Good luck. (12-5-12)
  • Jon from MI asks:
    I am getting normal pictures throughout the night but I got three continuous all black photos. My trail cam is up high in a tree aiming down, so it can't be an animal standing infront of it.. any ideas? by the way, it has a 15 second time laps. Thanks!!
    Winke Responds:
    Jon, I think sometimes the batteries aren't ready for the next shot and thus don't fire the flash, the camera only takes a black picture. I have seen this sometimes too and replacing the batteries usually fixes it. Sometimes the camerea itself can be going bad, but try the batteries first. Good luck. (12-5-12)
  • Rich from MN asks:
    Bill wondering about the black out cameras versus flash, looks like your using flash type. Thanks Rich.
    Winke Responds:
    Rich, I am using the infra-red flash, not white light flash. I don't know much about the black out camerast. I am not sure if the deer react to them less than the infra-red. I don't have much indication here that our deer sense the infra-red flash. Not sure it matters to the deer. I know that people can see the red flash and the black flash makes sense in areas where other people might find and steal your camera based on the red light. Not sure on deer. Good luck. (12-5-12)
  • Lane from MN asks:
    Hi Bill, I’m looking at picking up my first trail camera. What size SD card would you recommend? I assume I’ll mainly use it for monitoring pinch points or trails, but I might use it in “field scan” mode once in a while. I doubt I will do much with video, but who knows? The land we hunt is about 2 hours away, so it could be a while in between opportunities to switch out cards/batteries. I just want to make sure I don’t have to worry about filling up the card before I can get back to it. Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Lane, I would go with a 4 GB or 8 GB card (they are so cheap now). If you have a lot of deer, the 8 GB is best. Also, if you do video the 8 GB is also better. With most cameras, a 4 GB card will give you about 2,500+ images. Good luck. (12-5-12)
  • shawn from WI asks:
    hi i was wondering if you use the plot watcher pro at all or kmow anyone that does and if its better then a trail cam and worth the investment .also wondering what your thoughts are on the plot watcher and the g5 t3 broadheads. thank you
    Winke Responds:
    Shawn, I have not used it. It does different things. I believe the strength is that it can takes lots of time lapse photos of a food plot so you can see what comes out. However, the cameras we use (currently Bushnell Trophy cams) have a mode setting that allows you to take a photo every minute for a designated time each day while still triggering on movement. So, personally, I don't see a reason on my part to change as the Bushnell does all I need to pattern deer. I have also not tried the G5 T3. It looks cool, but beyong that, I had better not offer any input since I have not hunted with them. Good luck. (12-3-12)
  • chad from MN asks:
    Hi Bill, a quick question. I was deer hunting this morning, an saw two of my big shooter bucks across my food plot. As they where to far away for a shot with my bow. I did see them both walk by one of my trail cameras. So i was excited to see the pictures. AS i grabbed my SD card out to view them, my camera said that i needed formatting done. Now Bill, have you every had this problem, an if so could you please tell me how i can retreive these pictures with out them being deleted. It showed i had 288 pictures, an i would hate to formatt an have them all deleted. If you know of any way to SAVE them, it would be greatly appreciated. THANKS-CHAD!!!
    Winke Responds:
    Chad. You should be able to find some rescue software on the web. I have used SanDisk Rescue Pro before and it worked for me. I am not 100% sure this is a safe download, but it looks reputable. http://www.lc-tech.com/pc/sandisk-rescuepro-and-rescuepro-deluxe/ That is about the best option I know of. I received an e-mail from viewer Brad Burton that he uses a program called "Card Recovery" to rescue images from his memory cards. Good luck. (11-26-12)
  • mark from ME asks:
    when using a bushnell trail camera what is the best way to view a larg number of pictures?
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, There is probably some handy software out there, but I just keep it simple. Often I am shooting in Field Scan mode so I have to look at each image separately because you never know what is in the background without studying it. I download the contents of the card to computer and use Windows Photo Viewer (double click the image) and look at them from there. If the camera is over corn, I often single click the image from the window where they are all shown in thumb nails and then look at the slightly larger thumbnail that pops up on the bottom of the window (you can stretch the size of that image) to see what is right in front of the camera. You can still miss some bucks this way too (that are in the background) but not too often. Good luck. (11-26-12)
  • Joey from KS asks:
    Frost, dew, or condensation? I'm using a good quality camera and I'm having problems with foggy camera pictures and the camera actually not taking pictures. This is happening in the morning twilight hour when the the camera has frost on it or condesation. Can i use cooking spray or rainx to prevent this? Have you had this problem before? The other day watched as a few deer walked right in front of the camera and it was unable to detect them. What would be your suggestions.
    Winke Responds:
    Joey, I don't know, I have never tried it, but I would think anything what would keep eye-glasses from fogging up will work for a camera lens. You may want to do some research (web searches) under the best method to keep eyeglasses from fogging up and try that. Good luck. (11-23-12)
  • jason from OH asks:
    Sir, 'grats on a great buck. I'm after 1 or 2 bucks in SW OH. One I already had at 40 yards but let walk, since the best one(if still alive), may come back in when they bachelor up again. I guess I'm getting serious now, got a trail cam to set up on sanctuary exit area. Always wanted to be surprised about what walked out but I'm falling into tech mode. There is a great video experiment on youtube about deer spooked by new trail cams (not necessarily scent but sight related). Should I set it up now or wait until after gun season 11/26-12/2 and let it calm down? (don't want to scare them right before my shotgun comes out:) Thanks man!!
    Winke Responds:
    Jason, Thanks. Appreciated. You may as well wait at this point. They will get used to it for sure. It may take a few days but they will get used to it. If you want to shorten that curve, you can place the camera higher and point it downward slightly. I have never bothered with that myself, but it would keep them from seeing it as easily. Good luck with the two bucks. (11-20-12)
  • Tyler from MO asks:
    hey bill i was wondering your opinion on a good camera that wont spook the big mature bucks. i have had multiple infrared cameras and it seems that all the pictures of big mature bucks that i get they are looking directly at the camera. then if you want more pictures of that buck you have to move the camera because he knows its there. thanks for all your help and good luck with g4 and bubba love your show
    Winke Responds:
    Tyler, I am not sure that one IR camera is really much different from others in that regard. However, we have had good success with the Bushnell cameras. I am not sure if the shutter is quieter or what the reason may be, but we don't seem to spook many deer with them and they don't stand there staring at it on every shot. For what it is worth, we do like that camera. I have not tried a bunch of cameras though. I appreciate the support. (10-30-12)
  • Mike from AR asks:
    Bill, I met you at the muddy direct meeting this spring. My question was, I see you putting alot of trailcams out in open fields are they set on the plotwatcher feature? If so what cameras are best for that?
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I use the Field Scan mode on the Bushnell cameras. I like that because I can really see what is happening there without having to disrupt their normal patterns. Good luck. (10-23-12)
  • matt from IN asks:
    hey bill matt here. i was getting pics of 3 decent size buks for my area on trail cam. havent seen them since last week of september. a friend told me that he thinks that the flash from cameras spooks deer. hav you experienced this as i noticed you use trail cams quite frequently.ty for your wonderful show:)
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, The flash will spook some deer for sure. Jason Vickerman proved this by putting video trail cameras up over regular flash cameras to see how the deer react to the flash. Some of them don't like it one bit. I use the infra-red cameras and the flash from those doesn't seem to spook them as much. Good luck and thanks for the support. (10-19-12)
  • carter from MO asks:
    if i want to set up my deer cam to get the best pics of the big buck, should i set it up looking at my salt lick? or on the edge of the timber looking at the trail that leads to the salt lick? thanks,carter
    Winke Responds:
    Carter, Salt licks aren't nearly as attractive at this time of the year as they are in the summer. I would focus on scrapes and trails leading to feeding areas. If it is legal and you can afford it, a camera over a bag of corn will produce a lot of photos at this time of the year. Good luck. (10-10-12)
  • Kameron from AL asks:
    Why does my game camera only take a few pics and quit?
    Winke Responds:
    Kameron, Because it is broke. I would take it back and get a different one. Sorry for the bad experience. There are some junky trail cameras out there. We like the Bushnell Trophy Cams; they are a bit more expensive but more reliable than the cheapy models. Good luck. (10-7-12)
  • Travis Scott from ME asks:
    Bill, I understand that you wait until Oct 25th to start hunting your good stands, and just check cameras until then. My question, with having to leave your scent trail going to check cams, what is the difference then actually hunting during those times?
    Winke Responds:
    Travis, For starters, my cameras aren't in the same spots as my tree stands and I only check them every few days at midday wearing waist high waders to eliminate ground odor. You can slip in and out of low impact sites pretty easily without doing any damage. But when you start hunting the more active areas (where the deer tend to concentrate) during the times when they are there, it is pretty tough to get away with that clean every day. However, I do start sooner once I start to see daylight activity. It just usually takes that long. This year seems to be a noteable exception. We are seeing lots of mature buck activity in daylight right now for some reason - so I am actually hunting. Good luck. (10-7-12)
  • Michael from AR asks:
    When ever you go out into the woods to try and locate bucks on your property, how long do you let a camera sit over a corn pile before you move it to another spot and try it again, and how far do you move from the previous spot before you stop and try it again.. Thanks Michael
    Winke Responds:
    Michael, I will let it sit in one spot for about ten days before I move it. If I pick up a big one I may leave it longer. I will move it about 200 yards, or so, to hopefully find some fresh bucks. Good luck. (9-21-12)
  • John from MB asks:
    Hey, I notice u like to check your cameras every 3-4 days. Do you take any scent elimination precautions before going to check the cameras or do u think not worrying about it will get the deer used to a non-threatening scent (also may relate your scent to a fresh bait site )? I'm lucky to b able to check my cameras once every week or 2, do u think this is too long between camera visits to get deer used to me? Or if u do take precautions, what do u do? When I bow hunt I change clothes in the field and shower before going out, should I do the same to check my cameras? Thanks and happy shooting (cameras, arrows & bullets).
    Winke Responds:
    John, I do. Once I get the video stuff out of the way and get really serious about trying to find these bucks back I go in alone and I wear Elimitrax slide over leggings that keep my scent from getting out. They work well. Another option is to wear waders. There may be something to letting them get used to your scent, but that would only work in my mind if you are running the location nearly year around. Either way, I don't want to risk trying to get them used to my scent. I don't think once per week is too long between card pulls but again, I would try not to leave scent. Checking them weekly, you won't have very current info when it comes time to decide where to hunt. That is another reason why I like to check them more often. Like I said, I wouldn't worry so much about being clean as long as you wear waders or maybe hip boots to keep the scent in and keep it from rubbing off on the low vegetation. I also drive very close to most of my cameras so I leave very little scent walking. Good luck. (9-18-12)
  • Eric from ME asks:
    We have this one farm that has about a 5 acre open grass area with a 3 acre lake in the area. It is a big open area with no trees, but there is a lot of deer traffic that goes through that area. Where would be the best spot to put my camera and how should I set it up?
    Winke Responds:
    Eric, I would try to get near the edge of the lake probably, using it for a funnel edge with the camera pointing away from the water. If baiting is legal there for use with trail cameras, consider putting some corn in front of it. Otherwise, I would just be making a wild guess as to where to place it. Of course, anywhere else that you see a good trail would also be a good choice. Good luck. (9-18-12)
  • carl from KY asks:
    Thank you for your time in answering my question. With the abundance of information we can gather with cameras now. How inportant is night photos in patterning specific deer to hunt compared to day photos? Thanks again look forward to your show every week now.
    Winke Responds:
    Carl, Day photos are much more useful for sure, but just knowing where the buck is living is also important. He may change his movement times as you get closer to the rut, so keep monitoring them. I wouldn't say you can learn much from a photo of a buck taken at 1:30 AM, other than where he goes at night, but it is at least a starting point. Maybe moving the cameras a bit in that area will reveal photos of the buck closer to daylight. You never know for sure how far he is traveling to get there. Just be careful not to get too aggressive. Good luck. (9-12-12)
  • Dave from OK asks:
    Bill, Im really focused on my trail cameras and trying to get more pictures of a few bucks i have seen in the past. Would you recommend switching over to corn yet?
    Winke Responds:
    Dave, I would now. I just put out my first cameras on corn yesterday. It is still just touch early, but close enough. Good luck. (9-12-12)
  • Matt from MO asks:
    This is my first year using trail cameras. I am not used to trying to predict how many inches it will score. Can I send you a quick picture and see what class you might think it is in? It would at least give me something to go off of.
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, Sorry, but if I say yes then all I will do all day from now until December is look at trail cam photos. I wish I could. My best advice, if they look big, they are big. If you have to try to decide, they aren't big enough. That has proven true my entire life because your definition of "big" changes so the bucks you shoot naturally progresses along a good pace. Good luck. (9-3-12)
  • Jake from WI asks:
    Hey Winke, my question is how to find where a buck is coming from? I have a group of 3 monster bucks that all show up together at night, but they just appear in front of the camera and I can't tell where they come from.
    Winke Responds:
    Jake, You may have to move the camera a bit to see if you can figure it out, but also some study of the photos may reveal clues. The first photo in the series should indicate the direction. For example, if the butt of the buck is pointing a certain direction every time he is first on the series, that gives you some idea where he is coming from. Obviously, there is a lot of guessworks that comes next, but having some idea of the direction of approach may tell you clues to bedding areas, etc. Good luck. (8-23-12)
  • Ben from MO asks:
    Bill big fan of the show. Thank you for all your hard work and can't wait for this year's season to start. My question is when setting your camera over a mineral site or corn pile what interval do you suggest setting the camera at and do you prefer video or still pictures? Also would you consider doing a segment on aging bucks? Specifically aging ones from 2 1/2 to 4 1/2. 1 1/2 year olds are easy enough to pick out and thanks to the outdoor and sportman's channels I have the image of what a 5+ year old looks like burned into my brain (they never seem to show the younger deer). It's the ones in between that leave me guessing. Once again thank you and God Bless.
    Winke Responds:
    Ben, I set it for a photo every 30 seconds and no burst mode. I never found the second photo in the burst to be of any value to me when setting over a mineral or bait site. Likely on a trail it might be if a buck is following a doe, etc. I like the video for sure and I am sure we will run some, but mostly we just shoot photos because most of my SD cards are 1 and 2 GB cards and I guess I would want at least a 4 or 8 GB card for video. I know that is not a good reason, but I get what I need to know from the photos. Video is cool, but as a hunter, I never felt like I learned more from the video than from the photos. I am sure we will do one of those segments. I think we did one during the off-season shows in 2011. 1, 2, 3 and 4 or older is fairly easy for me, though I do miss the 3 1/2 year olds sometimes, thinking they are 4 1/2. I almost never think the 3 1/2 year olds are 2 1/2 though. So keep that in mind. I stumble when I have to separate 4 1/2 from 5 1/2 or 5 1/2 from 6 1/2, etc. So it is an inexact science, but one thing I seen almost universally is that the biggest mistake people make in aging bucks is thinking that 3 1/2 year olds are 4 1/2. It is easy to do on some bucks. All the best. (8-19-12)
  • Matt from OK asks:
    Bill, I live on the farm I hunt and have 2 camera stations over piles of corn. You can imagine the temptation of checking my camera more often than I should. How do you deal with camera anxiety?
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I guess it just comes down to discipline. How do you keep from eating that third piece of cake after supper? You just don't do it. However, if the cameras are in the right place, you can check it nearly every day. I have done that a few times when trying pattern the double G4 Buck last year. If the camera is in an area you can sneak into without alerting deer and you take precautions with the wind and your ground scent, you can check it every few days. If not, you need to be more disciplined. Good luck. (8-10-12)
  • Brent from IN asks:
    Bill just wanted to say thanks for the great and infomative website and shows. I have been following them for several years now. Just a quick question about my trail cameras. how often do you think I should check them? Also I have limited resourses so how often should I relocate my cameras. I am hunting on a 182 acre farm that is about 50/50 crops to woods.
    Winke Responds:
    Brent, During the summer you can go longer periods without checking them if you are placing them over mineral sites. A few weeks is not too long. During the weeks leading up to the season and during the season I start to put cameras over small corn piles and check them often. It is not uncommon for me check them every three days at this time and move the camera after about a week to a week and a half. Once you find something interesting you can focus in on that area with your cameras a bit more to learn as much as you can. Good luck. (8-7-12)
  • Matthew from OK asks:
    Hey Bill, I have two camera stations. One of them is next to the road over corn but behin a wall of trees. The deer only use it at night except during the rut. With it being so close to the road, would it hurt to check it every 3 or 4 days or will in contaminate the site? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Matthew, I check my cameras every three days once we start getting closer to the season. If you can drive right up to it, that is even better, but if not, do everything you can to keep your scent to a minimum, but yes, every three days in that situation should be fine. Good luck. (8-6-12)
  • Will from AL asks:
    Do you think mature deer shy away from cameras if you put one in a new location? Overall, do you think deer have negative encounters with cameras whether it is visual or lingering human scent?
    Winke Responds:
    Will, Not necessarily. For sure I would use infra-red or black flash cameras, but I have had good success getting mature bucks on camera. They may need to get used to them, but I have not seen them shy away from camera locations - at least not here. I have a friend in GA who will bait a site for a week before he puts the camera in place nearby. He says he only gest photos of mature bucks the first evening wtih the camera and then they stop using it, so there may be something to it. You could try that. But for me, I have not seen that much caution. Good luck. (8-1-12)
  • Matt from WI asks:
    I place my trail camera out every spring and leave it out but with some relocation depending on the time of year and deer movement. I always seem to get great pictures of some nice bucks during late september all the way into november, but never seem to really get any good buck pics during the summer months... why is that? Where would you recommend i put my trail cam? I tried the creek beds, heavy traveled trails in and out of bedding areas. Mainly all does and fawns. Best of luck to you in the up coming season. Shoot straight.
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, You may not be in the traditional summer range for the bucks in your area. They definitely move from summer to fall - at least some of them do. If you want summer photos, you need to be near prime food sources like beans, alfalfa or clover. That is where the bucks spend their summers. You may need to do some glassing to find them and then move cameras in the area. We don't mess with it that much. If we can find them while glassing we figure we don't need photos, so we just use the Trophy Rock and put the cameras over them and leave them for a month at a time to see what is hanging out farther from the fields. I wouldn't worry too much about your situation. You have the bucks when you want them (fall). It is fun to see them in the summer, but really, knowing where they summer is not nearly as important as knowing where they spend the fall. Good luck. (7-26-12)
  • Matthew from OK asks:
    Hey Bill, I read my question ans saw that i didnt put the right state. I ment Oklahoma. Had one more question. How often do you check your cameras this early? Do you change in the fall? Also. What I did in the past two days is make a blind from fence panels and metal fence post, hinge cutted som trees for deer beds, and sprayed the area i plan on planting a food plot. How long do you think I should wait before entering that area again? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Matthew, I check them about once every two or three weeks. They are sitting over Trophy Rocks so there is no need to refresh the area often. I just let the cameras do their work for a while. I will be pulling the cards from the first round pretty soon. Might be interesting. But we are also just starting to hit the bean fields with the video cameras too. That is also very interesting times here. I check the cameras every three days in the fall and run them over small piles of corn. I think I will stick with the same advice. I think you can go there right away. I don't think the deer are that worried about big, loud disturbances. I think it is the sneaky stuff that makes them nervous. Going in with a chainsaw and hammer will move them out, but they will come back again soon. I wouldn't do that every weekend, but a few times per summer is no big deal. Good luck. (7-19-12)
  • Travis from MO asks:
    Bill, I just checked my camera today for the first time this year (its been out 7 days), much to my suprise (near heart attack) I have what I believe to be a 200 + inch deer with double drop tines. I set the camera up in an area that is easy to access, my question is should I push deeper into the property to hang a secondary camera to establish a travel pattern or just stick with the one camera? The area is only 100 acres with very little woods, primarly draws and fence lines surrounding a bean field. My fear is bumping the deer while trying to figure out where the deer is bedding. Thanks for your advice, Travis.
    Winke Responds:
    Travis, That is exciting! I would stick with the one camera for now. You will likely need to find him back after he sheds his velvet anyway so you can be more aggressive then if you need to. Right now I would just enjoy getting photos and wait until it starts to get serious after antler velvet shedding to get worried about patterning. With just 100 acres to cover, I doubt you will ever need to get real aggressive. More than likely you already know of a couple of good funnels he will likely travel through when feeding or when cruising during the rut. A few photos to confirm he is still there would be good though after shedding the velvet. Good luck. (7-19-12)
  • stewart from GA asks:
    Hey bill, I have had a trail camera over a trophy rock for the last month or 2. When we checked it it was twisted and dirty, without any pics. I bought a brand new one, and put it out there, only to find it twisted too, this time we got pics of the bear doing it. It was a cool thing until he put a hole in the new one,now both of them are out of there and closer to the house. the new one with the hole still works, but the hole, is in the white hole in the camera, is that the sensor? will rain get in it? it's more like a crack/hole.
    Winke Responds:
    Stewart, That is pretty wild. Yes, that is the sensor. You will want to call the manufacturer and see what they recommend. I am guessing that they will want you to send it in, but you may be able to cover it with scotch tape or something like that to seal it in the short-term. Good luck. (7-18-12)
  • Wayne from MI asks:
    Best camera for money and how many over acres ( 1 for 50 acres to scout). Also, before i forget. Bill it's a real pleasure getting your weekly hunting strategy and research that you put into your show, during the production season. Next question adding corn to catch footage or field attraction is best in near future to seeing the deer. Outside food plot and extreme dryness the Midwest has experienced what is best attraction for dollar ( trophy rock) has served well in past till acorns fall etc.....Corn cob or shelled corn? What is your best feedback for cameras,how many to monitor, and food? Have site in IL. 6hrs what is best strategy at long distance?
    Winke Responds:
    Wayne, As I said in my most recent blog, I have come to really like the Bushnell Trophy Cam. I have tried a lot of cameras over the years and have had a number of them stop working for various reasons. These have done well for me, they are small, reliable and have some important features that I want (Field Scan mode being one of them). I also like the video function sometimes. They are not super cheap, but at least reasonable and you combine that with reliability and it is a good combo. If you are interested, TrailCamPro.com is offering some Midwest Whitetail Exclusive Packages featuring that camera. Please take a look at my most recent blog. I think one camera per about 50 acres sounds good. I move mine around some so I don't have to have as many cameras. But something in that range of coverage should work. Trophy Rock is the attractant of choice for many deer hunters during the spring and summer. By late summer the useage starts to drop off and then it makes sense to go to the corn, where legal. Cob or shelled is fine. If it is really wet, the cob is better because they can't stomp it into the ground. Also the smaller critters can't get it as easily. Where I live the only thing I can get is shelled. It works fine when it is dry out. I like to put my cameras near food plots in late summer leading into fall. I feel that I am less intrusive in these areas. I keep it in place for about two weeks before I assume I have a good idea what is there. Really, I am focused on what is happening in late September through mid October as I decide which areas to hunt (and which bucks). By mid-October you have a pretty good idea what the fall range is for the various bucks. I would find someone you trust to run the cameras for you every four to five days and pour out a fresh bag of corn. Short of that, it will be tough because big corn piles attract lots of critters and don't last a lot longer than somewhat smaller corn piles. Good luck. (7-15-12)
  • Kyle from ME asks:
    Hey Bill, I am hunting 600 acres of mixed pasture with multiple creeks or ditches and scattered timber or smaller groves of trees on the property. There are 4 different alfalfa fields all entwined between the creeks and pasture. The neighbors property, which i dont have permission to hunt, is 400 acres of timber. My problem is that i am having trouble finding where the deer are staying. It is mid July and I know the deer aren't moving much in the summer patterns. I have set up trail cameras in about every part of the farm and can't find a large number of deer or good bucks feeding in the food sources. Is it possible the timber is holding all the deer? I know the area produces good bucks and I'd like to have an idea of what I am going after this season. Any advice with my trail camera placement or where they might be holding? Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Kyle, My best results with trail cameras when I have to get photos is over corn. If I have the luxury of time, then running them over minerals (Trophy Rock) in the summer is a good bet. Also, I am surprised you aren't seeing the bucks on the alfalfa. That is where I would expect to see them this time of year. We have our best luck seeing bucks in late July and early August so it is possible that they just aren't surfacing yet. Or they are nocturnal, which isn't very typical in the summer. I guess I would try to run the cameras over a small corn pile for a couple of weeks and see if that brings any photos. Otherwise, just watching the field in the last 30 minutes of the day during a few evenings in late July/early August should get it done too. Good luck. (7-14-12)
  • Matt from MN asks:
    Bill, I am 22 years old and hunt deer up in the northern part of Minnesota. We have a cabin on 40 acres of land but there is unlimited public land in Koochiching county which we hunt on. There is absolutely no agriculture where we hunt. There is nothing but clearcuts, big woods, and swamp. Wolves are abundant and the deer densities are some of the lowest in the state. I was hoping you could give me some advice as to how to target a decent buck. We run multiple trail cameras each summer and get pics of a surprisingly large number of bucks over our mineral sites. Come rut, we rarely see any of these bucks. I've heard a buck will travel 10 miles in a day in big woods country so that explains that I imagine. Do you have any experiance or ideas as to how to consistently see/kill bucks in "big woods" country such as this? Thanks! Matt Upgren
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, For starters, you have to focus on the food or find ways to supplement the food. Talk to a regional deer biologist (you should be able to find them through the DNR's website) in that area and determine what the deer browse on. If you can find something that is concentrated you will find the deer. Clearcuts I am sure will often be good, but the deer may not be right in them, rather bedding out around it and traveling to the clearcuts after dark. Also, if you can find a small natural clearing or even the edge of a clearcut, creating a small "plot" by raking away the ground cover and planting some brassicas like the Frigid Forage Big N Beasty in the next few weeks would likely create a small focal point for the deer in that area. Of course you need to find a spot that is not in the normal hunting area for other people, but that will definitely increase you odds. I would have a few of these if possible. They can be small - 1/8 acre or less. Also, look for any funnels caused by water or terrain. Where the deer get squeezed between two bogs or lakes or where they go around a rock ledge or cross a stream, etc. are all good spots for hunting the rut when the bucks are moving more. It is a very tough situation. I am sure when you are successful you will rightfully feel great satisfaction. Good luck. (7-11-12)
  • Seth from IN asks:
    Hey Bill, Im wanting to place a salt block down in front of a trail cam. Just to see what we might have in store for us this fall. I was wondering when and where to place the salt block and camera? Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Seth, Probably check your local game laws first. I am not sure the laws for IN on using attractants during the off-season. Once you know the laws you can figure out a good place. If it is legal to have an old salt lick nearby during the season (not always the case) you can place it near any high concentration area where trails come together near feeding areas. They will find it and use it heavily in that place. If it is not legal to have the old lick near your stand, you will want to place it somewhere that you are not likely to hunt anywhere near. Such spots are a bit tougher to find. Good luck. (6-28-12)
  • rob from IA asks:
    Hi again Bill hope your summer break is`nt flying by too fast.I`m thinking of setting cameras this weekend and then leaving them for a month. i`ve heard that you should`nt use corn this time of year for camera bait. would some of the baits in a box sold in stores be better? or since it`s so hot and dry should i just find a good trail near the creek and run it there? take care & thanks again
    Winke Responds:
    Rob, I think the creek might work. You can bait with corn but it won't last long. The best solution for summer photos is a mineral lick. We have started using the Trophy Rock and love it because the deer flock to it and you can set it on a stump and not end up with a big hole in the ground when you are done. Plus bird, coons and other critters won't hit it. The deer will find it fairly quickly. Good luck. (6-26-12)
  • Cole from SD asks:
    HI Bill.. have you heard much about the new Eyecon trail cams, has there been good reviews about them that you know of?
    Winke Responds:
    Cole, I am sorry, but I have not used one and know nothing about them. I would start by doing a search on the web to see if you can find any comments there. Good luck. (6-26-12)
  • Tim from OH asks:
    Hey Bill, On a podcast episode last year of Peterson's Bowhunting Radio called "Winke's Whitetail Wisdom," you talk about how like to "blow the deer completely out" of an area when you go into put up a new stand. Should I use this same approach when I go into a sensitive area to put up a trail camera? Thanks, Tim
    Winke Responds:
    Tim, I think with all the cover at this time of the year, you can likely sneak in. I would wear waders or something like that to keep your scent off the brush and sneak in. It isn't a terrible thing though, at this time of the year, to blow them out, but certainly not once per week. If you are planning to go in there often, I think I would likely to try to sneak and if that doesn't work, I would remove the camera. Blowing them out once or maybe twiice is not a huge deal, but don't make a habit of it. Good luck. (6-25-12)
  • Jordan from KS asks:
    What would be the highest quality trail camera for $150?
    Winke Responds:
    Jordan, I would go to TrailCamPro.com. All the information you need to select a good camera at each price range is there. I can't remember which one is best in that range, but I think the Wildview at a touch less is rated good and the Bushnell Trophy Cam at a touch more is also rated very high. Good luck. (6-16-12)
  • shawn from WI asks:
    hi. first of all i love your show , first thing its real tuff hunting in wisconsin i want too try doing some pattering of deer were i hunt.i have a smaller wooded lot that is surrounded by all corn this tear were wood be a good spot for trail cams in the woods or edges of woods and corn field. also should i have my stand in the wood lot or on the edge of woods and corn field. again thank you for provideing all of us deer hunters with a outstanding show and your input you help us all with.look forward hearing back from you. hunt safe .
    Winke Responds:
    Shawn, Thanks for the support. I would keep the cameras nearer to the edge in general so you aren't spooking deer near their bedding areas by checking the camera. In the summer, you can do very well by placing some attractant like a Trophy Rock near a heavy trail and posting the camera over that. (if legal - be sure to check first). Then as you get clsoer to fall move the cameras away from the mineral and set up close to field edges on scrapes or put out a pile of corn to photograph over (temporarily - again, be sure it is legal). If baiting to the camera is not legal you have no choice but to set up the camera on trails. That will work but you don't nearly as many photos so it takes a lot longer to learn anything. I wouldn't hunt deep in the timber until close to the rut. Early season, stick to safe spots along the edge where you won't spook deer coming and going. Good luck. (6-2-12)
  • Buddy from IL asks:
    Bill, Love your show and web site. I go to the site everyday looking for new information. I'm 61 and will be bow hunting this year for the first time. I got the bug from watching your show every week. My question is; I will be hunting public land that is mostly timber with some CRP. (Its about 1000 acres.) How do I identify the "food" and bedding areas. It all looks the same to me. Thanks in advance.
    Winke Responds:
    Buddy, I am excited for you and happy we helped get you started. In the Midwest, the easiest way to identify food is to find the ag areas - where the farmers are planting crops. You can also create these with food plots. That is the eassiest and surest way. Otherwise, you have to learn what deer browse on your area (talk to a local deer biologist with your DNR to learn that) and then become an expert on finding those plants in your area. Concentrations of browse in your area will be worth hunting, but when it is scattered out all over the place it can be much tougher since the deer can and do feed almost anywhere. Mast (mostly acorns) is another big fall food source. Learn where the best groves of acorn bearing oaks are located this year. Bedding areas generally are harder to pin down. Usually, if there is any variations in terrain, the deer will be in the higheste areas (especially in the fall). In summer, they will bed in all kinds of places, don't let that throw you. Experience will also help a ton. You will love bowhunting. Good luck. (6-1-12)
  • Stewart Keen from GA asks:
    I recently asked a Q about a bucks age and T Rock. I just wanted to apologize about that. I waited until the next batch of answers were put up, and I didn't see mine so I asked it again. I didn't mean to sound like I was demanding an answer. I think it's awesome that you answer Q's daily and still do videos! Sorry about that. Thanks for taking time to read this, even though you have other actual Q's to answer! P.S do you have any suggestions about what Game cam to buy? I'm only 13 so I don't need anything extreme, just enough to get good pics. Stewart Keen
    Winke Responds:
    Stewart, No problem. I answered the way I did as much for everyone else as for you. I sometimes get the same question from the same person a couple of times in a day or two time and I just need everyone to know I can't get to all the questions right away. Anyway, to your question: we love the Bushnell Trophy Cams. I think they are the best overall value on the market - high quality, good features, good price. But if you are looking for a good camera for under $100 look at the camera from Wildview (not Wild Game - I don't know anything about their cameras). The Wildview camera ranks pretty well for a budget camera and you can find them at TrailCamPro.com (one of our sponsors). Have a great day. (5-21-12)
  • Eric from NC asks:
    Bill, I have some trail cams I have setup year round but continue to get a few that I only get pictures of deer in the fog night after night, which basically makes pics useless as I can't see the deer well enough. Any tips on avoiding fog with trail cam setups?
    Winke Responds:
    Eric, I have had that happen on a few cameras here too. Take a look at the same anti-fog wipes that people use for eye-glasses. That might help some. Otherwise, I don't have any suggestions. Good luck. (5-15-12)
  • Jacob from MI asks:
    My brother in law got me into bow hunting late October last year, I took a spike. I have been obssessed since. I love your show, blog, articles. You and your staff do the best work. Thank you. I am finding it hard to not make the hour trip up North to where I hunt every couple weeks to check cams, especially now that you can see the start of head gear. Am I hurting my stands by going in and checking cams and dropping some corn to get them in? (baiting is legal and there are no fields or food plots to pattern them to)I have a protein block and salt lick down as well. I had such bad luck in Michigan in Nov. and Dec. that I don't want to push anything out of my areas by going in to often. Thanks again for such a great show.
    Winke Responds:
    Jacob, Congrats on the first buck. That is very exciting. I think if you are in there at midday every couple of weeks, going quietly and not covering a lot of ground, it will be fine. Good luck. (5-2-12)
  • Dominic from OH asks:
    Mr. Winke, when is a good time to start running trail cameras? Do you run yours now for this coming season? If so, how often should I be checking my cameras? My fear is that I'll alert the deer too much on our farm by pulling the memory cards so often. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Dominic, If I get some minerals on the farm I will start in June, probably, after the antlers have started forming good. I will put the cameras over the minerals and check them every couple of weeks. I think that frequency is fine as long as you aren't going into sanctuaries to check them. If I don't put out mineral, I will wait until we can't find them on the fields any longer, probably in early September, to start running the cameras and then I will likely place them over corn to get the photos. That is just me. I don't like to put out a bunch of corn all year so I keep that part of the photo process to a minimum. Good luck. (4-19-12)
  • Josh from VA asks:
    Hey Bill quick quesion for you, I run a small tract of land, and i usually get about 250 pics in about 1 week. I checked my trail camera's Yesterday, and i dint have 1 picture of a deer!!!!! I was very much surprised! I was wondering, do u think the deer will come back? Or do you have any idea of what might have happened, Anything would be helpful! Thanks, OH! and last year, this is the time of year i was getting alot of picture! Thanks! GodBless, Josh.
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, Not sure, you have to look for what has changed. Deer do modify their ranges slightly with spring approaching and the food sources changing. I would think they would be back again in the fall. Also, you might consider placing the camera over a mineral site to get some photos during the summer. Everything is food right now, so the deer have little incentive to come to a bait site. It is possible that something came through and spooked them out. Possibly you have a coyote problem or other land use practices have changed recently. That is the only things (food sources changing, being scared away) that would change this. Good luck. (4-8-12)
  • Cody from MN asks:
    Do you think deer are wary of trail cams? Some certainly make more sound, flash ,etc., but just seems most older bucks on our farm we get a few pics then they disappear and it seems like they pick out the cameras. Maybe just coincidence but after the first few initial pictures (they are facing cameras) they are nearly always walking away from the camera. My cameras are pretty good and quiet.
    Winke Responds:
    Cody, Yes, I do. I think they don't like the camera "looking" at them when they stop to grab a bite of corn and some cameras make a slight audible sound when the shutter goes. They know when there is something new there, but some (most) do get used to the cameras. That has been our experience. Most of the mature bucks will get used to them. I know they don't like flash though. Good luck. (3-22-12)
  • Jeff from OH asks:
    Bill, you have a good thing going, keep up the excellent work!! I've noticed you set up trail cams using a fencepost alot. Here in Ohio, if mine isn't locked, i'm sure it would be stolen. Do you lock your cams somehow i'm not seein', or is theft not a problem in Iowa? Thanks for your time. Jeff Weber
    Winke Responds:
    Jeff, There are always a few cameras that get stolen every year around here, but it is not a big problem. All the cameras myself and the local pro staff put out, they aren't locked. Even on public land. Less people I guess. People aren't as competitive when there aren't as many of them. Keep 'em locked. There are some pretty good systems on the market. I saw on TrailCamPro.com that they are selling Bushnell lock-systems that look pretty good. Good luck and thanks for the support. (3-13-12)
  • Rod Porter from OK asks:
    BW - I noticed from your past segment and many others, that you seem to prefer trail camera photos rather than videos? I run the same Bushnell you're running and really love the video option as it shows a much more accurate dipiction of the deer. I know it takes a larger card, but it seems you're able to check your cameras faily ofter. What's up? Really enjoy all of your insight! -Rod
    Winke Responds:
    Rod, We did some of that in September and it is pretty cool, but I store literally tens of thousands of photos each year and it is just easier to handle the images. All of my cards are fairly small and I haven't upgraded to bigger ones yet. I agree that the videos are nicer. I am sure we will record more of the videos in the coming year. The Bushnell does a good job of video, I will agree with you there. Thanks. (3-12-12)
  • Seth from WI asks:
    Bill- Quick question, how do you go about organizing all of your trail camera pictures and individual bucks each year. Also, what techniques do you use to record information from each year...such as what fields you planted a certain crop in, harvest #'s, etc. Just looking for a few pointers to stay better organized and record important information on my farms. Also, what information is most important to you to learn and pull out of each hunting season. Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Seth, Many of the guys on the pro staff use the WISE system. You can google it. It works really according to them. I just put my photos in folders based on where the camera was and the date when I pulled the card. I sometimes only save the buck photos and throw the rest away to keep the folder sizes small. I think you would benefit from the WISE system. I always focus on what I learned about specific bucks - where they were at what time of the year and as much as I can learn about their personality: were they aggressive, were they mostly nocturnal, how active were they at different times of the year. All the information about specific bucks will help me to hunt them better the next year. I guess that is the one upside to having them get away - you get to learn alot about them and hopefully get on them better the next year when they are a year older and bigger. Good luck. (3-11-12)
  • Lance from MN asks:
    Is there a specific product you use to attract deer to your trail camera sites?
    Winke Responds:
    Lance, I just use shelled corn. I am sure there are other options, but corn is the most inexpensive thing I have found that really pulls deer. Good luck. (3-2-12)
  • Josh from VA asks:
    Hey Bill, I do not get a whole lot of pictures of big bucks. I use flash trail cameras. Do you think that the bucks are nervous of the flash? Thanks, God Bless, Josh.
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, We have done some small tests and have determined that some bucks are really afraid of the flash. So yes, I would say so. I would avoid the flash cameras. Good luck. (2-7-12)
  • Art from MN asks:
    Hi Bill, thanks for having such a informative show and website. I have been thinking of buying some hunting land in the future,maybe two years or so. How can I find out if there are mature bucks around and what the hunters around the land are shooting.If you have any other sugestions or plan to cover some of your experience in looking for or buying hunting land in future shows that would be great.Thanks for your help Art
    Winke Responds:
    Art, You have to do the research. You have to get to know the various neighborhoods where land is for sale. There are a number of ways to do it: you can ask the local game warden for starters, you can stop by and visit neighbors and ask basic questions to see what kind of response you get (be careful with this one though, because people may act differently if they don't know you than they will if you are a neighbor, but you will get a basic idea what is going on). I always tell people that your number one job when finding a hunting farm is to eliminate risk. There is no sense in taking risks. Sure, there are no perfect farms, but don't enter into a deal if you feel a bit uncomfortable with any part of it. Good luck. (2-5-12)
  • Matt from TN asks:
    Bill, I just finished my 2nd year on a 350 acre lease here in west Tn. It's mainly rolling hills with hardwoods and small crp fields running in between. The only crop that is planted nearby is cotton. Our woods are full of white oak trees though. We ran 4 cameras over the summer and during the hunting season and never got a picture of a mature buck. However, my partner ended up killing an old 12 point with a very messed up rack. The area I hunted most of the year was a ridge with white oak trees and there were 3 massive rubs in there but I never saw the deer making them. We saw tons of small bucks. My question is, other than pictures, is there any other way to determine if you have many, if any, mature bucks on the property, or at least passing through? Thanks again for such a fantastic show. It is the ONLY one I watch now, because I believe its the ONLY authentic hunting show now days. Thanks for giving our Savior Jesus Christ props during the Christmas time too!
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I appreciate the support and loyal viewership. Cameras are by far the best way of knowing what you are dealing with. The only other decent indicator you have is tracks. Really big tracks are nearly always associated with big-bodied deer and big-bodied deer are usually mature bucks. That doesn't mean that an average set of tracks is made by a young buck (some old bucks do have small feet) but you can usually assume that big tracks are from older bucks. Good luck. (2-3-12)
  • Ted from LA asks:
    Bill: I think of deer hunting as matching my wits against the wits of the deer. What do you think about the integrity of using cameras? Cameras give hunters technological advantages that... hmmm...seem unfair? Is a hunter really hunting when he looks at his computer monitor in his office to see what and where he has deer?
    Winke Responds:
    Ted, For sure it is a question worth asking. We definitely showed the value of cameras in putting together the game plan on the G4 buck. I am not sure. I guess it is like the argument about compounds versus traditional. For some, they get maximum satisfaction from doing it one way while others get satisfaction doing it another way. I am measured by what I teach and what I shoot (or shoot at) and that pushes me toward learning as much as I possibly can about the bucks I am hunting. I can then teach better, but in the process it also makes me a much more effective hunter. I don't mind that. Maybe someday I will go back to just hunting deer. I do enjoy making it personal with these bucks though. Cameras make that possible. I have learned so much from them that it is truly amazing. I don't think I will ever cross that line that you mention (having real-time feedback from cameras via cell phone or other wireless uplink). That might be pushing things too far for me. Everyone has to decide what produces maximum satisfaction for them and then not apologize for that (as long as it is legal). That is my position. There are things I won't do but I will never condemn others for doing it if it is legal. Good question. (1-10-12)
  • Donny from MO asks:
    I was wondering your thoughts on trail cameras? I have switched to infra red on some of my cameras and every mature buck I get pictures of are staring directly at the camera. Makes for a great photo but I can tell it bothers them. I also have noticed the deer bypassing camera locations and I seem to only get pics of the good bucks on one camera set and then I need to move them. Just curious to your thoughts on the issue. Thanks for your time, great show by the way
    Winke Responds:
    Donny, I have not had that situation here but I do know that the infra-red flash is not invisible. I don't know exactly what deer can see, but I can see the infra-red flash when it goes at night. I think they may react to the sound of the shutter too. Some bucks are also more sensitive than others. Some cameras now have a black flash that are said to be truly invisible. I have tried them and they seem to work very well. For more information on camera features and what works and what doesn't, please visit our sponsor TrailCamPro.com and you can see tons of independent testing. Good luck. (1-9-12)
  • Brandon from CO asks:
    What trail camera takes the best night shots? I use a bushnell that takes awesome day shots but the night shots are almost always blurry. I think this is due to shutter speed, but perhaps also because of placement. Regardless, you often show clear night shots and I would like to know what your setup is. On the side... I have been losing sleep ever since the double G4 buck ran off, and I'm pretty sure the only remedy is for you to put him down! Please help me. ;-)
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, Get ready for more lost sleep. You and me both. Encountered him Monday but the story is even more heartbreaking. I use Bushnell Trophy Cam cameras and Reconyx cameras. I get blurry pictures sometime when the deer is walking past. If the deer is stationary, like feeding, they are great. We don't show the blurry ones. I am guessing it is very hard to get away from this as the cameras themselves (lenses really) in these units are not super-high-end so the shutter speed has to be pretty slow to get images in the low light despite the IR flash. A traditonal flash camera would likely produce better night images but at a cost. Ideally, get something in front of the camera (bait, scent, whatever) to stop them for a picture. I am satisfied with the blurry pictures as long as I can tell which buck it is. Good luck. (1-4-12)
  • Bruce from WI asks:
    When you get pictures of Double G4 close to the blind, are those from a field scan camera? If you use a motion detecting camera how do you check it with out pressuring the area to much? What model and brand of field scan camera do you run over that field? Thanks a ton. Happy new year!
    Winke Responds:
    Bruce, Yep. I have two Bushnell cameras (the most recent smaller Trophy Cam, but I have also used Reconyx in this role too) one on either side of the blind - set to take a photo every minute from 3:30 to 5:30 PM each day. They are facing in opposite directions. You have to be able to get in and out without making noise and you should do it only when the wind is right. I also wear Elimitrax booties (leggings) when going in to set and check trail cameras. It can be done, but you have to be sneaky (or you have to the set the cameras where you can drive to them and deer aren't put off by a truck driving through at midday.) Good luck. Happy New Year (12-31-11)
  • Paul from ON asks:
    Hi Bill. I enjoy your website every day. I wish I could get your TV show here in Canada, but my provider doesn't carry it. I appreciate your humble approach to this incredible opportunity that we have to enjoy the outdoors. My question is in regards to trail cameras. I have had several makes of cameras, with varying degrees of satisfaction. I read alot of reviews from the reputable review sites to try and spend my money wisely. I noticed you were using a reconyx camera, and this camera has the best reviews on the net hands down. The field scan mode is a bonus. I am considering this to buy, but that will be the camera for the year. What model do you use, and have you been happy with it? Good luck on your current pursuit. Thanks for the input. Paul
    Winke Responds:
    Paul, Best resource I have found is our sponsor TrailCamPro.com. Lots of very good reviews and unbiased testing. I am using the Reconyx Hyperfire. I have been quite satisfied with it. It does a great job. Always works. I have also had good success this year with the latest Bushnell cameras. Good luck. Happy New Year. (12-30-11)
  • seth from IN asks:
    im looking to buy some new trail cams not very happy with the ones i have have been reading alot of reviews and having dificuly finding a good camera insnt extremely expensive but still works well wat kinda of camera would you suggest
    Winke Responds:
    Seth, I tell everyone the same thing: go to www.trailcampro.com and you will see all kinds of testing and recommendations on which cameras are best in each price range. They also have a very good return policy that permits you to send the camera back if for any reason you aren't satisfied with it. Personally, on the mid-price I like the Bushnell and on the higher end, of course, the Reconyx. There are also other good cameras listed on trailcamPro website too. Good luck. Merry Christmas. (12-16-11)
  • Cody from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, Its me again. I saw that you might have had the Bushnell Trophy camera, if so, do you like it? and have you heard of other people that like it? I would love to buy a Reconyx, but Im 16 years old, and I just don't have the money for that! Thanks anyways Bill! Happy Holidays.
    Winke Responds:
    Cody, I like that camera a lot. It is my favorite trail camera, actually. It is reliable, easy to set up and takes pretty nice photos. I think you will be totally happy with it. I would buy it through our sponosor (TrailCamPro.com) because Rich has a very good customer satisfaction rating and great service. If you don't like it, he'll take it back, no questions asked. Good luck and Merry Christmas! (12-12-11)
  • Aaron from WI asks:
    I'm looking at buying a new trail cam. I'm looking to spend under $200. Any suggestions? Thanks. My cousin introduced me to the website about a month ago and have been on it everyday since to watch videos. It's the best out there!
    Winke Responds:
    Aaron, Glad you like it. Thanks for the support. My best advice is to go to TrailCamPro.com and check out Rich's comments on the best cameras in every price range. He does all the tests and factors in warranty returns and everything to come up with the best suggestion. It really is a great website with lots of very useful information. Good luck. (11-27-11)
  • randy from MO asks:
    Bill Congratulations on Daggers. Heading up to the family farm for opening weekend. I have 2 questions 1) have a new trail cam if i hang it in a funnel will the pictures i might get at night disrupt the next days hunting 2) with the other families around we control about 1550 acres practicing QDM for the last 5 years what sort of grosses should we start expecting to see out of macon co. Thanks for years of great info. Randy
    Winke Responds:
    Randy, Thanks for that. 1. Nope. As long as its a infra-red the deer are unlikely to notice it. They are moving (most likely) so the noise of the shutter (if there is any) will be washed away by their own noise. 2. A realistic gross score for you guys would be 160. That is still our target here most years. I have just been on a good run here lately. I would not get too caught up on antler size but focus on age. I used to think that you had to get them to 4 years. Now (after seeing how much G5 jumped from 4 to 5) I am thinking that 5 is a better minimum age for a managed setting. If you can get a few more neighbors onboard, I think you can realistically pull that off (waiting until they are 5 to hunt them. Good luck (11-16-11)
  • Andrew from SC asks:
    Bill, great show this week. I remember watching your shows last year and how it didn't seem like you ran trail cameras when you were hunting. Any chance you could run them this season during the rut? I'd like to see how my pictures compare to yours as far as if deer seem to be more on their feet during the rut and if this shows during the season, and curious how seeing what's on your cameras compares to what your seeing when hunting and would like to hear your experiences on TV. Just an idea. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Andrew, I don't believe I will run them during the season. I just don't like going in and grabbing the cards all the time. I think it creates too much impact, except in locatoins that are close to where I walk to get to and from my stands. I think the information is then of limited use because I may not come past for a week or more. I like to use the bait (where legal) get the photos and learn what is in each area quickly and then pull out well before I start to hunt. I run my cameras in food plots, so I suppose I could put them on field scan mode and get some information without having to run bait. That might be my best option. In fact, now that I mention it, that is what I am going to do in a few areas. Thanks for asking, you inspired me. Good luck. (11-3-11)
  • Jordan Leach from IN asks:
    Mr. Winke, HI mr winke i love the show and cant wait till monday to see the new episode! but my question is i was just wondering how often you check your trail cameras or how often should i check mine so i dont mess up the hunting or spook deer? SO far i havent spooked any but i was just wondering how often you should?
    Winke Responds:
    Jordan, Thanks for the support. I check mine every four days right now. I would say, every four to seven days is pretty good. I want to know what is happening right now, so I check them more often, but when I start hunting I will probably pull all (or most) of my cameras until after the rut. I don't want to be checking them all the time during the time when I am hunting. I would rather learn as much as I can right before I start and then just go after them based on that information. Maybe not the best strategy, but it keeps the impact down during the season. If you can check your cameras on the way to or from your stands, that is different. You may as well keep them going. Good luck.
  • Bob from AL asks:
    Bill, are you going to run trail cams during the hunting season, and if so where are you going to put them? Why didn't you run cams last year during hunting season?
    Winke Responds:
    Bob, I haven't decided yet. Maybe in a few spots. I will focus on a couple of bucks. I don't like having to mess with checking cameras during the season. The only information that is useful at that time is current information (recent photos) because things can change so fast during the rut. You need to know what is happening right now to get any value from it. That means I have to check the cameras quite regularly and I really don't want to be hitting all my camera sites every couple of days. Again, I may run a couple of cameras in select - easy to access locatoins - this season, but not all of them for sure. Good luck.
  • Bob from MI asks:
    Bill, great show! From watching all of your shows it seems that you seem to get deer mostly during the rut and late season. I have been trying to pattern deer this year more than I ever have with my cameras. I never really used the cameras much last year but saw good bucks...only during the rut and late season. It seems I'm always one step behind the deer. Early season I put them on food plots, they show up for two days in daylight and then go nocturnal. They switch to oaks, and I put cams over hot oak trees, but they only eat at a particular tree for a couple days. I'm putting cams over mock scrapes and getting pictures of good bucks now, but at night which is to be expected since they normally check scrapes at night...so they are telling me what bucks are in a particular area, but they are during times when there are not legal shooting hours. Are cameras really for patterning deer or is it more to just see what bucks are on your property so that you can be more prepared t
    Winke Responds:
    Bob, Cameras are definitely for patterning deer. Any time you learn anything about a buck, it helps you unravel his personality and that is what patterning is all about. The camneras are telling you something important right now - the bucks are moving during the night. Welcome to the October Lull. That is typical behavior. Most bucks, but not all, will be moving during the night now. They will start to break with that behavior starting in late October. The best time to see one of these old nocturnal bucks is when a doe comes into estrous in his core area. Some of them never move much during the day other than that. Some, on the other hand, move a lot during the day. For example, one buck on our farm was nocturnal all fall last year. This year he is popping up on the cameras (and I am actually seeing him) in daylight all the time. They can change as they get older. So all you can do is be careful with your hunting, stay out of your best areas until late October or when you see a buck moving during the day.
  • Travis from PA asks:
    Bill, it's very early in the PA archery season and ive got alot of sign of a very large buck, i mean trees as big as my leg rubbed and 15-20 of them + 2 big scrapes all on an oak flat on a mountain top about 3/4 of a mile from a bunch of corn fields...now this years acorn harvest is very poor and was wondering where i should place a stand? how signifigant is that much sign at this time of the year?
    Winke Responds:
    Travis, That early rub sign is not super valuable now, unless it is fresh. Bucks often rub heavily right after shedding velvet and then may even relocate. The sign goes dead. However, if you have fresh sign, that is another matter. If you have fresh sign, I would hunt that area in the mornings and try to set up closer to the food sources for evening hunts. Good luck.
  • Mark from IL asks:
    Bill, I have been reading your hunting articles for years and the info. You share with fellow hunters is always appreciated. Your web site and show are truly TOP NOTCH! I mostly hunt public land in Illinois which can lead to frustration for sure but with lots of extra effort and by employing several of your suggestions I have had a lot of successful hunts. I prefer to take does and only mature bucks but enjoy watching younger bucks pass by and make mental notes on how they react to different situations. My question is that while hunting last year on nov. 7 I watched a 19 pt.locked up with a doe fend off 6 other bucks but never presented me with a shot. They were situated in an area which is full of 7th. Hog brush that made a stalk unrealistic so my ticket to this show was a 1 time deal. I know this deer made it through the season but dissapeared like a ghost for the rest of the winter. I would love to set up a trail camera but know it will end up in somebody elses goody bag for sure
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, Your question got cut off, but I have an idea where you are going: options. What other ways can you scout up that deer without losing a trail camera. First off, there are camera lock boxes out there on the market that might work to eliminate theft. Some of today's cameras are pretty cheap (and not overly reliable) but they might be a good option when combined with a lock box. Otherwise you have to go by sightings, maybe big tracks too since big tracks mean big-bodied deer which are normally mature bucks. I think that is very hit and miss, but you can learn something, probably. Otherwise, just put in your time in the most remote areas and hope for the best. You have to stay away from other hunters, that is a given, but you also need to hunt so carefully that you aren't impacting the deer yourself. So keep that in mind - super careful. Also, there is no saying the buck didn't follow that doe in there last year from private land nearby. When a doe is hot, a buck will trail her to whereever she leads. Usually she won't go far, but if she gets a wild hair, she could end up going several hundred yards before settling down. All things to consider. Good luck.
  • Hunter from AL asks:
    Mr. Winkie, do you use trail cameras to help you hunt deer or do you just use them to find out what deer are present on your land.
    Winke Responds:
    Hunter, Mostly just to learn where the bucks are most active, where they are moving during the day, that sort of thing. I generally stop monitoring them after I start to seriously hunt, but I may keep a couple of cameras going this year. Good luck.
  • Brandon from MO asks:
    Bill, I have a question about using the Bushnell Trophy Cameras field scan mode. From your experience, how high up on a tree should you place these cameras to maximize the field scan option? How many yards out have you been able to capture deer on the field scan mode? Last, what time interval would you suggest for optimizing scouting efforts, such as time of day and how many minutes apart intervals? Thanks Bill. Sincerely, Brandon
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, I have set mine at about 5 feet, but I know that some people go higher. You would want to go higher for sure if the field is tall grass or soybeans, for example. I felt that the field scan mode pretty well covered a food plot of just under 1 acre. That is a pretty big area. For sure not at night, but during the day when there is enough light to pick up everything on the field. I think the last 45 minutes is enough and set to shoot a photo every 20 to 30 seconds makes the most sense for me. If you go less than that, too many deer will slip through because they simply cross the field and are gone without a photo. Good luck.
  • Hank from TN asks:
    Mr. Winke: Your show is awesome!!! I have a question about using trail cams. I save your shows on TV and just watched your show on "killable bucks". My wife even watched it with me. Great show. I think I've been putting too much pressure on my deer by using trail cams deep in the timber and bedding areas unlike what you recommended on your show. I have 220 acres that I hunt. 100 of the property has a road around it where I can place cams on the fringes like you recommend. On that 100 is all my food. I have clover, corn, soybeans and wheat. The other 120 is all timber (oaks) and I'd have to go into the timber to place cams. Should I stay out of that area? I have 7 Reconyx cameras which I like a lot. I'm wondering though how many I should use? If I use them only on the fringes then that really limits where I can put them. I am using all 7 on the entire 220 acres, but if I stick to the fringes then they would all be on the 100 acres and would that still
    Winke Responds:
    Hank, Thanks for the support. I appreciate it. I would just set the cameras around the fringse of the 120. Maybe if you have an easy way to access it you can hit a location or two inside, but really if you pay attention to the photos you can get a pretty good idea where they are coming from when they approach the camera and that will tell you something about where they are bedding. Once you start hunting, you can take a camera in with you and set it when you go to hunt and then check it each time you go back to that location, killing two birds with one stone and allowing you to get information from farther into the timber. But even at that, I wouldn't get too aggressive hunting inside the timber except in spots you know you can sneak into and out of without being detected. Good luck.
  • Justin from KS asks:
    Bill, First, great show and great site! I'm blessed with a ton of land to hunt, some farms are 80 acres and some are 500 acres, but only a few farms are in the same block of timber or creek bottom. I run about 12 or 13 cameras,is it a better practice to lump a buch of cameras on one farm for a couple of weeks and then move them. Or just put one camera per farm? I don't have the resources or the time to have multiple cameras on each farm. How many cameras do you run on your farm/farms?
    Winke Responds:
    Justin, Thanks for the support. I would try to have a camera for each 60 acres, or so. Deer move around, especially at night, so that should get you what you need. If you bait the camera sites, you will get most of what on the farm within about ten days. I don't think I would saturate one farm. You need more consistent and more recent information than that. I would focus on getting cameras in the most likely spots on each farm and then if you have extras, look for more spots, but I wouldn't have more than one camera per 60 acres, as I mentioned. I own 12 cameras, but I only have about six or seven of them out at any given time. I may put out a few more now that we are getting closer to the time when I will start hunting so I can learn more. Good luck.
  • Manuel from AL asks:
    Is putting trailcams over each of my hunting plots and checking them once a week bad practice? Getting good patterns but uncertain if this will continue if I have cameras over same sites I am hunting... Mannie
    Winke Responds:
    Mannie, I don't think that is a bad practice as long as you check them at mid day. I don't see a problem with that strategy. Good luck.
  • Brian from PA asks:
    I was getting 3 or 4 decent bucks on my trail camera. The last two times I have checked it, No Bucks! Will the flash from the camera spook mature deer and cause them to avoid the area?
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, Yes, it will. There is no question that some bucks are flash shy - Jason Vickerman proved that by placing infra-red video cameras over flash camras to see what happens. Not saying this is the reason those bucks changed patterns, but it sure may be. Good luck.
  • Rick from IA asks:
    I just bought 2 wildgame innovation trail cameras and put them up...the night pictures are good, but all of the early morning pictures are white...cameras are not facing the sun in the mornings.....any suggestions??
    Winke Responds:
    Rick, I have not used of those cameras. Not sure if it is a firmware issue (download new drivers to fix it) or just the product of poor design or quality control. Your only true course is to contact their customer service and see if they can help you. You are hitting my struggle on nose. I needed a trail cam sponsor but didn't know which camera to select for fear it might not work well all the time. Rather than pick one camera, I began working with TrailCamPro.com because they sell all of them and Rich and his crew do tons of tests (including telling which cameras have the least warranty issues) so you can find the best ones directly from him rather than me promoting one over another. However, we do promote Bushnell and Reconyx indirectly because Rich said they offer the best value at two different price ranges. More expensive than the Wildgame, yes, but sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Good luck.
  • rob from IL asks:
    Where do you recomend to put trail cameras?
    Winke Responds:
    Rob, I like to put them near food sources because I feel like that lets me get in and out without a lot of intrusion during the middle of the day. You can put them on trails, on scrapes or you can set them for field scan mode and place them up higher in the tree where they can shoot time lapse images of the entire plot. I don't like placing the cameras near bedding areas or in the cover. I like spots I can drive right to (or at least get close to with the truck) to reduce impact. Hope that helps. Good luck.
  • brian from IA asks:
    Hi Bill, Have you tried any of the time lapse cameras, plot watcher,etc if so, which one do you like the best
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, We just use the time lapse or field scan modes on our Bushnell and Reconyx cameras. This function works well for scouting small food plots because you can tell where the deer are coming out and how much activity occurs on the entire plot during daylight hours. Works great.
  • Chris from OH asks:
    Great preview show, At the start of the show you were glassing a food plot from a tree stand. I'm wondering if you are sitting in a stand you plan to hunt this season or if you set observation stands just for that purpose. Could you share your thoughts on how close to hunting stands you glass from? Thanks, Chris
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, Thanks. I appreciate the support. In that case, I was sitting in a stand that we sometimes hunt with guns (youth season). It is not a very good stand for concentrating deer movement, making it a poor choice for bowhunting, but it does cover two small fields well enough to work with a muzzleloader. I doubt we will have the chance to hunt it this year as the beans are already starting to turn yellow and likely will be unattractive to the deer by mid-September youth opener. I don't normally glass from hunting stands because they don't set up with a good enough field of view for the summer filming. I sometimes put up new ones and we sometimes glass from the ground. Good luck.
  • Dick from WI asks:
    Have you ever had batteries in your trail cam blow up? I have had two cameras go bad this year with duracell copper top alkaline batteries and ruin both cameras. Is this a normal thing or am I just having bad luck with new batteries?
    Winke Responds:
    Dick, I have not. Sounds to me like the camera is making a dead short for the batteries. I would not say it is fault of the batteries but instead the fault of the camera. I would see if you can get a warranty repair on the camera. Good luck.
  • tom from WI asks:
    Hi Bill, What are the range's in quality in trail cameras. A friend from work is going to buy a Tasco camera. It might be the low end of the spectrum, I'm curious what you think. I just recently obtained some permission on some farm land, and I feel the need to purchase some and put them up. I haven't bow hunted in three years, so I'm pretty pumped for this season. Thanks, Tom
    Winke Responds:
    Tom, In my experience it makes a big difference. I have used some cameras that were basically disposable cameras. They only lasted one year, some never made it a week. The best way to know which ones to buy is to visit our sponsor TrailCamPro.com. Rich has tests on his site of all the cameras he sells (honest tests). The tests are complete with warranty information (which ones he has the most problems with, etc.). He has a good return policy on cameras. Definitely the place to shop for trail cameras. Good luck.
  • Loren from MN asks:
    First I have a theory to share about your older age class deer being more visible during daylight. Maybe they have found that they can go cruising during daylight with less chance of running into the more dominant bucks that are still in their prime and mostly nocturnal. My question is to ask if you have ever put two trail cameras in the same location? We just finished a 10 day test at our house. The results were very interesting. We used two different brands of infra-red cameras. We set them up perpendicular to each other with a mineral lick centered in the view of both cameras. My first find was that one camera had 70 pictures and the other had exactly 100. There were certainly some photos with more distant deer that would only trigger one camera and not the other. After downloading, viewing and studying the time frames on all of the photos, I was surprised that many of the deer that were standing right in the mineral lick were on one camera and not the other. There were several d
    Winke Responds:
    Loren, That is another good theory. You might be onto something there. Jason Vickerman once put a video camera at an angle to a flash camera to see if deer bolted from it. That was interesting. They definitely reacted to the flash. We have not, however, run two trail cameras on one bait site to see what they caught and missed. Very interesting information. I would be interested in knowing which one got the most images.
  • Nathan from PA asks:
    I have another question. Have you seen Buckeye cameras? they are wireless and send images to your computer. Have you ever used this and what do you think about using them from an ethical and effective stand point? Do you think deer are scared of trail cameras in general? Do you use trail cameras during the hunting season to pattern deer? Why or why not? Nate Dog
    Winke Responds:
    Nate, I am aware of those cameras but have not tried them. I know guys that have used them and they seem to work fine. I am not a fan of a camera that can send you a text of a photo it takes and you can know in real time where the deer are showing up at that exact time. I think that crosses the line for me. It would seem to take some of the thrill of the unknown and the thrill of the hunt out of the experience for me. I wouldn't use that mode myself. I use cameras up until about the time I start hunting hard and then I stop messing with them. That could be a mistake but I feel I can learn most of what I need to know from that timeframe. Good luck.
  • Chandler from IA asks:
    We have our primos truth camera out and there are cattle in the timber. So we were wondering where to put it now because all the pics we get are of cows. Where we have the camera now is the main place for the deer. Then our other timber that we hunt there are cattle there to, but I was wondering if sawing wood on a daily basis will affect the deer being there? Sincerly, Chandler Sterk the junior hunter
    Winke Responds:
    Chandler, You will just have to accept the fact that the cows will be in most of the photos. I don't know of any method to keep them away without also keeping the deer away. If you can place a bag of corn in front of the camera and put it inside a fenced in area that the deer can jump into and the cows can't but otherwise, you will have to live with the photos of cows. Yes, cutting wood in a certain area every day will reduce deer activity there. However, it won't keep them out altogether because they will get used to it as normal human activity and not threatening, but it will definitely reduce some of the deer activity there.
  • Alex from AL asks:
    Bill, i read a couple questions people have posted about trail cams and you say you bait yours. A) what do you bait them with? and B) will the baiting work right now when the soy beans seem to be there food of choice?
    Winke Responds:
    Alex, I bait with shelled corn. It works year around. Yes, they will still come to corn even in the summer, but not as heavily as they will starting in about early October when the browse starts to whither and dry up. Good luck.
  • Curtis from IA asks:
    I put mineral blocks out in the spring and summer for nutrition but more for stopping them at my camera. What are the hunting laws about how far you can hunt from these blocks and how long they need to be pulled before hunting near them. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Curtis, I have asked a couple of different game wardens in my area and the answer is that you can't be hunting patterns that are affected by the bait site. In other words, if it looks like you are sitting on a trail leading to the site, you are in violoation. It will be hard for them to make a strong case unless you are sitting very near the bait, but they were not able to give me a specific number. It is best for you to simply call you local game warden and ask him/her and then just do what they say. That is the safest approach on this matter. Good luck.
  • Todd from MI asks:
    Long time viewer and first time posting a question. I am curious about trail camera placement. I recently just put my cameras back out. What locations are your most successful at getting the best pictures and why? Thank You and God Bless!
    Winke Responds:
    Todd, I put mine near feeding areas and I use bait (corn) to get the deer to concentrate at the camera long enough to get their pictures taken. I don't like to put them back in the timber for fear of bumping deer when checking the cameras at midday. For this reason, I am not learning a lot about which trails the deer are using, but I am learning which bucks are in the general area. My primary goal is to hang the cameras in places I can get to and from wtihout bumping deer. Good luck.
  • John from MO asks:
    hey bill love the show, i have put in countless hours of hard work and lots of money into my deer hunting property. i see nice bucks on our property during season but this spring in scouting i havent seen a good buck on camera or anything and i want your opion on what you think is wrong?
    Winke Responds:
    John, Either they aren't there or you aren't getting them to the camera. I like to use a bit of bait (corn) where legal to lure the deer to the camera and I place the cameras near feeding areas. Normally, you will get photos of most of the deer in the area. However, bucks have summer ranges and fall ranges. Sometimes they don't overlap. That may be the case here. They like to hang near protien-rich food sources in the summer (soybeans, clover and alfalfa) and then break up and spread out in early to mid September. That might be the case here. They just may not be living on the place much in summer. However, if you have all the right foods for summer bucks, my guess is that they are there but just not hitting the places where you have your cameras. Good luck.
  • Brian from IA asks:
    Bill, I am going to bowhunt a new spot this fall. It's a very large public area in Southern Iowa and I don't have a lot of time to scout. Where should I be placing my trail camera at right now?
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, I am sure I know the area. Look for trails leading to soybean fields on nearby farms. That is where you will catch them right now. However, the more valuable information is what they are doing in October and you won't know that until after the bucks break up their bachelor groups in early to mid September. Then I would focus on scrapes as they start to appear and placing cameras near oak trees that are dropping acorns. If you aren't afraid of getting your camera stolen (I would be) you can place it over a small corn pile for a few days in various part of the area to get started. Myself, I would not get too carried away the cameras on public land, hunt acorns in October and move to bedding areas (ridges) in November. That is not the way I would necessarily hunt private land, but this strategy will keep you in the deeper parts of the area and away from the fringes where most other hunters will hang out. Good luck.
  • Kane from IL asks:
    I hunt on a farm in northern Illinois with lots of timber and great food sources from clover, soy beans, corn, turnips, ect. I was wondering when and what will be the best trail camera placement as the deer activity changes through out the year from now early July to late November? Really appreciate your time.
    Winke Responds:
    Kane, Sounds like a great spot! I like to place my cameras over baited sites (if legal in IL - not sure on that). If it is not legal, you have no real option but to get cameras that have field scan modes (newer Bushnells and Reconyx to name two) and then set them up where they can photograph your food plots every minute or two during the last two hours of each day. If you can bait to the camera, put out a bag of corn in front of a camera set along the food sources (easy to access spots so you can get in and out easy). I keep cameras in food sources until I pull them in October, but baiting to the camera is legal here in Iowa. Again, if not legal, stick to field scan mode and about the end of September, move a few cameras to trails and eventually by mid October move them to scrapes along field edges. Any time you are set up on the field edge use the field scan mode. These cameras will trigger at intervals and whenever a deer comes in front of them - the best of both worlds. Without bait, it is tough. With bait, it is pretty easy to figure out exactly what is there. Without the bait you can start to determine their patterns, with bait about all you can do is figure out where they are feeding and try to sort out the trails from there. Good luck.
  • John from MO asks:
    hey bill, I know you have heard this before..but what is your opion on how the flash on a trail camera affects the deer? Thanks and keep up the good work!!!
    Winke Responds:
    John, Jason Vickerman set up a video trail camera overlooking a standard flash trail camera to see what the deer do. His videos show that they (at least some of the bucks) definitely flair away from the flash trail camera and even run off. That was enough for me. I use the infra-red models exclusively now.
  • Davey from MI asks:
    Hi Bill, Love the show! My question is about scouting new areas. When is a good time to start setting up my Game Cameras? Is it even worth scouting whitetail in the summer months? Thanks alot, Keep up the good work Davey
    Winke Responds:
    Davey, You can learn a few things during the summer months, but not necessarily as much as you will learn after the bucks shed their velvet and break up their baachelor groups. Some bucks will move off after they shed their velvet and break up the groups and will move into a new fall range. And some may well move into your hunting area from a different summer range close by. So your summer scouting does give you a place to start and is fun, but in the end, it is what you learn in mid-to-late September and after that has the most value to you as a deer hunter trying to pattern bucks. Good luck.
  • Cecil from IN asks:
    Are you still planning on having a trail camera available this summer?
    Winke Responds:
    Cecil, I was hoping to, but it doesn't look good. We tried several sources but each one had too many negatives against it. It is a tough industry to sort out. Maybe next year.
  • Cody from WI asks:
    hey bill, i was wondering that every saturday, or friday i go out to our land where i hunt to check the trail cameras, and see how things are going out in the woods, am i going out to check my cameras to often? am i pressuring the bucks to much going down there once a week, sometimes 2 times a week? thats all, thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Cody, I would say that once per week is fine. I would try to keep the cameras away from bedding areas so you can come and go without alarming the deer. If you are running them off every time you go in, that issn't good, but if the cameras are on the fringes, then once a week is fine. Twice a week is probably too much regardless of where the cameras are located unless you can drive right to them. Good luck.
  • ryan from AL asks:
    Any pictures of Big or the other hitlist bucks since you got them early? Do you have cameras up now?
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, I got lots of photos of that buck. It seemed that he was all over the place showing up on several different cameras but always at night. I got over 100 photos of him on three different cameras but only one was right at daybreak one time. Otherwise, all the photos of him were at night - during the wee hours of the night too. I pulled the cameras in late December. I kind of wish I had kept them out but about the only way to get photos this time of year is to bait them to the camera. I figured I had seen enough to know what was still on the farm after the regular firearms season. There were still a few good ones around. One I really wanted to shoot went MIA since mid-October was a buck we called the Double G4 Buck. I hope he shows up this year again. I saw him a few times during the 2009 season when he was already big. He was even better this past season, but then he disappeared. Not sure if he was shot or just moved a bit and stayed nocturnal. It was a year when many bucks were active only at night.
  • Travis from KS asks:
    I have been a viewer of the site for the past couple season and really enjoy the shows. My question is on trail cameras. I see that you use the DLC Covert, Moultrie and Leaf River cameras. I have used Moultrie, Bushnell and Cuddeback. The most consistant of what I have used is the Cuddeback capture but I know I am missing animals, the Bushnell I have sometimes has runaway images of nothing and the Moultre I had did not work right from the beginning but I have a friend that has great luck with his Moultrie. I have done some research on trailcampro.com on several different makes and models. I am looking at IR cameras that take video. My question is which camera to you feel is the best and most consistant? How is the progress of the camera you and Bill from Muddy coming along? A suggestion I have for the Ask Winke section is that maybe you could post the date on your answers either mm/dd/yyyy or just mm/yyyy just so if people are doing research on the site that they know how old the
    Winke Responds:
    Travis (12/31/10) Just kidding. I think that is a good suggestion because people are always looking for current information especially regarding deer behavior and a few weeks can make a huge diffrence. The guy at Trailcampro seems to be the best voice for making recommendations so I would definitely take his advice to heart. I have just decided to pass on making any camera recommendations until we figure out how to do it well. Of the cameras our nearby pro staff have tried, they like the Covert for the video quality, but I have not tried video on that camera and just had a Covert that was only a year old go bad on me. Like I said, I hate to make any recommendations right now. We are still working at it. We hope to have a camera by June. Thanks for your support and Happy New Year!
  • Jason from PA asks:
    Hey Bill, Love the show! I have a few questions. First, how and where do yo set your tail cams? Do you bait or set buy food or main trails? I seems like the pics you show the deer are just perfect. Second have you see or tested the new Leupold Vendetta bow mounted range finder? Any comments on that? Thanks for the awesome show and Merry Christmas!
    Winke Responds:
    Jason, I appreciate the support. I set my cameras over bait very near food plots. The bait is not really bringing the deer in so much as it is concentrating them and holding them long enough for a picture. Because I have the camera in an area where the deer are already heading toward, I can get quick results, and get the camera back out of there within a few days. I pour out a single bag of corn in front of the camera. That holds the deer long enough for a good photo and because I don't put out much, it is gone fairly quickly so the bait doesn't have any affect on their patterns. Just be sure to check with the local game warden to be sure it is legal in your area. It is different in each state. Also, be sure to find out when and how you can hunt the property after putting out the baited camera sites. Again, every state is different and I think even each game warden has their own take on how best to prevent hunting over a baited camera site. Like I said, I use just a bit of bait, get in and out quick and it has almost no affect on their patterns. Merry Christmas to you too.
  • TIM from MI asks:
    WHAT KIND OF TRAIL CAMERAS DO YOU USE AND/OR RECOMMEND?
    Winke Responds:
    Tim, I have used a wide variety of cameras and feel like they all have strengths and weaknesses. I think I am going to get into the trail camera business with Larry from Muddy Outdoors so hopefully we can offer you a great option at a good price. Keep your eyes peeled for a camera from us this summer.
  • Brian from MN asks:
    Hi Bill; I enjoy your show very much, keep up the good work. I would like to know what trail cameras you feel are the top preformers. I have used several brands with a wide variaty of results. So what are your top picks?
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, I have used a wide variety too. I never could figure out a trail camera sponsorship for the show. I want to have a quality camera that isn't so expensive I feel guilty recommending it. Larry and I at Muddy Outdoors are looking at coming out with a trail camera this summer, so I am going to just hold my recommendation until I know where we are going to come down on this one. Good luck.
  • will from NC asks:
    HI Bill love the show, i was wondering what kind of trail cams you use ir or regular flash?
    Winke Responds:
    Will, I believe the IR is better from the standpoint that I have seen trail cam video of deer bolting from flash cameras. If you use a flash camera, it will be less offensive to the deer if you place it above them and point it down slightly. They don't react to that as much as when it explodes right in their faces. Good luck.
  • Kade from IA asks:
    What strategy do you use when scouting deer with trail cameras late season after they stop hitting scrapes? What things to do look for? we have a 15 acres secluded corn field that we feel the deer are focused on. Should we set up our cameras around that thinking 90% of deer will hit it at some point. Or should we move them in towards beddding? we use buckeye cams with solar panels so we will not disturb the area after they are set up.
    Winke Responds:
    Kade, I would stay away from the beds and focus on the food. You likely won't be hunting near the beds anyway, so what you really need to know is where and when they are feeding. Good luck.
  • Tim from MI asks:
    What kind of trail cameras do you use? And/or recommend?
    Winke Responds:
    Tim, I don't have one style that I love. I like the Coverts I have but I have not tried lots of other styles. I have Covert, Moultrie and Leaf River, so I am probably not the best one to ask on this subject. A website called TrailCamPro.com has a lot of good information on which ones are best. That is where I would start. Good luck.
  • Cody from WI asks:
    Im loving this show, good job this year also, and my question is how do you draw dear to your camera, or where is the best place to hang it without getting to close to bedding areas? Thanks, good luck with the rest of the season!
    Winke Responds:
    Cody, I use bait (corn) to bring them to the camera and then place these baited sites in high activity areas. (Baiting to the camera may not be legal in all states so please check your regs or call the game warden). These are not areas I hunt and I even pull the cameras and stop baiting well before I start hunting. However, I feel that it makes sense to keep cameras running in other locations during the season. Some guys love running cameras over scrapes, personally, I prefer funnels like open gates, creek crossings, small food plots, etc. Stay away from the bait at that time. Prior to your hunt you want to find out as quickly as possible which areas of the farm the bucks are living - an inventory. During the season you want to know more about where they are traveling so it makes sense to get rid of the bait. Good luck.
  • jamie from AL asks:
    How many cameras can I put in one area? And does the flash bother the deer?
    Winke Responds:
    Jamie, I believe the flash does bother some deer. A good camera density is about one for every 40 to 60 acres. Generally, that will get most of the bucks on the farm, especially if you place the cameras over mineral sites or bait. Good luck.
  • Blake from SD asks:
    Bill, Again, love the show and can't wait to see if you get an opportunity at one of those monsters you got on your trail cameras. That leads me to my question. I notice you are using several different brands of trail cameras and was wondering if you favor any one brand or model over the others. Also, I have had a little luck capturing some deer on my cameras this year but know from my scouting that there are so many more that I am not getting pictures of. What would be a good setup placement and position that I could try? I hunt wooded lows as well as field edges. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Blake, I don't own lots of brands, but of the ones I do own, I prefer the Covert. It is a small camera that is very easy to operate. It is reliable and takes respectable (useable) photos in all conditions. For more camera information go to www.trailcampro.com. I use a bait pile to concentrate the deer in front of my cameras. I keep them in one spot for about ten days and then move them to a new spot. I can cover my farm fairly quickly that way. If you can't bait to the camera, it makes it harder to figure out what is around. In that case you need to set up on trails and scrapes around open fields. You won't get a lot of daylight photos, but you won't go into the woods and spook a lot of deer either. Good luck.
  • Mike from AL asks:
    Bill I have a trailcam question. I bought a wldgame IR4 cam and it was my first cam but it messed up after only 3 months so I been looking at getting another one and I have narrowed it down to two choices. I either want to get the DLC covert 2 or the cuddeback capture flash. I can see the remote probably being an issue with the DLC and like the quality of the flash cams but also liek the idea of the DLC taking AA batteries and the way infared is supposed to not spook deer. DO you have either model and which would you reccomend. Thanks and good luck this season.
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I have the DLC and like it. I don't have the Cuddeback Capture, but it is a good camera for the money based on the impartial reviews I have read. I personally like the infra-red. But to each his own. I feel the flash will spook deer based on some testing Jason Vickerman did by placing a video camera where it could record the reaction of deer to the flash.
  • Harley from AL asks:
    Bill, great site, thanks for all the info. On your recent video you have cameras set out to catch your fall bucks on camera and help you determine their routes. You're using corn like you would for a deer census, but I was wondering why you were using corn if you're trying to determine what routes they're using. Won't they use different routes if your using corn to attract them and once you stop using the corn won't their routes change again? Or is it more you're just trying to determine what bucks are present in the fall and if so, do you ever use trail cameras to track or try to determine the routes of your deer (or is it pretty consistent from year to year based on what you've learned on your farm and it's topography, food sources, etc.). Sorry for all the questions.
    Winke Responds:
    Harley, I am not going to hunt most of these bucks in the exact area where I had the cameras. I am not all that concerned about their routes because the routes will change from day to day. I am only interested in knowing the size and location of their ranges and core areas to the best of my ability. I likely wouldn't hunt them on their routes anyway unless they just happened to be spots I can hunt without alerting any deer. I focus on stands I can get away with hunting somewhere in their home range (ideally as close to the center as possible) and then I just put in my time, trying to keep it fresh. If you go straight to their photographed routes without concern for impact, you will likely have one good hunt at best. As I answered another fellow, I am not sure my strategy is the best. I may change it next year, but it makes sense to me. I just want to know where they are living and then I will hunt them where I think I have an advantage within that area and put in my time. Good luck.
  • Dave from MI asks:
    What trail cameras makes/models would you highly recommend in your own experience. I'm assume you've tried your share and have pro/cons for some. Thanks again for your time and most of all for your commitment to "Midwest Whitetails".
    Winke Responds:
    Dave, I appreciate your support. I answered this in a bit more detail in the last question. To sum up, I am not an expert here, but those who are prefer Reconyx. I have Covert, Moultrie and Leaf River. I like the Covert model I have over the other two models. That is not to say that Moultrie and LR aren't making good cameras now - I have their older models. Good luck.
  • Eric from IA asks:
    Hey Bill, Was wondering what you are useing for trailcams? and also which ones are your favorites and which ones are the most reliable cameras. Most importantly which ones would you recommend for me to look at. Was just starting to look into getting one, and would enjoy some input. It got me thinking about it after reading the last blog. They would be handy! Love the show!Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Eric, I am not an expert on trail cameras, but I have talked to people who are. They recommend Reconyx hands down. Second choice is Bushnell. Covert is a good one. Scout Guard also shows up as a dependable unit. I have personally used Moultrie, Leaf River and Covert. I like the Coverts because of their size and they seem to be reliable. I am trying to sort this out too because I need to find a trail cam sponsor for our show/website. Once I figure it out you'll know because we will hopefully have someone on board. To answer your question: I'd go with Reconyx if you can afford it, Bushnell or Covert if you can't.
  • Brian from IA asks:
    Bill, I just gained access to hunt a piece of private land. This place is loaded with big draws that are long and wide as well as 2 pieces of timber that are about 10 acres each. No crops just pasture on this farm but there is a corn field on the adjacent farm (getting picked this week.) is it to late in the season to do a little scouting, hang a stand, and have any success? Thanks so much for what you do for this sport!
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, It is not too late. I will still be putting up a few stands here and there. I would not try to sneak around if you are going to scout it heavily. Act like a farmer and drive right up there slamming doors and running a chainsaw some. Get them out of there and then scout it. If you aren't going to scout it that heavily, consider just carefully setting a few stands on the downwind edges as you go in to hunt for an afternoon and then learn as you hunt. There are two approaches: either make the noise and spook all the deer out or be very sneaky and try not spook any deer out. I would avoid any other strategy. Also, if you can scout during a light rain, that is also a good strategy.
  • George from NY asks:
    Hey Bill- George Allen here hope all is well. On the Missouri blog- they said if you find a rub/scrape line it may be a good place to hang a trail camera. Do you put the flash on for night shots?(during or close to season) Or do you lengthen the time between shots- say 2-3 minutes so you get one good shot between flashes? I have both infared and flash camera's but the flash get better night shots. Just curious....(yours opinion) George.
    Winke Responds:
    George, The best way to set up the flash cameras on scrapes is to place it higher in the tree pointing down so it is not at eye/ear level. Deer are not at all sensitive to light coming from above but the flash at eye level seems to get them. If you don't believe me, try messing with a deer sometime with a flashlight from your stand pointing it straight down on them. They seem not to even notice it. It is actually kind of strange how they don't react to it at all.
  • Kyle from WI asks:
    Hi Bill, I really enjoy what you are doing with midwest whitetail. I have been waiting for someone like you to do a show like this. The fact that you talk about the setup in detail, like wind direction and stand location is great. I have learned a lot from you over the years with your great articles and now with midwest whitetail. Thank you. I do have a question. What are your thoughts on using cameras for scouting? Do you prefer the infrared or flash models? I plan on using more cameras to help me monitor deer movement throughout the season and just wondered what you thought. Thanks again.
    Winke Responds:
    Kyle, I sure appreciate your kind words and support. Thanks for watching the shows. I like the infra-red because Jason Vickerman set up video cameras next to flash cameras and proved that deer shy away from them when the flash goes off. Some guys set the cameras up higher in trees (five or six feet up) and point them down to eliminate some of these concerns with the flash cameras. Good luck.
  • steve from WI asks:
    Hey bill thanks for the e mails.Super excited about the upcoming shows.Got some awesome pics. of great bucks this year.Left my cam. up near stand to see who stays and who go's and how times and patterns change.Do you think its a bad idea? Should i have pulled it or moved it? Thanks for all your awesome early footage and your ideas for making my small spot more productive! steve
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, It is right around the corner for you isn't it? Good luck. I don't think that will kill you. You can easily check it when you go in to hunt it, but I think I would pull it and move it to a different location the next time you go in there. Some bucks are camera shy - they just don't like the sound of the shutter and in some cases they even react to the camera simply being there even if it doesn't take a picture. I would pull it next time you hunt there and move it some place new where you can monitor an area where you don't have a stand in the hopes of finding a pattern (or a buck) you didn't know about.
  • Ryan from AL asks:
    Hi Bill, I love your website and find much valuable information here. I hunt an area where there are very steep ridges on both sides of a creek bottom. We have permission for the bottom and one side of this creek. On the tops of the ridges this year is strictly corn. We are trying to pinpoint movement during the rut. We have found several good trails that run about 3/4 of the way up of the ridges. Along the creek bottoms there are heavily used trails and crossings. Will bucks travel along the bottoms during the rut or stick to tops and ridgd trails? Thanks a lot, Ryan
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, They will use both patterns, but it can be very tough to hunt the bottoms with the way the winds swirl in these locations. The valley would have to be nearly 1/4 mile wide to keep the winds from swirling down in the bottom. I would hunt the side-hill trail (a great pattern for the rut) and leave the bottom alone until the end of your vacation time or the last few days of the best portions fo the rut - when you have nothing to lose by bumping a few bucks. I like hunting high on the ridges to minimize wind swirls.
  • Ron H. Jr. from WI asks:
    Hey Bill. Hope everything is going good for you and your team this summer. Its about that time again!! Cant wait! Anyways I have a question for you from a buddy. We have a few cameras out, getting some good pictures, but my buddy keeps getting weird pictures on his cameras. He is calling them "Orbs". The camera will take 3 pictures, the first one or two have nothing but the woods, and the last one or sometimes the second picture will have some crazy blob or a bunch of blobs. We looked at them close and they are for sure not bugs or fuzz floating in the air. Any ideas what might be going on here? Thanks for your time Bill, and GOOD LUCK this fall!!! ~Ron~
    Winke Responds:
    Aliens Ron! Run for the hills! I am not sure on that one. You may have stumped me. It could be you are getting random shots but the orbs are dew drops or condensation on the lens. That can look funky at times. Otherwise, I guess I would have to look at the images to have any other thoughts on the source of the blobs. Remember with a slow shutter speed, anything that is moving will tend to blur - like a small flying saucer going by. Seriously, that is a good question. Good luck this fall yourself.
  • Tom from MO asks:
    I was watching your show today, and I was wondering about your trail camera setups. You say you get pictures of these certain bucks throughout the year at different locations. How many cameras are you running? Also, how are your cameras set up? Do you place any kind of bait in front of the cameras, or are they strictly on trails, scrapes, rubs or crossings? This is a bit of a situation for our farm, because we really like having pictures to look at. Most of the time our trails or crossings will come up with only a few pics on them. Whats your advice on setting up cameras? Thanks, Tom Barnard
    Winke Responds:
    Tom, I use corn to bring the deer to the camera. It is legal here when done a certain way. Call the game warden first to find out what is permitted. I set out six cameras and move them about three times during the time leading up to when I start hunting. That allows me to get a rough inventory of where the bucks are located and how active they are. I will leave the camera for about 10 days to 2 weeks in each spot (baiting the location twice during that time) before moving it. I like to place them near open areas that I can drive to that are also secluded enough that deer will feel comfortable visiting them. That way I keep impact to a minimum. I drive right up in my truck, swap cards, pour out a bag of corn and drive off. We try to place the cameras facing north whenever possible to reduce false triggers and poor photos due to the setting or rising sun. I hope that helps.
  • Tyler Trosen from MN asks:
    What is your favorite trail cameras to use? Why? Thanks Tyler
    Winke Responds:
    Tyler, I have not tried them all, but the testing done by friends of mine suggests that the Reconyx are by far the best. I have used the Covert and they are good. Beyond that, I have only heard from others. I hear a lot of grumbling about nearly every brand on the market, at least to varying degrees. If you can afford the Reconyx, they are the way to go. If not, it is a tighter race. Bushnells are supposed to be very good.
  • Ray from MO asks:
    I got two trail cameras this summer with the hopes of patterning a buck whose huge sheds I found at the base of a thick brushy ridge. Scouting in February and March suggests he moves off the ridge from either end. I plan to put out the cameras at either end of the ridge and begin to collect data on his movement patterns. What is the best way to use the cameras to pattern him? And, if my cameras verify his pattern, should I try to hunt him early or wait until late October for the rut to kick in? Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Ray, I think the camera will tell you all you need to know to answer both questions. Most importantly, however, don't push in too close with the camera or your coming and going will put him on alert. If you are baiting the deer to the camera you will have a better chance of getting images of him, but it won't tell you quite as accurately which trails he is using. Myself, I am too impatient to put cameras on trails and then play cat and mouse with a buck. I prefer to use bait, get him in front of the camera and at least know which part of his range he is using and when. I can probably figure out which trails to try to hunt him on after I have shut off the bait site and pulled the camera. Talk to the game warden about this so that you are sure to be doing it completely legal. But if you have patience, trying to determine his actual travel routes might work. I would just start hunting him as soon as he starts to show up during legal hunting hours, or around October 25 at the latest. Let the deer tell you what to do. However, don't be surprised if he isn't doing what you think he should be doing. They rarely do what we expect. That means you may need to move the camera a few times to find where he is actually living right now - he may also move after shedding velvet and you will have to relocate him. Patterning is an inexact science because the bucks themselves are so unpredictable.
  • MIke from KS asks:
    Bill, I thought I would take the time to tell you I have learned alot from your show and articles. My question has to do with trail cams. Thankfully I have access to hundreds of private farm ground with little to no hunting pressure. I try to check my cameras once a week to once every two weeks. During Summer I do not try to be quite and do not worry about scent. And yet I still get deer going by my cameras the same day even hanging around. Should I be more stealthy in my aproach and concerned about scent? I have seen plenty of big deer even after I have been there. I plan on hunting early season (Sept. 20th) and wonder should I cut back my trips to the cameras or keep them used to my outings? Thanks for your time and hope you the best this hunting season. Thanks, Mike
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I think once they get used to non-threatening human presence in an area, it is not as big a deal as it when the disturbance is fresh. In other words, they hate new things and surprises, so they come to see your checks of the camera as ordinary (safe) human behavior. I would probably keep right on doing it the way you are doing it. I would not quit once you start hunting unless you want to. There is nothing wrong with being quieter and more scent-conscious, but I doubt you will see more mature bucks as a result. I am guessing they have gotten used to your coming and going.
  • Gary from WI asks:
    Have noticed as my farm and the deer mature that the infrared cameras from Buckeye get fewer pics of the older bucks on the farm. I see these bucks regularly from the distance with my spotting scope and digicam pics and some are 5 years or older now. The cameras pick alot of younger bucks up regularly but despite having 10 of these cams out on the farm year round, they avoid these cameras. I just can't believe how well these animals are in tune to their surroundings and despite moving cameras intermittently, I can watch several of these bucks nightly work around them without any pics. I am less and less inclined to keep spending the time and energy pulling cameras every 2-3 weeks. Have you noticed this with your older bucks on your farm?
    Winke Responds:
    Gary, I have not noticed it here. I don't run cameras except a few weeks each year, so maybe that is part of it. Also, I have a friend down in GA that manages a big property down there. He says to get the old bucks you have to bait a site for ten days without a camera to get the buck comfortable there and then he puts the camaera on a tree of fencepost. He says he almost always gets all the mature bucks in the area within a few days and then nothing after that. They tune in to the camera very fast. You might try that if baiting to the camera is legal where you hunt.
  • Bill from WI asks:
    Bill, For a while in early june i was getting nothing but bucks on my trail cam overlooking a mineral lick, but now they have disapeared, any ideas where they went, i havent seen any glassing lately either, i have lots of ag fields, and cover, this is the first time it has happened Thanks, and have a happy Independence Day Bill
    Winke Responds:
    Bill, I am not sure on that. It is possible that something has moved into that area and scared them away from the lick (a coyote den or something like that?). It is also possible that they have shifted to a different area because of changes in their food sources. My guess is that it is related to changes in their food sources. Are there some good soybean fields or alfalfa fields nearby where they may have moved toward? That is where I would start looking. My guess is that the shift is temporary, and unless you don't have food sources in the area of the lick, they should be back. Happy Independence Day to you too.
  • Matt Epps from GA asks:
    Hey Bill thanks for answering my question about a hunting strategy for my Georgia tract. I can't wait to try some different methods. Im fixing to buy another trail camera and I want to know if I should spend the extra money on an infra red camera. I've never had one and the deer never seemed to be spooked by the flash of the cameras I use now, but I have to say I've never had more than one pic of the same mature buck. So should I buy an infra red camera and which one would you recommend....(that is affordable).
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I would go with the infra-red. They are affordable enough now that it is worth making the switch. We are looking to line up a trail cam sponsor, but there are a number of good cameras in the $100 to $200 price range. We have had good experiences with Covert and Scout Guard, among others. The new Moultries look good, but I have not tried them yet. Also, the cameras from Wildgame Innovations are very reasonably priced, though, again I have not tried them.
  • Troy from MO asks:
    How often should i check my trail cameras?
    Winke Responds:
    Troy, If you have them over a mineral site during the summer, for example, you can let the camera sit for a month if your HD card is large enough. If you have them over bait, such as corn, you will have to refresh the bait regularly prompting you to swap out cards while you are there. Leading up to the season when I am trying to pattern bucks, I check them every four or five days, but a week would also work (assuming your bait will last that long if you are baiting to the camera). I like to keep my cameras well away from bedding areas so I can check them at midday and often drive right up to them. That reduces impact and doesn't alert the deer.
  • kade from IA asks:
    Bill, We've recently bought a new 100 acre parcel and I've been back and forth on setting up cameras to determine deer patterns. Now what do you recommend on figuring the deer out on the property and their travel patters. Set up cameras on the 4 corners of the property or group a few cameras together in each area and grid it out? I know deer will change patterns as the seasons change and the food/pressue changes? But what do you recommend for scouting?
    Winke Responds:
    I would think that four cameras is a good number and I would put them out near the prime food during the summer and then fan them out so the farm is covered pretty uniformly during the rest of the year. Since baiting for camera use is still legal here in Iowa (you might want to check that to be sure as there was some recent talk about shutting that down) I would bait to the camera site with corn starting in mid-to-late September and remove it well before you plan to hunt (if you are going to hunt that area). That way you can learn the new fall ranges of the bucks and get a better idea where they have relocated to. That is probably the most important thing the cameras can teach. The summer stuff is just for fun. What you do after the bachelor groups break up is where the real business takes place.
  • Todd from IA asks:
    I'm doing some research on attractants for trail cam pictures and can't seem to come across anything in the past posts but I know its been covered.What would you recommend for an attractant from now until season starts?Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Todd, One of the most popular blogs to date has been a guest blog by Scott Prucha about the correct mineral mix (a do it yourself mix) that works well in front of the trail cameras all summer. If you go into the archives for Winke's Blog you should see one about trail cameras from last summer. There is a good mineral recipe in that blog. Good luck.
  • Troy from MO asks:
    Where is the best spot to place a trail camera at this time of the year? Also how far are the bucks into their antler growth? Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Troy, Placing them over mineral licks is a good choice. It is much cheaper than placing them over grain piles and won't attract racoons and crows, etc. Location-wise, near regular food sources is a good choice - near trails leading into feeding areas. I have been seeing bucks lately with about 8 to 8 inches of beam, so I would say they are only just getting started. They usually show their true potential in early to mid-July.
  • Mike from IN asks:
    Bill: I was curious to exactly what you use for bait for you trail camera stations in the summer and early fall? I am going to run several additional trail cameras this year and was wondering what the best thing to use is. Do you use mineral licks also for your cameras? Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I don't shoot a lot of photos in the summer. Mineral would be the best for summer use since squirrels, coons, crows, etc. don't come to it. However, by fall they stop using minerals and then you will need something simple like corn to hold them long enough for a shot. You don't need to put out much, just enough to slow them down as they move past so the camera gets a good shot at them. If you have a camera with a very fast trigger speed, you can probably just set up on well-used trails, but most cameras won't perform well under those conditions.
  • cameron from AB asks:
    I there again Bill, I have one more question about the trail cams..... where is the best place to put them and do you use bait at your camera locations? Ive heard that at the edge of a feild is best but I dont want my cameras getting stolen
    Winke Responds:
    Cameron, I use bait to stop the deer because I don't have cameras with the world's fastest trigger speeds. The bait also pulls them to my location. I also place them on the edges of fields so that I can drive to them to check them and add bait as needed. I am not afraid of getting them stolen since they are on private land. If I was afraid of getting them stolen, I would probably go just inside the woods, skip the bait, put the cameras on trails and use the smallest possible camera such as the Covert so it is harder to see. You will need to poing the camera slightly up or down the trail so it has time to "see" the deer and power up for the photo.
  • cameron from AB asks:
    Hi Bill I was wondering when you would recomend I should start to put up my trail cameras?
    Winke Responds:
    Cameron, I would say you can start to see some antler development even now, but it is too early to really tell what they are going to turn into. Probably by early June you should be able to see definite antler formation and by early July you should be able to tell one buck from another.
  • Curtis from IA asks:
    Thanks for the quick response! I asked you a some questions about IR cameras. I do bait the camera with salt blocks and corn but I only have 2 cameras for the 300 acres but rotate them every 2 weeks from my 10 different salt blocks. Once the season starts I have to put them on trails, do you put your cameras close to your stand even though the shutter makes a sound? In regards to my last question about 3 being too many to hunt a 300 acre land, I'm a teacher so I don't get much time to hunt except weekends. The land doesn't get touched during the week but from about Oct.20th-Nov.20th 3 of us hunt it pretty hard. Morning and evening hunts during the weekends not sure if the 5 week days is enough to "let the dust settle".(of course I take my two vacation days on the 7th or near by that date). I'm pretty sure the deer start to pattern us any ideas for us? How many cameras do you think I need?
    Winke Responds:
    Curtis, I don't run cameras near my stands. I typically run them over bait and then stay away from them. I may hunt the general area, but only after the bait is long gone and I have remove the camera. I ran the entire plan past my local game warden and was fine with it. My method is probably not the most efficient method. I am guessing that I should be moving the cameras to scrapes once I stop running baited sites so that I can continue to get feedback on patterns and movement near my stands. I would say that five weekdays is enough to let the dust settle in your hunting area as long as you are hunting carefully during the weekends. You have to think in terms of keeping your impact low during the hunts or you will certainly educate the deer. If three guys all barge into the area at once and the things that deer know to be normal suddenly change, they will react. If the same human activity pattern is repeated the next weekend, they will likely change their behavior. Deer are much better at knowing they are being hunted than we give them credit for being. Do you think a person could consistently sneak into your house and you not figure it out. You would see the muddy tracks on the carpet, notitce things out of place, hear odd sounds, etc. A person would have to be very, very sneaky to get away with that consistently. That is exactly the way you need to think about your approach to hunting. It is the deer's house. If you aren't extremely sneaky, they will know you have been there.
  • Joey from MS asks:
    Great job and a terrific show! Thank you for your Christian values that you exhibit. Are you getting any pics on trail cam of some of your hit list bucks? Great 8?
    Winke Responds:
    Joey, Thanks for the support. I appreciate it. I stopped running cameras back about Dec. 20. We have no record of that buck since the day I shot at him. We have found antlers from him for the past four or five years, so hopefully we find them again. He is old and he is not going to live forever. I wouldn't be surprised if we find him dead somewhere. It has been a very hard winter here. But I hope not. Stay tuned!
  • Curtis from IA asks:
    I have two Moultrie IR cameras because I thought the flash effected the deer when the camera took a picture. Now that I have the IR cameras I still think it effects the deer. What do you think? Do you use cameras during the hunting season and do you use them near your stands? I have a 300 acre farm 45% timber with a crick running down the middle and a river at the back end of the farm. The property is narrower than long so I know deer pass through but the past 3 years I have been getting pictures of great bucks but only getting one picture of them. Last question is 3 people hunting this land too many? Thanks, love what you guys are doing with the website
    Winke Responds:
    I think they hear the camera's shutter, at least in some cases. I am not sure if they "see" the IR flash or not. I think they are less sensitive to the IR than they are to visible flash. At least that is what I see. However, as stated, some of my cameras make a dull thud sound when the shutter opens and closes and I am sure they can hear that and no doubt react to it. We get some bucks passing through too, but most we photograph more than once. You may not have enough cameras out. Are you baiting to the camera? For example, I use a pile of corn to lure them to the camera and that works (you can't hunt anywhere near that spot for some time after you stop baiting). Three sounds like to many to me. Ideally, two is enough on ground that size. It really depends on how often you hunt. If you don't hunt much, three is fine. You don't want to average more than two people on the place per day during the best times, for sure.
  • Scott from CT asks:
    Hi Bill, Love your show!what are your thoughts on flash trail cams? Do you think the flash spooks deer? Thanks! Scott
    Winke Responds:
    Scott, People who have done a lot of testing think the flash does spook some deer. I think the IR cameras also spook some deer too, if the shutter is audible.
  • Adam from MI asks:
    My Wildview trail cam works great, but the batteries were being sucked dry by the bitter cold nights here in Michigan back in December. Any advice on which cams perform best in cold weather? Or tips on battery life? Anybody try rechargables? The cost of batteries for multiple cameras really adds up!
    Winke Responds:
    Adam, I have used the Moultrie cameras and they have very good battery life, very good. I also used dome Covert cameras last season and they did a good job. I am sure there are others, but I have not tried enough of them to know which are the best. I am sure that rechargeables would be a good option. I use them for many things and they work great.
  • Jason from WV asks:
    First of all, I love the show!! I haven't missed a single episode all year! The e-mail updates are nice too and I enjoy getting them. I read an article on your site a few weeks back that I remember you saying was written by one of your friends. It talked about how to make a mineral lick and it gave the ingredients and instructions for that particular mixture. Could you tell me where I could find that article? I can't find it now on your site. Also, I live in mountainous terrain in WV so when and where would be the best place to put this mineral lick? On trails?, near beds?, on ridges?, etc... Lastly, do I need to put something additional with it like apples or corn to help initially draw the deer to it and help them find it until it becomes a well established mineral source for them?
    Winke Responds:
    Jason, That article is in the Journal archives. Go to Winke's Blog and go backwards until you find it. I would place them in heavily traveled areas, near trails or trail intersections. You shouldn't need to put any attractant with the mineral, but I suppose if you want to get them started on it right away, a 1/2 bag of corn would do that. They won't use them much until the winter thaws and will stop using them heavily after their antlers are done growing and they start shedding, probably in September they will stop using them as much. Good luck.
  • Richard from PA asks:
    hey bill, i have a question i put out a couple of trail cameras to scout a farm that i am on. one day i had went out to check the camera and when i went to turn it on to see how many pictures it took it turned on and off consistently. i brought it back to my house and after i let it sit for a day i was fine. so what happend to my camera.
    Winke Responds:
    Richard, Not sure, may have been an electrical short in the circuit card caused by moisture and sitting at home dried it out. I would give it another try but possibly it simply doesn't seal well enough. Also, batteries always do better when they are warm. Alkaline batteries can practically stop working if it is cold enough.
  • Shan from IA asks:
    Bill, Congrats on another great job with Midwest Whitetail this year. Got a few questions for you. I grew up and began hunting in the big woods of northern WI. Have you thought about getting anybody from up that way on the WI show to let people see how the hunting is different from southern WI? Up north the woods are much bigger and most people are hunting over a pile of corn these days making deer nocturnal so it can be tough. That leads to my second question regarding bait and the use of trail cameras. I now live in IA and see you use corn with some of your trail cameras. What are the laws regarding that? Do you have to be careful of how close you hunt to one of those set ups if you feel like the bait is dictating deer movement? My third question is about the Muddy sticks and stands. How easy are they to use compared to a climber for giving a stand hunter some mobility? How high does a set of 4 sticks get you? Great job again and Happy Holidays. Shan
    Winke Responds:
    Shan, We do need to add someone from that area, there is no doubt about it. That style of hunting has much different challenges that we need to address. You can bait your trail camera sites as long as you don't hunt over them or over any trails leading to them. We put out small amounts of corn and then stop baiting that site well before we start hunting that general area. In most cases, I am baiting right in food plots just to give the deer something to home in on. If I put out a bag of corn in front of the camera, it is gone in about four or five days and the deer stop coming to that camera. Muddy Sticks will get you about 16 to 18 feet. We carry five of them when using them strictly for our climbing. However, I often supplement the sticks with a couple of screw-in steps here and there, and maybe a branch or two and four sticks will get me to about 20 to 22 feet when used that way. I don't like climbers, so there is no way I would ever carry one - especially not here in Iowa, probably not anywhere.
  • Jeremy from GA asks:
    Bill, Love the show. Much of the info is very helpful for us, here in the south as our rut/movement patterns are simmilar to yours. Have you ever thought about doing a show on the use of trail cameras, set up, location, etc. I am just starting to use them with great results, but am surely making some rookie camera mistakes. Knowing that a good buck is in the area, thanks to trail cam pics, makes it easier to hunt the slow periods, especially here in Ga. where the bucks can be VERY nocturnal. Thanks again for the great show, I look forward to it each week. Jeremy
    Winke Responds:
    Jeremy, It is a very good idea. Much of what do here is starting to revolve around what we learn from the cameras. It is part of the reason (a big part) of why we see the number of good bucks that we do see. I think adding a segment about camera use to the show would be good. Thanks and Merry Christmas.
  • Woody from VA asks:
    Card Reader. You have any suggestions for a card reader for viewing Compact Flash and SD cards? My dad can't seem to learn how to use a computer and has had 2 cuddeview's break. He wants one he can hook to his TV to view like the cuddeview but be able to play a slide show. Love the shows, any news on the High or Great 8? I Sure would like to get some MWGear for Christmas.
    Winke Responds:
    Woody, Man, I don't know anything about that. I do have some shirts now though and am getting my shopping cart built so I can put them up for sale on the site. So, should be in the next few days, I would say. Thanks. Bill
  • Dave from MN asks:
    Bill, Thanks for the awesome website. I've been reading and enjoying your articles in Peterson's Bowhunting for years and it's great to finally "meet" you through your website. My question is about your preference of trail cameras. Do you prefer flash or infared models. Any particular model(s) you recommend? Thank you!
    Winke Responds:
    Dave, I appreciate the support and hope that we can keep you involved here. I am not a trail cam expert. From what I have learned, I have selected infra-red for my own cameras. I am currently using the Moultrie Game Spy 4.0 IR. It does fine for what I need but some of the guys that put them up all summer say that this camera is not sealed well enough to keep the ants out and they mess up the circuits. Not sure if they have fixed that or not. I have been happy with the ones I have but I only run them in late September and early October. Good luck.
  • Aaron from TN asks:
    I have had problems with my trail cameras and tree stands being stolen lately. I feel that trail cameras are a great tool for scouting when I cannot be there, but it is expensive when they come up missing. I did have the cameras cable locked to the tree. Do you have any other ideas how to keep my trail cams safe?
    Winke Responds:
    Possibly hanging them higher and pointing them down so they are out of reach. Otherwise, I can't think of anything that will work better than the lockable cable system. That is a huge bummer. It sure makes a person mad. I hope you catch them.
  • Todd from GA asks:
    I have see that some hunting celebrities on tv have a closed circuit camera system that transmits a signal that can be picked up on your tv. Do you have any information on how to setup a system like this?
    Winke Responds:
    Todd, I know Don Kisky is doing that, but I am not sure I have seen anyone else doing it. It is all in the camera. The camera sends the signal by line of sight to the antenna and then that runs through some kind of transducer to create the final video stream. I think Don had the camera custom-made. I am not sure on that. I will ask him next time I talk with him and post it on a blog or something. It is not a currently available system on the market, that is all I can say for sure. I would think there might be video survellance systems out there that you can research on the web that will do the same thing. Check those out first.
  • Josh from WI asks:
    hey Bill love the show! I was just wondering if you ever have problems with bears destroying your game cameras? I have never had one destroyed yet but have had bears right in the camera! I put needles on mine and that has kept them off just wondering what your thoughts are!!! thanks Josh
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, I have not used trail cameras in bear areas before. I think there are products you can buy to go over the camera (like a steel cage) to keep the bears from destroying it, but I am not up to speed on that stuff. If somone else has ideas, let me know and I'll get it up here.
  • Tracy from IA asks:
    Hello, I'm a 15 year old bow hunter, and, as such, on somewhat of a budget. I am looking for something to atract deer to my trail cams in september and early october, when mineral licks aren't as efective. I know corn would work well, but I don't really want to spend the money for it. I was wondering if you thought oats would work, as a cousin of mine farms, and has a grain bin with a bunch of dirty oats in it that needs cleaning out, and what's left is free for the taking. Do you think it would work? Thanks, Tracy. P.S. I also love your show!
    Winke Responds:
    Tracy, Thanks for your support. I think the oats would work as long as it isn't spoiled too badly I might be tempted to mix a little corn into each pile at the start to get them using it. Good luck this season.
  • MARK from MN asks:
    last year in late december i got a couple of nice bucks on my trail cam i figure they were both 3.5 year old deer and i feel the only way i seen these deer i because i had corn out and was feeding them. i had already filled my tag and was just seeing what was all out there. i have not seen the deer since. we now have an 80 acre soybean field planted in the area where i had the pics would this be an ideal spot to sit with a ground blind or do you think the deer have moved on and only came there for the food source of corn and will only return to this area when food is hard to come by.
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, It is hard to answer that question. There is only one way to find out: sit on the downwind edge of the bean field with a spotting scope and watch what comes out during the next few weeks. You can also put out another corn pile (if legal)and run your cameras right now to see if he is still around. If you see him during the summer, combined with the late season photos, you can bet he lives around the area close by. If you don't catch him this summer, you don't have much to go on except a hope. Your hunting area may be part of his fall range but not part of his summer range. Like I said, your question brings up more additional questions than it does answers.
  • Dean from NJ asks:
    Bill, First off, i want to say, i love the show and website. Ok, last year i hunted a huge buck for my area, never got him. I did however get a bunch of pictures of him coming to my bait about an hour after dark. Also, he would only come a couple times and then nothing, i moved my bait a few hundred yards, again he woudl come a few times and then gone again. Do you think my trail camera, since it has a flash would spook him? Would getting an IR camera be better or just go without the camera altogether? Thanks! Dean
    Winke Responds:
    Dean, Thanks for supporting Midwest Whitetail. I have a friend who makes fun of me for starting my answers that way. But I do appreciate it. There could be a couple of things causing this. Yes, it could be the camera. I would likely say that it is. We have some trail cam video of the walking world record reacting to a flash camera. It is pretty cool stuff. You can see it in Episode 5. Jason Vickerman built the video camera that captured the scene. Very cool stuff. Literally, it is the world record buck before Tony Lovestuen shot it in 2003. Anyway, I think the flash will spook them. I also think that the shutter click of any camera (even infra-red) will get their attention, possibly spooking them. Some guys have had good luck putting the camera up above the deers' heads and shooting more down on them to keep from alarming them. Me, I would forget the camera, give the buck time to get comfortable and then go in after him. Once you know he is in the area, the camera doesn't do you much good unless you just want pictures of the buck. That is a different story. If you are trying to kill him, keep all intrusion to a minimum.
  • Jesse from IA asks:
    Bill, i typically run about 6-8 trail cameras a year. I've had my best luck with cuddeback, i was wondering if you use cuddebacks, what other brands you use, and which you prefer. Also, i know the bucks are growing pretty fast right now, but still have some growing to do, when do you start putting your cameras out? Thanks, Jesse Ulicki
    Winke Responds:
    Jesse, I have been using Moultrie Game Spy 4.0 cameras mainly because they are affordable and have long battery life. However, their trigger speed is not overly fast so they work best over a mineral lick or bait pile. I have a couple of friends who use the new Reconyx and they swear by them. They are more expensive, but apparently they get everything and also have a long battery life. I personally don't put cameras out until after the bucks have shed their velvet, but that is probably a mistake on my part. I will probably reconsider that as July comes on. We will start filming velvet footage and putting our hit lists together in mid-July. Good luck and have fun. Happy 4th of July.
  • Ian from WI asks:
    hey bill got some more questions for you. I have used your advice and tips of working for farmers it worked lol i just got access to a 100acre hunting property near my house SWEET!! it is just outside of the suburbs of milwaukee. How will the contact with people affect the deer and beacuse this is a new property how do i determine what is a true "trophy" for the situation? ive got areal photos and did some quick scouting when the lil old lady that owns the land invited me to hunt. Trail cameras are new to me this is prob going to be my starting point ive got an old 35mm camera you know college is expensive and ill use what i got thanks again and ill keep yah posted if ud like this is a big learning experince compared to hunting the family farm.
    Winke Responds:
    Ian, Congratulations and good for you. When I used to do that, I had so many farmers calling me by the second summer that all I was doing was baling hay. I had a lot of great permission though! I suspect that any buck 2 1/2 and older is a realistic trophy. If the neighbors are not hunting the bucks hard, you may move up to 3 1/2 year olds. I guess the only way to know for sure is to do some glassing this summer and see what comes out. Also, try to match normal human activity patterns and the deer won't be wise to you. I wouldn't go where no one else ever goes. Hunt the fringes of their core (sanctuary) areas. I look forward to hearing how it turns out. Good luck.
  • Kyle from WI asks:
    Hi Bill, What type of scouting camera do you prefer? With or without a flash? Great website! Don't change a thing. I especially like the way you use the aerial photos to show where and why you hunt a particular spot. -Kyle
    Winke Responds:
    Kyle, I appreciate it. Thanks for your support. We plan to keep it pretty much the same with a few new twists that I think you will enjoy. I used the Moultrie Game Spy 4.0. It is infra-red. I think the deer can here the shutter either way, so it is not as if the IRs don't have a knock against them too. Not sure what to suggest. I have seen both sides of the argument, but I think the IR is probably less likely to spook deer. I have a friend that hangs his cameras high and points them down and that seems to eliminate the flash shock. Good luck. Bill
  • Troy from MO asks:
    When do you recommend to start putting out trail cameras?
    Winke Responds:
    Troy, I like to film the deer so I am not too worried about putting the cameras out till the bucks start to disappear off the fields in the summer (about late August). In the meantime I'm filming. However, most people start about mid-June as the bucks start to show some potential. By mid-July you can usually tell what they are going to become. Good luck. Bill
  • Ben from MO asks:
    Hello Mr. Winke, first off great show, just can't get enough of it. I am currently going to college 200 miles away from my property and depend heavily on scouting cameras. I had long thought that my current cameras were not capturing the whole "show", but this year proved it and was the last straw (personally saw a 160 inch 8-pt make a scrape 20-25 ft in front of the camera and got 0 pics). My question is what trail cameras do you use and could you recommend a few? I am looking for the best bang for my buck. In your experience does flash have much effect on the deer and is infared worth the extra money? Also why no love for MO? Just curious, keep up the good work and thank you for your time.
    Winke Responds:
    I need to something in MO for sure. No reason for the lack of love. I will fix that this coming season. We started MW on July 4 and by Aug 15 had our first show out, so there wasn't much time to contact people in all the areas I wanted to cover. I used Moultrie 5.0 Game Spy cameras this past year and they seemed to work fine, but I always had them over corn piles so I didn't have to worry about trigger time. Battery life has been awesome and the photos are fine for our purposes. I would get infra-red from what I have seen. Good luck. Bill "MO Lover" Winke
  • Rob from MO asks:
    I was wondering what type of digital scouting cameras you use. I currently have a Cuddeback IR and looking at purchasing another but before I do I figured I'd check around and see what others are using. Rob
    Winke Responds:
    We have been using the Moultrie Game Spy 4.0. It has great battery life and the photos are good enough. The trigger speed is not all that fast, but we make a point of shooting over corn piles, so that is a non-issue. I understand from guys that have used them, that the Reconyx are awesome cameras. So you might want to take a look at them too. Good luck. Bill