Try this Trail Camera Trick for Turkey Scouting
Trail cameras are a regular scouting tool come deer season, but so many hunters leave them inside when making the transition to spring turkey hunting. Anyone who has ever set a trail camera for turkeys can tell you that there is a distinct learning curve in effectively getting good pictures.
If you missed our strategy piece on hanging trail cameras for spring turkeys, please click here to read up on some things that can help you snap a picture of that spring gobbler. But there is one tip that we did not cover in that post, and that would be the old camera-on-a-stick trick.
Deer hunters are used to simply hanging that trail camera up on a small or medium sized tree. Typically at torso height or so. Meaning that the camera is anywhere from four to five feet off of the ground. Sometimes even higher and angling down if you have theft issues on your property.
Hanging that camera at those heights may be just fine for a big whitetail whose rack may float around that five-foot level, but snapping pictures of much smaller and more sporadic turkeys is a different ballgame.
It goes without saying that wild turkeys are a much smaller target to hit with your trail camera lens than a whitetail deer. They also move through a property in a much different manner. Typically pecking around in no set order. Making them even more difficult to catch on camera.
Hanging trail cameras at the proper height and in the proper place to snap pictures of turkeys ahead of the spring season can be a tricky job. Remember that turkeys love being in more open areas where they can utilize that incredible eyesight. You may be able to mount your camera on a tree at a field edge, but you may have to go that extra mile.
Mounting a camera on a fence post or stake is no revolutionary idea. Many manufacturers have been making trail camera mounting stakes for years, and they do a fine job. But you can really get the same results by picking up a simple garden fence stake at your local hardware store for a couple bucks.
That stake gives you the flexibility of taking your trail camera to where the turkeys are, rather than hoping they will walk by that one tree you can mount on. The camera-on-a-stick strategy also allows you to get very custom with your mounting height and picture angle. Giving you that leg up on detecting those longbeards as they peck through a field or food plot.
When you are able to get up close and personal with those turkeys, they can become just as fun to capture as the whitetail is. Not to mention all of the great scouting information you can obtain through getting that camera right into a strut zone or feeding area.
Trail cameras provide too much value to the hunter to be ignored ahead of and during the spring turkey season. A well place trail camera can set you up for success on opening day. That camera can also help to direct your hunting efforts when the going gets tough in the middle of the season.
It just boils down to knowing what you are doing and changing up your trail camera strategy from deer season. Because turkeys and deer are two very different animals. Our trail camera strategies have to change accordingly.