Without a doubt, DeerLab.com has already proven to be successful and I'm just getting started.
If you are a serious deer hunter and someone who likes to use data to hone in on specific deer, you should try DeerLab. I found DeerLab through an online search as I was trying to find something that could better help me organize my trail camera photos. What I found was far beyond anything I could imagine and has already scored my father his first velvet buck for the 2017 hunting season.
What is DeerLab?
Think of DeerLab as your new, nerdy best friend, who has a fascination with collecting data for your trail cameras. DeerLab allows you to create a map, pinpoint your trail camera locations and upload your photos directly to the website. Once the photos are submitted, DeerLab does the rest of the work from there. It provides you with much more than just a place to look at your photos.
Create Your Properties
To start the process, you will want to create and name your property. Whether you are completing this for private or public land, you'll need to name it to start. Then, you can begin to create your trail cameras. When you enter in your trail camera, not only can you name it specific to the location, like "SE Big Woods" for example, but you can also specify exactly what brand and model camera you're using.
As you enter your cameras in, you'll then see a map where you can specifically place your camera. This map will be extremely handy later on, but it makes for a great overall view of your property to see exactly where your cameras are.
Upload your photos.
Once you have your property and trail cameras all set, you can begin to upload your photos. DeerLab recently released an upgrade to their software that "auto-tags." This new feature has saved me countless hours of looking through blanks and deleting photos. Once you upload your photos, you can pick and choose what you'd like the software to tag for you and the confidence level. It's always good to go through to ensure it didn't miss anything, but I've found the software to be pretty accurate so far.
Create profiles to track movement.
After I uploaded my photos, I wanted to turn to my main focus right now--tracking mature bucks. I made profiles for hit-list bucks and mature bucks. Then, I created individual profiles for each hit-list buck. With each profile, you can begin to track and ultimately predict your deer movement.
Track movement by wind, moon and time.
Once you've uploaded all your photos and started creating profiles, you're on your way to success. From here, you'll want to go through and tag all your photos. If you want to name specific bucks, you can do so and begin to pattern that buck. If you want to be a little less specific and just tag deer in general, you can begin to see how deer are moving on your property collectively. As I mentioned before, we focused on mature bucks and gave them their own profile, which really helped us narrow down how the deer moved during certain moon phases, time of day and wind patterns.
How we harvested this buck using DeerLab.
So the opening weekend in Maryland for 2017 was Sept. 8-9. We knew the moon phase was a waning gibbous, so our first step was to narrow down the deer movement on two separate farms using the moon tab on DeerLab. Once we could visualize that information, we noticed that one particular camera had more mature bucks in front of it in the evening hours during this moon phase than any other.
My father and I were both hunting a management farm where we assist the county in providing deer management. We don't shoot bucks on this farm very often unless they are 140 inches or more, as we hunt it mainly to help the local farmers and the county with their lease relationship. I was able to get my father on that farm this year, however. With him only having two days down in the early season, and us having all this information available through DeerLab, we decided he should sit the first evening in one specific stand.
We found the secret to getting the bucks to go in front of the camera during our property analysis. This helped us revisit the exact moon phase, waning gibbous, to target a specific buck we called Warner 11. The most recent trail camera photos we had of him were actually on a different camera, and it was closer to 10 p.m. at night. So when we filtered through our photos to show only the deer movement during the waning gibbous, we found Warner 11 moving in front of this specific stand. We then used this information to determine that someone, specifically my father, needed to sit in this stand.
To our surprise, early in the evening as I was hunting the management farm, my father sent me a text message just after 5 p.m. stating he had just shot a velvet eight-point and he watched it fall in the beans. What happened next, was just like clockwork. Warner 11 showed up.
"I believe that bit 11-point you have on the trail camera just showed up, but it's too far to get on the Tactacam," my father texted me.
I told him to just sit tight and try to get as much video as possible if it comes back. The buck made his way to about 100 yards from my father, which may have ultimately made him feel better about his decision to shoot the other buck.
Here is why DeerLab works.
After that moment, I was undoubtedly hooked on this software. DeerLab isn't only a great tool to organize my photos, but it can truly help us target hit-list bucks and their movement. Of course there are several factors that play into what drives a deer to do certain things, but I'm only increasing my odds by tracking these deer.
DeerLab works with every type of trail camera brand you can think of. It also does all the work for you, even if your time stamp is off. You can select the option to edit your timestamp and it will automatically fix all of the ones in error.
DeerLab is possibly the greatest innovation to deer herd management and deer hunting since the invention of the trail camera itself.