While most deer hunters religiously check trail cams throughout the fall, you're missing out if you pack them away once hunting season ends.
But, a lot of people underestimate the power a trail cam can hold, even when it is used long before Opening Day of hunting season.
Here are a few ways to get more out of your trail cameras.
1. Scout Other Game
While trail cameras are a deer season staple, they can also help you locate spring gobblers, bears and predators. Hang one near your blind heading into turkey season, especially if you'll be bowhunting birds. You can also gauge coyote and fox activity in the area and learn where to chase these critters at night.
2. Shed Hunting Recon
A well-placed trail camera can tell you when the big buck you've been watching has dropped his antlers. If a whitetail is feeding in that same food plot each day, you should know when it's time to shed hunt within 24 hours.
3. Summer Scouting
While home ranges will likely shift before next season, summer is a great time to take inventory while bucks are still in their bachelor groups. Position trail cameras along the edge of a food plot to not only learn what bucks are in the area but also the routes they take from their bedding areas to those food sources. If it's legal in your state, use an attractant to get them right where you want them.
4. Nab Trespassers
If you're worried people are trespassing on your hunting property — or even stealing your treestands — trail cameras can help you catch them in the act. Camera placement is key so they don't spot or steal them. A wireless or cellular trail camera is great in this scenario.
In addition to saving you time running around to pull SD cards and minimizing disturbance, they immediately send photos and video directly to your phone. So even if a trespasser does steal your trail camera, you'll still have a photo of the thief.