By: Heath Wood
After the fourth of July holiday weekend, many hunters seek out the bucks they have on their property and begin counting down to another fall hunting season. The month of July has become the unofficial start for many hunters who use game cameras as their primary scouting tool. By mid-July, bucks are getting close to full antler growth, so hunters can begin narrowing their hit list for the upcoming hunting season, which is only two months away for many. This period is excellent for hunters to use Big and J’s variety of long-range attractants to help bring deer to their camera setups and hold them there until hunting season.
The first task for hunters is determining how many cameras to use on their property. For some, the calculation for the number of cameras they use is based on one game camera per so many acres. Suggestions range from one camera every fifty yards to one every hundred acres. Most prefer placing a camera on each food and water source. A hunter may have two or three different food plots or crop fields in a hundred-acre area. In that case, they could place a camera on each one, plus a camera on a water source. Having cameras on multiple supplemental feeding or mineral sites is also beneficial. Simply using an equation such as camera per acre is not an accurate way to determine how many cameras are needed.
Once in place, start your summer game cameras with an abundance of supplemental feeding. It is vital to have different mineral sites available throughout the hunting property during the summer. However, when July arrives, my entire game camera focus is to begin taking inventory of what bucks are on the property for that particular year. The way to get an accurate number is by getting as many photos as possible.
For the hunter to get the maximum number of pictures from one game camera site, they must have an available feed to which deer will often return. Big and J’s popular BB2 is the ideal supplemental feed. BB2 is available in the original formula and to help attract deer from long range; BB2 is also available in apple and persimmon flavors. In regions where apples or persimmons are part of a deer's natural food source, those flavors may attract deer faster and keep them returning for an extended period. When deer feed on a routine, the number of game camera pictures one can compile is astonishing. By obtaining various photos, hunters can get a visual of the different bucks in the area and determine which specific bucks they want to hunt during the upcoming season.
Taking inventory of what bucks are on a hunting property is an excellent asset for hunters. Long-range attractants can also help the hunter by establishing a more patternable travel route. When supplemental feeding, it's best to have three to four areas where deer routinely have feed available. It's helpful to have one specific area to try to get deer to favor to help pattern deer for hunting season. Usually, these areas are in the center of a property. Try to create areas where water and bedding are close together. After a specific location is found, lay out a buffet and keep an abundance of food accessible. Big and J’s Headrush is an excellent supplement for this buffet for deer to consume when minerals are needed. Add another mineral source, such as the new Apple Deer Dig It blocks nearby the feeder for additional minerals.
After two or three months of feeding, deer commonly stay in that area throughout the fall because it has become part of their daily pattern. In areas where feeding is legal, hunters can continue feeding throughout the hunting season. The goal is to have deer patterned months prior so that they naturally travel in the area, even when food is unavailable, for those that hunt in areas where feeding is prohibited during the hunting season. Bucks typically pay less attention to food when late October and November arrive, yet the patternable routine from the summer work has already been established.