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Avoid the summer blues

8/5/2008

Summertime can be a grueling ordeal for the avid hunter that can't wait to get back out on the prowl again. One way to combat the cabin fever is by surveying hunting prospects for the upcoming season through the use of game cameras.

"Now that trophy hunting is such a big deal, hunters want to know what kind of deer they have," said David Blanton, Realtree Pro and ESPN Outdoors television personality.

Hunters place any number of these game cameras strategically around their hunting land, but how many cameras is too many?

"I know people that have as many as 12 to 15," said Blanton.

Once a monster buck is spotted, it can be tracked through the property using the different cameras, which helps give the land owner and hunter an picture of what's to come.

"If you get several pictures of a big, mature buck then you can get an idea of its range," said Blanton.

Hunters also use multiple cameras to assess the population of deer that they would consider hunting when the season arrives. It also helps them pinpoint the best places to hunt.

"The big advantage to setting cameras in multiple locations is to cover more ground when scouting for more mature bucks," said Blanton.

When it comes to deer hunting in particular, there is a lot a hunter can tell by looking at a deer on the game camera.

According to Blanton, observing the features of a deer such as the belly and face can help a hunter predict a deer's age. The deer will also be growing their antlers during this summertime period and the game camera will help hunters see what kind of antlers a deer will have.

"The deer are growing antlers right now and they will grow for another month," estimated Blanton.

The biggest advantage to using a camera to track the deer and other game species is that the land remains undisturbed. Rather than potentially spook the animals by signs of a human's presence, the hunter can remain afar and still get excellent tracking results.

"You don't contaminate the area by going in every day," said Blanton.

After a period of time, the hunter can gather all the photos and catalog them as a record of deer population and movement and be better prepared when hunting season opens.

To keep up with David Blanton, visit Realtree at http://www.realtree.com/blanton/