Sometimes a trail camera photo is just a picture of a deer. But sometimes a picture (or preferably a series of them) can reveal something about a buck’s personality. The fine Missouri buck in the photo above, submitted by Ted Marum of Tri-State Outfitting, is one that most hunters would be proud to tag. And the fact that this buck walked in front of a camera during daylight could indicate that the buck might be vulnerable.


It’s no secret that as a whitetail buck ages, he moves less. And a high percentage of that limited travel is likely to happen at night. But there are always exceptions to the rule. I actually believe that very few bucks are completely nocturnal; we just don’t see their daytime wanderings because a) they are lazy and don’t travel far and b) we simply aren’t set up in the right places.

Then there are bucks that don’t read the rule book and move whenever they darn well please. I shot a fine buck last fall that had no qualms about covering ground or moving during the daylight, and I had the trail cam pics to prove it. So when you start getting photos of bucks like this Missouri dandy, you should pay very close attention. One daylight pic should grab your attention. The second should make your palms sweat a little. And if you get three or more, you should make a full frontal assault. This deer is telling you that he is no vampire and, with careful scouting and stand placement, your odds of a close-range encounter are high indeed.

Such thoughts will be on the minds of many hunters in the region this week, as bowhunting openers will occur in Missouri, Wisconsin and Minnesota in the next few days. It’s still hot and dry across much of the region, but a strong cooling front should push through by the week’s end. This should put all deer on their feet as hunters hit the woods for the first time in 2013. And if you’ve got a string of daylight pics of a deer you’d be proud to tag, my money is on you enjoying a very exciting hunt indeed.