Last summer I got sucked into a vortex. I’d messed with trail cameras in the past, but never really dove into them whole-hog. Some of my buddies had, and they convinced me to get a little more serious about the practice.

So, rather innocently (I thought), I slapped a camera next to a mineral lick near one of my food plots. The plot–a tiny patch of clover within 100 yards of my house–was an afterthought project; the result of a bag of seed I didn’t know what to do with. So I grubbed out an L-shaped plot, ran a drag over it with an ATV, and applied the seed. Clover sprouted in there with abandon, and now I nurse the thing like a child.

The plot proved to be my descent into trail-cam madness as well. I hung my camera there in mid-June and left it for a week. When I checked it I found a silhouette photo of the buck above. He’s no world-beater, but he was better than I expected for my backyard. So that’s what tripped my trigger. If he’s out there, who else is in the neighborhood that I don’t know about? Before I knew it, I was hanging cameras in all kinds of places, waiting anxiously to check them, viewing memory cards like they held the secret to life. I’d somehow stepped over a line I’d never crossed before…

It’s early June, a full week before I started my camera-route last year. So I’m wondering if I should stick out that first set of the year, or stay my impulse, waiting for better antler growth and more activity among the doe/fawn groups that will certainly constitute most of my photos. How ’bout you? Got cameras out already? Snapping some good pics yet? Or are you biding some time?