Book Review: 'Deer Cameras; The Science of Scouting'

Only the rarest technical how-to book is a joy to read. As an honest critic, I'm bound to tell you that Deer Cameras; The Science of Scouting, published by the Quality Deer Management Association ($25, 242 pages, qdma.com), is not among the very, very few. No surprise. So buy it instead for the information that is crammed into this handy, authoritative guide. If you have the slightest interest in using trail cams to scout deer, Part I will help you pick the right model and get the most out of it.

Part II is dedicated to trail-cam surveys, a revolutionary herd-monitoring method that makes data once the domain of professionals now readily available to the amateur deer manager. "If you know how to operate a trail camera and a calculator," writes pro manager Dave Edwards in Chapter 5, "you can conduct a trail-cam survey" and determine your herd's population, density, buck-to-doe ratio, age structure, fawn-to-doe ratio, as well as you property's carrying capacity, maximum sustainable yield, harvest goals, and on and on. Finally, if you want your cams to help you target mature bucks specifically, Part III will prove a valuable guide.

In short, Deer Cameras has fresh, valuable information for trail-cam users of every ilk, presented with hundreds of color photos, charts, and graphs that make the technical writing easier to digest. Read it. If you are a trail-cam junkie, you will still learn something. If you are a trail-cam beginner, a new window into the chief deer-related technological development of the past decade will be thrown open to you.