BuckTracker: Back In the Picture

I’m messing with trail cameras again. There are, as we all know, folks who run a circuit of scouting cams like some men run trap lines. I’ll admit I’ve never been one of them, and I can’t really explain why. Laziness is my best guess. Cameras got big about a decade ago, and my wife and I had our hands full with newborn twins. Maybe I didn’t want to add one more thing to my already-heaping plate? I honestly can’t remember.

I know this much: I have never counted myself in the crowd that says cameras are unethical or, somehow, cheating. Snapping a buck’s picture is like finding one piece of a thousand-part puzzle, not a visual slam dunk that puts your tag on him. And as for a scout cam spooking a buck, I have no doubt of that possibility and, indeed, have seen it happen. But will that event blow him out of his core area? Doubtful, unless you place the thing in a sensitive area (for the buck, of course) and you’re running in there every other day and mucking about.

Funky_g2_friend_08

But for me there has never been any doubt that candid shots of whitetails are simply cool. So I decided to get a little more serious this summer about getting some. I read up on some tactics. Talked to some scout-cam freaks and took notes. And then I started sticking cameras out. I made a few dumb mistakes and corrected them. Took some neat photos of does, fawns and young bucks. And then, this week, the buck below. I nicknamed him Hollywood because he posed in front of my StealthCam six times and gave me multiple views of his antlers. Of course he’s no world-beater, but for my neighborhood he’s awful handsome. And know what? On a hot summer day, with bow season 49 long days away, it just makes me happy knowing he’s out there. Even if I never see him again…