Dave Skinner, pro-staff for Spartan Camera and Go Cam, offers some great tips for setting and positioning your cameras:
I like to position my cameras approximately waist high, or about eye level for deer, for the best photo quality and the best angle for judging their age, and antler score.
For the absolute best photo quality, you want to set the camera 15’ or so from the target, about waist high pointing north or south so the camera is not looking directly into the rising or setting sun.
A nice wall of vegetation behind the target will reflect the infrared flash and result in better quality photos.
If it’s a trail set, angle the camera up or down the trail for a better centered image rather than putting the camera on the edge of the trail looking directly across it. Better yet, attempt to locate the camera at a spot where 2 trails intersect, increasing your odds of photographing bucks.
Spring through September the antler-growing cycle for whitetails is approximately 170 days. This gives a buck many opportunities to catch a velvet antler on a fence, smash it against a tree as he flees danger, etc.
Antlers grow fast—up to an inch per day in the summer! They have a complex system of blood vessels that carry nutrients through the velvet and down into the core.
When a growing antler is broken, it bleeds profusely, and blood can pool and fill the inside of the velvet. When the hardening of the bone process occurs in September the pooled blood can create a heavy, swollen, club-like antler.
If the injury is to the pedicle (the base of an antler) then the deformity could persist for several sets of antlers or even for the rest of the buck’s life, making him a permanent non-typical. Interesting!
Lately some different and unusual mounts have been popping up on social media:
This is the first backpack mount I saw, and to my surprise there were many variations of the pack mount on Google images. I suspect these are most popular out West; few hunters in the East pack out a caped buck, though I’m sure it happens when guys hunt deep on a big public area.
Then there is the buck rub mount. I have seen versions of this over the years, but it seems to be making a comeback and is more popular than ever. Again, lots of variations on Google images.
The buck licking his coat—deer groom themselves regularly—is different and unique, if not a little weird. But to each his own.
The tailgate is my top pick of off-the-wall mounts. Different, but for some reason I kind of like it. I don’t like the 12-pack of regular Miller as an accessory; I’d have made it Miller Lite.
What do you think, which is your favorite? Me, I’ll probably just stick to boring old shoulder mounts.