Will you be able to hunt as much this year as in previous years? With gas prices continuing to rise to new levels, inflation is soaring. The cost of everything is higher and felt in the pocketbooks of everyone. Some hunters could face economic hardship that will reduce time in the field. The average fuel cost in the United States is approaching $5.00 a gallon, and diesel is knocking on the door at $6.00 per gallon.
Most hunters have a truck or SUV, hoping to bring wild game home for the freezer. Regarding full-size pickups, fuel tank capacity is as little as 22-gallon tanks to as big as 36-gallon tanks. The average is 29 gallons, which will cost $145.00 or more to fill.
The cost of getting around is a gut punch to avid hunters who like to keep tabs on properties, habitats, current conditions, specific animals, and others accessing the lands. Traveling to and from hunting properties is downright outrageous and will cut into hunting budgets for the fall. On top of economic considerations, time commitments in a hectic society continue to mount. When hunting is more than a hobby and defines a lifestyle, finding a balance and solution is not an option but imperative.
Something has to give, and there is a breaking point. The adage, “hunt smarter, not harder,” could soon become “hunt smarter and more economically.” Is there another way to stay current, know what is going on, and save money for licenses and traveling to hunt?
Modern technology provides us with opportunities to overcome adversity and challenges. Hunters are a creative fraternity, and when the chips are down, there is always a way to make it happen. The new trail cameras offer direct downloads with a cellular plan. The cost of a yearly plan can be less than the price of a tank of gas for a full-size pickup truck. Setting up trail cameras and monitoring them for weeks from home is smart economics and hunting.
Other Benefits—Hunt Smart
The less disturbance to a hunting area, the more comfortable wildlife becomes. The less human scent, the less animals are alarmed and looking for danger or new escape routes. Content critters tend to stick around and enjoy the solace of no disturbance.
A trail camera monitoring program can finetune your time in the field. Pay attention to when fawns hit the ground and backdate to identify the prime rut. The gestation period for white-tailed deer is approximately 200 days. Knowing when the majority of does are bred helps pinpoint hunting time and when to book vacation or phone in sick to work.
Watch and target big bucks or large groups of does. Know when to hunt a specific buck or where the largest concentration of does will be to draw bucks during the rut. Log activity to see patterns. The HuntStand app has excellent tools for mapping, saving trail camera photos, and planning a hunt with the current weather conditions.
A camera can be advantageous for predator hunting. The comfort level of an animal, like a cat, can be seen in trail camera photos for optimal hunting success. In some cases, you can increase success by patterning a specific animal. An example is a bobcat coming to a specific spot. Wait till you see and pattern the cat, then move in and set up for a hunt.
What Camera to Use?
I am still running Stealth trail cameras over a decade old and check out new models that continue to impress. The newest Stealth trail camera is the Fusion Wireless which can be used with cellular activation to transmit photos in minutes. The unit takes 26 MP images with a 0.4-second trigger time. The camera ranges 80 feet and has 1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Image set up and download is quick with a QR scan. Combined with Stealth Cam’s new data plans, Fusion offers affordable options for every budget & need, available on AT&T & Verizon. Of course, the camera can operate without a cellular package. www.stealthcam.com
With affordable data plans, Stealth Cam is a leader in the wireless trail camera market. There are three new cameras worth checking out, including the Fusion X, Reactor, and the premium DS4K Transmit.
The Stealth Cam Fusion X is a full-featured wireless camera priced for those running multiple camera locations. Features include 26-megapixel resolution, 1080p video recording, 80-foot detection range, and a <0.4-second trigger speed. The Fusion X is a price-value model that delivers all the core functions needed to monitor game activity in the most remote locations – set up with the scan of a QR code. MSRP: $139.99
For setups on field edges, pastures, or anywhere longer-range detection is desirable, the Reactor by Stealth Cam is a perfect choice. It offers the same still and video recording resolutions as the Fusion X but provides a slightly longer 100-foot NoGlo infrared detection range, 42pcs/940nm LED flash, and up to 9 images per triggering event. MSRP: $159.99.
The Stealth Cam DS4K Transmit offers the most premium features, quality, and performance in the wireless camera lineup, offering an ultra-sharp 32-megapixel sensor, 4K video recording, 100-foot detection range, and fast <0.2-second trigger speed. This model can also be set up and running quickly with the easy-to-use quick scan QR code.
Command Pro App
All Stealth Cam wireless cameras are accessed remotely through the Stealth Cam COMMAND PRO app, available from the App Store or Google Play. The app works through your choice of AT&T or Verizon cellular providers with the most affordable monthly or annual (best value) data plans available today. Scan the QR code, select a data plan that meets your needs, and the camera will be up and running.
Monthly Data Plans:
FREE – 30 Days (CC required)
$5.00/month – 600 photos
$10.00/month – 2,000 photos
$20.00/month – Unlimited
Annual Data Plans:
FREE – 30 Days (CC required)
$4.00/month – 600 photos
$8.00/month – 2,000 photos
$15.00/month – Unlimited
Get a plan to save on travel expenses, and do not miss any action! Visit www.stealthcam.com for more details.
Muddy Prevue 2
Monitoring wildlife activity for the summer will allow for the placement of ground blinds long before the season opens. Deer are constantly aware of their surroundings, and new objects showing up can change a deer’s regular patterns. Set up your ground blind early. Brush it in properly, and monitor with cellular trail cameras to see how long it takes for the deer to return to normal. Thinking ahead will provide the advantage of having deer comfortable with changes to their neighborhood.
A visit to the property to set up a blind will allow you to change batteries and check memory cards on the site’s cameras. Reduced presence, knowing where you want to hunt, and being ready for opening day are great ways to find early success.
The Muddy Prevue 2 has room for two hunters, with three full-width panoramic windows, of which two are one-way see-through mesh. The blind is easy to set up and constructed to be durable to withstand nasty weather, winds, and other potential hazards. It is excellent concealment with a full view. The blind has a rugged zippered door entrance, blacked-out interior, and a carry bag with backpack straps.
Shooting Width: 67″ x 67″
Construction: Black-Backed, Water Resistant Fabric in Epic Camo
Standing height: 66″
Stakes: (8) Steel stakes
(2) Full Width Panoramic Windows with One-Way See-Through Mesh
(1) Full Width Panoramic Window with heavy-duty fabric
Rear Viewing Window
Silent Slider Window Adjustment
For more information, go to shop.gomuddy.com.
Leave No Trace—Get a Close Look
Scent Killer Gold
It is next to impossible to beat the nose of any ungulate. When installing new trail cameras or blinds, spray yourself and the new equipment with Scent Killer Gold. It is essential not to be seen, heard, or smelled; leaving no trace of human presence is innovative and intelligent management. Consider it no-trace monitoring and management.
Active-Cam Year-Round Scouting Scent
Keeping human odor away from cameras is critical to getting pictures. However, scents that generate an animal’s curiosity increase changes for a great photograph. Even better, animals often linger or can be drawn to a specific spot to get photos to judge antlers and count points. Wildlife Research Center Active-Cam stimulates curiosity and action at your trail camera site. All wildlife will take notice, providing a wildlife inventory. The formula is long-lasting and works in wet or dry weather. The scent is best used with a Magnum Key-Wick and hung or placed in front of a trail camera. www.wildlife.com