How PSE’s Spook Spann Uses Trail Cameras
Editor’s Note: Today many bowhunters are relying on trail cameras to help them take more and bigger bucks. PSE has asked Spook Spann how he uses his trail cameras to locate, identify and take big bucks for his TV show “Spook Nation” on the Pursuit Channel.
Right now I have trail cameras out in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri and Texas. Some of these cameras have been out since the last week of July, and some of the cameras have been out since the last week in June. I don’t go to all the states where I plan to hunt in the coming season and putout the cameras myself. I have friends of mine who putout cameras for me in different states, maintain them, send me the pictures and tell me the areas from where the pictures have come. Right now we’re checking the trail cameras about once a week, and all our pictures have time and date stamps. So, we can get really detailed information about the deer passing in front of those cameras. We learn not only whether the deer are bucks or does, and what size antlers the bucks have while they’re still in the velvet, but also how frequently the big bucks are coming to where the trail cameras are positioned, and the time of day we’re most likely to see those deer.
So far, my trail cameras report four or five really nice bucks in Ohio that will score 170-185 on Boone & Crockett. We’ve photographed several bucks in western Kentucky with racks that will score 150-180, and four in Missouri that will score 155-175. In Tennessee I’ve got one or two bucks that will score 160 or better, and I’m excited about finding these bucks, because they’re here in my home state. I try to pick out the bucks I want to try and hunt in each one of the states I travel to, prior to the season. But often, there will be even better bucks that show up in front of our cameras between now and the beginning of bow season. If they do, we’ll change our plans on which bucks we intend to hunt.
Just because we’ve got these bucks on trail cameras and know where they live and the time of day they’re coming in right now doesn’t mean we have a slam dunk opportunity to take one of these bucks. Many things can change between now and hunting season. I like to think I possibly can take five or six of these deer this season, but I know better than to attempt to predict exactly which bucks I’ll take, and when I’ll take them. I prefer to go where I’m hunting with low expectations and be pleasantly surprised.
I’m often asked, “Which trail cameras are you using?” My answer is always SPYPOINT. Another question I’m often asked is, “How do you keep people from stealing your cameras?” I’ve found several different ways to solve this problem. SPYPOINT has a lock box you can put on your cameras to lock them to the tree with a cable. If you’re having problems with people cutting cables to get your trail cameras, they also makes a camera called the TINY-W, which has a receiver separate from the camera that you can hide in another location. Then if someone messes with your cameras, you’ll get a picture of them and you’ll know who borrowed your camera. They also have a 3G camera you can set-up in conjunction with a website, and it will send the pictures to the website so hopefully you can get pictures of the person who’s causing you problems. However, I have most of my trail cameras on private lands, and the landowners usually have a pretty good handle on the people who have been on his property, while my cameras have been up.