Trail camera setups can be as complicated or simplistic as you choose to make them. I personally stay on the simplistic side of things as I am not trying to "pattern" bucks with their use, but rather get a better look at them after I locate a buck I am interested in from summer glassing. For me it all starts in the summer…. I will spend countless hours and evenings glassing the areas I hunt looking for big whitetail bucks. Once I locate some bucks of interest I move in and set up cameras and leave them up anywhere from two weeks to a month on the property.
Leaving cameras up and checking them over and over again all summer is pointless to me. Once I get a better look at the buck(s) in question, I know right away if he is an animal I am interested in or not. Once my curiosity is satisfied I pull the cameras not to return with them again, unless a new buck is found on that land I need a better look at. I err to the side of caution by only placing them on field edges or just into the timber. Deer are used to activity in these areas so you can get away with a little bit of human scent around these setups from your trips in and out. If you are trying to setup trail cameras on their travel routes or bedding areas I feel you are setting your self up for early season failure. With my personal focus on early season success, I do not want to tip anymore of the odds in the whitetails favor.
I used summer glassing to locate this buck this past July. I then moved in and set my DLC Covert II Assassin trail camera up for 2 weeks and got the photos I was looking for. He turned out to be the largest buck I located on land I can hunt.
October 17th found me in a particular stand for the first time this year with a strong, and very rare for my area NE wind. I was setup just outside of his bedding area (beds located during shed season) and was able to capitalize on my preseason efforts in a big way! Chances are I may not have been setup in that area had I not known this guy was in there.
If you do your summertime homework by locating the bucks, move in and setup the trail cameras on their food source, pull the cameras out after you get the info you need and save those bedding area stand locations for the perfect wind and conditions I bet you will have a better shot at success this fall.