Pro-staff Contributor: Jeff Gustafson
Now that deer season is upon us, it’s important to do things right if you want to find success in connecting with that big whitetail hanging around your favorite hunting spot.
Years of guiding for whitetails in Ontario’s Sunset Country Region has taught me a few tricks along to the way that helps to make the experience better for my guests.
Trail cameras are the hunters’ best friend for scouting and determining where the biggest bucks are living. I’m a big believer in putting in long hours in the stand, hunting from dark to dark, just like a day of prefishing for a bass tournament. If you know there is a big buck living in a specific area, it makes it much easier to sit all day because you have something motivating you.
When you set your camera up there are few things to keep in mind. Always aim your camera away from the sun if possible. Facing it in the direction of north will keep it from aiming directly into the sun during daylight hours and all of your daytime pictures will turn out great. If you take photos into the direction of the sun, you risk washing out the photos because of the harsh bright light.
Always keep the batteries fresh in your cameras to get the best possible photos. Once you start to see the low battery warning on your camera, you must change them because a couple of things will happen that will have a negative influence on your photos. The flash will not work properly so your night images will not be lit properly, the shutter will slow down so your clarity will deteriorate and eventually they will just shut down. There is probably no greater let down in hunting than when you go to check your trail camera that’s been sitting in the woods for a week and there are no pictures to check on it because the batteries were too weak.
In Northwestern Ontario where I live we are on part of the Canadian Shield, so there is a lot of rock in our landscape. These rocks produce many hills, which help with the use of ground blinds because we can set them up in an elevated position of the area that we want to watch. This is beneficial because being elevated gives us a better vantage point from which to watch and it helps keep our scent above the deer.
When you set up your stuff, think about the predominant winds in the areas that you hunt. For us, north and northwest winds are the most common during the fall so I keep that in mind when setting up the majority of my hunting locations. It’s important to not cheat the wind too much when you’re planning to sit all day like we do in Canada. You will not fool the nose of a mature whitetail. You also want to make sure that you have at least a few spots set up for different wind directions because over the course of the season you’ll see some south and east wind that can wreak havoc on your plans. On some of my best spots I have stands set up to hunt them from two different wind directions.
A little planning and preparation goes a long way in helping you find success during the deer season. Hope you have some success this year and post those photos of your experiences on the KrugerFarms.com FaceBook page for everybody to see.
Plus, you still have time to participate in the KrugerFarms.com FB Page Trail Cam contest, click here.
Jeff Gustafson is a professional angler living in Kenora, Ontario on the shores of Lake of the Woods. Outdoor writer, fishing promoter and host of “Fishing with Gussy.” You’ll see him fishing the Walmart FLW Tour representing krugerfarms.com and Lund boats among others. You can follow him on Twitter (@GussyOutdoors) and like him on Facebook (facebook.com/gussyoutdoors).