Corn is expensive
Like the title suggests corn is expensive and just as important, it doesn’t last very long. Dump an entire bag then come back in just a few days. More than likely it will be gone. In addition to the expense, this will also require frequent visits to the location. Those visits are time consuming and also deposit human scent thereby deterring any decent buck from visiting.
Deer love corn - So do raccoons, squirrels, crows and dozens of other animals including bears. If you plan on using corn to attract deer, you should also plan on feeding most of the other wildlife in the area as well. You’ll get photos of deer. In fact, you’ll probably get thousands every week, but you’ll also get thousands of unwanted photos as well.
Bait sites become ambush sites
As soon as deer become accustomed to frequenting bait sites, predators won’t be far behind. For humans, hunting over bait is one of the easiest methods (albeit unethical & illegal in most places) why should it be any different for a mountain lion or coyote? Because of this, older and smarter deer will avoid these sites thereby defeating the purpose of the site in the first place.
Photography enthusiasts say “You must take a thousand photos just to get one good photo.” I’ll admit, early on I spent countless hours clicking through thousands upon thousands of trail cam photos in hopes of finding just one acceptable photo. It is mind numbing and the worst use of time I have ever spent. Trail cameras positioned over bait capture hundreds of redundant photos of the same animal. Yes, it is possible to program any modern trail camera with a delay between triggered photos, but what do you risk missing? Do you want a doe (or worse, a raccoon) to trigger your camera and then have a monster buck visit your site while the camera is timed out on delay?
Collectively, modern Trail cameras have an almost unlimited selection of programming options, but no single camera has all options. At Trailcampro we exclusively test trail cameras and trail cameras only. This is what makes us different from any & all other places you could buy a camera. If you’re considering the use of a trail camera in your scouting efforts, PLEASE contact us via phone, email or chat. We’d be happy to help you match the perfect scouting camera with your specific needs.
If You Must….
If you insist on using some type of attractant to lure deer for a photo session, I recommend the following tips:
Use a Trophy Rock or similar mineral
As mentioned earlier, corn is expensive and doesn’t last very long. In addition, it also attracts and is consumed by numerous non-target species. Deer love mineral products like trophy rocks and are drawn to them on a regular basis. Unlike corn, mineral products typically aren’t consumed by other animals and usually last months. One reason I like to use a Trophy Rock is because it is literally a big chunk of mineral mined from the ground. Most other mineral products come in powdered or granular form. While they are still vastly better than corn, they don’t last nearly as long as a Trophy Rock. Using either, you’ll find deer will still frequent the site long after the product is gone to eat surrounding dirt which absorbed the minerals. Finally, these products provide trace minerals beneficial to the deer’s overall health and most importantly, antler growth.
Don’t place your camera directly over the mineral
For efficiency’s sake, you’ll save yourself countless hours if you place your camera on a game trail leading to or from your mineral site, but not directly over the site. Optimally, I would suggest placement about 10 – 20 yards away from the mineral. In this scenario, you’ll capture photos of nearly every animal visiting the mineral, but not hundreds of each. Although deer don’t stay at mineral sites nearly as long as corn-stocked bait stations, they do stop and their behavior does become predictable. Mineral sites are less likely to become ambush sites, but older bucks will still tend to keep their distance. By placing your cameras 10 – 20 yards away you’ll increase your chance of capturing photos of wary bucks who decided to stay back from the rest of the group while they consumed minerals. Additionally, once the mineral site is well established, I would look for lesser used trails which parallel the main trails leading to your mineral sites. Oftentimes elusive bucks who want to keep tabs on does will follow them, but usually stay off to one side in a potentially safer area. My ranch has a network of roads which cover most of the property. Many of these roads intersect well-used deer trails. Again, for efficiency’s sake, I place most of my mineral stations on trails near road intersections for easy access.