Deer Feeders and Trail Cameras
One of the primary reasons to have a cabin is to be able to be close to nature, specifically viewing deer and other wildlife from your home. However, just putting out food haphazardly can be dangerous to you, and is often dangerous to the animals that you are feeding. With a little knowledge and research, you can be the master of your property, and can make a harmonious and healthy feeding habitat for a wide variety of animals.
This article is not about feeding or baiting for hunting purposes, but does contain a lot of valuable information if that is something you are interested in. For the most part, however, you wouldn’t want to bait around your cabin for the purposes of hunting anyway, but it is still important to know the science behind feeding certain animals.
To begin with, a few important things to consider:
The Best Way to Feed: Plant to Attract
If you own a decent amount of property, and have the ability to create small food plots, this is an ideal way to ensure wildlife will be around for much of the year. There are many wonderful food plot blends, and just find the one that fits each foot plot in terms of your region, sun, and soil considerations. If you have the flexibility to pick and choose where these will be located, try to find areas of quality soil, sun, and located near existing trails that they use.
Food plots are wonderful, but you can expand your feeding options by planting mast trees that will provide food year after year. Oak trees are excellent, but most grow very slowly… consider instead crabapple, apple, cherry, or similar trees that will do well in your region. Each year you can make it a tradition to visit local nurseries when they are at the end of their inventory, and get these trees on super sale. Stock up on chicken wire, large stakes, and treegators, so you can nurture and protect any smaller trees that could be eaten by deer the first year or two after you plant them.
The Dangers of Feeding Deer (to them)
To get right to the point, there are five major dangers of feeding deer using a deer feeder:
- Acidosis can be caused by feeding them high carb, low fiber supplemental feed when their bodies need protein, fiber, and other nutrients.
- Chronic Wasting Disease is spread primarily through nose to nose contact when you concentrate supplemental food sources.
- If you place the feeder too close to the cabin, or train them to get too comfortable with humans you are setting them up to be easy targets come hunting season.
- If you place the feeder in an area that is near heavy brush, you could be making them easy targets for predators.
How To Feed Deer Safely
The Dangers of Feeding Deer (to you)
The Best Deer Feeders
Picking a Trail Camera
Beyond overall reliability and price, there are some other important considerations for selecting a trail camera to record wildlife:
- Trigger Time – once the camera detects something, how quickly does it take action.
- Recovery Time – after the camera takes a picture or video, how quickly is it ready to do it again.
- Detection Zone – how wide of an area does it look for wildlife
- Picture Quality
- Battery Life
For most entry-level trail cameras used just for taking pictures of wildlife on your property, there won’t be any major differences in trigger time or recovery time, but be aware of them. The Detection Zone is important for cameras set up to capture in a wide open area. So, you might want to get one camera that has a wide detection zone for a large opening, but it is not a consideration for other cameras used on narrow trails. Battery life is important, but is not something specifically mentioned in the product description, so worth reading user comments. Features is often where the price can get high. Don’t get sucked in by a lot of fancy features for your first few cameras. Those that can take clear pictures is a good start. Later you can add the video and time-lapse features.
A few tips:
LESHP Game and Trail Camera 12MP 1080P HD With Time Lapse 65ft 120¡ã Wide Angle Infrared Night Vision 42pcs IR LEDs Waterproof IP66 2.4″ LCD Screen Scouting Camera Deer Camera Digital Surveillance
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