Using HuntStand’s Scouting Camera Imaging Tool can help create a predictive model to guide upcoming hunting strategies, and increase hunting success dramatically. In hunting, as in life, there is often a difference between a perception of reality, and reality itself. People have a tendency to believe what they want to believe, rather than base decisions on facts and hard data.
The evolution of scouting camera technology has revolutionized the information available to hunters. First, it was the elementary Trail Timer, a simple digital clock with a string attached that was stretched across a trail. An animal would hit the string, it would stop the clock, and the hunter had a single data source to help him pattern the movement of whatever it was that tripped the switch. Then the Trailmaster used a two-piece device that projected an infrared beam to a receiver; when an animal stepped through the beam, the receiver recorded the date and time the activity occurred. I used these extensively in the 1990’s baiting bears in Alaska. If my Trailmaster showed lots of activity during a short period of time, I knew a bear essentially lived at the bait, so I had to then got sit in my tree stand to see exactly what it was.
This evolved into the use of film cameras that took a single image at a time, but you had to go and develop the film before you knew what set the camera off. Next came the use of digital cameras, then video cameras, then all the bells and whistles you see today that record everything from environmental conditions to the moon phase, and more. The data gathered is staggering, and it can now be sent directly to your phone or tablet, with the hunter never even having to go physically check the device.
Now that so much data is available the question becomes, how do you use it to your advantage for the ultimate in hunting success?
HuntStand has a solution. The innovative app allows you to manage both old and new scouting camera images in an integrative manner that permits you to build a database around facts, not how you think it should be. HuntStand permits you to create trail camera markers, add photos to those trail cameras, tag photos, and easily aggregate time, weather, and atmospheric data from those photos for free. In addition to this, when you upgrade to HuntStand Pro for just $29.99/year, users will get the following benefits:
- Upload images into the HuntStand ecosystem so that you can organize them by camera location, as well as manage multiple cameras and camera placements. These images will automatically sync with weather and solunar information.
- Tag and view specific game so that you can organize them by camera location and learn their travel patterns based on HuntStand’s wide range of filter variables, including time of sighting, date, animal type, weather, wind speed, and temperature.
- Exclusive to HuntStand Pro users: Utilize a Heat Map that allows you to view trail camera activity by location.
- Photos can be synched to the HuntStand mobile app so you can view pictures on the go through image recognition, easily import and sort new or existing photos using unlimited custom tags, view a detailed heat map of game activity and movement predictions, and manage multiple setups with 40GB of free storage space.
Ultimate Hunting Success
It’s easy to see how all this information would be extremely valuable during any annual hunt period. But when you realize you can use it over the years, incorporating old sightings and movement patterns as the years go by that, when factored with changing environmental conditions and catastrophic events like fires, floods, and other extreme weather occurrences, it will allow you to build a predictive model based on hard data. You are now able to use my own old model of “shrink your focus” – which simply means shrinking the area in which you’ll focus your hunting time down from a large tract of land to a smaller, manageable size that can be realistically hunted effectively – based on solid information that can be easily stored and compartmentalized.
Here’s an example. Whitetail hunters are always looking for a mature buck’s core area. Data has shown that as bucks age, the amount of traveling they do is reduced as they become more of a homebody. Using strategically-placed scouting cameras, over time you will catch numerous photos of the mature bucks in your hunt area. The HuntStand app will allow you to both organize and analyze buck movement 24/7/365, and before long you will have a bead on a buck’s core area, increasing your hunting success. You’ll see when during the rut he starts to take excursions from that area, what routes he likes to take, and how long he tends to be gone. You’ll also be able to see how weather and solunar activities, and even changes like what agricultural crops are being grown nearby, and how changes in the annual acorn crop, affect movement. Do it long enough and you’ll begin to see how generations of bucks utilize historic core areas. Not only is this way fun, but it is also the smart way to plan your hunting strategy, allowing you to maximize the odds of seeing mature bucks moving past your stand sites during legal shooting hours.
The late, great Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent was one of Carson’s most well-known characters, a “mystic from the East” who could psychically “divine” unknown answers to unseen questions. While Carnac was amazing, even he could not predict game movements with 100 percent certainty. Neither can we. But by using tools that allow us to record and analyze historic data like HuntStand, we can come close.
As hunters, that’s all we can ask. You can learn more about building your predictive model for hunting success at www.HuntStand.com.