Backwoods Whitetails
P.O. Box 372
240 West Main St.
Ipava, IL 61441
Phone: 309-224-2853
info@backwoodswhitetails.com
Time Lapsing for Toms
The Best Way to Scout for Spring Gobblers 24/7
Time Lapsing for Toms
The Best Way to Scout for Spring Gobblers 24/7
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Successful Trail Cam Scounting
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Whitetails Living with Trail Cams
Time Lapsing for Trophy Toms
cam user's have been using their cams for the sole purpose of scouting mainly whitetails. But with a quick upgrade to
one of todays hybrid trail cam that is sporting a time lapse mode. You will be able to take your scouting to the next level.
So for those that are still ignoring the time lapse feature on your new trail cams. Or for those seeking another way to
better keep tabs on the turkeys to boost your success on spring gobblers this season. We wanna share some of the
spring scouting techniques we have been using for years to consistently bag birds each season.  
Back in the day when my boys were young, plentiful and still lived at home, lol. It was an annual thing each spring for us
to all hit the woods to scout spring gobblers. We usually started around the middle of March as that was usually the
times mother nature had the toms grouping back up with the hens for the upcoming strut. Now because we had several
different farms to hunt on. We had no choice but to split up, where each of us take a farm to go sit close to the
traditional roosting areas.
EVENING SITS: Every evening our sits were done in order to learn several things.
1.) We would then know exactly which tree's the birds were roosting in. That way when the season opener came, we
would know which tree's to keep a good distance from in order to keep from spooking birds off their roost while getting
as close as needed.
2.) Was to start taking a tally on what the actual turkey numbers were looking like for the upcoming turkey season. We
could find out how just how many hen's, jake's and Tom's were in that area to know how many birds were able to be
respectfully harvested from the group. And if it happened to be that only one tom and no jake's were present, we simply
just did not hunt that group of birds. Yes it could have been called n killed by someone else in the area. But we felt it was
our responsibility to "Do Our Part" to make the effort to help the population grow to huntable numbers for the following
seasons.
MORNING SITS: Each available morning we would all split up again, take our own farm/group of birds in effort to learn
as much from the birds as we could as to what the birds were doing "Naturally /  On Their Own". There are several
things a hunter can learn while just repeatedly watching birds for several mornings.
1.) You can learn and keep a close eye on as to what the current status of the strut is at. There are actually a few
different phases/transisitons to the strut.
First phase they will group up for the Pre Strut where they will all roost
together until the Second of the strut starts to kick in.
Second phase is where hens will start roosting closer to their
chosen nesting sites.
So a good thing to keep in mind. If you are after a strictly mature toms (heavier weights, longer spurs, fuller tail fans, etc)? When you sit
for several mornings to hear all of the gobblers in one spot, to go out one morning and suddenly hear a single gobbler in a different spot. Odds are that single gobbler
is a dominant tom roosting with hens that have chosen to roost closer to their nesting sites.
.Third phase is when hens are all bread and are sitting
the nest and the Tom's are on the run to about anything that sounds like a horny hen.  
2.) Morning sits will allow a hunter the opportunity to "Learn How & When to Call from the Turkeys Themselves" by just
sitting still and being quiet. The goal is to listen to when & how they start talking to each other in the mornings. For
those that haven't yet caught on as to "When to start Calling?". You will soon learn from the birds that ya don't start
whaling at the first gobble ya hear. Wait till ya hear the hens start to talk....and then you "Mimic their tones, their sound
levels and their rythms".
3.) By just watching the birds each morning you will learn where they head right off the roost. Knowing this will help you
"Know where to Go" on a cold windy day when the toms are there....they just aren't talking. Keep track of how they birds
interact with different wind directions and wind speeds. It may just make all the difference on knowing where to go on
those good and bad weather days.  
By now you are probably thinking, "Thanks for the info, But what does all of this have to do with Time Lapse Cams &
Turkeys? Because i would if i could, but I work for a living and/or I live 30 Miles from my hunting area. So my daily sits in
the mornings and evenings are limited to just the weekends". WELL NOT ANY MORE!!! Through the use of todays time
lapse & hybrid trail cams having a time lapse feature, You now have the ability to always keep an eye on our turkey
hunting spots every day, all day long and you are no longer limited to just watching one spot. With the use of Multiple
Time Lapse Cams can now set up on several different farms, to watch several wide open fields, to watch several small
food plots, to watch several open timber / ridge Lines where you are always looking to "Know When & Where the
Turkeys Are Going to Be ALL OF THE TIME".
                               
            
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CAMERA FOR THE JOB
One would think that just any old camera with a time lapse mode will be fit for the task. But i can assure you, that not all
camera's will treat you equally. So just a heads up that reaching for any cam might bring ya a few headaches. Reason i
am saying this is that i had a VERY poor experience with the time lapse feature on a brand of camera for what one would
believe to be a quality cam. Because prior to picking up my first Hybrid Trail cam sporting a time lapse feature, I had
been using a few Primos DPS Plot Watchers. These cams were specifically designed for the purpose of recording time
lapse footages and they have worked extremely well for me the task over the past "several" years. I can place a DPS
Cam out and leave them easily for up too 2 weeks to watch over my flock. Those have been some GREAT cams and as a
matter of fact, I am still using a coupe of those DPS cams still to this day. Now before you get getting online to start
tapping in a search for those cams. Know that allot of the trail camera manufacturers are now adding this feature to
their cams. So know that there is no need to purchase a "Time Lapse Specific Cam". And just a heads up example, as
Primos no longer makes the DPS or Turkey Trekker Models.
So back to the hybrid trail cam for which i had a very poor experience. A few years back, I purchased several Browning
trail cams simply for the reason that they had a time lapse feature. I figured i could use the Time lapse feature in the
spring for turkeys and use them as a regular trail camera in the fall. Well... lol..I quickly learned that
just because it has a
time lapse feature DOESN'T MEAN THAT IT WORKS WORTH A DAM!!
As previoulsy mentioned, my DPS Cams were
easily giving me 2 weeks of non stop dawn to dusk footages with a picture being snapped every 10 seconds. Add that up
over a two week period and the DPS was racking up over 4320 pic's per day meaning when i swapped the card in the
cam two weeks later. The DPS had racked up 60,480 pic's and was still going. So imagine how disappointed i was when
put out my Browning cams, only to come back a week later and find out that the cams had drained the batteries in just
two days. And trust me..
.I had several browning cams out and they ALL performed the same. Yes i called Brownings
Customer Service Dept to ask for assistance with the issue. I could tell you what actual advise that Browning Cams had
to offer. But that's another subject for another day, lol. The bottom line is they obviously didn't know a thing about how
their cams were performing and i might as well asked for an explanation from a 3rd grader.
So needless to say from that point i was quite skeptical for ANY Hybrid cam to perform like my plot watchers. But
THANK THE GOOD LORD that not all Hybrid cams have treated me the same. I since had acquired a few different brands
of Hybrid Cams. One model was a Moultrie M550, Another was the Wildgame Innovations Nano Cam, the Wild Game
Innovations Blade 4 and I have recently added an Exodus to mix for testing this spring. Now each of the time lapse
features set up a little differently on each cam. So pay close attention because with tuning your cam to the right
settings, you will be able to achieve the same performance from those cams as i have my Old DPS Time Lapse Cams.
So not all is lost and it may take you some time for you to find a hybrid cam that performs at best. Just be patient, ask
around to others as to what experiences others are having with certain cam brands and/or models. Because without
allot of Trail Cam Review Sites testing the actual performance of each cams time lapse feature. You may find yourself in
a "Just have to Buy It to Just Try It & See" situation. So while looking for the right time lapse camera, you will need to
pay attention to look for some of the following things.
     
CARD SIZE: The Cam you choose for Time Lapse is obviously going to need to be able to accept the largest card possible as your cam is going to be storing whole
lot of pictures. A 32gb card will easily handle the task. Be sure to purchase 2 cards per camera so you can just swap the card out and leave the cam to continue
scouting.   
BATTERY LIFE: Select a cam that is capable of taking a large number of pictures on one set of Alkaline batteries. Then if you find that you need to and/or want to
extend your run time of your time lapse. You can test out the performance on a set of lithium batteries. Because the time lapse mode doesn't require motion take
activate the camera. SOME of the cam Brand & Models I've seen so far allow you to adjust how often you want the cam to take a picture. Note that cams (like the WGI
Cam shown above) will only allow you / are preset to a minimum of 1 minute between triggers, on Time Lapse mode. So although WGI Cams have worked well for us.
I would recommend looking into other cam brands & Models that allow you to adjust it down to take more pictures more often. Again, one picture every minute will
do the job. But if possible i like to set my cams down to every 10 - 20 seconds.
CAM SETTINGS: Once you set your cam into time lapse Mode (Referred to as flextime on WGI Cams) then you will need to choose how long you want your cam to
run each day. Some cams you have no choice but to let em run all day long. But know there are some models offering you the option for just having them run for a
few hours in the morning, with a brief shut down for taking pictures during the mid day,  but will pick back up for the last few hours in the evening. My
recommendation is to set it to run all day. My reason for that? First i want to know where the birds are going right off the roost in the morning. 2nd reason is due to
here in Illinois, we can only hunt till 1pm. So if i know that i have a tom visiting a certain area to strut around a specific time each day. Then i will have an immediate
back up plan if i am not able to tag our first thing in the AM. Lastly is I am looking areas where birds hang out /strut in the evenings. Although we cannot hunt during
the evenings i know they are roosting close by. So with just knowing one is consistently in an area that close to dark can be enough to get ya out of bed in the
morning.  
RESOLUTION/PICTURE SIZE: You will want to "have your cam set on the lowest resolution and or Mega pixel as possible". Because you need your
cam storing up allot of pic's, you are going to need to utilize as much free card space as possible. Remember that you are just trying to gather information as to the
actual population, the presence of toms, activity/strut/nesting schedules, travel patterns, strut zones, etc. If you are wanting crystal clear fancy pictures for your
photo album? Then set up some other cams dedicated strictly to that purpose.  
Just know that your cam (set to take one picture every minute) will be taking 780 pictures a day from dawn to dusk. Therefore a cam that can run for a period of
taking 40,000 pictures can easily run for a period of 4 weeks with a card big enuugh to hold that many pics.  
CAMERA PLACEMENT: Not all situations will be the same. But try your best to pick a spot that will allow your camera to see as far, as wide and as much of an
area as possible. That will allow you to see birds strutting in the distance, see where birds are crossing fields or open areas, see where birds are leaving & entering
those areas so you will know where to place other potential cam set ups or set up to call during your hunt.
Wrapping in All Up: As time goes on and the more time you spend using & experimenting with this feature. The more you will find yourself becoming familiar with
this technique & catch on to new idea's, etc. As well i am sure you will find ways to incorporate method of "the time lapse mode" into your deer hunting as well.
Please be sure to share with everyone both the good & bad experiences you may have with the different cams & brands. As well, be sure to share the new found
idea's that you may have stumbled upon in order to pass on your success to others. For more information, to share experiences & techniques or for anyone needing
assistance feel free to email us at
info@backwoodswhitetails.com           BEST OF LUCK THIS SPRING FROM BACKWOODS WHITETAILS!!