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Discussion Starter #1
This is an awesome forum and I'm glad that I stumbled upon it and hope to learn a lot and hopefully share my experience as well. Also this is my first post so, yippee! haha


Here it goes! I've been hunting for quite a while on a small piece of land (26 acres) that my family is blessed to own and have been fortunate enough to harvest some decent "PA bucks". The nice thing about this spot is that I'm almost guaranteed a deer every year, but with the hunting pressure from surrounding areas there are not many big deer. So after 14 years I am going to start hunting public land way back in where many hunters are too lazy to venture in the hopes of harvesting a truly mature whitetail. Now I know it isn't easy and I may go some years without even harvesting a buck, but on a few of the trail cameras that I have hung in the past year I have seen some pictures of some true giants (140" +). There are tons of deer in areas where people claim there aren't any but they take work to find. They use trails more sporadically and food is scarce.

My question is this:

Are there any guys/gals out there that consistently hunt public, mountain ground and can shed some light on techniques to hang trail cameras properly for those areas?

I could hang a camera and throw out bait but I want to instead learn some ways to pattern deer in these vast areas and then develop a game plan for success!

Thanks!
 

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I mount my cams about 10 feet high and secure them with a python lock.
 

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Instead of Bait like Corn or Birdseed, try just setting up a mineral site in a decent thicket.... break up the ground with a shovel and then ad mainly DiCalcium and Rocksalt. That way it'll keep the deer coming to that area for a couple years, and is less noticeable to anyone else who happens by.
 

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NanookOdaNorth said:
I mount my cams about 10 feet high and secure them with a python lock.
This is a great tip.. hanging them up high a lot of people don't even see them.

this time of year if you know of any water holes in the area is always a nice set

Welcome to the board and post of some pics sometime
 

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Majik Man said:
Instead of Bait like Corn or Birdseed, try just setting up a mineral site in a decent thicket.... break up the ground with a shovel and then ad mainly DiCalcium and Rocksalt. That way it'll keep the deer coming to that area for a couple years, and is less noticeable to anyone else who happens by.
You're going to get eaten alive for this one.
 

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I'm gonna put some public land cams up. Like some said hang them high and lock with Python lock. But I'm pretty sure bait in front of cams is not legal on public land. The mineral sight is defiantly not.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great advice so far! Thanks. Ill have to check into the baiting more now that you brought it up and I'll def post some good pics when I get them
 

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So I just read through the state game land regulations and putting anything as bait including salt is a no no. Also found out I cant even ride my bike into my hunting stand, or checking cameras on the old roads. So when the sign says closed to all motorized vehicles it should really say "closed to anything but your feet." If I didn't know any better I'd say they don't even want me up there.
 

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I hang mine "two sticks" high. I use composite shims from home depot to get the angle right. I was using python cables but I stopped because I think that high they just draw more attention than the protection they provide. If someone is going to find a way to climb up then the cable is not going to stop them either. I do lock the SD compartment though.

And as stated baited is not legal so your best bet is to find well worn trails and follow them until a couple intersect. Place it there. Do not expect more than a few pics per day without bait.

Last piece of advice is if you are putting them out now do not go back in and check them very often. I went way too often last year. If it were me I would put them out now and pull the camera after my opening day hunt.
 

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amc5553 said:
So I just read through the state game land regulations and putting anything as bait including salt is a no no. Also found out I cant even ride my bike into my hunting stand, or checking cameras on the old roads. So when the sign says closed to all motorized vehicles it should really say "closed to anything but your feet." If I didn't know any better I'd say they don't even want me up there.
Hunters can use a bicycle to access far away spots on gamelands. Just ask RSB, he does it, promotes it and used to be the best LEO in the PGC!
 

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That brings to mind another thing I used to put deer in front of my cameras in the past... Make a mock scrape in close to a thick area. But don't just go in and scratch up the ground and ad a squirt of doe urine : I order doe urine and buck urine from a couple different farms, then put a squirt of each into the mock scrape. Thus making a mock-community scrape for the local deer to take over. Be sure to put some scent onto the branches above also! This has worked VERY well in the past for me.
Also, I don't actually hunt "state land" so i'm unsure of the actual laws on public land. -But I thought baiting and mineral sites were legal up till a month before season?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
NanookOdaNorth said:
amc5553 said:
So I just read through the state game land regulations and putting anything as bait including salt is a no no. Also found out I cant even ride my bike into my hunting stand, or checking cameras on the old roads. So when the sign says closed to all motorized vehicles it should really say "closed to anything but your feet." If I didn't know any better I'd say they don't even want me up there.
Hunters can use a bicycle to access far away spots on gamelands. Just ask RSB, he does it, promotes it and used to be the best LEO in the PGC!
hmm interesting. The lady at the game commission office when I called said that I was unable to use a mountain bike to access state game lands. She said there are only certain marked trails where I was allowed to ride. I then asked about using it to access a hunting spot and she said no. I don't know whats correct now..sigh
 

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Umm, I asked the local warden thisevening after reading these posts. you Are permitted to use a mountain bike so long as it's not motorized. I think the lady you spoke with was confused as to what a mountain bike is..... Also, baits and minerals CAN be used so long as they are removed exactly 1 month before hunting the area! - that includes minerals ( though he suggests that since minerals can't really be removed - just fill in the area with dirt. maybe even pile some brush on it to keep the animals from digging it back up till after hunting season ends. ).
 

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Bicycles can be taken anywhere on SGL's while doing any legal activities of hunting. This INCLUDES scouting and the placing/checking trail cameras. Can ride right on by those little triangles that say no bikes or horses. No bike clubs like ones found around bigger towns and cities out for a joy ride tearing up the terrain.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the update Majik and Wadman. Bikes cut my trail cam checking time in half so thats great news. Maybe she thought I meant dirt bike? Who knows. I'm also going to give mock scrapes a try as well. When using a mock scrape when should they be made?
 

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Mock scrapes will work anytime of year. believe it or not, scrapes ( especially community scrapes ) are used year round.... I usually put then out about the same time I begin running my trail cameras which is about now. Start small ( maybe a 2 foot by 2 foot scrape ) - that way you'll be able to easily see when another deer takes to using it also as the scrape will get larger.... and be sure to use multiple deer urine scents. You'll want them to think it's "Party central" ...LOL
 
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