How Cell Cams and Turkeys Are a Winning Combo
It’s a shame that more hunters don’t take advantage of trail cameras for turkey hunting. Would you consider, even for one second, not using trail cams for deer season? Heck no, because there are so many advantages to using trail cameras. Those same advantages apply to turkey hunting, but people tend not to associate the two as much. If you haven’t thought of cell cams and turkeys before, here are some reasons you should try it out and some trail cam strategies you can use.
Why Cell Cams and Turkeys?
One of the biggest advantages of a cell camera is that it allows you to monitor a property without setting foot on it. After hanging a trail camera, you can watch the pictures or videos come in on your phone from the comfort of your couch. This gives you basically real-time intel to what the turkeys are doing, how many gobblers there are, and where they are spending their time. Being able to scout a few properties ahead of turkey season is obviously a game-changer. By the time opening day comes, you should have a solid pattern put together to help make your hunt successful.
Another perk of the cell cams and turkeys strategy is that you don’t have to disturb your property by checking traditional trail cameras. Turkeys are on their feet and meandering most of the day, which means that each time you have to go in and replace a SIM card, you risk running into some birds. This might not be a big deal if the turkeys are used to human presence or if it only happens once. But as hunting pressure ramps up or if you bump them a few times, they will eventually wise up and move out. Wireless trail cameras help you avoid that issue.
Best Locations for Cell Cams
Next, it’s time to figure out the best locations to use the cell cams and turkeys strategy. If you put them in the wrong areas, it won’t do you any good from a turkey scouting perspective. But when you key in on some potential hot spots, you should have a much better chance of seeing turkeys if they are on your property.
- Feeding Areas – like deer, turkeys are drawn to openings to feed. In the springtime, especially, hens and gobblers alike move into fields to feed on green plants, emerging insects, and leftover seeds or waste grain from last fall. If you have food plots with perennial clover, this can be a magnet for turkeys in the spring. Recently disked soil can also attract turkeys. Hang a cell cam on the field edge overlooking the food source.
- Strutting Zones – there’s usually some overlap of this one with the feeding areas, but pastures and short meadows can also be attractive to turkeys to use as a strutting zone. Gobblers will take advantage of the open setting to show off. There’s really no more exciting picture to get than a strutting tom, so these areas can be great places to hang a cell camera.
- Roost Trees – most turkeys require some kind of tree cover to roost in overnight, which protects them from ground predators. Good roost trees are usually mature trees with stout, horizontal branches (which makes it easier for the birds to rest). You can usually tell a good roost tree by sign of turkey scat underneath. If you find a lot of J-hook shaped scat, there’s a good chance that tree is used by a tom or some jakes. Since the turkeys have to fly up into the tree, set up a camera about 30 to 50 yards away in an opening with a direct flight path to the limbs.
- Transition Areas – funnels between these areas are also good places to use cell cameras for turkeys. Turkeys don’t always follow a straight path from point A to B, but there are some ways you can influence their travel paths. For example, if there is a natural boundary (such as a creek or swamp) parallel to their travel, you can pinch their movement down by dropping a few trees in their path. Hang your camera near one of the pinch areas, which focuses their movement into a smaller area.
Cell Cam Settings for Turkeys
There are several cell camera strategies you can use for turkeys, depending on where you put the cameras. Here are some of the trail cam settings you should use and other tips to make the best use of our cell cams and turkeys strategy.
- To control your wireless trail cam, just use the Command App on your phone. You can access all the settings remotely from this app, including the picture/video quality, sensor level, and everything else. You can also manage several different cameras from the same app, so you have a one-stop shop for all your hunting intel. But what’s really cool is that you can control how often the camera pushes images/videos to your phone. By using the Instant Group setting, your camera will continue to record any action until it stops, and then send all associated images/videos in a group to your phone.
- If you’re trying to get better quality images in a close-range spot (such as near a roost tree or in thick timber), hang a Fusion wireless trail cam at a lower height than what you would for deer. Turkeys are shorter, so you might miss the lower half of a turkey’s body when hanging them higher. In these cases, try hanging the camera about 2-3 feet off the ground. With this camera’s 32 MB pictures, you will have outstanding quality photos to review.
- In larger field settings, it might be better to hang your camera higher. Try our DS4K Transmit wireless trail camera, which has a flash range of up to 100 feet, 32 MB pictures, and 4K video capability. You can keep track of the larger landscape using this method and see where turkeys are coming and going.
After discussing the tips and strategies above, we hope you can see the value of wireless technology when it comes to cell cams and turkeys. If you rely on traditional cameras alone, you might show up the day before opener and check your cameras to find that there haven’t been any turkeys around in a few days. By that point, it’s tough to come up with a plan B. When you consider that you can monitor what the gobblers are doing on several different properties, all from the comfort of your home, it’s easy to see how cell cameras can improve your chances of success on opening day.