John's Journal...

Depend on Trail Cameras to Make You a Better Deer Hunter

Day 5: Using Trail Cameras to Learn What Animals Live in Your Suburban Backyard with John E. Phillips

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewI may not get my trail camera back. During the summer months, I loaned my Moultrie ( Panoramic 150 Game Camera to my son John, who has a wooded lot in a subdivision of Birmingham, Alabama. His backyard connects to a small wooded strip of land about 30- to 40-yards wide that extends throughout the subdivision for several city blocks. A few years ago, he began to put corn out in his backyard, after spotting deer feeding on his grass. His young children ages 2-1/2 to 11, really enjoyed watching the deer moving through their backyard, and often watched from their deck as three fawns played around the children’s swing and fort set. I suggested he take my Moultrie trail camera and mount it in an opening in the wooded part of his yard.

Within the first 2 weeks, he not only got pictures of deer but fox, possums and other critters too. Three weeks after he had the camera, he got a picture of Prince – the name his family gave to a huge 8-point buck that probably would score between 130 and 140 on Boone & Crockett. Checking the camera, putting-out corn and looking at the pictures that the trail camera took of the animals in their backyard have become a big deal to the children. I’ve enjoyed seeing the pictures too. I think this benefit of putting-out trail cameras at our homes in some type of wooded lots or travel corridors that the wildlife that live in suburbia can use to travel from one location to another location is something we often overlook.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewNow that deer season is about to arrive in a couple of weeks where we live, I want to use my trail camera to monitor deer movement in the woods I plan to hunt. However, I know for certain that I’ll have an unpleasant encounter with my son and grandchildren if I ask for the camera back. I also know that the trail camera and being able to see and identify the wildlife that my grandchildren see in their own backyard has become a major part of their lives. So, the easiest way to solve this problem is for me to get another trail camera and let my grandchildren have that one. I think we may all miss a lot of fun with our children and grandchildren, if we don’t use our trail cameras in our backyards. We’ll also miss an opportunity to teach our children and grandchildren about wildlife, why we hunt, how hunters help keep herds in balance where the animals live, how they move, and why they’re in our backyards. For instance, my grandchildren were concerned about the foxes in their backyard. I explained, “Foxes eat rats and squirrels that can get into your attic. So, foxes are good critters to keep rats and mice away.”

Consider putting your trail camera in yours or your grandchildren’s backyard. You may be surprised at what they’ll see and learn.

For more deer-hunting tips, get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” "How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” and “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” Go to, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Check back each day this week for more about "Depend on Trail Cameras to Make You a Better Deer Hunter"

Day 1: How to Fight the Biggest Enemy of Your Trail Camera with Dave Parrott
Day 2: How to Position Your Trail Cameras to Make Them the Most-Effective They Can Be for Seeing Deer
Day 3: Don’t Buy Cheap Batteries for Your Trail Cameras to Watch Deer
Day 4: Dave Parrott Explains How to Bring Deer into Your Trail Cameras
Day 5: Using Trail Cameras to Learn What Animals Live in Your Suburban Backyard with John E. Phillips

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Entry 738, Day 5