Tracking Velvet Whitetail Bucks Using Trail Cameras

Patterning velvet bucks with trail cameras exposes home ranges of mature bucks throughout the year. Join The Buck Advisors’ Jared Prusia as he discovers a pattern on a mature 5.5 year old buck early in the year!

We’ve been hunting a farm in eastern Ohio for just a few years now, and it’s come a long way since our first year there… When we first started out, it was nothing more than pasture ground and open timber lots, and I don’t even recall having a mature buck to hunt that first year. TSI, food plots, controlled burns, tree plantings, and a few other projects have consumed our off-season efforts in recent years and have turned our deserted pastures into the beginnings of a whitetail mecca. All the while, the trail cameras were rolling and between those trail cam pics and multiple encounters over the past three years, we’ve developed a considerable amount of history with a buck we call Goose. This is patterning velvet bucks with trail cameras, to better understand the entire home range of the buck we call Goose.

In 2014, I was still getting the hang of trail camera patterning and had yet to find the best spots on our farm to get pictures of the mature bucks that were potentially living in that area. It wasn’t until the end of that year that I got the first pictures of this deer. At the time, I was ecstatic to find we had, what I figured to be, a 2 year old with a lot of potential. For lack of other mature deer on the property to steal my attention, I named this deer and set out to find him the following year.

Jared Prusia

Halfway through the summer of 2015, I had done a lot of scouting with trail cameras and by driving the back roads just before dark with little success. It wasn’t until the first week of September that I caught a glimpse of a good buck in an alfalfa field right down the road from the house. His unmistakable frame and brow tine configuration gave him away immediately. It was goose! As luck would have it, I had multiple opportunities at this dear throughout the year, including a 15 yard broadside encounter on the very first night. The history with this buck was starting to paint a picture for how we might kill him the following year.

Jared Prusia

Having narrowed down Goose’s core area the previous year, we had a solid trail camera strategy going into 2015 season. The velvet buck pics started turning up in early May and continued throughout the summer months and into the first two weeks of season. For one reason or another, we never did catch up with Goose last year despite several daytime trail camera pictures. Regardless, we now have a concrete idea of where he’s bedding, feeding, and transitioning between the two. The plan for now is to wait, watch him grow, and plan on cutting him of in the first week of the 2016 deer season. Only time will tell how the story of this buck will end…

Jared Prusia

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