During October, November and December, the ratio of nocturnal vs daylight trail cam pictures reveal a wealth of information about the quality of your habitat and hunting efforts. Your nocturnal deer pic ratio should be no worse than 1 daylight pic for every nocturnal pic (1:1) and when it comes to does and fawns, at least 4:1.
ACCEPTABLE NOCTURNAL DEER PIC RATIOS
1:1 (daylight:nocturnal) nocturnal deer pic ratios for mature bucks and 4:1 for does, fawns and even mature bucks is not a pipe dream. In fact, if your habitat is managed with the concepts that fill the pages of my website and can be viewed on your favorite YouTube viewing device, it is actually fairly easy. However, the most simple daylight creating deer movement concept of all, is: Controlling the afternoon food source movement.
AFTERNOON FOOD USE EQUALS PREDICTABLE DAYLIGHT TRAIL CAM PICS
Deer need diversity in their diet, and crave variety. Deer also feed 5 times in a 24 hour period as rhythmic pattern feeders, just like a baby does. There are very few deer parcels that capture the bulk of the daylight, afternoon food source movement in October, let alone December. The ratio that you discover each month of the season, reveals a great deal about not only the management of your food and cover sources, but even more importantly, the management of your hunting pressure. Great food in December is not "great food", if it is largely serving to feed the deer herd twice during the night, while missing the afternoon, daylight feeding slot.
Deer feed 2 times on mostly woody or broadleaf browse in their daytime bedding areas, 1 time in the time slot about an hour before dark and then 2 times during the night. What I have experienced is that deer parcels largely fall into one of two categories of feeding: The afternoon single slot or the nighttime double slot. While it is very easy to fall into the nighttime slots -and the vast majority of all parcels do- very few fall into the afternoon feeding slot and as the season drag on, that number quickly diminishes to just a tiny fraction of all deer parcels. If you want to jumpstart your overall number of daylight trail cam pics, make sure that you create one of the few parcels in the neighborhood that attracts deer during the afternoon hours. Not only can your nocturnal deer pic ratio be greatly improved if needed, but it pays to keep in mind that the parcels that attract deer all night, need a whole lot more food than the parcels that simply fill the afternoon time slot!
By controlling your hunting pressure, creating adequate bedding opportunity and offering consistently diverse food sources that compliment your entire parcel's daytime cover choices, it is fairly easy to maintain a highly favorable nocturnal deer pic ratio! What type of deer parcel do you have when it comes to controlling the daylight feeding slots? In the end your deer pic ratio will reveal exactly how you are doing each month of the hunting season. Great daylight photos can be predictably counted on, when the local deer herd is feeding somewhere else and off of your land, under the cover of darkness.