Bow season is almost here and we have been taking a buck inventory. Scouting cameras have been strategically placed all over our farms. The good news is we are seeing lots of large bucks which is great news for anyone who plans to hunt with us this fall. “Over the years, we have learned a lot about the travel patterns of the deer here,” said Doug Benefield of Illinois Connection. “From year to year, several monster bucks hang out in the same areas repeatedly. We use the trail cameras to locate the big bucks and figure out their patterns.”

Dozens of scouting cameras are put in the woods in the late summer and early fall so when the time comes, we know where to place hunters so they have the best opportunity to score on a trophy buck.

Even with many cameras in the woods, the neat thing is we are often surprised by the number of bucks we harvest that never showed up on a camera at all. As the season gets under way, bucks start moving looking for the best food sources and hot does. Because we control 16,000 acres, big bucks often find both on our farms so every year, our hunters tag big bucks that seem to appear out of nowhere.

Like in years past, this year our cameras are taking pictures of some giant bucks. However, the pictures only tell part of the story. To take a look at our current crop of photos, check out our 2013 trail camera photo gallery.