Originally Posted by dkennedy
What % of deer both Bucks and Does are caught on trail cameras? I have 4 cameras on Boss Buck feeders and 3 cameras over food plots. The total acres are 650. We get about 15 different Bucks and not sure how many different Does. Each buck will show up on each different camera over a 3 week time frame. I'm just wondering how many bucks aren't caught on camera. We shot a 4.5 yo 10 point that we never got a picture of on opening day. Any advise would be great.
That's always the big question isn't it? And the answer is going to depend on many factors. First, when was the census run? Just in summer? During the actual hunting season? Post-season? Each of these time-frames will produce different results. Was the census run over bait or unbaited? Again, different results.
And unfortunately, eve knowing these factors, it can be very difficult to estimate the actual capture rate, as much of capture rate is going to be determined by the skill and experience level of those choosing the camera locations.
For those properties that run cameras during the hunting season (and I HIGHLY recommend hunters-managers do so), the best way to check capture rates (what percent of the bucks using the property are caught on film), is simply to track what percent of harvested bucks were captured on film. This is sort of a mini "capture-recapture" study, as in, of those bucks captured (killed) by hunters, what percent were previously captured on camera? The percent of harvested bucks not
captured on camera is probably pretty close to the percent of all bucks using the property that are not being captured on camera (although I would limit this comparison to only the age-class of buck hunters are targeting).
If you find the percentage of bucks killed that were not captured on camera is high, I would look at the timing and methodology of your current camera data collection process.