More than any other hunting tool, cameras have altered the way Lee Lakosky deer hunts.
“For me, that’s the biggest game-changer from 20 years ago,” he said on a podcast with The Hunt Fish Journal of Ohio. “The cameras have changed the way I hunt more than anything.”
Before cameras, the co-host of “The Crush with Lee and Tiffany” said when you saw a decent buck in the woods, you basically felt compelled to shoot it, because you had no idea if that was the biggest buck in the area or not.
Now, with multiple game cams spread out on his farm in southeastern Iowa, Lee can assess what’s on his 600 acres and know when and when not to shoot.
“It’s easy to pass a 160, 170, 3- or 4-year-old when you know there’s bigger,” he said. “Before the days of cameras, you had no idea what was out there.”
Now, game cams give him pictorial records along with the times of visits, so he can see what’s in his area without cutting into his workload. Lee stays busy planting food plots, working 15 to 20 hours a day preparing his property before “The Crush” headed out West for early fall hunts. He’s adamant about keeping his deer happy.
“I don’t want the deer on my neighbor’s property ever,” he said, “so I want something at all times of the year so they never leave my place.”
That work keeps him busy, too busy to spend a lot of time in the fields scouting. With 10 different farms in three counties, he knows he can’t be everywhere on his properties at once.
“I feel like I don’t have to be out scouting -- I have my hired scouts out looking for me,” he said. “I don’t really use cameras to hunt deer or to kill deer, I just have them on field edges and set them on scrapes. It’s more taking inventory. I feel like on my farm I know how to hunt them and where to hunt them.”
Cameras do help him and Tiffany determine a hit list. They figure out which deer are shooters, and which deer, even if they came strolling in front of him sporting nice antlers, they should pass on.
“We have a lot of deer with big antlers that are only 3 years old. If you didn’t know and you saw that rack and you shoot them ... You get him on the ground and you look at him and say, ‘Ooh, I made a mistake,’ “ he said. “Cameras allow you to study them and look at their ages. Then when you see one you can know that one’s off limits.”
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