Trail Camera Deployment Strategy

Show Notes

On this episode of the Nine Finger Chronicles, Dan talks with hardcore public land bowhunter Josh Profitt about their trail camera deployment strategies. Josh talks about where he likes to hang his trail cameras to not only get intel on deer but other hunters as well. The guys discuss the best locations for not only mature bucks, but the best location for sheer numbers of deer pictures. Once Josh locates a shooter, he breaks down how he brings more trail cameras in to the area and ultimately how he decides on the best places to hang his stand treestand. Lastly, the guys discuss what would happen if they were no longer allowed to use trail cameras in the woods. This is a very informational episode, so listen close to what the guys have to say! Enjoy!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Dan Johnson: HuntStand is the most popular and functional mobile hunting app on the market with a variety of base maps to choose from. Satellite imagery that is updated every month. The ability to check the weather, no property information, and even catalog your trail cam picks. HuntStand even gives you the ability to import pins and location markers from other mobile apps.

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How's it going everybody? Welcome to another episode of the. I think it's the best period. I think. I think I have the best podcast on the [00:01:00] internet period. There's a couple other that are up there near me. It's a no doubter, it's no doubt I put out the best podcast in the hunting space, hands down, period, point blank.

And a lot of people say, Dan, why are you so cocky? It's not, I'm not cocky, I'm confident and. I'm just teasing. It's not a very good podcast. I don't, who in their right mind could put out a good quality podcast with only nine fingers? There's no way. It's impossible. I, there's no way I can compete with the people out there who have 10 fingers.

It's just their, I, my 100% is their 90%. And They have 10 more percent. It's just simple math, right? They have 10 more percent than me. And so anyway, I enjoy doing this and I hope you guys enjoy it. So if you get an opportunity, go to iTunes, leave a review five star review for the best nine fingered podcasts that's currently out [00:02:00] there.

I'd appreciate that. Go to Instagram, follow, follow along, go to the Sportsman's Empire website, and check out all of the podcasts that are on the Sportsman's Empire Network. We're just a group of guys who love hunting, love the outdoors, and are just really good at what we do and podcasting.

And so I have been arrogant, I've been confident. I've been humble and I just wanna say thank you so I can check off the nice box now. And so I've been nice as well. I really appre, I honestly really do appreciate everybody, following along with the Nine Finger Chronicles for as long as you have.

Man I was looking back the other day and 2014 was the first episode I believe that I ever launched, and that just blows my mind that I've been doing this. For as long as I've been doing it. Geez, that's six eight. I'm going on year number nine now. And I gotta figure out what we're [00:03:00] gonna do on year 10 to make it like a tour.

10 years of, 10 years of nine fingers and may. Maybe that's what I'll do. Maybe I'll go on a nationwide tour and get a whole bunch of people hyped up to do the podcast. So there's that. Anyway, what are we doing today? We're talking about trail camera strategy in more specifically yet trail camera deployment strategy where today's guest is Josh Profit.

This dude is a hardcore public land bow hunter outta Kentucky. On top of that, the dude has 50 trail cameras that he deploys over what did he say? 10,000 acres. So he's running a lot of trail cameras. He's getting a lot of intel from those trail cameras, and we're gonna talk with him today.

And I'm gonna share my experience as well of the best places to hang trail cameras. If you're looking for mature bucks, best places to hang trail cameras, if you're looking for just sheer numbers of pictures. Best place to not only find deer, but to locate other hunters as well. And so it's just a really cool [00:04:00] podcast where we talk a little bit about everything in relationship to trail cameras and how we use them in our strategy to locate deer and ultimately put an arrow through 'em.

So that's the goal of today's podcast. And I feel, I feel bad for the public land hunters who have used trail cameras in the past in a state like Kansas, where they've recently banned trail cameras on public land. And so myself and Josh, we have this conversation like, Hey, dude, What would you do if tomorrow they said no Morro cameras period.

Whether it's public or private, you can't, what would you do? So we have that discussion as well. And man, it's a fun one. I really enjoy, I haven't dove into anything this deep lately, and it's good to have this type of conversation this time of year because let's get real.

It's getting close to, to get your trail cameras back out in the woods. Time. I've had a couple cell cam images come through recently. With deer [00:05:00] that are already starting to spout, velvet nubs, and man, that just means next year's crop is growing right now. So take that into consideration.

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I love this deer hunting thing. I love the outdoors. This, I'm gonna share that this weekend with my daughter. I'm taking her out Archer or shotgun youth hunting. And so I'm really looking forward to this weekend getting her out and trying to get her very first Turkey. There's that.

Let's get into today's episode with Josh Prophet. Hopefully you guys enjoy three, two, one. Alright, on the phone with me again today. Mr. Josh. Profit. What's up, man? 

[00:09:59] Josh Profitt: Up man. [00:10:00] Sitting out here at the barber shop in the truck? Yeah. During this 

[00:10:02] Dan Johnson: podcast. Yeah. Yes sir. Let's see here. You made the jump full-time, right?

You just finished barber school and now you're a full-time barber. 

[00:10:11] Josh Profitt: Correct man. Actually I got a lot of stuff going on right now. Been doing this about a month and a half, and I've had something fall into my lap. That sounds a little bit to too good to be true, but I've had a land management company reach out to me and give me an offer.

Nothing's set in stone yet, but 

[00:10:32] Dan Johnson: actually I was in Ohio 

[00:10:33] Josh Profitt: yesterday and I'll be in Illinois 

[00:10:36] Dan Johnson: next week. And so you took this land management job? It's a little trial and error, but there's no contract drew up yet, 

[00:10:45] Josh Profitt: but I think it's coming really soon. Wow. So wow. I probably will be barbering.

All summer long, all spring long, and this gig only lasts from 

[00:10:57] Dan Johnson: December to April. 

[00:10:59] Josh Profitt: Okay. And I'm gonna [00:11:00] do it on my off days at the barbershop, so 

[00:11:02] Dan Johnson: it should work out good. And probably 20, 25 farms a year. Okay. So when you say land management a whole bunch of different things pop up. Are you gonna be doing the habitat improvement?

You're gonna be planting food plots you're or gonna be managing trail camera data? What's the deal? 

[00:11:19] Josh Profitt: All the above. Okay. All the above. I won't, I wouldn't actually physically be planting the food plots or doing the timber management, but basically there would be a detailed plan where I spent a day or two on a farm, wrote out a good report, and then gave it to the landowner.

Yesterday. I was in Southern Ohio, and it went great. I was only there, I was there less than three hours. The guy was super happy. There was a lot of room for improvement on his farm. 

[00:11:46] Dan Johnson: I gotcha, gotcha. That's interesting man. It's, I love how, if you keep your options open, if you keep your options open in this world something, and dude, I'm a fan and a believer in good vibes.

You [00:12:00] put the good vibes out and good vibes come back to you. But this sounds like it's funny, you put all the time and energy into something and then right away, right after you finish the barber school, it's just Hey this is available too. But it sounds like you're gonna be able to do.


[00:12:17] Josh Profitt: The guy, the company that reached out to me, it's hard to find somebody that has a work schedule like I do. Yeah. Because I, I make my own schedule. Yeah. And I can book these farms out, months in advance. So it just, it works out. It works out great. And honestly I really do hope that it works out because I had, I, I've worked 20 years to get to where I was yesterday.

Yeah. Yeah. And it, Barbara's great. I do I really don't mind it. It's fun. But yesterday was absolutely, did not feel like work to me, 

[00:12:50] Dan Johnson: man. And plus, what are, what do guys like us dream about every single day? It's being out in the. Or going and doing something deer related. Yep. That, that right there.

Yep. [00:13:00] 

[00:13:00] Josh Profitt: Yep. That right 

[00:13:00] Dan Johnson: there. Awesome man. I I'm happy for you. Hopefully hopefully it turns into something big and you can do what you love and make a little coin doing it. Yes, sir. I appreciate it. All right. So today I was thinking about who hunts a lot like I do, and the amount of trail cameras that you run, how you use trail camera data to locate deer and then make a move on 'em is similar to the way that I do it.

And so today I want to talk a little bit about this this casting a net strategy. And I heard it, I heard this strategy once from Bill Winky. And he, when he mentioned casting a wide net and basically what that is a ton of trail cameras out all over the place until you locate. A giant or a shooter buck, whatever that may be in in wherever you live.

And then you pull those trail cameras all tighter into that location to get a good idea of where this deer [00:14:00] is potentially betting the how he's accessing, food sources, the terrain features that he's using. And basically just, like macro adjust your trail cameras until you, till you locate 'em.

And. I don't like everybody that I talk to. I don't think enough I shouldn't say enough. I don't think people are using trail cameras to their fullest potential. Now, I'm not talking about cell cams here. I'm not talking about being able to have instant data because it just, like cell cams.

Just make that easier. I'm talking about just like the overall process. So what I want to do is I wanna break this whole thing down and talk step by step through the properties that you hunt, how you approach it with trail cameras, and then how that ultimately leads into, where you're placing your tree stands.

[00:14:52] Josh Profitt: Get 

[00:14:52] Dan Johnson: into it, bro. All right. So step one, and I'd like to start this off on a piece of property that you've never been in [00:15:00] before or never been on before. When you go. Into this piece of property, what are you looking for as far as where to deploy trail cameras? 

[00:15:13] Josh Profitt: Three things. Bedding, food and hunter access.

[00:15:18] Dan Johnson: Okay. And so break that down. And I wanna start with hunter access. Are you, like, how does Hunter access play a role in where you deploy your trail cameras? 

[00:15:31] Josh Profitt: Man, the less access you can have, definitely the better, it definitely creates better hunter or better hunting opportunities. Yeah.

Over the years I've figured out that, with all the podcasts and stuff they're being done that a lot of hunters, that for whatever reason, everybody wants to be deep or far away or on the edges. And, I would say eight years ago, a lot of my cameras [00:16:00] weren't close to the parking areas, but, any, anymore there, it's more of a grid pattern.

And I do keep some close to the parking areas because number one, you just, you never know, you can assume all you want, when you put something there that's 24 7, you know that definitely puts a little information in your hip pocket. 

[00:16:21] Dan Johnson: Yeah.

And when you mean, do you mean just from getting pictures of other people, that kind of data or just, information for about deer that are, is just closer to the road or to the parking area? Both. 

[00:16:35] Josh Profitt: Okay. Both. Typically, a perfect scenario, an easy one to explain would be like a logging road.

Come. The second week, October through the first week of November, when they're really hitting them, scrapes hard, number one, the hunters are going to be walking down that road and number two, the deer will, there will be scrapes all down that. Yeah. Everywhere I've hunted there are.

Yeah. And so you can knock out the best of both [00:17:00] worlds and I see a mix of both. I see big deer in late October on those roads in the daylight and there's sometimes there's a lot of hunters and less deer, and sometimes there's more deer than there are hunters.

[00:17:14] Dan Johnson: Yeah. So when it comes to the deployment, are you trying to hide your trail cameras at all? Are you trying to put 'em up high? I know you cable lock 'em to the tree. But every year it looks like someone messes with your trail cameras. Either that's take the SD card or steal 'em or turn them so that they're not, turn 'em back into the tree or something like that so they're not getting any pictures.

[00:17:40] Josh Profitt: Yeah. So this year was my best year ever. I ran somewhere around 50, 60 cameras. I didn't have one SD card stolen. I didn't have one camera stolen. Wow. I had two turned one turned off a bean field just back to the timber, and I had a render, a cell camera turned to [00:18:00] another tree. But yeah.

And I typically don't hang them high. And I think I'm gonna start hanging 'em high, some of them. Yeah. The reason why is because when somebody gets a picture of me, it's normally a camera that's up high. I just didn't see it. Yeah. And I wouldn't have to lock 'em. But another thing that I do is I hang a lot of my cameras low, like just a couple inches off the ground.

And you can't get away with that everywhere. I realize that cuz the snow and the stuff, but I can, and the detection range when you do that is typically better. And I feel like a lot of the times, as long as somebody's moving quickly they lit, they literally look over the camera. 

[00:18:40] Dan Johnson: Okay. I can see that happening.

Cuz a lot of the times when I'm walking through the woods, I'm looking ahead of me probably waist high or higher and I can Yeah. 

[00:18:49] Josh Profitt: Most cameras are three foot off the ground. Roughly. And if you put one three inches off the ground it does make it a little harder to see.

[00:18:57] Dan Johnson: Yeah. Yeah. And you [00:19:00] mentioned the detection range. Did you mean that from the The people aren't seeing them or you're picking up more deer movement with them. More 

[00:19:10] Josh Profitt: deer movement. Okay. Versus, versus hanging your ca I feel like when you hang your camera height, it's pointed at such a pipe spot.

And it does work, but I definitely don't get the pictures. I would if I hung my camera high versus if I hung it low. Yeah. If I'm gonna hang my camera high, it probably needs to be on like a scrape or something. 

[00:19:30] Dan Johnson: All right. So a little bit of that intel is for deer. A little bit of that intel is for human activity.

And so let's say you go and you check your trail cameras, or you're getting these cell cams sent to your phone cell cam picks sent to your phone and there is a lot of human activity. What does that mean for you? 

[00:19:50] Josh Profitt: I don't get to bent outta shape over it cuz this'll be my 14th or 15th season on public.

Yeah. And it does affect the deer. Don't [00:20:00] get me wrong. But that typically all that does for me is tell me, hey, this area's getting pounded out. Like maybe they know about this deer back here. Or two, like this is the time all the out-of-state hunters show up. And that's, those are typically the two things that mean for me. Because I've realized that the deer that I hunt on this public land, they're always there. They don't ever leave. They just figure out how to move around the humans. And a lot of the times they do it in the daylight. It may not quite be like they do.

On the on the private parcels. That, that are hunted less, but they will move in the daylight. Okay. 

[00:20:42] Dan Johnson: And so that's that, that's awesome because a lot of times people are just focusing on deer movement and then they don't know what the human activity is like. And a lot of the times, like you just said, the the human activity impacts the deer movement.

And so knowing both of [00:21:00] those things, it, I guess would just be more pieces to the puzzle, so to speak. Yeah. I 


[00:21:06] Josh Profitt: give you an example of that. I had a food source that was about a mile away from the parking lot. And you could access it with a boat, but it was three quarters to a mile of a boat ride as well.

Yeah. So anyway, you went to it. It was tougher to get to. And there was probably, Three or four acres of standing corn late season. My co my late season revolved around that couple hundred acres there. And from the front field that connected that back field, there was only one way to get to it other than a boat.

And it was just through a little narrow pinch between the fields that they used the machinery to get through. Yeah. And I knew two, two things was happening. Number one, I was gonna put that camera and I put a cell camera there cuz I wanted to see how hard it was getting hunted. I put that cell camera in that pinch.

And number two, I figured a lot of game would be walking through there, at least at night. Yep. But there was a, it was just a great [00:22:00] little pinch. There was a pond and everything there and it worked out great. It was probably 80% deer. Yeah. And wildlife moving through that. Very little.

Very little human intrusion. And that, to touch on that the way that, that the things have changed now, I've noticed e especially on that camera that these out-of-state hunters, cuz they were literally planning their hunts around the weather. They were showing up on the days, the good days.

They should have Yeah, the good days. Yeah. And they were showing up on the days that, I couldn't go. And I was like, man, I wish I could be there. Yeah. And they were showing up on those types of days. 

[00:22:40] Dan Johnson: Okay. That tells you, in a way it tells you what you're dealing with, because a lot of times, if it's 75 degrees and some guy walks through, he may, maybe he's just hardcore, but maybe he doesn't know what's going on either. And I always like to know whether a guy. Who I share a property with is a killer or if he's just a weekend warrior ladder stand, ladder stand [00:23:00] type guy.

Totally agree. So the that particular that particular pinch point had a way more game activity on it, deer activity than it did humans. And the next kind of question that I have here is what type of location do you, because you know what are, I'll just share with you where I hang my trail cameras.

Let's say during season. And that's in pinch points. It's in travel corridors, fence crossings, sometimes over scrapes. Like just main terrain features staging areas is a big place that I like to hang cameras. Over the years that you've been running trail cameras in your experience and just the sheer number of images that you've captured what location seems to be the best place to capture?

I'm gonna an ask this in two ways. One, mature bucks, two quantity of Deere. [00:24:00] 

[00:24:01] Josh Profitt: Both of 'em are the same food sources, field edges. Yeah. Now, a lot of the time it will be night and I go in expecting that. But it's, I think a deer, my personal opinion, a deer's number one goal is to survive.

Yeah. And number two, they gotta eat. So it doesn't matter if it's public or private. I'm putting, a lot, I always start out on the food sources. That's where I typically get all a lot of my information at. Okay. 

[00:24:29] Dan Johnson: All right. And so how then do you take that data and say cause, I always say a trail camera picture during the night is great, but it doesn't mean anything to me really, because I can't use 1:00 AM data to plan a, to plan a hunt on a big buck.

I know he is in the area, but it, I can't use that to, to. To make a decision on where to hunt. So how do you then take that information, whether it's just a dough [00:25:00] group or a mature buck and reverse engineer it to get to a stand location or a an ambush spot. 

[00:25:10] Josh Profitt: It's basically, it is just a great starting point.

Yeah. Especially if you're getting a deer there, multiple times a week. Yeah. You can assume this is where the deer wants to be. And if I've never hunted the farm, man, we're just going back out o on aerial and we're going to, we're gonna look for things like thermal cover sapling, thickets ridges where the sun hits it when it comes up.

You talk about the leeward ridge ridges and things like that. Just places that they will bed that you will think they will bed. And if I'm not gonna put a camera in there I really will. I'll start bouncing around, I'll go to this spot. I think the deer may be butted here, so I may be a hundred yards off the food, 150 yards off the food on this, what we would call, a transition area.

[00:25:55] Dan Johnson: And then So is that kind of just guessing or are you [00:26:00] using other trail camera data to make a decision? Like tr I guess I would call it maybe triangulating this particular Bucks location? Yes, 

[00:26:11] Josh Profitt: I would use other cameras for sure. Basically I would grid the area out. Yeah. With cameras, I'd zoom out and I would look at, all the points, which we all typically know now, like a buck could be beded here or a buck could be beded here, or if there's a clear cut or a sapling thicket, you're gonna know, that's, that's some dense cover.

There's definitely gonna be deer in there. Yeah. Especially if it's within a quarter or half mile of a food source in late season. It may change earlier during the year. Yeah. But that's how I do it. 

[00:26:40] Dan Johnson: Okay. So with that then where would you say is, okay, the nocturnal images on a food source are.

Is number one. Now, if you're wanting to take it a next step further and get Killable pictures of [00:27:00] him and daylight walking images of a mature buck or the most deer, does that then change? 

[00:27:09] Josh Profitt: Yes. Yeah. Yep. So let's just say I have three cameras with me and there are gonna be five places that I think the deer could bed, because a lot of times it is like that, when you're looking at a couple hundred acres.

I'm gonna start at the ones with my cameras that are closest to the food sources. Okay. And there may be some that are too close. There may be a point that I think the deer bedding on, and if you walk to the edge of the field, you can literally see the point. I'll X them out because you, you're gonna bump the deer before you ever get, even get the hunting anyways.

But if there is a clear cut that's 500 yards off of the field, I'm definitely going to get a camera 400 yards closer 

[00:27:53] Dan Johnson: to it. Okay. Okay. And then what is the ultimate goal then, [00:28:00] with that particular camera? Are you then looking strictly four tree stand locations at this point, or ambush spots?

Yep, just ambu, 

[00:28:11] Josh Profitt: just daylight movement. Okay. Any kind of daylight movement, basically you're just trying to connect the dots. If you got, bull Bullwinkle out here, four nights out of the seven on the field, And he is literally showing up an hour after dark. We're just trying to find where he is walking in the daylight.

[00:28:27] Dan Johnson: And how much success have you had being able to get that next picture of them? You start off on the field edge, and what I mean by that, and this is what I do, I get the field edge nocturnal picture of him, and then I go, okay, I'm looking for this terrain feature. Maybe I'll throw a trail camera in this terrain feature that could potentially lead to this field, a trail camera in this next one over here.

And basically just try to move back into the timber of where he's consistently coming out of Is. Is that what you're doing as well? Yes. Okay. Yep. [00:29:00] All right. So each step seems to be getting closer to the Deere's bedding area? Correct. All right. Yep. That's the gun. All right. Now, how are you then doing this without, like you said earlier, bumping the deer?

Out of their, out of the bedding areas? 

[00:29:20] Josh Profitt: I think I do sometimes. Yeah. If you really want to know I think I get too aggressive or I was wrong in the deers somewhere else. And a lot of things that, people don't talk about is the ground scent man. Yeah. Especially if you're on a food source that's getting pounded.

Man, I don't know how long that ground center will sit on there, especially if it, if the ground's wet, but it sits on there, a hot minute. Yeah. So a lot, it is, a lot of times it's a swing and a miss and a lot of times I've realized, especially with my cell cameras I won't get the deer right off.

And I really think that's because he's seen me or I bumped him or he come up [00:30:00] through there later and smelled where I walked or, maybe something like that. But as far as picking the deer up, Man, I can almost always do it now. Killing them's a different story. But I can typically get daylight pictures of 'em, that, that would be my second goal.

My third goal would be to kill 'em. But I can almost always get the daylight pictures of 'em, the last 30 minutes of light 

[00:30:23] Dan Johnson: or something. Gotcha. Okay. And so as as you are, as you're trying to, I don't know, triangulate this Deere's position, have you noticed, is there a timeframe, like if you do bump 'em, how long it takes for them to recover and come back to some kind of consistent consistent pattern?

[00:30:47] Josh Profitt: I think it's by the deer. I really do. I've seen them. Show up the next day, and I know I've bumped them. Yeah. And then I've seen 'em where it took, two weeks or sometimes, not, [00:31:00] never now I still may be getting 'em on the field, but they've switched something up big time to where I've really gotta adjust and sometimes I don't find them.

Yeah. If I'm being honest, I can still get 'em at the field and it may be later in the night, but I just, I don't know. And the thing that makes it tough is I really do think with everything I'm telling you, the deer on the public ground move a lot further than the deer on the private ground.

I don't think a mile every night is nothing for a deer. And I can explain that. We found some sheds in January and February off of a big deer off an eight pointer, like pushing one 60. 70 inch side sheds. 4.6 sheds. Wow. One was found right in the food source a month later. The other one was found like 1.2 miles in the timber.

That's nuts. And he, there's no other food source. You know what he was, yeah. He was just making 

[00:31:58] Dan Johnson: that grip. [00:32:00] Yeah. And that's crazy cuz that time of year, the dozer bed so much closer to the food source. So it just tells you something about these older bucks that they're willing to live in places that may not be comfortable for.

But they'll live there to survive and traveling a mile. Man that's nuts. That's like western whitetail type travel where they'll drop down into a river bottom, then walk a mile up through pasture to get to a pivot or something like that. And yeah, I've noticed some of that too.

Not necessarily directly what you're saying, but big blocks of timber, that there's no ag around this big block of timber, but there is across the road and they're traveling three quarters of a mile to a mile out of this big block of timber to, at dark basically. And I just so happened to hunt the staging age area before they crossed the road, [00:33:00] which a lot of the encounters that I had came, that's where they came.

That's prop that property's since been sold, but. They were traveling long distances to come up to this ag, and the ag was plentiful up, up top. So they were able to access that a in several different positions or several different locations, but they were all kind of funneling through the same ridge system, going back to bed every morning.

And, which was cool because I felt like they were staging in the mornings, right? Almost like they wanted to stage and wait till it got just a little bit light before they crossed the road and then they would come back in. So it allowed me time to get back into this staging area and morning hunts and all this was documented on trail cameras too, right?

It just, it was just giant funnel and so you could tell every morning at the same time, dough groups and Bucks. The bucks came a little bit sooner, but it let me know that, hey, As things start to [00:34:00] get closer to breeding, I'm gonna be able to get in here, sit by, sit on one of these dough groups and hopefully one of the big boys comes in behind them.

Yes. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. And so how much weight are you putting on that information of, let's just say dough groups, right? Is this something that you are, you're always thinking about are you, how much weight are you putting into dough groups versus mature bucks? 

[00:34:29] Josh Profitt: October or early November? Putting all my weight on 'em.

Yeah. Okay. And I think, like what I've found is I typically don't have, if even if it's late season, I don't have, four or five young bucks and 10 dos on one field, and then. A half a mile away have one mature buck eaten in a field by itself. They're typically all in the same general area.

And if it's not on the same [00:35:00] field, it's another field close. Yeah. And then you may have to jump a good ways, a half a mile or more to find another group of deer like 

[00:35:11] Dan Johnson: that, 

[00:35:11] Josh Profitt: as far as like late season 

[00:35:13] Dan Johnson: goes. Yeah. Yeah. And so as you start to as you start to, put these cameras up, collect the data at what point are you moving trail cameras or bringing more trail cameras into an area or moving trail cameras out of an area?

Like how do you do your location adjustments throughout the season? Man, 

[00:35:38] Josh Profitt: I'm a little odd. I don't move a lot of cameras. I really don't. Because what I've learned is over the years, I've literally ran trail cameras since they come out. I've had 'em all.

Yep. A lot of mine stay in the same locations. Not all of 'em, but a lot of 'em do because I've learned sometimes that I'm just wrong. Like I admit it [00:36:00] in a, in an area that I was thought was gonna be hot in early October, it may not be hot till the first weekend of January. Yeah. And I have and I really don't know why, but that happens and I'm checking on at the earliest every two weeks.

Okay. But it's typically just a couple times 

[00:36:18] Dan Johnson: a year. Yeah. 

[00:36:20] Josh Profitt: Gotcha. Just cuz I have I have so many and I have more time now, my time is limited. Yeah. And when the way that I run my cameras over five, eight. 10,000 acres. That's a lot of walking. That 

[00:36:33] Dan Johnson: is for sure.

It's a lot of walking. That's a lot of walking and a lot of batteries, 

[00:36:38] Josh Profitt: man. I know. That's a lot of 

[00:36:41] Dan Johnson: lithiums. It's how much money a year, how much money do a year do you spend on batteries? Is it a mortgage payment, 

[00:36:47] Josh Profitt: man? I know I do. Yeah, it is. It is. And the, I found the best way to buy 'em. Is it Sam's?

Yeah, the, yep. But it is it's over a thousand I think. Yeah, it's over a [00:37:00] thousand. 

[00:37:00] Dan Johnson: The best part about working with interstate batteries is that I get the hookup for the lithium AA batteries. And so I'm, there you go. I I take advantage of that Solid move. Heck yeah. Heck yeah. All right. And big buck on camera.

You get 'em on two, maybe three. What's the next, what's the next step look like for you? How are you seal the deal? 

[00:37:22] Josh Profitt: We gotta start hunting. Yeah, man, we got, we, we gotta hunt. And I typically go into a place with like A, B, and C. A is where I really think he is.

B, he definitely could be there. C I don't know. But, and then I will, I'll start cutting away and it's tough. Like it all sounds so easy when I'm just sitting here talking, but there's so many things, the wind the temperature, the hunting pressure. And so it's really hard to pinpoint and say oh yeah, he's coming through here.

Because honestly it's just an educated guess, man. Yeah. It's just going in there. And sometimes you [00:38:00] can go in there and you can see the deer. I can give you an example on that. When I was hunting that food source this year, I did, I hunted a warmer day. I just looked at on I didn't have very many cameras set up off the food.

So I bounced way in the timber. I bounced three, 400 yards off the field. And I come in a different location because I across this ridge or across this valley, there were some points and some thicker sapling. Thickets. I was like, man, one of these three bucks I'm hunting. Like they gotta be over here.

Yeah. But dude, I was wrong. I was dead wrong. I seen one of the deer that day I was wanting to kill and he was coming from the field. Yeah. Come by me 80 yards, he, and he wasn't going to the field that night. He was not in the daylight. Yeah. And I just looked up and they were herded up, four or five doughs and a few bucks and they, he, I literally watched him come from down the [00:39:00] hill.

And then, so then I'm like the deer wasn't, definitely, wasn't beded over here where I thought he was like he was closer to the food. And I think that deer was so close then that if you didn't hunt the field edge, like you, you were going to bump him, if you went in the woods. And that's just a, cant you take.

[00:39:20] Dan Johnson: Did you ever try to get him behind him?

[00:39:26] Josh Profitt: No. I didn't. I didn't, but that's what I did that day. Yeah. I ended up behind him. Yeah. And if I would've hunted that field that day, I never would've seen that particular deer and I just would've chopped it up as a, he either didn't come here or b he's just not gonna make it in time.

But I don't know what they were doing. They headed into the middle of the. Okay. Yeah. 

[00:39:48] Dan Johnson: At an hour before dark. It's I don't They 

[00:39:51] Josh Profitt: were browsing on something they had to be Yeah. And if they went in the field, I don't remember if I got pictures of that gear that night, but if they went in the field, it was [00:40:00] like midnight.

[00:40:00] Dan Johnson: Gotcha. Gotcha. So did you then make an ad an adjustment off of where you saw that buck 

[00:40:07] Josh Profitt: come out? I checked more cameras. I checked more 


[00:40:10] Dan Johnson: And what did the cameras tell you? 

[00:40:13] Josh Profitt: That the deer was bedding further away than what I thought. He was in a clearcut about three quarters of a mile away. Okay.

I was I had got him several times crossing a very small food plot on public land in the morning 

[00:40:27] Dan Johnson: coming back to bed 

[00:40:28] Josh Profitt: yes. And it was like, it was literally a straight clear cut. And I knew deer beded in it. But I didn't, I wasn't for sure if they were walking that far, between bed and feed.

But that deer. I'm not saying he did it all the time, but several times he was, because I bet he didn't go a hundred yards past my trail camera. My, my trail camera was literally right on the edge of the clear cut. And I got him a bunch of times between six 30 in the morning and 8:00 AM broad daylight crossing a food plot.

And the food plot wasn't wide. He was in the [00:41:00] open 15, 20 yards and then he was, yeah. He vanished again. Yeah. So it just goes to tell you like, even though I've been doing this a long time, and I'm decent at it, like sometimes you're wrong. A lot of times you're 

[00:41:13] Dan Johnson: wrong. But it's how you use that wrong.

Like how and it's not like you were wrong. I look at it more like you made an educated guess and it wasn't the right spot, but you then knew you, but you learned something out of that. Correct. 

[00:41:30] Josh Profitt: Oh yeah. Like I, I definitely, I found another be, I knew it was a known bedding area, but I found one of that deer's bedding areas.

Yeah. And I think he was going there more than what I thought. Which means that I would've had to have really adjust, I would've been bouncing off that food plot and going 400 yards down in the timber versus 

[00:41:51] Dan Johnson: 150. And it ultimately allowed you to be more aggressive in your further into the timber, off the food edge, or off the field edge. [00:42:00] 

[00:42:00] Josh Profitt: Yes. Almost definitely is a aggressive lab when they come. And I think sometimes that hurts me and sometimes that helps me. But, I, that's just how I am. Yep. 


[00:42:09] Dan Johnson: hunt. And did you then make any additional moves on this buck? 

[00:42:15] Josh Profitt: There were several deer there using that.

And my best sightings actually come from seeing him in the field. Just on the better days. Okay. So you were, I think I seen the deer, that particular deer. I seen him four times in the daylight, in the, in that same field. And he would never, he was never coming out in the same place.

Okay. Never far, 200, 300 yards apart, but it was never the same place. And, but it was the 

[00:42:43] Dan Johnson: same food source. Yes. Same 

[00:42:46] Josh Profitt: food source. Same field, same three or four acres of standing corn. But, the, it would literally be, and it goes to show you like how some deer used the wind in their advantage.

Like I would be over here and I would have, if I wanted to [00:43:00] be there, I'd have to be there because the wind and then the wind would change and I would be over here and the deer would literally walk. 20 yards from the tree I was in two days 

[00:43:10] Dan Johnson: ago. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. 

[00:43:13] Josh Profitt: And I, and then I was being really careful about my access and stuff, like as far as my ground stand, I was making big loops around and those types of things.

[00:43:23] Dan Johnson: Yeah. Okay. Where is a place that would maybe you, you found maybe by accident over the year? Or let's just use the word overlooked. What's an overlooked place to hang a trail camera that people may not think about? 

[00:43:41] Josh Profitt: Roads. On the roads. 

[00:43:43] Dan Johnson: On the roads? 

[00:43:44] Josh Profitt: Yep. I can tell you the best way to do it is this piece I hunted this year.

One side of the road was all timber. The other side was a lot of ag. Yeah. Deer could bet either side, but when we had the snow, I just started paying real, real close attention to how the [00:44:00] deer were moving. And because I put so many cameras out, there are a lot of cameras I put within a hundred yards of the road.

There are some I put to where if you're driving down the road, you can see 'em. And those are definitely overlooked places. And typically a, they do not get hunted. And if the road's not traveled very much like the deer literally used 'em in the daylight. Did you see the match to the sheds I found from 

[00:44:24] Dan Johnson: the road this year?

I think so. Yeah. Yeah. Yep. 

[00:44:27] Josh Profitt: That was one of those places. And I had a lot of daytime deer, especially in the rut. And later in the year, three years older or older, I was getting daylight pictures of 'em. My camera was 20 yards off the road, like I didn't even shut my truck off. Yeah. I just put it parked, hopped the hill, hopped the fence, switched the cards.

And number one, I knew what the deer were beded over here. They were feeding over here. And two, it was it was very efficient for me. Cause it didn't take, it was less than a minute to check the 

[00:44:58] Dan Johnson: camera. Yeah, for [00:45:00] sure. Dude, I'll tell you this man 2018, maybe 2019, I can't remember.

17, 18 and 19, I think it was three years. I chased this mammoth, this giant he had 12 inch brow heines. And he was probably pushing, he was probably pushing 2 0 5, 2 10, something like that. Just a giant and junk all over. I've, I posted a couple picture of him, no pictures of him since.

But anyway this buck I, it was late season and there was still standing corn across the road from this big block of timber that I hunt. And I could see there was no snow, but I could see that there, there was a gate opening. In this in this fence across. And that's where all the deer were piling in.

You could see where they were eating the corn closest to that fence opening and then it would get pushed back. But there was a, a down tree and I put a cell cam. I put a cell cam there, and sure enough for [00:46:00] five days in a row, but it was all after dark. They came, he was coming through this gate opening or I had the camera facing towards the road on my side of the property, and then he was crossing the road into another property, into this cornfield and I got multiple pictures of him doing that.

And so I used that information to find out what ridge he was using. I moved in there to try to get him. I never did because I have a feeling he was coming. He was. Coming from a long distance away what you were saying, he was in this big block of timber. He was like several ridges deep in this big block of timber.

And then he was just traversing these ridges all the way on, one side of wherever the wind was blowing. He was on one side of the ridge or the other that led up to this little fence gate that he was in. And so I I tried, I never ran into him. Now, the next year though, I had a siding of him on the same ridge during the rut, [00:47:00] and then that was the only time I ever saw him from the tree stand.

And so I, I. I, I was flexible with my trail camera locations or fluid with them. Moved them around, tried to get 'em, I got 'em, brought some more in and got another picture of him. And then I used all that information just throughout the years to create like a a shape or some kind of, I call it a core area map.

And you can create those by using tons of trail camera data. And I don't know. That's, that, that was how I approached it. I never did get a hold of him, but I, I could provide several examples in the past of me using trail camera data to kill deer. 

[00:47:37] Josh Profitt: Absolutely. And if you do run a lot of cameras like you or I you'll realize like that some of the deer, they really are different.

Like I feel like a lot of the deer have a 

[00:47:46] Dan Johnson: wider, that I hunt, have a wider range, like home 

[00:47:49] Josh Profitt: range. Yeah. But, I had one, four or five year old deer that was an absolute giant one time, and when he was three years old, I think three or four, I think he was three, two, he [00:48:00] was all over the place.

He was all over, he was all over 2000 acres. Yeah. And the next year when he was four or five, dude, I couldn't get him to leave 300 acres. And it, that made it, it definitely made, I thought I was going to kill him. And, but I just, I didn't have time. He was, he ended up crossing the line and dying during rifle season on private ground.

But it just goes to show you like exactly what you talked about. Yeah. Some of them deer have, big ranges if you were to draw a circle out. And some of them do have smaller 

[00:48:31] Dan Johnson: ranges. Yeah. All right. So recently there was a new law passed in Kansas that said, no more trail cameras on public land period.

Let's say Kentucky passes that law and says, no more trail cameras, period, sell standard anything on public land. How does your approach change? 

[00:48:53] Josh Profitt: First off, I'm going to be pissed off and start crying.[00:49:00] 

[00:49:00] Dan Johnson: That would suck, man. That would. 

[00:49:03] Josh Profitt: You got $20,000 in cameras, we're just gonna leave them in the garage. 

[00:49:08] Dan Johnson: You at that point, you got $20,000 worth of trail cameras. It would probably be worth your while to just move to a different state. 

[00:49:17] Josh Profitt: Yeah. I, you stole the words right out of my mouth. I would be going to, I'd be going to Indiana.


[00:49:24] Dan Johnson: Okay. All 

[00:49:25] Josh Profitt: right. That's where it would start. But to really answer your question, man, here's the thing. I've had so many people tell me like, dude, what you, what are you doing out checking cameras? Like you need, it's November or it's late October. You need to be in the stand. And I've said this on podcasts for the last five years.

I really do scout 75 or 80% of the time. And that scouting comes when. I'm checking my trail cameras, like that's what I'm doing. Yeah. Like I'm not just out checking trail cameras, I'm cutting [00:50:00] ridges. I'm looking for fresh. That's how I find my fresh sign. It's not by hanging and hunting, it's by checking my trail cameras.

Yeah. Bottom line. I think that I could still kill and maybe even every year, but if I was to want to hunt a specific deer man, I might as well. I need a bag of magic pixie dust. Yeah. 

[00:50:22] Dan Johnson: Yeah. Specific deer. 

[00:50:24] Josh Profitt: That, that and it's going to be hard to really hunt like a cow. Like I was Yeah. Like I like to do, there may be, Josh profit hunts, like there may be 160 inch deer over.

Along with a one 30, and then I can go two miles down the road and on the same amount of property I may have five or 6, 1 30 s and one 40. So that's where I'm going to hunt. Yeah. I've never been a big buck hunter. I don't know that I ever will. I just always stack my odds. Yeah. Cuz I just like shooting a good deer.

A good respectable deer. Yeah. It's gonna make it tougher, man. Let's just be [00:51:00] honest. It's gonna make 

[00:51:01] Dan Johnson: it a lot tougher. Yeah. I feel like I would still have the same amount of success as far as killing a deer. But I'll tell you this right now, you take away my trail cameras. I don't know the top tier bucks on the farm.

I'm not shooting the caliber of deer that I'm shooting. I'm not passing one 40 s like anymore. I'm to get to a one 50 or something like that or the top buck on the farm. I'm just not doing that anymore. Because you don't know. I've had years where there's been five bona crockett caliber deer on 500 acres, and then there's also been years where the biggest buck has been 140 inch, eight pointer on the property.

He was a big body bastard, but he was, in the antler department, he was smaller. And I would have to I'd be shooting those deer because you just can't, you don't know absolutely. Anymore. And it just lets you know that trail cameras are this luxury of sorts. And I'm just happy that I can use 'em right now, but I don't think I would be [00:52:00] like, oh, that upset about it.

I would be like, God, that sucks, but. I don't necessarily, it wouldn't necessarily change the way I'd hunt. I actually think I would hunt more because I would have to be the trail camera. I would have to get more insight with my own eyes. It'd lead me to hunt more It, it would lead me to bounce around to more areas more, and then almost a scout and hunt.

Walk into the timber, look for the signs set up over top of it, and then just slowly check and cross all those spots off as opposed to checking a trail camera over a scrape or something, or in a pinch point. And you're just like there, obviously there's nothing here. That's, that grabs my interest.

I'm gonna move to the next spot. 

[00:52:47] Josh Profitt: Correct. I know I've always ran trail cameras, but I never started run 'em, running them in volume until 2016. Yeah. So I'm like you. And one thing I think that I would have to force myself [00:53:00] to do is just to scout to Yeah. I'd have to put it in my mind that, hey, we got two days to hunt.

We're gonna scout both days, half a day each day. I'm gonna scout this morning and then I'm gonna hunt this evening. And then, hey, I'm either gonna hunt the same spot this Sunday morning and then scout a little bit midday or something like that. I think I would have to force myself to scout because it would be hard for me to get in my mind like, Hey, I can't hit this 500 acres and check four or five cameras.

Yeah. And look for fresh spine. It's, Hey, we've got, we gotta go. Find fresh sign. Do you want to take your stand with you now? Yeah. Or do you want to come back? It would be an adjustment and I think I know I would be okay. But it just wouldn't be as fun and that's why I'm out there, man. I, yeah.

I'm, like I said, I'm not the big buck killer and I really do to have fun. That whole time I was chasing, bones this year. It was, [00:54:00] I was not having fun. It was horrible. Yeah. And that's one thing that the trail cameras do for me. I, man, I have so much fun checking them. 

[00:54:07] Dan Johnson: Oh yeah.

I'll tell you this, man. I got a coup. I have, I'm going Turkey hunting youth season with my daughter this this Friday and Saturday. And while I'm out there, I'm gonna be pulling all my trail cameras down that I have up on, on my main farm there. And it's just to see what came through. Cuz the last time I checked him was late October.

And so just to see what came, oh man, what came through there throughout this past year is gonna be, I don't know. I just love doing it. I love checking trail cameras. I love looking at pictures of deer. I love, where did this butt come from? Oh my God, I got him on two ca trail cameras now.

Is he gonna run the same pattern next year? Blah, blah, blah. And you just, you snowball outta control and but that's the part of it that I absolutely love him, man. 

[00:54:55] Josh Profitt: I absolutely, and I, you're probably antsy right now. I'm antsy for [00:55:00] ya 

[00:55:00] Dan Johnson: if they've been out since October. Yeah, I'm antsy. I'm definitely gonna.

I'll be out there with my daughter, I'll, she'll be, I'll be trying to get her a Turkey, but in the back of the mine, I'm like, all right, they stopped gobbling. Let's go get these trail cameras and then head back to the house, feed her. And I'll be looking through some trail camera picks, so standby.

Maybe something big shows up. Josh, man I really do appreciate you taking time outta your day to to do this. Good luck with your new venture as a land management specialist and cutting hair as well. And man, we will we will talk to you when we talk to you. All right, man. Appreciate 

[00:55:35] Josh Profitt: it.

Thank you. 

[00:55:38] Dan Johnson: And that brings us to the end of another nine Finger Chronicles podcast man. Huge shout out to all of you. Thank you for taking time outta your day to hop on and download and listen to all of the Nine Finger Chronicles episodes. Please share with a friend. Get the word out more. I know I'm not the biggest, but I feel like I'm one of the best and I really would like you to share all of this [00:56:00] content with your hunting buddies and let them know about the information and the entertainment that they can get out of this podcast.

Huge shout out to Josh for taking time outta his day to hop on and talk to us about his hunting strategy. Last but not least, man, huge shout out to tethered wasp vortex and HuntStand. Man, we really appreciate here at the Nine Finger Chronicles, or I should say, I really appreciate the brands that I work with.

Please go out and support these brands. They are the check writers, right? Let's be honest. They write the checks. I get to do this for a living. I get to give you guys this free badass content on, on, not only iTunes and Spotify, but on YouTube now as well, we've been recording all of our episodes and we've been playing 'em on on YouTube as well.

So go check it out there if you want to actually watch the interview go down. Other than that, man, it's all about the good vibes, right? So it's good vibes in, good vibes out, and we will talk to you next time.[00:57:00]