Deer Hunting: Spotlighting vs. Trail Cameras

Deer Hunting: Spotlighting vs. Trail Cameras


Spotlighting deer may be a foreign idea in areas where the practice is illegal. But in states that still allow spotlighting, many hunters and wildlife enthusiasts enjoy heading out at night to see what wildlife they can find. It’s often touted as an activity the whole family can enjoy, and many like seeing deer at night in their natural habitat. Outdoor News‘ Tom Venesky says spotlighting is a great way to see what’s out in the areas he likes to hunt. But are trail cameras making spotlighting obsolete?

spotlight Photo by National Park Service

Deer congregate in the fields at night, and the beam from my spotlight tells me what I may encounter when the season opens. But my favorite and most productive deer hunting area is one that I can’t spotlight.

There is one overgrown field in the area, and the rest of the habitat is wooded hillsides and deep hollows. For this area I rely on trail cameras, and just the other week one of them captured a few images of an impressive 10-point buck traveling with a nice 8-point… With the use of trail cameras, the need to spotlight an area as a means of scouting really isn’t necessary. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the popularity of trail cameras leads to a decrease in spotlighting activity.

Be sure to check your state’s regulations on spotlighting before you go afield.

Photo by: National Park Service (center)