Author Archives: Jason Mackay

How to Choose the Right Trail Camera in the West

Stealth Cam Header

There are many different models of trail cameras these days, all with different specs and megapixels that may make it confusing when trying to choose. It’s hard to know which one is right for you and your situation. You might be new to trail cameras and just want to get something going to see what’s in your area, or you might be a seasoned pro looking to upgrade your cameras cameras for higher quality images.

Typically you want the most megapixels and the most LED bulbs for the best price. On all Stealth Cam models, the number in the model name represents how many LED bulbs are in the camera. If it says “NG”, it stands for No Glo bulbs which eliminates the flash at night so it doesn’t spook the animals. No Glo LED bulbs are great for security cameras as well.

Stealth Cam Utah Moose

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Jason – Staff Picks

Check out the Solid.HUNTING.Gear that the staff here at BlackOvis uses and are familiar with. Thinking of buying a product but not sure how it performs? Check out if any of us use it and give us a call!



Hunting Style: Archery
Favorite Species: Mule Deer
Dream Hunt: Red Stag
Next Gear Purchase: Exo 3500 Pack
Other Pursuits: Fly Fishing

Weapon Setup

Bow: Prime Alloy/Open Country 28″ Draw, 70 lbs
Sight: Black Gold Ascent 3 Pin
Rest: Blue QAD HDX Drop Away Rest
Release: Scott Samurai
Stabilizer: Bee-Stinger 8″ Sport Hunter
Arrows (and weight): Carbon Express Blue Streak 350 Spine
Quiver: Tight Spot 5 Arrow
Broadhead: Trophy Taker Ulmer Edge Mechanical, and Grim Reaper Razortip Mechanical

Clothing Setup

Body Type: Short and Stocky
Height: 5’7″
Weight: 260 lbs

Jacket: Sitka Jetstream 2XL, Core4Element Element Jacket 2xL
Pant (summer): Sitka Ascent Pant 42R, Core4Element Highline Pant 40R
Pant (winter): Sitka Timberline Pant 42R, Core4Element Element Pant 40R
Base Layer Top(s): Sitka Core Crew 3XL, Core4Element Pivot 2XL
2nd Layer Shirt(s): Sitka Traverse Hoodie 3XL, Core4Element Assault 2XL
Base Layer Bottom: Core4Element 190 Merino Bottom 2XL
Gloves: Core4Element Assault Glove L, Sitka Jetstream Glove L
Rain Jacket: Core4Element Torrent Rain Jacket 2XL
Rain Pant: Core4Element Torrent Rain Pant XL
Footwear: Lowa Renegade Size 10
Socks: Darn Tough Micro Crew, Lorpen T3 Light Hiker
Other: Any neutral color trucker hat

Essential Gear

Binos: Zeiss Terra ED 10×42
Spotting Scope: Vortex Razor HD 16-48×65 Angled
Knife: Havalon Piranta
Game Bag: Caribou Gear Muley Meat on the Bone
Pack: Easton Pickup Pack Max1
Trekking Poles: Easton Carbon CTR 70
Tent: Big Agnes Copper Spur 3P Mountain Glow Tent
Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes Lost Ranger
Stove: Jetboil flash
Rangefinder: Vortex Ranger 1000
Bino Harness: Badlands Bino Case
Headlamp: Princeton Tec Remix Pro

Scouting for High Country Mule Deer

Scouting season is upon us and the opening season is just around the corner. It is time to dust off those trail cams and make sure they still work, and stock up on batteries (more than you expect!)

When scouting for a big mature mule deer you need time, patience, focus, and a good set of glass.

Let’s face it, trail cameras are just another fun hobby.  I look forward to putting out trail cameras every year but I am not convinced that they will help you kill a mature buck. There are plenty of great trail cameras out there on the market. Honestly, I personally can’t choose one brand. Unless you are hunting private ground, my opinion is buy a camera that you can get a smoking deal on, that way when you place your camera on public ground you won’t be stressing about your $400 trail camera you just put on a heavily used trail. Remember, when putting out trail cams, you alway risk getting your cameras messed with, broken, or even worse, stolen. For me, I can’t beat the value of  Stealth Cam, Bushnell trail cameras, or even the Wildgame Innovations and Cuddeback Trail cameras. If you are in the market for a higher end camera make sure to check out Spypoint and Covert trail cams. They definitely help on finding bucks and what size of bucks that are in the area. Unless you have the same buck on the same trail or same water hole consistently than it’s all just a crap shoot. Now personally, if I do find a good buck on one of my cameras I will than pull cameras from other areas that are not doing so good and flood the area with the good buck to try and find the bucks favorite path.

IM000413Alright, so you have placed your cameras and been able to pattern a few really nice mature bucks, now it is time for homework.You really have to do your homework on when you get the pictures back from your cameras. It will seem as if you are enrolled in law school for deer hunting. Check how often he is coming in and what times of day. Checking the times of day is so crucial, make sure you plan your hunt accordingly to when he is using what trails/watering holes. If legal in your state try and use a salt lick if you can in your state. I prefer the Trophy Rock brand. This will slow the buck down so you can get some good pictures of him, and also get him to keep using the same trail more frequently instead of using a trail that’s 20ft up or 20ft downhill from the trail you put your camera on.

This is so important! DO NOT check your trail cameras too often, or else you can leave so much human scent the bucks will vacate the area completely. Give the area at least 2 weeks (3 weeks is better) before you check on it. I know it’s really hard to wait, but if you can’t wait, than get a few more and spread them out in different areas at different days of the week so you are constantly checking different cameras to keep tabs on your deer. My beautiful picture

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