After seeing many bucks on camera and on stand throughout deer season, there is always concern how many actually come out alive on Jan. 1. Technology, provides plenty of answers.

T.J. Hallman, plantation manager at the Territories Saluda River Preserve in Chappell, S.C., is a strong believer in year-round habitat and herd management. 

“When the first of February comes along, we really like to get out and start our second trail-camera survey,” said Hallman (864-360-1052). “Before the antlers shed, we want to get an inventory of bucks that survived the season.”

Beyond just inventorying bucks, Hallman will use the post-season camera data to reveal information and specifics of the herd.  

“It’s a great time to check heard health, fawn recruitment, buck-to-doe ratio and deer per acre. We will compare the post-season data with the preseason surveys; that helps us develop our game plan for next year,” he said. 

Post-season camera surveys are easy and give unbiased data on the herd because the mating season is over. Bucks and does are no longer exhibiting breeding behavior; they are all hungry and looking to chow down. Natural food availability dwindles significantly, so deer are looking for a consistent food source. That makes February a perfect time to set up trail cameras on supplemental-feeding locations.