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#6418193 - 08/21/16 12:21 PM Spotlighting
Txhunter65 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 02/13/15
Posts: 490
For those of you in the MLDP or just do surveys for yourself what brand spotlight do you use and would you recommend it?

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#6418210 - 08/21/16 12:31 PM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Txhunter65]
SapperTitan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/17/10
Posts: 17074
Loc: Killeen/Ft Hood, TX
There are a lot of animals you will never see with a spotlight. I'd get a NV monocular and then you can scout at night with the animals never knowing you are there. I did it last week and spotted two nice bucks me and a friend had never seen in person or on camera.
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Originally Posted By: bill oxner
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#6418483 - 08/21/16 04:36 PM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Txhunter65]
Big_Ag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 1010
Loc: Denton or Knox County
We use trail cameras for our surveys. Our biologist prefers them over spotlighting.

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#6418505 - 08/21/16 04:55 PM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Big_Ag]
SapperTitan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/17/10
Posts: 17074
Loc: Killeen/Ft Hood, TX
Originally Posted By: Big_Ag
We use trail cameras for our surveys. Our biologist prefers them over spotlighting.
good idea but I would think you would have to put a bunch on trails away from feeders.
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Originally Posted By: bill oxner
I could never repay you for the pleasure I've gotten out of your meat package.


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#6418895 - 08/21/16 08:29 PM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Txhunter65]
Big_Ag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 1010
Loc: Denton or Knox County
Actually, the trail camera method requires it over baited sites. One for every 200 acres is what we use.

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#6418898 - 08/21/16 08:31 PM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Txhunter65]
SapperTitan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/17/10
Posts: 17074
Loc: Killeen/Ft Hood, TX
Lots of deer don't hit bait sites at least that what I've noticed in some of the places I've hunted. Many mature bucks would skirt the feeders and stay 50-100 yds away so if that's the case how are you going to get a good count. Lots of people kill bucks they never seen on cams as well.
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Originally Posted By: bill oxner
I could never repay you for the pleasure I've gotten out of your meat package.


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#6418939 - 08/21/16 08:51 PM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Txhunter65]
Txhunter65 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 02/13/15
Posts: 490
From what I've read to do the trail camera method developed by Dr. Jacobson correctly you're supposed to put the camera over a newly baited sites for about two weeks or so. I don't think they're supposed to be around established feeders. Unless there's another method out there.

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#6419022 - 08/21/16 09:44 PM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Txhunter65]
Big_Ag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 1010
Loc: Denton or Knox County
There is a factor for those deer that don't hit the bait site that you use in the formula. Our biologist said to use our pre-exiting free choice feeders. I've done both methods and I feel the camera is much more accurate. You also get to know your deer herd much better combing through all the photos. For instance, you get a much more buck by buck age and antler evaluation due to the multiple photos you get of the various bucks.

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#6419153 - 08/22/16 01:12 AM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Txhunter65]
huntingbig8 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 395
Loc: graham,tx
I would need 65 trail cameras out to complete my survey! I think i will just use a spotlight, as for NV, the idea is not to see every animal, it's to cover around 10% of the ranch and hopefully 10% of the animals, then plug in the numbers.

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#6419155 - 08/22/16 01:21 AM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Txhunter65]
Txduckman Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 11719
Loc: Big D
I am curious how the spot light method works. If we drive our 8 miles of roads on 1,000 acres you can only see 10 to 50 yards normally. We hardly ever see more than a few deer when driving around. Most deer bolt by sound of vehicle so you just see a butt. No way to tell what % we possibly saw to plug numbers on our place if we went that route. We have one guy that says we have one deer per 10 acres and I say it is one per 20 or 25 and we both been there a long time. That's a 100% margin of error.

We have 8 established feeders for 10+ years now with cameras and find the mature deer might hit a feeder once and only once a season only at night. They will hit another one making an appearance but never twice. They might walk by within 50 yards but never hit the corn. We have does that will walk by and never stop or get close to a feeder to get on camera. Doesn't matter if feeder is penned or not. Not sure how cameras are effective in all areas but it is better than spotlighting IMO. Considering our deer leave if they hear a vehicle 100 yards away we would have to use some other method.

My buddy flies a heli to get his counts but they have 10K and it still only gets a % of deer. He won't even do his survery until November typically. Just do your best with what you are given as no method is perfect.

I personally would do the cameras over brand new bait sites to see what is out there. If you have hogs, good luck.

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#6419298 - 08/22/16 07:56 AM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Txhunter65]
Big_Ag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 1010
Loc: Denton or Knox County
Txduckman- many of the reasons you cite is why I believe in camera surveys over spotlighting. Because of the brush and terrain, vehicle noise and difficulty identifying what you see, spotlight surveys are much less accurate in my opinion.

Regarding the chance sightings of bucks, the rut and the tendency of bucks to roam during the rut has a lot to do with those chance encounters that you only have once with some of the bucks you have never seen. Most of those deer are not living year round on your place unless you have thousands and thousands of acres. They are roaming outside their core area looking for love. Even if they are living on your property, the formal has a factor built in the formula to account for those outliers that don't appear on camera.

Do some deer avoid feeders? No doubt, but the thing I have experienced is most bucks we think avoid feeders really are only avoiding them during the daylight. They are strictly nocturnal. They only hit feeders after dark, no matter the time of year, Cold or hot. Hunting pressure or not. If you are feeding year round and the deer have known feed stations all their life, they will likely use them, but maybe only at night.

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#6419323 - 08/22/16 08:20 AM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Txhunter65]
BenBob Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/27/06
Posts: 5830
Loc: Undercover
Do y'all notify the game wardens that you will be doing a spotlight survey before you actually do it?
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#6419441 - 08/22/16 09:46 AM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Txhunter65]
Pinky3169 Online   happy
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 70
Loc: Walker County
No one answered you question, so I will.. The light I use is the Lightforce. Made by the same company as Nightforce Optics. It is light weight and holds up well. I put a green filter on mine. I use the 170mm one. They make bigger ones.

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#6419501 - 08/22/16 10:25 AM Re: Spotlighting [Re: SapperTitan]
Captain Luke Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 1014
Loc: Duval County, Starr County
Originally Posted By: SapperTitan
Lots of deer don't hit bait sites at least that what I've noticed in some of the places I've hunted. Many mature bucks would skirt the feeders and stay 50-100 yds away so if that's the case how are you going to get a good count. Lots of people kill bucks they never seen on cams as well.

Very true.
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#6419520 - 08/22/16 10:36 AM Re: Spotlighting [Re: Big_Ag]
Stevarino Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 2077
Loc: Mckinney, TX
Originally Posted By: Big_Ag
We use trail cameras for our surveys. Our biologist prefers them over spotlighting.


Same here. Too thick for spotlighting.. We just compare the same days from all our cameras..

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