It’s more about the hunt than the actual kill

By Ralph & Vicki Cianciarulo


Vicki Cianciarulo mounts a FORCE-PRO-S solar trail camera on a tree.

The scouting and preparation part of the hunt is truly what makes for a successful encounter. We’ve been using our Spypoint trail cameras for this and have had incredible success. Here are some of our tried-and-true tips:

Utilize Multiple Cameras


We often set our FORCE-PROs to video mode in the locations we feel we may get a shot. Then, using some field pods, we utilize multiple cameras to capture the shot from different angles.

Take Shorter Clips

Setting the camera to video mode at 30 to 90 seconds with instant delay is the ticket. Keeping it at 30 seconds creates more files but allows you to locate the ones you need to a lot faster.


Optimize Sensitivity to Avoid No-Show Photos

The higher you mount your cameras, the more shadows will set them off. Play with your sensitivity settings to learn how to avoid photos of shadows as the sun moves across the sky.

We see many animals coming to enjoy the waterhole at our property in Colorado

Use Your Camera to Backtrack Movement

Let’s say you’ve got a target critter always entering from right to left at dark thirty. Start moving your camera down that trail to pinpoint where it’s coming from. Eventually, you’ll be able to determine its pattern and locate its movement during daylight hours.

Track the Wind with Yarn

Hang a piece of brightly colored yarn so it’s in the frame of each shot. This will tell you which way the wind is blowing in each image, giving you intel about where the game came from in each wind.

Now, here’s a story about how it all works together. Recently, we moved to southern Colorado and started putting our Spypoint cameras to the test. We dug a waterhole and hung our cameras around it and down trails that lead to our pasture. Soon, we were getting pictures and video clips from our cameras of multiple bulls. We used our yarn trick to see when they were coming down and with what winds. It wasn’t long before we found the main movement and strategized the best plan of attack for entrance and blind location.

The family from left to right: RJ, Aubrey, Vicki and Ralph Cianciarulo

One day, while RJ was hunting Montana and I was after a whitetail buck in Illionois, Vicki and Aubrey snuck down and got in the blind. As the sun set, they spotted movement on the mountain. Sure enough, it was the 6×6 bull we were all after. He was bedded up in the area we had located by backtracking trails with our cameras, and he was slowly making his way down the mountain to get water before heading down the valley for the night.

Vicki and Aubrey got set up. As the bull presented Vicki with a shot, she held her Browning X-bolt 6.8 Western right in the sweet spot and squeezed the trigger—buckling the bull, and down he went!

That’s how all the pieces of the puzzle come together. It proved, once again, that the challenge is in the scouting, prep and execution of the plan. It’s more about the hunt than the actual kill.

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