Mike Quinn is no stranger to wilderness adventure. For the last 22 years he has scoured nearly every wilderness basin of Washington State with a singular, determined focus: finding trophy mule deer. And every spring, as early as the melting snows allow, Mike laces up his boots, straps on his 60-lb pack, and begins his quest for these infrequent and elusive high-country bucks.
In 2003, Quinn had an epiphany: â€śI thought that if I set up trail cameras in the areas I scout so heavily, I could effectively monitor favored locations 24-hrs a dayâ€”something impossible to do for even the most diehard and time-rich hunters. And if it worked, it might offer a decisive advantage come fall by not wasting time hunting non-productive areas.â€ť
Seven years later, he still hadnâ€™t tested his theory. Early trail cams had too many downfallsâ€”they were large, heavy, ate batteries quickly, and cost an arm and a leg. Then Bushnell introduced a compact, affordable unit, the Trophy Cam. â€śTrail cams have gotten exponentially better with time,â€ť Quinn says. In the spring of 2011, he finally tested his theory.
Fifteen thousand images later, his theory has morphed into a law: Trail cams work for wilderness scouting. â€śI now kick myself in the rear-end for not using these units sooner,â€ť he said. â€śIf I had been using these ten years ago, I may have enjoyed greater success on trophy-class animals. More importantly, I would have learned to not waste time hunting basins that did not hold trophy bucks.â€ť