Reader Success | Cameron Frowick

15 Dec

By Cameron Frowick

 

Traveler

 

The year 2010 marked the first year of my Trail Camera Addiction. I purchased my first camera for our family farm here in East Texas which sits on the Angelina River in the heart of the piney woods region of the state. Acorns, food plots, and feeders was the name of the game while hunting our farm for many years prior. It wasn’t until 2011 that I really started to watch, pattern, and try to kill a mature buck.

In 2011, I purchased a few other cameras and started taking inventory and actually studying bucks and other wildlife that lived on our farm. I started saving every identifiable buck picture and really began putting the pieces of the puzzle together. I was checking my trail cameras mid-November of that year and noticed a buck that looked to be 1.5 years old. I noticed he had a notch in his right ear and so I saved a few pictures that would help me identify this buck in the future.

 

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I did not get another picture of this buck until March of 2013. I was scrolling through pictures when it dawned on me, this was the same buck from the year before! There was the buck with the notch in his ear a year older! He looked to be a decent 8 point at 2.5 years old. What shocked me more than anything was the fact that he was almost what seemed a mile away from the year before. He had been feeding in one of our oat plots right before casting his antlers. Being blown away at how far this buck had traveled, I decided it fit to name him “Traveler”. Little did I know, this was just the start of patterning this buck throughout his entire life.

I was eager to check my trail cameras in September of 2013 to see if I could find him once again on our farm. He was back! He had grown into a really nice 9 point! I started getting pictures of him back on the other side of our farm where I first got intel of him when he was 1.5. He was not camera shy at all, in fact I started getting his picture almost every week! My camera was placed on the side of a food plot in a stand of pines next to our neighbors mature hardwoods. That’s where I believe he was bedded the majority of the time. Many hunters in our area would consider this a “shooter,” and like many other
mature buck hunters, I was on edge hoping he would not get killed.

 

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I finally had my first encounter with “Traveler” during November of 2013. I was hunting a pipeline about 500 yards away from where I was getting his picture. One morning just when it was getting daylight I could tell right away that a bigger bodied deer was walking north on the pipeline. I immediately brought my rifle to rest and got my scope aligned. I thought to myself, It’s “Traveler!” I have to give most of the credit to the trail cameras for helping me study this deer and know that he was a buck I wanted to let walk. I froze and watched him disappear into the pine thicket. I smiled with the confidence of knowing I made the right decision for the goals I set out to achieve and just enjoyed the moment. Our hard work planting food plots and working on the farm was starting to pay off!

 

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Traveler made it through that entire season. In 2014, I added a few more cameras to my arsenal. I had about 10 cameras monitoring roughly 800 acres with a few cameras in the area I considered Traveler to called home. A buck with a notch in his ear started showing up in early summer with big velvet bases gleaming. He was off to a good start at 4 years old. I got his picture at multiple camera sights all across the farm. He was traveling everywhere by the start of the season and he had grown into one of the biggest bucks we had ever raised on the farm, a really nice 10 point. Somehow, I managed never to see him the entire 2014 season. I hunted him pretty hard that year and played a serious game of cat and mouse. With my fingers crossed, none of the neighbors hunting close by got a crack at him either and he had made it through the 2014 season.

 

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The 2015 season couldn’t come quick enough. With more trail cameras running that ever before, I was bound and determined to kill him. He was the first buck I had been able to follow year to year and watch grow up. Many mature buck hunters and managers know how attached you can get when you are after a specific buck. I can honestly say, I saw and passed up over 50 bucks while trying to kill this particular buck. Monitoring him though out the summer, I hung sets that I believed would give me the best opportunity to get a crack at him. I considered the direction in which I thought he was coming and most important of all, the wind direction he preferred. I logged dates consistently all summer and early fall when he would show up and more times than not, the wind was out of the east, blowing right to him. Knowing this would be very tough to do, I only hunted him
when the conditions were right. So many people on the “Wired To Hunt” podcast have drilled the statement, don’t hunt unless the conditions are right. I only hunted that set a handful of times all through October. For some reason, this year, he followed his patterns
related to his core area longer into the season that normal. I am not sure if that was due to his age or just having the right food and sanctuary close by. I truly believe each farm and piece of ground is different in its own way when it comes to whitetail patterns and
movement. What I have learned on our farm is that I get more mature buck pictures during daylight on October 28th than any other day of the year. October 28th was the first time I got a daylight picture of Traveler. I started hunting him more and more when conditions were right and I just put the odds in my favor. 5 days before rifle season started, we caught him slipping. Just before dark I saw a big bodied deer moving from side to side in front of me. With little time to identify and judge distance, I let an arrow fly. Somehow with all the practice shooting, I made the shot count. A few tears were shed that night and at that moment I realized, we had done it. Not just me, but my
granddad, family, and friends helped in making a dream come true. 5 years of trail camera photos, sleepless nights, countless hours in the stand, and work involving planting food plots finally paid off.

Today, it is still weird not getting any pictures of him and it is certainly a bitter sweet feeling. He is the first deer I have ever shoulder mounted and he will be on my wall forever.

One Response to “Reader Success | Cameron Frowick”

  1. Asa Phillips December 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    That’s a solid deer, good job man. Pretty cool to hear about all that hard work paying off for you. Seems like the Orange army (as Dan calls them) claims their fair share and we are left eating tag-loaf. Congratulations!

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