Game cameras are a great tool for locating game, and learning their habits. Most people buy a couple game cameras and place them out in their hunting grounds in specific areas like game trails, to be able to see what kinds of animals come through, how big of animals to look to see if there are any animals to specifically target and hold out for. Whether it’s deer, bear, elk, coyotes, or whatever it is your targeting, it’s also fun to see what other animals come around the area you are hunting, like mountain lions. For the animals you are targeting, it’s a great way to see when they migrate along certain trails, whether it’s to get food, water, or switching their bedding spots during the middle of the day. It helps you key in on the right times, at the right areas, to plan your hunt for. There are some high end game cameras that have built in cellular service, which is very nice if you have a cell tower within range of where you would want to place your game cameras. There are an uptick in theft of game cameras from not so nice hunters that walk through the woods. So it’s important to hide the camera well, not only from the animals, but the lame guys that feel it’s their right to take what is not theirs. They do make security mechanisms for them, but they may not be worth the money, and would draw more attention to your camera than you want. But, if you do have one stolen it could ruin your hunting season, so you may want to take a look at what they have available on the market today to see if it will solve your theft problem. When it is not hunting season, you can still put your game camera to work around the house. If you have an animal getting into your garbage, or into your yard, or animal pens, you can mount this game camera in a good place to capture and identify the culprit. You would be surprised at what lurks around at night while you are comfortably sleeping in your bed. A lot of people use the game camera footage to make sound hunting decisions for healthy game management as well. Having a good quality hunting trail camera will let you capture pictures and videos of what kinds of racks are growing in your small herd that you are hunting, so you can decide which animals aren’t growing good racks that may need to be taken out of the gene pool so that you can continue to see the quality deer antler growth your looking for. A lot of your good footage and pictures will probably be taken over night, so it is important to have a game camera that works great at night taking night images, and that your images are in High Definition so that you can clearly see what you are looking at int he images. It must have silent operation as to not scare the animals away when the pictures or the short videos are taken. A few additional features that are great to have are listed below.
Important Trail Camera Features
•Anti Fog Lens •High Definition Images - HD •Night Images •Silent Operation •Invisible Infrared LED Flash •Water Resistant •Backlit Buttons for Using in Low Light •Energy Efficient so the Batteries will Last Longer •32 GB or Larger Memory Card
Best Hunting Trail Cameras for Game
•Wild game Innovations Wraith 16 Game Camera •Browning Spec Ops Advantage Game Camera •Wildgame Innovations Wraith 16 Trail Camera with Viewer Combo
Trail Camera Buyers Guide
What can you use a trail camera for? A trail camera can be used to scout for game, or home security to protect your property.
Trail Camera Uses
•Scout for Game for Hunting•Home Security•Protect Your Property
Trail Camera for Game Scouting
Trail cameras have added another tool to our hunting toolbox to help us have a successful hunt. When you place a trail camera on a good game trail, or to look at the feeding areas, watering areas, or bedding areas, you will be able to see exactly what game is frequenting the area, to help you pinpoint exactly where you want to hunt, and which animal you may want to target. As most decent trail cameras take great pictures day or night, you will see some pretty amazing pictures of the trophy animals in the area.
Trail Camera for Home Security
Trail cameras are not just for hunting. You can make good use for them year round, or when you are not using them for hunting, to keep an eye on your property. A game camera, or trail camera, is much less costly than a home security system, but will capture images of anything that goes bump in the night. A good trail camera can also be used to protect your property, or job site, when you can’t be there in person.
Trail Camera Photo Features
There are several features to look for when you are shopping for a new trail camera that will give you better photos so that you can see exactly how many points are on that big buck or important details of other game animals to give you a better idea on which animal you want to target. Megapixels (MP) – The megapixels are like the building blocks of a photo. The higher the megapixel count is, typically the clearer the picture will be with more details. Burst Mode – With burst mode, the trail camera will take several pictures in a row at rapid speed. This feature is great because you will get many different pictures that will give you a look at even the fastest of animals when the image is triggered, so you don’t miss seeing them. Trail cameras will vary with the number of images that can be taken each time when burst mode is enabled. Time Lapse Mode – With time lapse mode, the trail camera will automatically take a picture at certain time intervals, like every five minutes as an example. On most trail camera’s this feature is customizable to fit your exact needs. This feature is great because you will be able to see your game as it enters your field of view, where as without this feature you will only see the game when it triggers the camera once it is close. This helps to determine where your game is traveling from to help you plan your hunt. Some higher quality trail cameras will have a night time time lapse mode which will enable you to get these photos at night. Time and Date Stamps – Almost all of the trail cameras on the market today will provide a date and time stamp for each image, so that you will know when your game is walking through the area.
Trail Camera Video Features
With the advancement in technologies for Trail Cameras, many trail cameras on the market today can also take videos. This feature is nice to have so that you can get a longer glimpse into the wildlife and their movements. Some of the features to compare for video on your trail camera options are below.Resolution – The video resolution matters because the higher the resolution, the shareper and clearer your video will be. A 640x480 resolution is standard definition, while 720p or 1080p is high definition, and some of the higher end trail cameras are now available with 4K resolution. Duration – Most trail cameras will let you set the length for the recording time that it will record when the trail camera is triggered. Audio – If you buy a trail camera that has the ability to record video, it will usually include audio, but it is something to look into because some models do not include audio. If you think you may use the trail camera for home security when you are not using it for hunting, it would be to make sure the trail camera does include audio. Time-Lapse Video Mode – If the trail camera that you are looking into buying includes time lapse video mode, this means that the camera will record a short video at certain time intervals like every hour. This is customizable, so you can set the length of time between video recordings, as well as the length of time that you want it to record. Hybrid Mode – When a trail camera is in hybrid mode, the trail camera will take a photo and a short video at the same time, giving you the best of both worlds with just one trigger event, but this feature is usually found on high end models.
Trail Camera Detection Range
A trail camera’s detection range is how far away an animal or object can be and still trigger the camera to take a photo or a video. A trail camera with a longer detection range can cover more ground and would be perfect for monitoring a large field for wild game. A trail camera with a shorter detection range is a good choice for enclosed places, or small spaces like game trails.
Trail Camera Trigger Speed and Recovery Time
The trigger speed and recovery time are important features as they work together to ensure a trail camera can take several pictures without missing any of the action or additional triggering events. Trigger Speed – This is how quick a trail camera takes a picture once motion is detected. A slow trigger speed can end up giving you pictures of half of the animal, or a picture with nothing in the picture, as you can miss the animal. A fast trigger speed is the best option to give you the best pictures. Recovery Time – The recovery time refers to the time it takes for the trail camera to reset itself to be able to take another picture. A fast recovery time is a must, the faster the better, so that you don’t miss any animals as they trigger the camera.
Trail Camera Flash Types
Every camera requires flash or light in order to take good pictures, but a trail camera needs special types of flash to capture nocturnal animals sneaking through the night. White Flash – The white flash uses white light to light up the animals for the picture. White flash is not good flash as it will spook the animals. Low Glow – The low glow flash, which is also known as red glow or infrared, produces a dim red glow when taking photos at night, and the flash is still visible. No Glow – The no glow flash, which is also known as black infrared, or black flash, does not emit any visible light, so it will not scare away the game animals, or if you are using the camera for home security it will not alert any intruders.
Trail Camera Flash Range
The flash range refers to how far away the flash can light up your target. The higher the flash range the better, as it will give you more information for your scouting, and capture animals that are further away.
Viewing the Trail Camera Photos or Videos
Now that you are ready to view your photos, or videos, from your trail camera, there are different options available for you to do that. Integrated Viewing Screen – The higher end trail cameras have a built in screen so that you can conveniently view your photos or videos from the camera itself. These are nice, but typically the screens are small, so it’s hard to see detail. No Screen – Most trail cameras do not have a viewing screen, which saves you on the cost of the cam. In this case, you will have to remove the camera SD card and view it in your laptop in the field, take it home and view it on your computer, or buy a special adapter that will let you view them from your smartphone. Wireless Download – If you don’t mind an additional monthly fee, you can get a trail camera that has built in cellular. There are also options with wifi, or bluetooth, built in. Cellular, if you place your camera in an area where it can get service, will allow you to download your images from your trail camera from the internet. With wifi or bluetooth, you will be able to your wifi or bluetooth capable device. If you have several game cameras it can take a long time to travel around and get the SD cards from all of the cameras to view the footage. You may want to invest in a trail camera kit, or a trail camera network option, to have all your images sent to a main unit for simple collection and retrieval.
Trail Camera Storage Capacity
Most trail camera’s use SD cards to store the images and videos. SD cards come in many different sizes. You should buy the largest SD card storage size that will fit in your budget, to make sure you don’t run out of storage space and miss a good image of that monster trophy buck. It’s especially important to get a large storage card if your trail camera records video as they can take up a lot of space.
Trail Camera Power Supply
A dependable long lasting power supply is important. Some trail cameras use regular alkaline batteries, but alkaline batters are not recommended. A better choice is a lithium battery. Lithium batteries last longer, and give more consistent power. Another option is a solar panel that can power your trail camera, and charge the batteries during the day, so they can run your camera all night. You can also use rechargeable batteries, and buy a power bank to charge your batteries in the field if they need it. I use a power bank, or my solar power generator, and have an extra rechargeable battery. I charge the extra battery, carry my small power bank in my backpack, and when I check the footage on my camera I swap out the batteries and plug the next battery into the power bank as I hike to my next camera in the field.About The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Trail Camera Shopping Experience Awaits!