Picking a suitable trail camera can be a daunting task because a wide variety of models are currently available. They range in price from below $100 to much more than $500. A little research will help you to pick one that’s just right for you. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things to consider while choosing a trail camera.
Trigger speed is an important consideration
The trigger speed is how long a game camera takes to capture an image from the time when a deer first walks into the frame. Some cameras may take one or two seconds to trigger.
A slower trigger speed may not matter much if the camera is set up at a food plot or a bait station. However, if the camera is set up at a game trail, it may miss the deer, or you may end up with images of the tail ends of deer.
Extended battery life
While some trail cameras can only capture three or four thousand images on a set of batteries, other models can take tens of thousands of pictures. This can make a big difference in a location where there’s a lot of activity, and your camera can take thousands of photos in a short while.
It costs a lot more to work with a camera that uses four D batteries to take around three thousand images than it does to work with one that uses four AA batteries to capture twenty thousand photos.
More megapixels provide a higher resolution
A lot of importance is given to megapixels, but this should not be the main factor to consider while choosing a trail camera. In general, a camera with more megapixels provides images with a higher resolution.
However, this may not matter unless you want to use the images in an advertisement. There may not be much of a visible difference between photos taken with a four-megapixel camera and those captured with an eight-megapixel camera.
LCD screen allows you to view images immediately
A trail camera with an LCD screen will allow you to see your images at once, without having to wait until you get back home. While viewing your pictures immediately can be fun, this is not one of the most important features. Your scent will spread all over the area if you spend a lot of time looking at the images in your camera.
To avoid this, it’s best to spend less time near your camera. If you can’t wait to view your photos, insert the SD card in your digital camera when you get back to your vehicle.
Do you want to capture video?
Some trail cameras offer video, and many of them are even capable of capturing HD-quality video. Many people enjoy watching videos of deer, but this feature comes at a price.
While videos may be fun to watch, they may not be of much use if you are only interested in scouting for bucks.
Remote access comes at a cost
Some trail cameras use cell phone technology to allow users to access images from a remote location. They can send images directly to your e-mail inbox while you are resting comfortably at home. You can use this technology to access your images without any risk of scaring game away when you visit cameras to change SD cards and batteries.
This is a very important feature if you often hunt in areas that are very far from your home and don’t want your scent to scare away the deer. The downside is that cellular game cameras can be expensive and you will have to pay a monthly fee to use this facility. Besides, the remote feature may not work if cellular coverage is weak in the area.
Use infrared trail cameras to shoot at night
Infrared trail cameras can take photos of deer in the night, which is when most buck images are captured. If you use a conventional flash, you may scare off the deer, which will move elsewhere to look for food. Infrared allows hunting cameras to capture images at night in a less intrusive way.
While some game cams filter the light, others emit a beam of infrared light. Covert game cameras use filtered infrared, which can be invisible. Semi-covert cameras use some filtering, but they are not invisible.
How important are image settings?
Many trail camera enthusiasts consider this to be one of the most important features. Some deer cameras can only capture images when they are triggered by movement and can only shoot one or two photos per second. Other models also feature the auto time lapse mode and can take several pictures per second.
Taking more photos will improve your chances of capturing at least one good image of a buck. It may also allow you to get multiple images of its antlers from different angles.
How to use the auto time lapse mode:
- The auto time lapse mode allows you to shoot several pictures at certain times in the day, even if the camera is not triggered by motion.
- This can be a big help if you set up your wild game camera to cover a large field or food plot. It will take pictures of the animals even if they are at a distance.
- This method can also be used for scouting for turkey, and it can help you to identify their entry and exit points.
- This key information would not be available if you only relied on photos captured when the camera was triggered by motion.
Trail camera technology is developing rapidly, and you can now get features that were only found on the most expensive models at a fraction of the price. Think about your priorities and research the most popular models before you decide. Read online customer reviews and shop around for the best offers to get a great deal.