I have been getting a lot of questions here lately about trail cameras.
Which ones to buy? How do you use them ? Where do you put them?
So, I have put together a list of list of my favorites. If you are looking to purchase a trail camera for the first time, you maybe in for a big surprise. There are hundreds of makes and models out there to choose from. My best advice to you would be just keep it simple. What I look for in a trail camera, also known as a game camera, is 4 simple things:
First - The last thing I want is to show up to check my cam and realize my batteries are dead. So I try to pick a camera that uses AA batteries. AA's will hold their power so much better when the temperature falls into the 30's or colder. Especially when you use lithium's batteries.
Second - IR capable. Most of your cameras will be IR today instead of white flash. It is a highly debatable question in the industry over whether or not a flash will spook game. I have used both and I will say that I have had deer shy away from a flash compared to an IR, but I also have had a lot of deer not notice it. So the jury is still out on that. My main reason for choosing a IR cam would be to keep them unseen from the two legged mammals. I have had my fair share of cameras come up missing or damaged from someone trying to take them. The IR LED'S do put off a slight glow when they take a pic. But nothing over barring like a white flash. You have to be right on top of it to see them.
Third - Trigger speed. Trigger speed is another highly debatable thing. Most cam's will have at least a one second trigger speed, with some at a half second. How you set your camera on the tree will help or hurt you with. If you are getting a lot of tail end shots it is normally because the camera is pointing across the trail instead of slightly angled. Angling it up the trail more will allow the target to be in the cameras field of view longer giving the slower speed cam's ample time to power up and take the picture.
Fourth - Consider mega pixels. Higher mega pixel cameras will give you that sharp image when you need to zoom in when your viewing your pictures. You won't have that real grainy look that you get with the lower pixels. It may be the difference between your million dollar picture of Bigfoot and a dark blob.
With all of that said Moultrie, Primos and Wildgame Innovations all have new dependable cam's on the market.
Wildgame Innovations Crush 8 Lightsout ($199.99) 8mp, black flash, video w/ audio and up to a 70' flash range and with 12 AA'S needed, it is sure to be a great battery life cam.
Moultrie's M880 IR. ($159.99) is a much improved version in their game spy series. Long battery life with 8 AA's and up to 100' night range is sure catch anything walking by.
Primos Truth Cam Ultra 35 ($119.99) is by far the easiest game camera I have ever set up to use. This is a perfect camera for the beginner. The toggle switch design is a snap. Just slide the color coordinated switches to you desired setting and your done. 8AA's,4mp,40' night range, time lapse/w video. Very good camera for the budget hunter.
Now, the one camera I rely on year end and year out is Bushnell's Trophy Cam. ($199.99-$249.99) They have been the best i have ever used. 1/2 second trigger speed,8mp, HD video/w audio and 8AA's. This will be season number 5 for me using them. I have nothing but great things to say, I have had up to 7 months of battery life out 1 set of lithium batteries. Yes that's 7 months of taking a ton of pictures. If you are in the market for a cam. You have to check out Bushnell's line.
If you are interesting in reading more, check out this blog as well written on game cameras - Trail Camera Time is Here
That's all the time I have for now. I hope i could shed a little light on the subject for you. From all of us here at your local Bass Pro Shops. Have a Happy and safe hunting season.
Hunting Lead - Anthony Alkire