How Far Away Will a Trail Camera Take Pictures? 

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The most common distance at which trail cameras take pictures is 80 to 100 feet. There are several factors that determine this answer. The trail camera features that most affect how far it will take a picture are

• Infrared sensor range
• Trigger speed
• Motion sensor range
• Focal length

The best game cameras score highly in each of this areas.

Let us break each one down briefly.

Features Determining How Far Away a Trail Camera Will Take Pictures

Infrared Sensor Range

Most modern game camera are manufactured with a number (30-50) of spectrum emitters, most being 940nm or 850nm. These help with nighttime pictures. Each emitter is an LED (Light Emitting Diode) that sends infrared signals towards the camera unit.

When the LEDs work together, they provide the night vision required for night black and white pictures. Most LEDs can comfortably penetrate about 100 feet on nights when it’s the darkest.

The best trail camera for IR range is the Browning Strike Force HD MAX

Trigger Speed

Trigger speed refers to the time it takes for the camera to take a picture one its motion detector has been tripped. This must happen while the subject is in frame.

Therefore the faster the trigger speed, the more likely you capture even fast moving subjects such as deer.

Usually, trigger speeds range between 0.2 seconds and 1 second. While it may not look like much, it is the difference between a buck’s blurry image as it runs by or a great shot of it in flight.

Popular wildlife cameras such as the Browning Strike Force have extremely quick trigger speeds, fast enough to photograph an animal at a sprint.

Motion Detector Range

Motion detectors work by sensing infrared waves that are emitted through the heat coming of vehicles, animals and people. Once the change in temperature is noticed, the camera gets activated.

These PIR (Passive InfraRed) detectors, such as are found in the Browning Strike Force Extreme, can sense motion to an adjustable 80 feet.

Focal Length

Focal length describes the distance between a camera’s focus and its curved mirror or lens center.

More focal length means a narrow angle of view, enhancing magnification. Shorter focal length means wider angle of view. Wide angle of view is not best for taking far away photos.

The Bushnell Core DS No Glow features 2 sensors, one optimized for day pictures and the other for nighttime photography. The day sensor heightens vivid color and sharpness while the night sensor brings out clear, high-contrast images at 80 feet.

How Far Will a Trail Camera Send Pics to Phone?

Cellular game cameras are widely considered to be the best wireless trail camera type for hunters and homeowners, especially in remote places. The market as it is currently bears this statement out, as over 99% of wireless wildlife monitoring cameras use cellular technology.

How they work is cellular camera traps transmit data over present cellular infrastructure or cell companies such as US Cellular, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, etc. There are many options available to meet most people’s needs, with varying capabilities and performance between models.

What all this means is that you can receive photos as far away as there is a cell signal.

The 2 best such models are the Creative XP Cellular Trail Cameras (one of which is shown here).


  • Fast speeds of data transmission
  • Widely available accessories such as external power sources and security boxes
  • Remote control and management abilities
  • Limitless operational range depending on signal strength


  • Proper function absolutely depends on signal strength
  • Data plans are needed to pay for the use of cellular networks

Will a trail camera pick up a mouse?

Mice and rats around the home can cause major damage, chewing through wires, causing potential fires and power failures. They also carry diseases.

Rodent eradication is a serious issue that requires firm action, as they reproduce very rapidly. Trail cameras can help with this.

Trail cameras can highlight rodent activity when they feel they are not in danger. This gives you the opportunity to scout their behavior, and formulate the best plan to eradicate them.

The best trail camera for rodent eradication is the Spypoint Link S V Solar.

Firstly, this camera expensive, but extremely feature rich. It supports cellular signals that allow for data streaming. While traditional trail cameras require you to physically collect images every so often, this model is the best set it and forget it trail camera there is currently.

Its solar charging technology means you have fewer reasons to physically recover images. The app that controls the camera remotely uses Artificial Intelligence to inform you of particular species of rodents that are blighting your home.

On top of all that, this Spypoint trail camera model comes with night vision, which illuminates the dark, when most mice and rats come out to play.

Do trail cameras get dirty?

Trail camera downtime is estimated to be end of February to the beginning of March. This lull in action gives seasoned hunters a chance to collect all their trail cameras and perform much needed maintenance, in readiness for the upcoming season.

Trail cameras get dirty, especially as they are left out in the elements to operate, sometimes for months at a time.

Some of the ways trail cameras are maintained are:

Cleaning the Camera’s Housing

Trail camera housings accomplishes two main goals:

  • Ridding the housing of possible insect eggs that could hatch, causing infestation while the cams are stored
  • The cams look visually better after a clean.

Cleaning trail camera housings is not difficult. It involves a microfiber cloth and soapy water. Avoid abrasive cloths and harsh detergents or cleaners. Aim to clean out hollow penetrations, recessed screws, and other finicky areas. Begin back to front of the cam.

Clean the Fresnel Lens Shutters, Optical Lens and Flash Unit

Ahead of beginning, ascertain the surfaces do not contain abrasive substances, such as sand and dirt. This can be done with either a can of compressed air or a keyboard cleaner. Following this, wipe all these components down with a phone screen cleaner or eye glasses cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Soapy water will also achieve great results.

Maintain and Protect Seals

Trail cameras are most afflicted by the ingress of moisture. Besides their housings, the seals are the only other component keeping the weather out. Keeping the seals safe will mean a longer operational life for your beloved trail camera.

Begin by ensuring all gaskets and seals are intact and properly sealed, free of damage such as tearing. Once this initial inspection is done, use a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust. Lastly, use a Q-tip to apply a lubricant of some type.

This makes sure the silicon/rubber seals and gaskets remain rubbery. Great lubricants include Diver’s Lube by Lifeguard Aquatics or ‘O’ ring lubricant.

Terminals/Contacts and Battery Tray Cleaning

Corrosion that affects terminals/contacts and/or compartments or battery trays, be it from moisture ingress or acid greatly affects trail camera performance over the long term.

For cameras with removable trays, purchase a replacement tray if the corrosion is endemic.

The best tools for this particular cleaning job are a small wire brush and an aerosol contact cleaner. On the other hand, a vinegar or baking soda and water solution paired with a toothbrush is also usable.

Following the scrubbing, cleaning and drying process is finished, use die electric grease and a Q-tip to neatly coat all contacts. This aids with both continuity and future protection.

Proper Storage

It is best to store your trail cameras in their original shipping boxes or a zip-lock bag and silica pack. Remember to remove the batteries before storing.

What does a trail camera do?

For the purposes of hunters, trail cameras fulfil 5 main uses:

  1. Survey deer population demographics
  2. Study individual buck patterns
  3. Capture real-time changes in patterns of particular bucks
  4. Determine ahead of the start of the season whether a particular area is worth hunting on or not
  5. Score and age deer ahead of hunting them, thereby determining if they’ll be your target buck

Survey deer population demographics

Trail cameras are effectively used to obtain numerical data, thereby monitoring the herd. This includes tracking herd health, determining herd age structure, doe to buck ratio and density.
Other details that can be learned from trail camera output is whether you have to harvest does. This and many other decision can be made confidently through the use of game cameras.

Study individual buck annual patterns
The largest difference between surveying annual patterns and in-season patterns is that with in-season patterns, adjustments can be made, immediately, to your hunting game plan. Annual patterns bring out particular buck movements that are known ahead of time, making you wiser and present at a particular spot ahead of him.

Most recent intelligence
Immediate change to hunting strategy can be made on the fly through the reconnaissance that trail cameras offer. Deer patterns can be interrupted for a multitude of reasons, trail cameras keep you in the loop at all times.

Knowledge in advance
During the pre-season, a deer overview can be compiled to form a general hunting strategy. This saves time during the season, as the scouting has already been done.

Ahead of hunting, size up the bucks
Trail cameras will help you score and age deer before the hunt, determining your target buck in the process. Sift trail camera photos for big bucks, determining whether it is a new buck or a previously photographed buck.

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