What to Look for When Buying a Trail Camera

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Trail Cameras, also called game cameras, scouting cameras and camera traps, are used by hunters to detect animal movements and track their patterns. These camera’s “commonly have a camouflage exterior intended to blend in with its surroundings” (source: Wikipedia).

They also come with various features that can be adjusted like delay time for taking pictures and detection distances.

This article is about purchasing a trail camera to hunt animals. The primary consideration in an animal hunting trail camera is motion detection.

It’s also important to consider the flash settings and the size of your subject if possible before buying one.

Different types of hunts require different types of trail cameras as well. Deer hunting generally requires devices with a wide range and high resolution, while duck hunting might require more detailed images that will show the specific plumage features on waterfowl during sunrise or sunset hours.

White Tailed Deer

Some things you should consider before purchasing any type of camera is how long the battery may last in low light settings,  the how many batteries the camera takes and battery life, how the camera  communicates with you when taking a photo or video signal, and durability in different climates or weather types.

Some models have night-time trigger (no glow) so that you can capture game without it being spooked by a flash or infrared.

Other models range just out about 75 feet which makes them perfect for scouting short distances such as around bird feeders.

Can a trail camera operate in sub-zero temperatures?

Yes, if you buy the right kind of trail camera it will easily withstand sub-zero temperatures as well as extreme heat. So the operating temperature range is important to consider when buying a particular model.

The body of outdoor cameras are usually made of metal, and no matter how powerful an external battery your camera has, it can become useless if the internal batteries don’t work as well at lower temperatures.

So before pulling out your credit card to buy any camera, take some time and research which brands excel as the winter approaches.

Does the size of a trail camera matter?

Yes, a key feature to consider when buying a trail camera is its size. Small digital cameras blend into their surroundings easier than large ones so animals won’t notice them.They also have less chance of being stolen by animals or kids playing around outdoors.

Larger cameras may have more power technologically, but you pay for this with higher visibility of the camera itself.

Do I need to buy more than one trail camera for hunting?

Yes, preferably. If there’s ample budget to purchase more than one camera, you’ll need one trail camera per game animal that will be hunted. For instance, deer (mule or white-tailed) will require 2 or 3 quality cameras whilst turkey hunters may find it worthwhile to consider 4 cameras for their area of operation.

What are good trail cameras for hunting?

              The Moultrie A900i – my top choice for hunting

Here are three good trail cameras for hunting:

Checklist of 15 points to check when buying a trail camera

If you are clear on the following, you can’t go wrong when buying a trail camera:

  • Megapixels
  • Detection range
  • Flash type
  • Flash range
  • Size and Weight
  • Camouflage
  • Camera mode
  • Trigger delay
  • Recovery time
  • Temperature handling
  • No of batteries required
  • Battery life
  • Attachment device (strap?)
  • Warranty
  • What users at Amazon say

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