Using a quality stealth trail camera can help improve all the hunting excursions you may take, but as is the case with most hunting gear, to get the most out of your new purchase, you will have to deploy it properly. A trail camera is a hidden beacon of information that you can use to gather data and make each trip more successful than the other.
With this nifty product, you will also protect yourself, and your hunting license since you will always be aware of which animals are around and increase the likelihood of getting your first shot right. In the guide that can be found below, we will explain how to use the trail camera in all situations, and how you must install it to get the best performance.
Size, connection, and durability
Because most models on the market such as the quality Bushnell trail cameras come with camouflage patterns to make them blend in with the environment, size does not matter as much as you’d expect. This means that you won’t have to spend extra money to get the smallest device on the market since a trail camera is not likely to alarm local wildlife.
The camera is placed too high in the trees to alert even the larger animals, and even if birds might find it, they won’t sit atop it for too long to obstruct your viewing. The two features that you should really focus your attention on are connectivity and durability.
While in the past you had to worry about wires running throughout the woods, modern options are connected to video monitors using wireless signals. This means that you can sit far from your camera and still receive a video signal from it. Thus, the range is the selling point of all trail cameras, and choosing a model with a broad range is recommended.
While most models are designed to withstand even the harshest weather, not even the premium Browning trail cameras are fully protected from all severe weather conditions. This is why many hunters recommend that you cover the camera with camouflage or tarp to prevent moisture from ruining it.
You can also purchase special housings for them, or if you are handy with woodwork, you may build your very own small housing around the device to protect it from the rain and other small woodland creatures. The camera housing will end up looking very similar to a small birdhouse.
Learn how to set up the trail camera correctly
To set up your trail camera properly, you need to determine the best location for placing it based on what you are expecting or hoping to capture. Most experts recommend that you first scout the spots using a combination of your knowledge of the area and Google Maps.
It would be best if you placed the camera off the beaten path since that is the location that game is more likely to avoid. The device should also be facing toward the trail so that you get a better chance of capturing more usable photos. If you choose to conceal your camera, you need to make sure that the lens is kept clear.
You can then install the batteries and make sure that you don’t forget about the SD card or whichever storage method your purchase uses. This step is significant because if you forget the memory card, all the hard work you’ve done will have been for nothing.
Now it is also the time to make sure that the timer, flash, trigger frequency, and speed settings are configured to your liking. Finally, you can test the trail camera by activating it, and it is recommended that you do this during both day and night, while using a variety of settings to see which ones give you the clearest pictures.
Management, monitoring, and maintenance
Managing your new device can make the difference between a successful and a failed endeavor. Companies update the firmware of their devices quite often to patch software bugs, add features, and increase performance. You should download these updates as soon as possible to prevent memory and photography issues.
You should also keep a personal log of what the camera has seen and at what time, especially if you use more than one trail camera. This will allow you to learn the habits and movement of the game in your area. To make things easier for you, you should number each camera and SD card.
If you have multiple cameras, you should also consider getting multiple SD cards so that you can switch them out and take the ones with photos home to organize them. SD cards nowadays are very cheap, meaning that the price won’t be a problem.
Similarly, since you will be visiting the trail camera quite often, you should take a scent remover with you to spray the camera (but avoid spraying the lens) when you are done and then wipe it dry with a clean cloth. To help prevent animals from picking up your scent, you should always use neoprene gloves when handling the camera.
Learn how to use your video feed
Using a trail camera during an active hunt can be very difficult for a lone amateur hunter. The video feed becomes useful once you have another hunter from whom to take directions. More experienced hunters can use the video feed in the field or bring the monitor back to the cabin or camping location.
If you watch the video feed while you are in the cabin, you can learn when animals pass through so that you can plan your next excursion accordingly. Video information can also help you avoid spooking animals on the way to your perch.
The video feed from your trail camera can also give you more confidence since you will be able to catch animals off-guard. Any bit of information can change the way you hunt, and as long as you hunt in the same general area, you will be able to use this information for subsequent hunts.