Game Cameras (Cams) come in many different choices these days, and have a big range in cost. Many excel in one area but under-perform in another. I’ve had a lot of fun with mine, and you never really know what you’ve captured on film while you were away. It’s exciting to run up to the camera to see how many pictures it’s taken and of what. There are a few things you have to think about when you’re shopping around for a camera – first being this day and age digital is the only way to go. I’ve used the old 35mm film cameras when digital was still expensive, and between the incandescent flash and the film advance you’re spooking critters left and right, some of whom won’t return. Some digital cameras have an incandescent flash so you can get color pictures at night, but I prefer the infrared (IR) flash because the creature you are taking a picture of never even knows it. It does give a more “ghosty” appearance to your images, but it looks fine, if not better, to me. Generally the faster the trigger time the higher quality (and price) of the camera. However, if you’re on a feeder or bait as I am, trigger time doesn’t matter all that much because the animal is hanging around having their picture taken. If you are interested in a game trail or security though, you’ll need a fast trigger time. The detection zone of a camera is comprised of the width and the range. Cameras vary in ranges from 30 feet to 100 feet, and widths of 5 to 90 degrees. Each camera will have their own specs, and if possible it’s best to see pictures that it’s taken at various lighting and distance to see if it will work for what you want it to, and most camera manufacturers will have pictures available to view. The other factor is recovery time – the time it takes to take and store a picture to be ready to take another. Some take only half a second, which would be good on a game trail, and some take 60 seconds or longer, which is ok if you’re on a feed station. Obviously the faster the time the more expensive the camera.
I like to set mine up over bait – typically I’ll put out something interesting (usually table scraps and leftovers) and I’ll spread it around a small area. This keeps whatever is interested hunting around for each tasty morsel, and therefore more likely to have a good picture taken. I then set up the camera within close range of the bait. You can test whether the camera will work in it’s location by turning it on and walking around the area with the bait – the camera will flash a red light when it is picking up a signal from your movement, and a small green light when the picture is actually taken. The images in this post are taken with a Wildgame camera -
For the price it’s been a great camera, and I’ve got some memorable shots with it. When combined with some enhancing software which you can do online for free at Picnik, you can get some pretty good pictures out of it. For these images, we had cooked two racks of baby back ribs over the fire, and as we were eating I was tossing the bones out into a small area of the woods in front of camp, and when we left in the morning I set up the camera overlooking them at ground level. That night this red fox appeared and stayed for almost 48 hours finding what I had thrown out there. In the second to last picture you can see him with one of them in his mouth. So, if you have a place where you’d like to know what’s visiting or what’s nearby that you can lure in, think about getting a trail cam – they’re a lot of fun.
Some amazing bobcat footage.