Before you head into the woods seeking out big bucks and trophy-worthy prizes during hunting season, you’ll want to start prepping your gear and loading up on supplies. Naturally, there are the essentials:
However, one piece of equipment that can be hugely beneficial to new and experienced hunters alike is a trail camera. Trail cameras – also known as game cameras – are constantly at the forefront of hunting innovation to help deer hunters with their scouting efforts, and knowing how to set up a trail camera will be key to a successful deer hunting season.
Accessing consistent, on-demand information on deer habits will help you refine your strategy, since you’ll be able to gather information on changes in deer activity in real time. But even with the most recent technology, improper trail camera placement will produce bad pictures – or, even worse – no images at all. With these trail camera tips in mind, here’s how you can be sure to capture the best-quality images:
The last thing you want is for your winning buck to see your camera and vacate the area. One way to make sure your camera is well-hidden is to mount it on a tree trunk that is wider than the camera itself to help it blend into the bark. Another way to keep the camera from spooking your deer is to hang the camera from an inconspicuous tree branch.
Deer aren’t the only creatures you’ll want your camera to be invisible to! If you’re worried about camera tampering or theft, then you’ll need to know how to hide your trail camera from humans, too. The best way to keep your trail camera away from potential thieves is to make it difficult to find. You can achieve this by placing it in an unsuspecting area either above or below a pedestrian’s eye level.
Consider holding a consistent upward angle and combating condensation when placing cameras closer to ground level. You can achieve quality shots with the proper angle and a condensation-proofed lens. However, if you’re looking for an easier tried-and-true method for hiding your camera from thieves, keep reading to learn how to hang your deer camera.
Minimize sun flare and ensure crisp golden-hour photos by pointing cameras due north or south. Pointing them east or west will result in capturing blinding images of the sunrise or sunset.
You need to understand the area in which you’ve chosen to hunt as well as the likely behaviors of the deer you plan to capture to find the right angle to point your camera. Doing so can make the difference between great pictures and mediocre ones. Where possible, try not to point your camera directly perpendicular to where you expect a deer to cross in front of your camera.
You’ll want your camera to have multiple opportunities to capture deer as they pass through the area (not just one make-or-break moment to snap an image). One way to do this is to angle your camera slightly sideways onto a known trail in such a way that when a deer walks up the trail. As it gets closer to the camera, it’s able to photograph the length of the path being traveled. Doing this will not only help you capture more close-ups and action shots. It also helps you gather data and familiarize yourself with a deer’s travel patterns.
Bear in mind that a hotspot where you may have had previous success during warmer temperatures will likely see less deer activity during the chillier months, since food sources and the natural environment change with the season. You’ll want to place your camera at a target location that has proven heavy deer activity this season.
Game cameras are a must-have for your next hunting trip! Correct placement for them is imperative for their overall effectiveness. Once properly placed, trail cameras can provide information about the weather conditions, the best times to hunt, the number of deer in the area, and identifying specific bucks.
Q. What is the Difference Between Trigger Speed and Shutter Speed?
A. Trigger speed is related to device functionality. It measures the amount of time from when the IR sensor initially detects motion and “wakes up” the camera from its sleep mode, triggering it for photo capture.
However, shutter speed is related to the actual image quality. This measures the time it takes for the camera’s mechanical shutter to open and close. Generally, faster shutter speeds are used for daytime shots to avoid overexposure. Slower shutter speeds are frequently used for capturing low light and nighttime images.
Q. How Cellular Technology Changed the Sport of Hunting
A. Cellular trail cameras have been a major revolution in game tracking. Having constant connectivity to your wireless game cameras leads to less pressure on your spots because you don't spend as much time going back and forth.
It takes less effort to check your cards — meaning you won't travel to the lease as often and can spend more time relaxing with your family instead. Accessing consistent information on changing deer habits will also help you refine your strategy. It no longer takes days to learn if a new buck has hit your property or if the deer go nocturnal.
If you’re ready to add a trail camera to your hunting arsenal, you can learn more about their features from the Game Camera Buying Guide or find our top camera picks here. Browse our wide selection of high-quality game cameras and accessories online or in-store at Academy Sports + Outdoors.