Game Cameras for Today’s Hunter
If you are a hunter, then you know the value and usefulness of scouting out a location thoroughly before your game season starts. This allows you to find out which trails are active, spot sign, and perhaps even see an animal or two, and therefore you are able to make the most of your actual hunting days by not wasting any time wandering around areas that are useless.
Game animals are not stationary beings that stay in one spot forever, though, so if you were out scouting 3 weeks ago and saw a bunch of deer, that does not guarantee they will still be around when you come back. So, being very thorough means you have to spend a lot of time in the woods, checking things out. But what if you don’t have a lot of spare time available to do that – what if you have a job, a family, and other commitments to take care of, things that don’t leave you enough time to be out there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, scouting before hunting season begins?
Well, that’s easy – you get a game camera!
What is a Game Camera?
A game camera is a remote camera that you set up in your hunting area. They are created to withstand weather and the elements, using rugged, weatherproof materials that won’t malfunction in the rain or snow. Often also called trail cameras, these cameras are designed to be hung on a tree or similar object, and locks are usually also provided to keep your camera from being stolen.
Once it is set up, your game camera will take its images and video whenever it senses motion or heat. Some game cameras use film, but game digital cameras are becoming more of the norm nowadays. More high end models will even allow you to wirelessly download your footage and images to your computer without having to actually go to the area to retrieve it yourself.
The Importance of Game Cameras: Why Use One?
Game cameras are fast becoming a staple in every smart hunter’s bag of tricks. Once seen as something approaching excessive, you will find that game cameras are now becoming more and more standard for the average hunter. The reasons aren’t hard to see – game and trail cameras make the scouting process a lot simpler, easier and more effective for the hunter. A game camera lets you be out in the woods 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even when you can’t be there physically. Simply set it up on a trail, food plot or similar area, and let it do the scouting for you.
Many hunters find that game cameras are actually more effective than scouting in person, because your trail camera can do its scouting in a much less obtrusive manner than an actual person can do it. It won’t have a scent that a game animal could pick up on, nor will it make any noises that would scare the game animals away from a spot they might otherwise want to hang around in more often. Unlike what can (and often does) happen with a human scouting around, the game camera won’t influence a change in a game animal’s feeding patterns or travel routes, allowing you to get a much more accurate idea of what animals are in the area, and if your camera has date and time stamp capabilities, it will give you an accurate idea of when those animals are in the area, too.
Basic Types of Game Cameras
- Digital – Digital game cameras produce digital images and video that can be viewed on your computer or out in the field using an appropriate media reader or viewer.
- Film – The traditional medium used by game cameras, these typically take still images using 35 mm film.
Common Features of Game Cameras
Game cameras are not simply simple Polaroid cameras taped to a tree. They are designed specifically to help you scout out trails, bait areas, food spots, and more, and record helpful information for you. This means they come with some common features to help you along, including laser aim features, strobe flashes for night time image taking, IR for a more stealthy approach to image gathering, LED flashes, and some trail cameras will even sounds, like various game calls to attract a variety of different animals.
The features you choose for your camera will depend on your budget and your needs, but there are many great scouting cameras on the market today for you to choose from, from a wide variety of different brands.
Popular Game Camera Brands
Some of the biggest manufacturers of film and digital hunting cameras include Cuddeback and Moultrie. Both brands are leaders in the industry, counting many loyal hunters as customers. Cuddeback offers exceptionally fast trigger speeds, so you can be sure to get photos of actual animals, instead of empty scenery because the camera cannot be triggered quickly enough. Moultrie, a company that first made its mark with revolutionary deer feeder designs, brings its expertise to its own line of trail cameras. Moultrie trail cameras offer exceptionally useful information imprints for the hunter, including the standard date and time, but also moon phases, location, and the temperature outside when the picture was taken.
Flash and Infrared Game Cameras
As previously mentioned, most of today’s game cameras come equipped with features that allow image taking at night, no matter how dark it is. Some trail and scouting cameras feature a strobe flash, which can usually take night pictures up to 15 feet away from the camera. Using a strobe flash runs you the risk of disturbing any wildlife and scaring it away from the area for a while.
For this reason, manufacturers developed infrared flash technology to use in hunting cameras like these. Animals will still be illuminated so you can see them clearly, but an infrared flash will not startle or scare them. The downside is that infrared flashes can reduce image quality, leaving you with a less detailed or less clear black and white image to work with.
Make Your Next Hunting Season the Best Yet with a Game Camera
Game cameras will undeniably simplify your scouting abilities, and in the process make your actual hunting trips much more effective. So find the camera that is right for you, set it up, and let it do the scout work for you – you will be able to tell where the animals come from, when they like to arrive, what they do while they’re there, and so much more, making it infinitely easier to bag your next great trophy!