How To Use A Scouting Camera
Technology can be a great thing. For the trophy deer hunter this can be especially true when it comes to technological innovations made by the manufacturers of deer scouting cameras.
These scouting cameras alone, can be the single greatest item in the deer hunters arsenal. Sure it can be a lot of fun to put these cameras out and get a picture or two of a big buck, but think about the possibilities.
Determine Trail Camera Placement
This technology gives the average hunter the chance to pattern the deer on the land he/she hunts.
What exactly does this mean? This means that not only can the hunter see exactly what deer on the property, but is able to observe how the deer reacts under varying circumstances such as temperature, weather, etc.
Hunters choosing to utilize this awesome technology should plan to make this a year round activity. By doing so, this provides the hunter with the maximum amount of information about the deer inhabiting the woods you plan to hunt. To ensure that the use of these cameras is indeed effective, plan to place these deer cameras at various points around the hunting property.
Consider placement in areas such a trails, food plots, feeders, scrapes & rubs, water sources; the options are almost endless. Over the course of a year the hunter will be able to see when the bucks begin to grow their antlers, when they shed their velvet, when they lose their antlers and much more. If you own or lease your hunting property the use of these cameras becomes a valuable part of the overall deer management strategy.
Finding The Best Scouting Camera
First, there is a myriad of choices in scouting/ trail cameras. The list of manufacturers and price points are as long as the list of options available on each camera. The cameras can also be purchased in many retail outlets, providing the hunter the opportunity to compare options and settle on the trail camera best suited for their particular situation. Some of the major players in the scouting camera game are Bushnell, Moultrie and Cuddeback.
In an attempt to help you determine the best scouting camera for your particular hunting or management situation, it is useful to understand some of the basic workings of a typical digital deer scouting camera. Scouting cameras are attached to an object such as a tree.
These cameras then take pictures or video when the camera detects motion in its field of view. This motion can be standard motion, detected using conventional technology; some cameras employ the use of heat sensors and infrared beam technology. So, when heat is detected or something breaks the IR beam, the camera takes a picture or begins recording video.
All scouting cameras utilize either a built-in flash or infrared LED lights for obtaining images in low light or night situations. All scouting cameras also provide a date/ time stamp on each picture or video to assist with providing the hunter with an array of information about the patterns of the deer in the area.
Most cameras provide the hunter with the option for adding an additional memory card from which they can retrieve their pictures. This allows the hunter to remove the card and review the pictures on their computer or TV. There are even brands of scouting cameras which provide a wireless signal which can then be viewed on either the hunters cell phone or computer. This style of trail camera also comes with a monthly fee to a normal cell provider such as AT&T or Verizon to allow access to the photos from a remote location. The added benefit to this style is the hunter only needs to intrude to the property once to install the camera.
The greatest difference in digital trail camera technology is the picture quality available. Photos generally range from 3-8 megapixels. This allows the ability to enlarge the photo a bit before it becomes to blurry to make out any detail.
Keep in mind that the higher the megapixel rating, the more storage space each photo or video takes up on the memory card.
Lastly, digital trail cameras require power to operate. The size of the battery differs, most take between 4-8 AA size batteries.
Manufacturers have made great strides with increasing the battery life; most now lasting up to six months in many cases. Some manufacturers also offer a recharging option. The hunter can utilize rechargeable batteries and place a solar attachment to the camera, thus ensuring continual power to the camera.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as to the information the hunter can gather from the use of trail scouting cameras. These cameras are relatively inexpensive and the prices seem to drop every year. If you are not using these wonderful devices you are missing out on a lot of fun and some very valuable scouting information.
I speak more about the use of trail cameras in my ebook, Trophy Deer Hunting Secrets.
Also, some of the greatest selection of trail cameras I have found is available at Bass Pro Shops.
I have included links to both of these to help you on your quest for locating the best scouting camera for you.