Trail Camera Review
Today if you’re a deer hunter, you probably own a trail camera of some sorts. Whether it be infrared, flash, or wireless they all have their pros and cons. With all the different brands of trail cameras it’s hard to narrow down the search for a quality/economical trail camera. The more property that you hunt the more likely you are to buy more trail cameras and the more likely you’ll come to find out that not all trail cameras are created equal. Here at Heartland Lodge we have trail cameras out 24/7 365 days a year monitoring deer and turkey. We narrowed a few trail cameras down that we would recommend to others in our trail camera review.
Because we manage roughly 5,000 acres of hunting ground, we have numerous cameras out at a time and go through a lot of batteries and SD cards. Although it seems that Wireless trail cameras may be the best answer for reducing human pressure related to checking and swapping SD cards on standard cameras, the price of the camera and the data plan that goes with it can not be justified when trying to monitor several different farms with multiple cameras. So we mainly use infrared cameras that can be bought for well under $100. We have tried many different brands but have narrowed down the three most that we use; Moultrie, Cuddeback, and Wildgame Innovations.
Cuddeback seems to have the clearest picture quality but the way the camera was designed seems to lack functionality and ease. The strap makes it hard to secure it to anything other than perfectly parallel trees. The strap is also on the bottom of the camera which tends to make the camera angle point downwards due to gravity pulling it down. Also the cameras settings and on/off button is on the inside of the camera meaning that every time you want to check the camera, you have to loosen the strap and then reset the camera after pulling the SD card. It can turn into a time consuming process that leaves more human scent around the strap and camera housing than necessary.
Wildgame Innovations produces economical trail cameras starting at under $100. The picture quality is ok, batteries seem to last long, and has a simple interface set up that is easy to operate and takes minimal time at each set to swap SD cards. However they do not seem to have very good trigger distance. Most of the pictures of deer seem to be up close to the camera; even if it’s pointed down a trail they do not seem to take pictures until they are within 10-15 feet. Also the bungee cord straps that come with their trail cameras can be somewhat cumbersome due to the fact that you have to find a small enough tree that the short straps will fit around.
Through trial and error we have become partial to Moultrie cameras, specifically the M and A series. They are economical, take quality day and night time pictures, have good battery life, and seem to have good trigger speed. With the option of 3 shot burst or video in the newer styles they are pretty much the complete package. The set up is easy and takes only a few seconds to swap SD cards.
Last Updated: June 6th, 2016