Everyone knows that trail cameras can be an effective tool for tracking that huge buck or for just putting some more meat in the freezer. If you aren’t using your game camera properly though then you might as well not have one at all. Here’s how to get the best out of your trail camera.
Don’t Look at The Sun
No doubt you’ve been told that by your parents at some point or another. The sun is as bad for cameras as it is the human eye. There’s nothing worse than going back to your trail camera only to find that there’s a ton of pictures of absolutely nothing. The reason this happens is because of the heat and movement.
Pointing your camera in the direction of the sun leads to your camera detecting the heat and movement of plants blowing in the breeze. Game cameras are sensitive and this tricks them into thinking that a great piece of game is nearby and it wastes valuable storage space on your camera. It’s best to place your camera to the south of the trail and point it north. Remember that trail cameras are very sensitive to heat and noise. Avoid exposing them to any that doesn’t come from a living creature.
Make it Theft Proof
It’s a sad fact of life that if you leave your camera unprotected in the woods then it likely won’t be there when you come back. You can buy a commercial lock box for a game camera but many of them are no good. If you’re looking for, or live near, bears then you also need the heavy-duty option. Bears can destroy game cameras in seconds if you don’t protect them. You can put together your own heavy duty lock box or buy one from the same place you bought the camera.
If you don’t like the idea of a lock box then you should hang your camera out of the line of sight. Basically the higher you can get it the better. There are two benefits to this as it makes the camera less noticeable to humans but also to the game you’re tracking.
Hide Your Scent
While it’s not quite hunting season yet the bucks don’t know that. All he knows is that someone is nearby and he’s going to hide in a place you can’t find him. It’s important that you treat every trip with your camera as if it were a hunt and make yourself as scentless as possible, from your boots to your body. Ensure that everything is as clean and odor-free as possible. It also helps to schedule camera checks around rainfalls when you can.
Put it Down and Don’t Come Back
One of the most common mistakes hunters make with trail cameras is being impatient and constantly going to check their camera. We get that it’s exciting to check the camera but going to and from your camera too much can scare away the bucks. Leave your camera alone for a while and don’t check it. This puts less pressure on the back and bucks don’t respond well to pressure as it is. Mature bucks are aware you’re moving even if you don’t think they are.
You should only use high quality batteries with your camera. You could save some money with a cheaper battery, sure, but those expensive lithium batteries last up to three times longer than the cheaper alkaline batteries. They are also better suited for extreme weather and give your flash some extra juice. A longer battery life also means that you can comfortably sit and leave your camera be for longer. So invest in a camera that has a good reputation for not being a battery power hog and then give it only the finest batteries for the best experience.