As Spring starts to set in, with it comes the rapid approach of whitetail deer hunting. And, for many hunters, it will be time to set up those trail cameras. These devices are an essential part of scouting and tracking deer for today’s hunter, and so it is important that those who are on the market for one keep an eye out for a few things to guarantee a good purchase. Trail cameras, or at least ones worth their salt, are not cheap, but making a good investment on a quality camera will ensure effective patterning, which can contribute to a successful Spring hunting season.
First and foremost, consider battery life when considering a trail camera purchase. Keep an eye on the specs and features of a camera, and see if these list how long the camera’s battery lasts in operation. If there is no information on average battery life, look into the type of battery being used in the camera. Typically, Lithium-based batteries have the longest life of all types, and are especially durable in cold weather. Since trail cameras are often in operation away from the person who set it up, it is important that you know the battery will be able to last for the weeks, or even months, it’ll be in operation. After all, like most electronics, the device’s usefulness is hamstrung if it suddenly dies due to low battery power. You are going to want a battery life suitable for your own needs. Consider how long you will have the camera set out for, and consider how much longer-life batteries cost.
Infrared Flash is also a feature you should keep your eye out for. While many people still swear by regular, light flash cameras, these can spook away many bucks, regardless of their size. Conversely, no-flash cameras are fine during the day, but unless they have some other sort of night-vision functionality, they are nigh useless in the dark. Infrared flash, which emits a light signal that is beyond a deer’s sense of sight, will still guarantee an illuminated picture without scaring off bucks and does.
Finally, one should also expect to do a fair amount of online research before making a final purhcase. Pay attention to online reviews of trail cameras, not only on retailer sites like Amazon, but also on websites that have their own sections dedicated to reviewing trail cameras. Typically, websites who are dedicated to trail cameras offer the most detailed and accurate reviews, sometimes with actual pictures taken from the camera itself. But keep in mind that the smaller reviews on online retailer websites are also useful, in that they provide a larger number of reviews and a general idea of what many people think of the camera. The key thing to look out for is overall customer satisfaction, and if most people who purchase the camera end up satisfied, and if these people have similar needs to you, then more than likely it will be a purchase worth making. Just remember that the most expensive trail cameras are not always the best ones for your particular needs.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of things to look for in a trail camera. If anything, it is more of a general guideline for some of the most important factors. You will want a reliable battery so the camera doesn’t go out unexpectedly, and you will want a flash attachment or feature that will take good night pictures without scaring off the deer. Doing online research and looking into user reviews will help determine these things, and it will give you a good idea of just how well or poorly a camera is received by those who use it. All in all, there are many things to consider when purchasing a trail camera. You just need to be somewhat informed to make a good purchase on one.