An In-Depth Look at Trail Cameras – Part II

Bobcat
A bobcat is caught on camera crossing over a fallen log.

Last week’s blog covered the basics of what you should consider when purchasing a trail camera. This week’s blog topic is a little more in-depth. When searching for a camera, there are many things to consider when it comes to each model’s capabilities. Each manufacturer seems to have their own cameras with features that beat the competition. In reality, you may not even need many of the features a camera offers. In order to figure out what fits you best, you need to understand the various features.

Time Lapse: While these cameras are still capable of being set off by motion and heat, a time lapse model camera will snap a photo every so often at a pre-determined rate throughout the day. This feature is ideal for a camera that is set up on the edge of an agricultural field or food plot. Picking out exactly where a deer will walk out of the woods into a field can be tricky. The benefit of these cameras is your buck of a lifetime can be browsing in the open field 100 feet away and be captured on a time lapse model camera whereas a regular camera motion camera with a 50 foot flash range wouldn’t be close enough to set off the trigger, leaving you with no photo of the buck.

Panoramic Photos: This feature is great for open areas, but can also be used in the woods with a reasonably open understory. These cameras capture photos in almost 180 degrees. You can see where that expands the area in which your camera is covering. I wouldn’t recommend using these camera on narrow deer paths because your area of focus is very limited and your field of view is not. I use these cameras on field edges and in timber, such as a thinned pine plantation of open hardwood bottom. These cameras give you some leeway when setting up your unit because if you are not exact on where the wildlife is coming from, you can still capture them on film.

Burst Images: Burst images are great for the hunter who likes to keep his camera units in the woods. I have a few cameras with this feature and I originally didn’t like them. However, I found that when used properly, they are great. A burst image is when a creature triggers the camera, the unit will take multiple photos in rapid succession. You can avoid my mistake of putting them on a mineral site. One deer will take up much of your memory card, so if you use the burst mode over bait set it for 3 photos max. Burst imaging really shines on a deer trails. Most cameras would have to wait a minute or more after a snapping a photo to be able to capture another photo…but not with burst imaging. I have had seen photos where the lead deer (usually a doe) sets off the camera trigger and the buck (walking a few feet behind) is captured on the following photos. That wouldn’t have happened without the burst mode feature.

 

Andrew Walters