If you are a whitetail hunter, using trail cameras is one of the perfect approaches to make the activity successful. This is a must-have tool to include in your hunting backpack, however, you need to understand how to use it appropriately. Inappropriate use of the trail camera is common among inexperienced hunters, and this prevents them from achieving the full potential a trail camera can offer. As we provide a few tips on how to use your trail camera, we are also explaining some of the terms you may need to understand.
If you want to get the desirable results, it is important to understand how your trail camera works. Most hunters believe that when the infrared beam is broken, the camera’s shutter is triggered to take a picture. However, this technology is called Active Infrared (AIR) but trail cameras use Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors. The sensors are different from the active infrared because they receive information about temperature and motion. The sensor detects a difference between an object in motion and the surrounding, and then sends signals to the camera’s unit to take a picture. The moving object, in the case of hunting, could be an animal, reptile, bird, or vegetation. Therefore, knowing the things that can make the camera to take a picture can help you plan how to eliminate the possibilities of ‘fake triggers’.
Most modern trail cameras come with a time-lapse mode, meaning that a camera can take pictures at set time intervals not considering motion detection. Some camera models can perform time lapse and also take photos based on motion detection. So, time lapse is an integral feature that can be utilized properly when strategizing your hunting activity. The time-lapse mode allows setting the camera to monitor a bigger area in order to understand the direction to which animals are moving. In addition, you can choose to narrow your focus by deploying the cameras in normal modes. This will facilitate capturing photos of individual animals, and also identify opportunities for establishing your ambush points.
As much as you want to use your trail camera to aid successful hunting activity, you also need to consider securing the information captured and the camera itself. If someone else accesses the information, he or she might use it as a ‘free’ opportunity. So, you can purchase steel lock box to put your trail camera or just lock it on a tree trunk. However, these suggestions are just mere measures because a thief will definitely take away the camera. The best precaution approach to prevent a thief from stealing your camera is to hide the device away from sight. You can use trail camera mounts which are available in the market. These mounts cannot be seen easily since it is mounted ten to fifteen feet off the ground surface.
It is advisable to use same batteries for all your hunting electronic devices such as cameras, headlamps, and flashlights. This is fine because you will be carrying same size batteries in your backpack. Whenever your flashlight runs low on battery in the middle of the jungle at night, you can walk to the nearest trail camera to ‘borrow’ the batteries. The battery type is also a vital thing to consider. Some of the choices include the rechargeable, alkaline, and lithium batteries. Alkaline is affordable, though do not perform well during cold weather. The rechargeable batteries can be good if you can keep them fully charged, but they are expensive. The lithium batteries have an outstanding performance regardless of weather conditions, and therefore a great choice for all trail cameras.
When it comes to setting up your camera, it should be planned same way as setting up your hunting strategy. Anything that can interrupt the hunting area should be considered including controlling the scent and also avoiding overexploiting an area. However, scent control should be one of the top considerations. When setting up a trail camera, you can wear boots and gloves to avoid leaving behind your scent. If you are planning to set up the camera deep into the jungle, driving to the location is a better thought as long as there are wider paths within the woods. This will help to eliminate scent that could be detected by animals.