Post-Season Trail Camera Activities

Post season trail camera tips

Post season trail camera tipsThe end of the hunting season yields some great rewards. There’s pictures of the year’s most prized animals, large bucks and colorful turkeys, the delicious food made from their meat, and the trophies for the wall. But just because the season ends, doesn’t mean it’s time to ignore your trail cameras.

The cameras have worked hard for you all season so now it’s time to work hard for them. It’s important to take care of your cameras post-season so that they’re still around next year to help track down those amazing prizes.

Even if you are not planning to bring your cameras in, you should ensure the safety and security of your cameras and perform routine maintenance on them.  The first thing you should do after the season, is to head out and check your trail cams. And if you aren’t already, this might be a good time to install lock boxes and/or security cables. Also if the model supports it, using the security code function is a good idea. You might also want to consider bringing a folding saw or pruner with you so you can cut back any growth that has gotten in the way of the camera since you were last there.

Changing fresh batteries and replacing the SD cards with empty ones should be part of your “field maintenance” routine at this point. Makes sure your clen the lenses of your cameras by using a soft cloth. Also clean the outside of the camera to remove all the dirt left behind from the season in the wild. If you’re leaving the cameras out to continue tracking the game, consider supplemental feeding in the area of the cameras, where legal. This can continue throughout the off season, priming the animals to return to the area so you can not only conduct an animal census, but possibly keep the animals coming back out of habit during hunting season.

If you’re going to store your trail cameras for the off season, it’s vital that you do so properly. Spend some time and perform a diagnostic to make sure all modes are functioning so you don’t have any nasty surprises next season. Make sure the firmware of your cameras are up to date. Refer to your camera manual if you don’t know how to check the firmware version. Latest firmwares can be found from the manufacturer’s websites.

Remove each memory card and consider marking it and the camera so you know which cards fit with which cameras. Also remove the batteries to cut down on the risk of corrosion that could ruin the cameras. Clean each camera thoroughly. Once this is all done, store each camera in an air-tight bag with a desiccant pack to keep the moisture from corroding the electronics. Cameras should be stored in a location that isn’t likely to experience a lot of temperature or humidity changes. Storage units can often get very cold or hot and these extremes can ruin the delicate electronics of your cameras. Storage in the home is by far the best method of ensuring the safety of the cameras for the next year.

Post-season care of your cameras is extremely valuable. It’s work that you put in that reaps great benefits the next season. Ensuring the cameras are safe and well-maintained while in the field is so vital to extending their lifespan. And proper storage ensures you’ll get the most out of them for years to come.

Trail Camera Efficciency Tips

Get the most out of your trail camera with these tips

Get the most out of your trail camera with these tipsWhen someone puts their keys in the same spot every day when they get home from work, they’re called a creature of habit. But the same thing applies to all animals. In the case of a hunter, exploiting those habits is key to identifying game animals and making the most of hunting trips. One of the easiest ways to do that is through the use of trail cameras set up along animal trails. Nowadays trail cameras are more or less seen as a must-have for the successful hunter. By using data accumulated before and during the hunting season, hunters can gauge where and when they can find animals more accurately than ever.

But just setting a camera in a tree and leaving it alone isn’t the answer. There is a lot of maintenance and care that must be put into the cameras in order to get the kind of results necessary for good hunts. In addition, if the cameras aren’t placed properly or utilized effectively, there will be many unusable shots. A lot of time and money can be wasted this way. And once the hunter has the pictures, organization and analysis of those photos is absolutely necessary to figure out where the bucks are for hunting. Following a few basic rules like these can drastically increase hunting success by making the most of trailcams.

Any hunter will tell you that the hunt begins long before fall rolls around. Trail cameras help track the summer movements of bucks and note how they change with the seasons. But before the trail cameras can provide information, they need to be set up carefully.

The first step of preparation is making sure that your camera has the latest firmware. This is the internal system that operates the camera. Make sure that each of your camera is up to date and also make sure that each has fresh set of batteries. A dead game camera helps no one. Erase all SD cards before heading out and make sure that each one fits and works fine in the camera it’s going to go in. Some cards don’t work properly in some cameras, so taking a few minutes to double check is well worth the effort.

When placing your cameras, hide and secure them well. For all intents and purposes, you are leaving cameras out in the middle of nowhere. Place the cameras in hard-to-see places and lock them to trees or thick branches to prevent theft. Use lock boxes for additional safety.

Getting the perfect shot can be nearly impossible when there’s no one behind the camera. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to be done to help maximize the good photos while setting up the cameras. Try to face the cameras north. This will put the sun behind the cameras at all times of day, lessening blurry silhouettes. Put the cameras up in trees if possible or in dense brush. But make sure the camera can still see the path it’s facing, either by getting in manually and checking it or using a viewer (if your camera has one) to check the camera’s field of view. To maximize the amount of photos if your camera has a hybrid mode, utilize it. This setting enables both timelapsed photography and motion detection photography at the same time.

Once the photos start rolling in, that’s the time to begin analyzing the trailcam data. There are many different ways of organizing it, from simply making folders of particular cameras to using more sophisticated ways like dedicated software. Using a specialized software will offer you breakdowns of different animals along with where and when they have been most often spotted.

Putting in a little bit of preparation and organization before the hunting season can make it a more successful season overall. Trail camera maintenance, setup, and organization contribute to making these hunts great.

Photo credit: johnnyberg

How To Organize Your Trail Camera Photos?

how to keep your trail camera photos organized?

how to keep your trail camera photos organized?Hunters aren’t necessarily known for being great photographers. But using scouting and trail cameras in a hunting area can greatly increase the success of any hunt. The pictures harvested from these cameras give hunters an idea of the habits and movement patterns of certain animals or of all the animals in a given area. Planning a hunt around these patterns makes hunting less haphazard. But these cameras aren’t cheap and it takes time and dedication to properly place and maintain them. Success that translates to better hunts depends on the proper organization of the photos.

There are two common ways to take trailcam photos: time-lapse and motion-activated. It is best to try to use a mix of both to determine that you’ve got a good location for your camera and to start to track where the animal activity is concentrated. Once you’re satisfied with the placement of your cameras, relying more heavily on motion-activated cameras is should bring the best results.

There are lots of different methods to organize your trailcam photos. But the first step before the organization begins is to cull the duds. These pictures will have no animals in them or animals you aren’t interested in. With motion-activated or timed shot cameras both, you’ll sometimes end up getting a lot of these. If you can delete them from the card before you even get started organizing, this will save you time and effort. Look at the pictures in thumbnail mode first before taking the time to open each one.

Once you have a group of good photos of animals on the property you can begin to organize them. Start with a folder for each camera and then within it you can break it down several ways. Date or time of day can be useful in helping track animal patterns. But you can also separate by individual animals. This lets you look through the pictures and figure out where and when the animal will be in the area near the camera.

But a long string of photos in a folder on your desktop doesn’t help increase your chances of a good hunt. It’s a time-consuming process to go through each one and find the animals you’re looking for, especially with several different cameras. With today’s photo technology, a few cameras can net hundreds or even thousands of photographs over a short period of time. That’s a lot to look through!

Many new options for trailcam software are out on the market and they streamline the process significantly. Some software packages, like DeerLab, will analyze the pictures and the data pulled from them to give details about individual animal movements over an entire piece of property. While you still have to tag individual photos of the animals, you can do it in batches where you search for one animal among the photos and tag all those photos at once.

Another handy feature of the software is the ability to aggregate activity by camera. DeerLab allows you to figure out when and where the animals are moving in relation to an individual camera. Making the software even more user friendly, it is accessible from all tablets and smartphones.

Embracing new technology is a great way to keep making your hunts productive and enjoyable. Regardless of how you do it, you need to pick a method of organization to capitalize on the time, money, and energy of installing and using trailcams. Adopting photo processing software into your toolkit is the fastest and easiest way to look through the hundreds or thousands of pictures from your trailcams and make the most accurate predictions of locations for blinds on your property.

New Trail Cameras for 2015

glance at new trail camera models in 2015

glance at new trail camera models in 2015We are halfway through January already and trail camera manufacturers are busy releasing their new models to market. In this blog post we will go through some of the most interesting product releases for 2015.

In general level there are few trends that can clearly be seen in 2015 trail camera models:

Simplicity. Even though it is so much fun to play with all the different features of your camera, in the end every trail camera user appreciates simplicity. Based on what we have seen, game cameras this year will be even easier to use and faster to set up.

Trigger Speeed and Recovery Time. Trigger speeds and recovery times have been improving year after year and 2015 makes no exception. This year we will see trail cameras with triggers speeds going below 0.3 seconds.

Image resolution. We will see higher megapixel numbers this year. Will they result in even better images remains to be seen.

Video resolution. 720p video with audio was more or less a standard in more expensive cameras in 2014. This year we will see more and more trail cameras that are capable of recording 1080p HD video with sound.

Black Flash. This year no-glow IR flash will no longer be the privilege of high end trail cameras. We will see more and more budget trail camera models equipped with no-glow IR flash.

Remote features. Checking your trail camera images and videos remotely or even controlling your camera via remote connection? At least Kodiak, HCO Outdoor Products, Spypoint and Stealth Cam will introduce trail cameras with remote features. While these models may be beyond the budget of our average reader, this nevertheless is the direction the industry is going in the long run.

Browning Trail Cameras

Browning starts the year by intoducing new versions of their Recon Force and Spec Ops series and also updating the Strike Force and Dark Ops sub-micro series cameras. New Browning Recon Force and Spec Ops cameras will be able to provide 1920×1080 HD video with audio. Based on the sample video uploaded to Browning’s Youtube channel the quality of the video is quite amazing.

We hope to see competive prices for these new and updated models from Browning.

Moultrie Trail Camerasmoultrie a-5 2gen trail camera

Moultrie has introduced several new models for 2015. Most interesting ones from the budget point of view are the Moultrie A-5 Gen2 and Moultrie A-7i Gen2 cameras. The new A-5 is even simpler to use than it predecessor and it now runs on AA batteries. The trigger speed is approx 1.5 seconds and the recovery time should be significantly shorter than before. List price for new A-5 is approx. $80.

Moultrie A-7i Gen2 is similar simple to use budget camera as A-5 Gen2, but it takes 7MP images and features invisible no-glow IR flash. The list price of A-7i Gen2 is roughly $115 so this may well be among the cheapest no-glow cameras in 2015.

Other interesting releases from Moultrie include M-550 Gen2 Mini Game Camera which is cheapest mini game camera in Moultrie’s selection, as well as new M-880 Gen2, M-880i Gen2 and M-990i Gen2. For more detailed info check out the video below.

Bushnell Trail Cameras

Bushnell’s new Trophy Cam Aggressor features impressive 0.2 second trigger speed. It also takes 14MP images and records 1080p HD video with sound. Aggressor series trail cameras come both in low-glow and no-glow IR flash versions.

More interesting model from model for all us tightwads is Bushnell’s Trophy Cam Essential HD. It is said to feature 0.3 s trigger speed, 12MP image resolution and 720p video recording.

 Wildgame Innovations

Trail cameras from Wildgame Innovations are typically quite wallet friendly so we are really anticipating for new K Series trail cameras that are coming out from Wildgame. New K Series Cloak 4 and K Series LightSout 4 bot feature 1-scond trigger speed, 720p HD video, 16:9 Wide Angle lens and multiple other features. The Cloak comes equipped with low-glow IR flash, whereas LightSout will have invisible Black IR flash.

Sources: Moultrie, Bushnell, Browning, Kodiak, HCO Outdoor Products, Spypoint, Stealth Cam, Wildgame Innovations, Bowhuntingmag, Realtree