Outdoors: Tips for setting out deer trail cameras for any hunting location


Game or trail cameras are available in many different brands and sizes.

Recent advancements in the use of technology in game cameras have pushed them to the top of the hunter’s toolbox. The trail cams will record anything that triggers the sensor, including other types of wildlife and trespassers.

Although designed for capturing wildlife, game cams have also caught criminals in the act around homes, garages and barns. The units are compact, quiet and the infrared does not spook animals at night.

Newer models have a longer battery life and can support large capacity memory cards. Many trail camera manufacturers offer cellular models that allow hunters to receive photos almost immediately. The cameras are connected to a cellular provider. The cell service is inexpensive. Some plans are as cheap as $10 a month.

The camera and service can be activated to send photos over the cell network either by text, email or both. The pics can go directly to your smartphone, tablet or computer. Software applications can be used to categorize the photos for easy retrieval and hunt planning.

“Our SC 410 camera utilizes multi-carriers with 4G LTE,” said Marc Cavanaugh of Intelligent Surveillance Corporation (ISC). “This allows users to use the best technology available switching between cellular carriers for the best coverage.”

The camera also has a true GPS tracking feature that can access the camera’s location and is not contingent on cell service. A glass lens and a machined aluminum frame allows for clear pictures and is rated for IP68 waterproof specifications.

Cuddeback offers a cellular camera that will allow up to 16 other cameras to connect to the one main camera. The other game cameras must be Cuddeback brand, but this limits the need to only one cell plan. The Cuddelink camera can be placed in the center of the property with the satellite cameras scattered around other sectors for complete coverage of the hunting area.

There are several other brands of cellular game cameras that offer automatic photo sending and remote operation. Most also offer a picture storage or categorizing of photos you want to keep. With the digital cell cameras sending pictures to hunters, there is less intrusion and disturbance in the deer woods.

Most hunters will place a trail game camera near a food plot or feeder. This usually captures some photos of does and smaller bucks. However, hunters will want to know where the big bucks are and their movements.

Older bucks can be become wise to trail camera placement from scent, lights and frequent visits by hunters checking data cards. Even the soft infra-red glow of some game cameras can alert bucks.

“Place the camera about 15 yards off a main deer trail,” Cavanaugh advises. “We like the camera to face northeast to northwest to avoid direct sunlight.”

Game cameras should be mounted at a 45-degree angle to a trail for wider coverage of the trail. Hunters should wipe down the camera with scent killer wipes and wear gloves when placing the camera in service. Mounting the trail cam at around six feet or higher puts the unit out of sight of deer and other hunters.

With a single camera on a food plot or field, deer may enter from any direction without triggering the camera. Savvy hunters will use two or more cameras for better coverage especially on larger plots and fields.

Charles Johnson is the Star’s outdoor editor. You can reach Charles at charjohn@cableone.net