A Trail Camera is an invaluable scouting tool for all hunters that give you edge which is why it is important to ensure yours can perform to the best of its ability.
- Power Up. Lithium batteries perform better but are considerably more expensive than their alkaline cousins. Also, be aware that some off brand batteries and particularly rechargeable batteries will not last as long as a better quality alkaline (Duracell is an excellent choice). Depending on your ability to access the camera you will want to consider this before investing in one or the other. You may also consider hooking your camera to a larger 12v battery or utilizing solar power to keep the charge. Just be sure your camera is compatible.
- Organize those pics. Even if you only have one trail camera you could be looking at thousands of pictures in a year. By setting up folders with dates and then naming the files with the deer recognize, you will be able to better use all that collected intelligence. This will come in handy if you want to keep better tabs on deer population in your area. Their is some new software from DeerLab that can help out as well.
- Approach like a hunter. Don’t spook the deer while setting up or checking your camera. There are two schools of thought. You can sneak in and try to make as little noise as possible in order to not spook the deer. Or you can drive in an ATV or other tractor equipment that the animals in your area may already be familiar with. The sounds of this equipment will alert the deer you are their but not frighten them in way that they may feel pressured. If your lucky enough to have a cellular enabled trail camera you only have to go in once to set it up so your one step ahead of the game.
- Bring them in. Setting up on a rub line or established trail yields good trail cam result but if you want to maximize the images on your camera setup a bait pile, mineral lick or plant a food plot to attract deer right in front of your camera. Alternatively you can also trying setting up a man made watering hole if your hunting in a dry environment.
- Camera placement. Try to aim the lens of the camera so it’s pointing north or south. By doing this you can avoid the annoying glare will distort images or accidentally trigger your camera. You can also try placing your camera higher in a tree and then aiming it down. This will keep your gear out of sight of other hunters which is important if your land is public or near public land. It will also give you an optimal viewing angle, especially if you want to capture every tine on that trophy rack.