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Author Topic: looking to buy a trail cam  (Read 1231 times)

Offline ThomMedic

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looking to buy a trail cam
« on: October 27, 2017, 11:38:50 AM »
Are there any recommendations for a camera? What features should I be looking for, avoiding the expensive nice to have stuff.

Thanks

Online h20hunter

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2017, 11:41:57 AM »
Bushnell.  Done.

Offline vandeman17

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2017, 11:44:14 AM »
Bushnell.  Done.

That's all I run. Simple and reliable.
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Offline Stein

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2017, 11:55:24 AM »
I am probably the most novice cam user, I have exactly three days of cam usage under my belt.  That said, I am now looking to buy more and here is what I am looking for:

1.  Range, particularly at night.  The cheapie 5 year old cam I was given has a pretty short range both day and night.  Unless you set up right on a trail, it won't pick up something 30 yards away.
2.  Multi modes.  Mine has a trail mode, plot mode and combo mode.  I really like being able to monitor an entire meadow by setting it to take a pic every 5 minutes as well as trigger shots independently when something is up close.  Unfortunately, due to the IR range, the night plot shots are worthless.
3.  Security.  It seems like most metal boxes are made to fit either a specific model or multi model generic types.  Unfortunately, I haven't found a decent box that has a tubular style lock, they all seem to rely on a padlock or cable that are easily cut even with modest size cutters that are easy to carry in the field.  You can get drill resistant tubular style locks for a pretty affordable price, so I can't figure out why I haven't been able to find a better option.
4.  Cost.  I plan on having some stolen, probably just the way it will end up.  I want to get 6-10 for as affordable of a price as I can trading cost for features and MP quality.  I basically only need to know if bull(s) are there and what time they come and go. 

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 11:57:33 AM »
I have a Bushnell Trophy HD Essentials E3. 

Highly recommended. 

Offline Elkcollector82

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2017, 12:43:38 PM »
I have stealthcam and bushnell. Stealthcam outshines bushnell on the audio end and the trigger distance. But the stealthcam comes with a bigger price tag. I have nothing bad to say about bushnell. Other then I wish the audio and trigger distance was a little better. Both have great picture and video quality. If it helps I have more bushnell cams over stealthcams. Price and quality you just can’t beat.

 I don’t use lock boxes. Only use a padlock to secure the sd card and a cable to keep it attached to tree from bears. If some A-hole comes along and wants my cam a lock box isn’t gonna stop them. Plus why carry the extra weight into backcountry. That’s just my  :twocents:

Offline Katmai Guy

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2017, 01:04:02 PM »
Cuddeback, great photos and video,
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Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2017, 08:30:40 PM »
Another vote for Bushnell. Trophys are good, Aggressors way better. You can usually find the aggressors on sale for $100.

@Stein   Curious what a tubular style lock is? Like a hitch stinger lock?

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Offline 3nails

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2017, 08:50:35 PM »
 I'll throw a vote in for Browning Strike Force. My cams are out all year and the Brownings out last, out perform all the others. And I've tried a bunch.
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Offline wheels

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2017, 08:52:22 PM »
moiultire A-7i or 30

Offline ThomMedic

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2017, 03:30:01 PM »
Everyone, thanks a lot.

Offline bullcanyon

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2017, 04:23:16 PM »
I found 8 moultrie a-30 cams for $54 each at rogers this spring. No issues running them all summer long. What ever you get make sure it takes AA batteries.

Offline Mudball

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2017, 07:05:12 AM »
I am not a fan of the Bushnell's, not built for westside rain. Mine only lasted a few months. Got water in them, they were done. The Moultrie have a much better case's with no opening on the tops.  :twocents:

Offline quadrafire

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2017, 07:28:50 AM »
I'd keep my eye open for some slightly used ones for sale (case damage will be the only problem). There are plenty stolen each year that will probably be hitting the market

Offline PolarBear

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2017, 07:43:32 AM »
Ford  :chuckle:
P&Y bucks & bulls, predators and any game fish that swims!!
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Offline Antlershed

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2017, 08:09:27 AM »
I have had nothing but issues every time I have tried a Bushnell camera, and I’ve tried 3-4 different models. The Browning Strike Force cameras have been excellent though, and my cousin has had good results with his Stealth Cams.
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Offline Doublelunger

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2017, 08:23:24 AM »
Trail cam technology has got to the point these days that you're fairly safe with most of the big brands.  I think no matter what you'll always have the chance of getting a lemon when they're mass produced in sweat shops in china though.  My advice would be to find a camera on sale for $70-100, that normally retails for $130-150. If I were in the market right now I would get Covert mp8 off ebay for like $89. :twocents:

Offline Elkcollector82

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2017, 08:28:14 AM »
On a side not. Always make sure the sd card works with TC. My bushnell only likes scandisk 32gb cards. While my stealthcam will work with any brand of sd card. Nothing sucks more when you put the work in and have nothing to show for it  :bash:

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2017, 09:58:04 AM »
Another vote for Moultrie. I like the viewing screen in mine. So I can scan through pics really quick when I get to the tree without a camera, battery life is good, and they take great photos/video. I run the Moultrie M-888i, if you shop around you can find them on sale for about $100.
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Offline PolarBear

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2017, 10:02:17 AM »
I use mine for security cameras around my place.  I have had best luck with Moultrie and Wildgame Innovations.  Even when someone comes ripping down my driveway I still get a nice, clear pic of the plates and faces.
P&Y bucks & bulls, predators and any game fish that swims!!
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Offline Stein

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2017, 10:26:16 AM »
Another vote for Bushnell. Trophys are good, Aggressors way better. You can usually find the aggressors on sale for $100.

@Stein   Curious what a tubular style lock is? Like a hitch stinger lock?

Something like this:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0839/9519/products/tubular_switch_lock.jpg?v=1476993569

When I worked for Pepsi, we had a few of these drilled and switched to a new model that was drill resistant.  After that, no problems.  If someone made a case with these that bolted to the tree, people would have a much tougher time getting them off.

Offline ThomMedic

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2017, 06:47:39 PM »
Sorry if this seems dumb, I don't want to lose time and money on my own assumptions.

I keep reading about all the cameras that are found and stolen. Is this because they emit a flash or other detectable sign that humans can locate easily. It just seems so counter-intuitive what should be so difficult to find are so often stolen.

Thanks

Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2017, 07:54:06 PM »
Sorry if this seems dumb, I don't want to lose time and money on my own assumptions.

I keep reading about all the cameras that are found and stolen. Is this because they emit a flash or other detectable sign that humans can locate easily. It just seems so counter-intuitive what should be so difficult to find are so often stolen.

Thanks

Personally I think that the majority of "stolen" cams has to do with folks using the cheesy web strap provided with the cam to hang it.  More than likely, a lot of the supposable "stolen" cams were actually taken down by a bear or elk, they mess with them constantly.

Do yourself a favor, use a security box, screw it to the tree, and use a Python cable. This setup is not completely theft proof(nothing is) but makes it a lot harder for a thief.

I run 15 cams every year and have never had 1 stolen (knock on wood) Also. put em up high out of human line of sight


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Offline davk

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2017, 06:23:33 PM »
I have a bunch of Moultries.  With that said I probably wouldnt recommend them.  I have one A-7i that has worked great for the last 3 years. But range and photo quality is probably below average but decent for the price.  They are also relatively large so packing them in and visibility is an issue.  I bought 5 888i last year.  3 failed within 2 months, exchanged at cabelas for 3 more, 2 more failed, exchanged.  Now Im past returning them to cabelas and have at least 2 that like to randomly stop working after about a month or so.  I just put them out again so we will see if that continues ... and I havent checked others vary from 3-6 months so not sure if those are working.

Offline Britt-dog

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2017, 01:23:12 PM »
Covert.

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2017, 02:44:11 PM »
I've had nothing but bad luck with Bushnell and cuddeback cams, I have been using a variety of moultrie cams, a30i which are ok, have had great luck with 999i and 888, 888i, i have 12 moutrie cams now and plan on sticking with moultrie.  :twocents:

Offline huntingfool7

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2017, 06:22:35 AM »
Surprised at the Bushnell bashing on this thread.  I'm on the wet side and mine stay out year around.  I've had great success with several Bushnell models.  My longest running camera is an old Bushnell that is over 15 years old. 

I have Reconyx, Bushnell and Primos.  Out of 3 Primos cameras, one lasted more than six months.  That one Primos is on it's second winter and has a little glitchiness to the night videos. 
The Reconyx is top of the line.  At $650/ea, they should be flawless and deliver.  Reconyx requires a number code to use.  All trail cameras should require a code.  All correspondence with trail camera manufacturers should include a request for a use code on future models.  This would nearly eliminate motivation for theft.
Bushnell Aggressors have become my go-to camera.  They are moderately priced, take good pictures, super fast photo trigger speed, take good video (3 second trigger speed delay on video), really good range detection, have a hybrid photo/video option. 

Pick a decent camera to start with and avoid mix and match accessories.  Use a lock box.  Any camera without a box is asking to be removed.  A lock box also makes it super easy to get the camera back on target after swapping cards.

Most camera problems are battery or SD card related.  Use lithium batteries.  Don't mix SD cards with other camera brands.  Format your SD cards when changing them out. 


Offline pope

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Re: looking to buy a trail cam
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2017, 07:13:44 AM »
Sorry if this seems dumb, I don't want to lose time and money on my own assumptions.

I keep reading about all the cameras that are found and stolen. Is this because they emit a flash or other detectable sign that humans can locate easily. It just seems so counter-intuitive what should be so difficult to find are so often stolen.

Thanks

Personally I think that the majority of "stolen" cams has to do with folks using the cheesy web strap provided with the cam to hang it.  More than likely, a lot of the supposable "stolen" cams were actually taken down by a bear or elk, they mess with them constantly.

Do yourself a favor, use a security box, screw it to the tree, and use a Python cable. This setup is not completely theft proof(nothing is) but makes it a lot harder for a thief.

I run 15 cams every year and have never had 1 stolen (knock on wood) Also. put em up high out of human line of sight

I'll bet you're correct. I found my Spypoint IR7 on the ground with the strap pulled through the buckle, but still Cobra cabled to the tree. I initially thought it was attempted theft. Now I believe the elk in the attached photo pulled it down. This photo was taken at 45 degrees off vertical (so after it was pulled off the tree), I rotated it back to vertical on Photoshop. The dates were completely out of wack, but the problem was solved with a new clock battery. This camera has survived 5 years of rain, heat, cold off and on...and now a playful animal.


 

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