Tracking animals in the wild can be very frustrating unless you know where to look for them. Just picking a spot and waiting for one to show up usually ends in disappointment. Any tool that helps you to locate animals faster is a huge time saver. A game camera does all the watching and waiting for you, by taking photos or videos of anything that moves passed it. It is also called a trail camera because the best place to put one is next to an animal trail. By using a few of these cameras scattered across an area, you can quickly discover what animals are present and when they are most active.
Whether you are a hunter or a conservationist, a game camera will save countless hours of waiting every time it is used. To be a successful hunter, you need skill and determination but also a great deal of luck. A hunter can shift the odds in their favor by using a game camera to locate areas where animals are most likely to show up. Conservationists have also adopted it as a way for them to monitor wildlife populations, without having to spend days and weeks out in the field. A game camera can also be used to identify trespassers on your property, provided that they do not spot the camera and take it with them.
A game camera is fully automated and requires nothing except occasional maintenance. It will work continuously for a very long time and in all sorts of weather. You can leave it for as long as the batteries have enough power, or until the memory card runs out of space to store the pictures or videos. To extend the time between visits, a solar panel can be used to recharge the batteries during the day. A game camera is contained inside a hardened case that protects it from the weather, and also from animals that mistake it for food. Theft is a common problem so most models also have security devices, such as a lock and password.
A game camera looks nothing like an ordinary camera. At first glance, it resembles a small lunch box or some other plastic container. It is designed to be strapped to a tree or post, not held like an ordinary camera. On the front panel, there are holes for the lens, flash, and the sensors that trigger the game camera. There may also be an LCD display on the front, which shows the remaining battery life and the number of photos taken. A game camera normally has a woodgrain or camouflage pattern so that it blends in with its surroundings, making it less visible to animals and thieves.
To avoid blurry pictures and videos, choose a game camera that has a high resolution and fast speed. A model that takes multiple photos is better because it has a greater chance of capturing the entire animal. An invisible white flash and night vision are essential features for operating in all lighting conditions. Both laser and infrared sensors should be used for triggering the camera to get the best possible results. Long battery life is important if the camera needs to be left unattended for many days. Each photo should have the time, data, temperature, moon phase, and camera identification number recorded with it.
The average cost of a game camera is around one hundred dollars, but some models cost more than three times that amount. Obviously, a game camera makes a tempting target for a thief, especially in remote places where they are sure nobody is watching. You should expect to lose a game camera every now and then, but that does not mean you should make it easy for the thieves. Choose a model with a lock and strap that is resistant to tampering and cutting. Password protection is good from stopping unauthorized use, but even that can be defeated by a thief who knows what they are doing.