The thrill of the chase is one of the best parts of deer hunting. But if you want to improve your odds of bringing home a prized buck, technology is your friend.
By setting up trail cameras throughout your hunting or ranch property, you’ll be able to study the patterns of deer in your area. This will allow you to focus your efforts on the areas where you’re most likely to find deer.
In this article, we’ll provide a brief review of some of the best trail cameras for deer hunting. We’ll also present some of the most important factors to consider when selecting the trail camera that’s best for you. So, let’s get started!
Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Aggressor 24MP Low-Glow
This trail camera offers exceptional night vision for capturing images in low light. It also delivers clear images with 24-megapixel resolution so that you can actually get a clean look at the deer on your property.
The camera is equipped with a 0.2-second trigger speed, which means it takes photos quickly when it senses any motion in its range. It also boasts a 0.5-second recovery rate so that it can take multiple photos of one deer even if it’s moving past the camera rather quickly.
If you can’t get out to check on or monitor your trail camera regularly, this camera from Bushnell is a great option. It features low-glow LED lights that make it very hard for other hunters to spot (and potentially move or remove).
These LED lights also have a reduced flash signature, which makes the camera less likely to spook deer when they walk nearby. In addition to photos, this trail camera can also capture 60-second video clips with 1920x1080p HD resolution.
Browning Strike Force Extreme 16MP
This trail camera from Browning boasts an 80-foot detection range so it will start taking photos when deer are detected within a good distance of wherever you set it up.
When night falls, the camera’s infrared LED illuminations will provide clear images without emitting a bright light that will scare the game away. The camera takes photos at 16-megapixel resolution and it boasts a 0.4-second trigger speed and 0.6-second recovery rate between photos.
The Strike Force can also capture 1280x720p HD video in clips up to two minutes in length. It will also record these videos with sound so that you’re able to hear if it sounds like there are more deer moving through the area that might not be immediately visible on camera.
The camera will also stamp photos and videos with time, date, temperature, moon phase, and camera ID so that you have as much information as possible at your disposal when planning your next deer hunt.
The Moultrie S-50i trail camera is great if you need to set it up and you might not be back to check on it for a while.
This trail camera can capture up to 28,000 photos on one set of batteries and it features a weather-resistant exterior so you don’t need to worry about it if inclement weather comes in. This camera is also finished with a Realtree camo pattern that makes it nearly undetectable when strapped to a tree.
The Moultrie boasts a trigger speed of 0.3 seconds and it comes with a variety of useful features, including multi-shot, time-lapse, and hybrid modes. It’s equipped with reduced motion blur that gives you clearer images when capturing at night.
It also contains an invisible infrared flash that illuminates subjects up to 100 feet away with spooking them before it can capture a clear shot.
Stealth Cam QS12
The Stealth Cam QS12 captures 10-megapixel resolution images and can also record five, ten, or fifteen-second video clips that will give you a more thorough understanding of migration patterns in your selected area.
When capturing images at night, the camera’s 12 infrared emitters help to illuminate subjects so that images are clear and usable. For fast-moving targets, this camera can capture 1-3 images in quick succession using Burst Mode.
If you’re going to set it up and leave it for an extended period, you’ll enjoy this camera’s integrated Python lock latch that adds security and gives you peace of mind.
When you upload the photos and videos from this trail camera, each separate file will be stamped with time, date, and moon phase. This allows you to monitor the activity of deer in your area during specific monthly and yearly phases. This information will be valuable when you plan your next deer hunt.
This is a super-compact trail camera that captures photos and video to give you the most information possible about your selected hunting grounds.
It captures 11-megapixel resolution images and you can choose to capture HD videos in color or black and white, depending on your preference. It boasts a 0.7-second trigger speed and its two-inch configuration screen allows you to easily program it to your desired settings.
When capturing images at night or in lowlight conditions, this camera utilizes 42 low-glow LED lights to reduce blur and provide clear images that will actually give you a great idea of the size and gender of deer in your area. It also features a curved motion sensor lens that increases the surface area for its motion-sensing technology, making it more effective at detecting motion and capturing images.
When programming this trail camera, you’ll be able to set your desired detection range (from 5 to 80 feet) and you can also choose to have important information, such as date, time, temperature, and the moon phase, printed on each photo or video.
Selecting The Best Trail Camera For You
There are a lot of factors that go into what makes a trail camera effective or not. Some of those factors can also be out of your control, such as weather, game migration patterns, and more.
In this section, we’ll focus on some of the important information you need to know before buying a trail camera, such as picture quality, trigger and recovery time, and detection range.
When you’re first searching through trail cameras, it’s easy to focus on the megapixel (MP) count. However, a higher MP doesn’t always translate to better picture quality. The quality of the lens used in the camera’s construction also plays an important role in the quality of the pictures it captures.
There are a lot of myths regarding the importance of megapixels, but there’s really no substitute for looking at sample photos from the trail cameras you’re considering. A simple Google search for ‘photos from [insert trail camera model]’ will give you some samples to look for and help you decide if the camera you’re considering will produce the quality of images you desire.
Trigger and Recovery Time
Trigger and recovery time are largely responsible for the camera’s ability to capture photos when motion is detected within its range. In general, faster trigger speed is better because there may already be a delay in the amount of time it takes the camera to detect motion and communicate (internally) that it should be taking a photo.
After this process, you’ll want the smallest amount of additional time to elapse before the camera actually takes a photo so that you avoid missing a deer entirely.
Recovery time is where there seem to be more differences between camera models. This is the amount of time that it takes the camera to recovery and capture a second, third, or fourth image when motion is detected. In general, faster recovery time will allow the camera to capture more photos when deer pass through its range.
For your intended purposes, more images give you more to go on when you actually plan to go out into the field for a deer hunt.
Detection range is the area in which a trail camera will recognize motion and begin to take photos or videos. When advertised with a range of 100 feet, for example, that’s only really advertising the straight-line distance in front of the camera in which it will detect motion.
You’ll also have to account for the camera’s detection angle and total field of view. These two factors (in conjunction with straight-line detection distance) will help you figure out the total detection range of your desired trail camera.
In general, a camera with a wider lens with have a larger field of view and, therefore, a greater overall detection range.
Which Trail Camera Do You Prefer?
If you have experience with any of the trail cameras we’ve reviewed above, we’d love to hear how they’ve worked for you.
In addition, if you know of other great trail cameras for deer hunting that we didn’t mention, please share and we can include them in our next update. In the meantime, happy hunting!
Leave us your comments and questions below!