With over two decades of experience and knowledge Realtree Team Member Keith Watson shares his top ten tips for successfully setting up your trail cam.
Love them or hate them, trail cams are here to stay. Used correctly, they can do the work of ten men in a short space of time. Whether you are monitoring deer numbers or the trophy quality that resides on your stalking ground. For me they are a great aid, with the positives outweighing the negatives.
1. Feeders and mineral sites are the obvious choice of location for siting your cameras, winter being the best time for this approach.
2. Anywhere that the deer are using on a regular basis can pay dividends to your monitoring work.
3. I personally find the perfect height to place your cameras is about knee high from the ground, making sure to keep it horizontal.
4. It’s a false economy to use cheap batteries. I find Energizer lithium the best. I can get 8 weeks solid from them; obviously, depending on how many times the sensor is activated.
5. I would advise you to knock down any wayward vegetation directly in front of your camera, or like me, you will end up with hundreds of videos of the same branch blowing in the wind (listen to the voice of experience).
6. Setting your camera side on to the sunrise or sunset will help to stop the images from becoming overexposed (white out).
7. There are plenty of options for setting up your camera. Most of the time I set mine to take two pictures, then a 10 second video. This will normally supply more than enough information.
8. If I am unsure of the best setting to use, I try the camera out on my dogs in the garden. Better to play trial and error at home than be over eager to rush out into the woods with your camera, to later realise that you’ve set it up wrong.
9. Depending on the cameras location, I tend not to leave mine out for more than two weeks. Generally, I would expect 2000-3000 images and videos over that period of time, and when you have got several cameras out, reading the SD cards can be a night’s work.
10. If like me you have a number of cameras out, I would advise that you name the cameras and SD cards. It’s no good reading the cards to find the buck of a lifetime if you don’t know which camera he was on.
There you have it, another successful image from Keith Watson’s trail cam. For more hints and tips from Keith check out the list below: