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Schu72

Well-Known Member
3,707
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Streetsboro
#1
Well my first trail cam was on the doorstep when I got home tonight. Just need to get some batteries and a memory card and I'm all set. Read the manual just need to decide where I want to get started.

I purchased a Bushnell Trophy Cam off of Ebay, new for $150 with free shipping. I think it was a great deal.
 

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
34,398
7,404
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NW Ohio
#5
If there are any do's and don'ts, clue me in. I don't want to buggar things up before getting started.
Okay, here are my experiences that might shorten your learning curve. The first one is basic: Use the Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries. I haven't tried any others, but I get 9-12months out of them so I cannot foresee stepping down.

Secondly: Use Sandisk cards. I have some others which have worked, but the couple of times I have called Bushnell technical support one of the first questions they ask is which brand you are using. I figured they owned Sandisk, but whether they do or not I don't know. I guess the tech support lady says there have been some issues with other cards. Also in addition to the brand of SD card, make sure to use the card in the trail camera and nothing else. Once formatted to the camera, you do not want to put it in your digital camera and then back into the trail camera. Screws up the formatting somehow even if you format the card everytime you put it in the camera. I format every time I put it in the camera by the way. Clears all old images and seems to work best if the card is emptied and fresh.

There are my pointers. Only other thing is to buy the "Bear safe case" and a python cable. Best buys I have found on the mounting case is Optics planet.
 

cotty16

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
#6
Sandisk is the way to go.
Take a digital camera with you to the woods. Switch cards and then put the card from the trail cam into your digital cam. You can sit on stand and view pics if you are like me and have the camera near or on the way to your stand.

I leave mine in high sensitivity all year long. I dabbled in the book recommendations for different temps, but high was the best setting for me no matter what.

Face it north or south. If you face it east or west you will have the sun playing a role in the pics. In the winter face it north so the sun never is an issue.
 

hickslawns

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34,398
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NW Ohio
#7
Take a digital camera with you to the woods. Switch cards and then put the card from the trail cam into your digital cam.
I had some issues with this. Screwed with the format of the card. I also was switching between the Trophy Cams and an older Moultrie. Not sure which one it was, but in the end I just use the cards for the Trophy Cam only. Might not mess with them, but if you try this and start having issues, buy a new card and only use it in the camera. See if it helps. Maybe my incident was a fluke? I dunno.
 

bowhunter1023

Administrator
Staff member
43,722
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Appalachia
#10
I'd certainly like to offer some advice on this Scott. More like personal experience than advice, but it might be helpful. I'm on the road again today, so I'll throw something up tonight. Congrats on the new cam! I have no doubts you'll love it!!! And that was a great deal, gotta love eBay!!!
 

CJD3

Dignitary Member
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12,561
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NE Ohio
#11
Welcome to the club!
Hicks pretty well covered it. I love my Bushnell.

Consider the way it faces. Some times the morning/evening sun can effect the camera's judgment on going to night mode.
 

bowhunter1023

Administrator
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43,722
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Appalachia
#20
About how many pics will that hold?
I've had 5,000 on my SanDisk 2GB cards before, so there’s no need to blow your load on 2+ GB cards IMO. In the winter months when I run cams over corn, I routinely get 3,000+ pictures a week on my BEC’s using the 2GB cards. The only time I can think of that I filled one was this fall on the Primos 35 when it took 5,000+ because of the wind blowing the scrape branch around, which triggered the cam. I’ve come to find out that a SanDisk 2GB card is the smoothest running card to have in a camera.

As far as do’s and don’t are concerned, I’ll offer up a few things I’ve learned while running cams the past 7-8 years. I have 7 cameras right now and I’ve settled into what I call a “Scout Cam” and “Inventory Cam” rotation. You’ll have to decide how you want to utilize this one cam, but ultimately, it will be an inventory taker or a scout camera. I use my BEC’s as inventory cams because they are the most reliable in cold weather and when taking lots of pictures. They’re roll is to monitor a feed site and simply report back to me what is going on at those locations. I select feed sites that allow me to cover a wide field of view, reason being is that often time, mature bucks will visit a feed site without ever taking a bite of food. By selecting an area where I can cover much more than the corn itself, I have a better chance of capturing mature bucks that are checking out the area, but are TOO skittish to eat from the pile/feeder. I love the inventory cams because I get my best pictures in and around feed sites. Inventory cams also allow me to get a rough idea on my doe population, as well as showing me what bucks I want to shoot or the ones that need a year. IMO, the single best way to use a camera is as an inventory camera.

I say that inventory cams are the best because I’ve had very little success actually patterning deer through the use of trail cameras. The cameras show me what’s there and when they are moving, but only on one occasion in 7 years have I had a camera put me on a deer and that was with Crazy Rack. That’s not saying your camera cannot or will not do pattern a deer for you because it happens all the time. I tend to use my scouting cams (I have two each Primos 35’s and 60’s) to monitor scrapes, rub lines, and when those are out of season, to monitor the “not so obvious” trails around the areas I hunt. I’ve gained some valuable information from running cameras in this manner, but I’ll take my inventory cams any day of the week. For you, it’ll be the decision regarding what you want most: lots of pictures or the possibility of some valuable information. (That’s not saying inventory cams do not provide valuable information, because they certainly do. But it’s a different type of info that is often times, less than helpful in terms of actually killing a specific deer.) At least for the time being, you can run it as an inventory cam so you can get familiar with it before fall arrives. Once the season starts and sign begins to pop up, you’ll be faced with the decision to monitor the sign or stick with the food. That’s of course if you don’t have another one by then!!! :D

When it comes to general placement, I always make an attempt to hang the camera so I can cover as much space as possible, while still have the focus (scrape, trail, crossing, food, etc.) centered in the picture. Height on the tree can be dependant on terrain, but when all things are equal, I like to hang them where the base of the camera is about 48” off the ground and the focus is 6-10’ from the camera. If I am scouting with a camera during the season, I take all the same scent precautions as I would if I were hunting that area, and I try to move/hang cameras in the rain as much as possible.

Trail cameras are an addiction in their own right as the others have said. I started with an $80 piece of shit in 2004 and we see where that has taken me! Last year, I’m thinking I had close to 50,000 pictures between all my cameras. There is nothing like the anticipation of seeing the picture count, and then the ride home wondering what will be there to surprise you. Some days, you’re stomach will sink or you’ll be pissed because there’s nothing on the cam you were sure had the next big buck on it. Then there are the days when you have absolutely no hope of seeing a good deer on camera and you get a picture of the buck that will haunt you forever! Enjoy it Scott, it truly is an experience all its own!!!

If you ever have any questions or anything, you have my number. Lord knows I’m always willing to talk about trail cameras!!!