WON Landing Page OCT 2022

A Marti Moment: Quick trail camera tips for happy hunting

Now is the time to be getting your trail cameras out to do some pre-season scouting.  Here are some tips to get the most from your trail camera pictures.

Trim around the tree first. Photo of Marti Davis by Barbara Baird

*Use good quality batteries, such as Energizer, Duracell or lithiums.

*Use high quality SD cards, preferably Moultrie or comparable. SD cards must have a 2 or above in the little circle on the front (looks like an @ sign, but it is a number in the circle).  A 4 would be the recommended quality, and necessary for video.  Using a low quality SD card can actually corrupt your trail camera.

*I also recommend two SD cards per camera.  Make sure to turn your camera off when switching SD cards.  With two cards you can go to your camera, replace the card with pictures with the blank one.  Your camera will still be up and running, while you spread as little scent as necessary in your hunting area.

*I recommend against using your point and shoot digital camera to view your pictures.  Some cameras put a file on your SD card, and this can cause your card not to work when you put it back in your trail camera.

*Make sure to trim any limbs and ground growth right around or in front of the camera.  There is nothing more disappointing than 500+ pictures of a limb blowing and moving.

Photo courtesy of Barbara Baird

*Place the camera on a tree about waist high or slightly lower and level with the ground.

*Don’t face the camera directly west or east.  Along with the sun affecting the quality of your pictures (wash-out), the heat can trigger the infra-red sensors.

*When placing on a trail, angle it up or down the trail.  Do not place it directly perpendicular to the trail.

*Place cameras at a funnel overlooking a food plot or field, at a creek crossing or bottle neck.  Mock scrapes or natural scrapes would also be great locations to target bucks or a particular buck.

*I like to place mine at locations like I listed above with a Trophy Rock or Moultrie Easy Fill feeder in front of them.  This gives the deer a reason to linger and move around right in front of my camera.   Potentially giving me multiple shots and different angles of the deer.

*If you are worried about your cameras getting stolen there are a couple things you can do to try to deter theft.  One is using a coated cable and small padlock on the camera.  The other is placing them higher up on the tree and using the cable and lock.  If you do this you might need to angle the camera down a little. (Placing the camera up higher in the tree can affect the distance/range of the sensors a little.)   I pull my ATV up to the tree and climb up on the rack to place mine out of reach from someone on the ground.  I use a small limb to adjust the angle of the camera when necessary.  This is where a Moultrie 4.3” Picture and Video Viewer comes in handy.

*Placing your trail cameras in your hunting area two to three months before you hunt will let you gather information about where you need to be on opening day.  While this is important information, the most critical information will be what you gather from the week prior to your hunt.  As you see the animals’ patterns change, you might need to change the location of your trail cameras.

*Trail cameras aren’t just for catching images of wildlife.  They can also be used for security purposes and possibly catching trespasser or thieves.

All locked down and set up and ready to roll! Photo courtesy of Barbara Baird

I highly recommend the Moultrie M80XT camera, this little mini cam has great features packed into a small package!  Bass Pro Shops is running a great sale on these new cameras thru 8/19/12, the end of their Fall Hunting Classic.  They retail for $159 and are on sale for $129, in stores!

Good Luck and Good Hunting!

HERCAMOSHOP.com sponsors “A Marti Moment.”

  • About Marti Davis

    Marti Davis is a staff member for Browning Trail Cameras, WoolX and Mossy Oak. She is an authority on most types of hunting in North America, and very active in mentoring the next generation of young hunters.


The Conversation

  • Kristen Monroe says: August 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Nice tips Marti! Now that you have your camera all locked up…..Big Foot can’t steal it! And people wonder who takes the cameras 🙂

  • Marti Davis says: August 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Barb-Thanks for the great pictures. Boy, was it hot that day!!! And the doves were not cooperating. 😉