Trailcam Tips for Beginners

So, you’ve got your new trail camera and are ready to head out and start scouting. If you are new to this, there are a couple of things you should consider before you head out. Some of them are pretty straightforward, but can ultimately save you some time because the smallest details are the easiest to overlook.  Many of the trail cams available today are pretty easy to use.

  • Update the Software!  Newer model cameras come with software (sometimes referred to as firmware) loaded that runs the whole operation. Once the cameras are made and sent to the shelves, people start buying them and send complaints about “bugs” and whatnot to the manufacturers. These are tweaked in software updates. If you buy a camera 6 months after it is made, there may already be a couple of available updates

Before installing in the field, be sure to check online for and install any updates. This will save a ton of aggravation later. Just be careful when updating. Always have fresh batteries installed and be sure to follow the instructions to the letter. You could end up with a $100+ brick on your hands, if not.

  • Label the cameras and memory cards.  If you use more than one camera…this could save you a ton of aggravation. If you get home with a pocket full of SD cards, you will not really know which pictures came from which location. I learned this one the hard way.
  • Come up with a system to collect and store your pictures. You can take 50,000 pictures. If you do not collect and analyze the data it is useless. First you collect the chips, and then store them in the same folder in your computer. That is an over simplified version, but you will find what works best for you. Just turn it in to a system and you will be fine.  Also be sure to take steps to ensure you get animals in the pictures.
  • GPS the locations. Again, if you have more than one. Even one, depending on your land. When you hide these from animals and trespassers, you may end up hiding them from yourself as well. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I have lost track of more than 1 camera over the years.