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Joined: 11/13/2009
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Which trail camera to buy my hubby?

I am trying to stay under $350. And I assume IR is better than flash. So post up what you have, your experiences with it, and the price

I read good things about Moultrie but all brands including that have bad reviews saying they stop working after a few months.

Thanks
April

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
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Which trail camera to buy my hubby?

Camera prices are dropping nicely and capability is increasing. I have two Moultrie Gamespy 4 megapixel models with IR flash that I've had great luck with. Cabelas has 'em on sale right now for $200. But there are a lot of options out there that may be better. Here's my two cents:

First, IR flash is definitely the way to go. Your pictures will be in black & white, but it won't spook the game. It won't announce the location of your camera to unscrupulous people in the area, either.

Watch battery life. One reason I went with the Moultrie is that I can leave it in the woods for a month and still have plenty of battery power left. The only downside is that it takes six "D" batteries, so it's a bigger unit.

Size matters -- you've got to carry the camera in and out of the woods, and it's not like you can move the trees around to get the right angle. Bigger cameras may have more features, but smaller cameras can be easier to work with.

Watch megapixels. Some cameras are cheaper, but skimp on picture quality.

Get a unit that takes SD memory cards. Most do. SD cards are cheap and easily swapped. Bonus points if your regular digital camera takes SD cards, because you can pop the trail cam card into your camera and review the pictures in the field.

Pay attention to what the camera stamps on the photo. Mine records date, time, temperature, and moon phase. Most all record date and time, but the temp and moon phase helps give you extra info that helps tell what animals are doing.

One thing I like about mine: it has a built-in laser for aiming. Put the camera on the tree and adjust it so the red dot is where you want the center of the photo to be. That saves a lot of time vs the "test-check-reset-test-check-reset" method.

Get something reputable. There are off brands out there that are cheap, but good luck getting help if you need it.

Camo might be worth it -- not so much for the animals, but for people. The less obvious your camera is, the less likely it'll be stolen.

If you hunt where there's a lot of people, you might want to look for a model that either comes with high-strength security, or for which you can buy a "bear box" to make it tougher to get off the tree.

Don't worry about whether you can plug the camera directly into your PC to read the card. Who wants to haul their camera home to do that, just so they can take it back out and re-aim it? It's easier to buy a couple memory cards, swap the card in the field, and bring the full card home to look at on the PC -- while the camera is still doing its job in the field.

Check Cabelas. You don't have to buy there, but they sell a lot of popular models and their website has customer reviews for each model. That'll tell you a lot from people who've used them in the field.

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Location: NE Kansas
Joined: 03/20/2006
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Which trail camera to buy my hubby?

Cuddeback Capture has worked well for me. 4 D cell batteries provide great battery life, fast trigger speed, SD card, and easy to use. Have couple of Bushnell Trophy Cams on order, can't give a review but from what I've read they have great battery life with AA batteries, fast trigger, and very compact. Both are about the $200 - $250 range.

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