How did I decide on which trail camera to buy and what features can you look for in a camera trap?

The truth is, I didn’t actually decide to buy my trail camera, my husband did, but I am going to tell you how he decided. My husband has used trailcams in various places for various reasons, research, monitoring wildlife and even remote control with features that were supposedly able to send you an SMS when it was triggered.

I really started enjoying the trailcams and waited with great anticipation to see what was captured everytime a memory card came back home. The cameras were always for work purposes, so I never really had the freedom to go place them and play with them to try and capture interesting animals, which I really wanted to do. In 2017 my husband bought me a trailcam for my birthday.

So to get to the point. How did he decide which one to buy?

When we were working in the Eastern Freestate on a game reserve, my husband set up a camera somewhere in the field and couldn’t relocate it again. For 6 months this camera was somewhere in the bush, through wind, rain and all kinds of weather conditions. He accidentally stumbled upon it again and even though it was bumped by animals, skew and a part of the screen was cracked, it was still working! After 6 months it was still taking pictures. The grass grew over it and the vegetation changed drastically over the months. It took pictures of a variety of wild animals which was sadly accidentally deleted in a computer clean-up. This camera was a Bushnell camera. This event was one of the major deciding factors used when he chose my trailcam. He also looked at trigger speed and image quality, but sadly there weren’t any available with a black flash at that time.

My camera is a 24MP Bushnell HD Trophy cam, Aggressor, 0.2-second trigger speed, 1080PHD video, 36 Low Glow Infrared LEDs.

Here are some of my favourite images:

Also, if you haven’t seen it before, look at my favourite video clips here:

Are you in the market for a trail camera?

Without getting too technical, here are a few factors you can look at when comparing camera traps/trail cameras: 

  • Trigger speed- The faster a camera can react, the better are your chances of capturing good footage.
  • The type of flash – You get an infrared flash and a black flash. Embedded is a video which compares the two.
  • Photo settings and the quality of the video and images.
  • Battery life.
  • Durability, will it last in wind and weather?
  • Camouflage, to me this is more important to hide your camera from humans, animals seem to find cameras anyway.
  • An LCD screen. Mine has a little screen on the camera on which I can see what I have captured. This could be very handy to check a camera in the field. The video playback on the screen does not work well on my model, but it’s perfect for checking images.

Before deciding, do your research, look at trail camera images and videos online, look at reviews and most of all enjoy it. Once the Trailcam-bug has bitten, you will get camera-trap-fever for good.

To see some fantastic trailcam footage come and join our Facebook group: Trailcamming in Southern Africa

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(Please note that I am not affiliated with Bushnell and this article is written on my own experience. )


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