Everything You Need to Know About Trail Cameras


May 13, 2023


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hunting cameras

Experts agree: Prospecting your territory is a key factor for a successful hunt. To outwit the game, you must gather as much information as possible about it. Knowing the animals’ habits will allow you to develop the best strategies. Whatever game you are after, the trail camera is a particularly useful and efficient tool to keep an eye on your hunting territory, rain or shine, day or night.

Article written in collaboration with FedeCP.


In this article, learn more about the main elements to know to choose and use a hunting camera in an optimal way :

  1. What is the purpose of the hunting camera and how to choose the right model
  2. What features are offered?
  3. What are the benefits of using trail cameras for hunting?
  4. What are the latest technologies on the market?
  5. How to properly install a hunting camera
  6. How to take care of hunting cameras
  7. What is the best trail camera?
  8. FAQ

Start familiarizing yourself with the models available on the market by visiting SAIL’s website.

Shop – Hunting cameras

What is the purpose of the hunting camera and how to choose the right model

The main purpose of using a hunting camera is to track game traffic on a given territory. Whether you are hunting moose, white-tailed deer, black bear or wild turkey, you want to know what animals are visiting your sites and what their characteristics are.

Generally speaking, all models of hunting cameras can collect this information. The choice of a specific model depends mainly on the budget you allocate to this purchase, which will vary between $99 and $600. While it is entirely possible to be satisfied with an entry-level camera that offers basic functionality, it may be worthwhile to consider other elements before shopping around and purchasing a hunting camera.

For example, if your property is located in an area where a cellular network is available, a cellular camera option could be beneficial for you. However, if your hunting ground is located in a place isolated from the network, the classic SD card camera will be ideal.
The analysis of the different features can also guide your choice.

What features are offered?

Many hunting cameras offer some basic features: date, time, moon phases and temperature.
Most cameras have an undetectable night vision system, which allows you to take quality black and white photos in the dark, without alarming the game with a flash or glow. Another popular feature for hunters is the video mode, as it allows you to see game in action and sometimes even interacting with other individuals. Finally, some cameras can also capture images at regular intervals.

What are the benefits of using trail cameras for hunting?

Trail cameras (which you may also know as hunting cameras, game cameras or wildlife cameras) are definitely among the best gift ideas for hunters. That makes sense, too, because they come with many advantages!

Gathering maximum information

Today’s trail cameras are equipped with advanced motion detectors, particularly high-end models. They can capture images of any type of game, big or small, in a matter of seconds. When positioned correctly, a trail camera is an invaluable tool for acquiring expert knowledge of your territory – and, more importantly, the wildlife inhabiting it.
Trail cameras are not just for hunters; anyone who appreciates nature and wildlife observation will also find endless possibilities for discovery. These precise tools make it easier to study areas and their animal populations.
The recent spur in the popularity of trail cameras has a lot to do with their durability, battery and photo/video quality. Now more than ever, these little wonders of technology prove essential for those who want to know what goes on in their territory.

Seeing photos and videos from the comfort of your home

The most advanced models of trail cameras come equipped with a handy feature allowing you to receive photos and videos directly on your cell phone – no need to get the pictures on the spot! You will know as soon as there is game present in the area. If you’re in the vicinity, this swift notification of animal movement gives you an edge in responding quickly, ultimately increasing your chances of a successful harvest.
Spypoint’s cellular trail cameras, for example, conveniently send images and videos directly to the Spypoint app installed on your cell phone. What’s more, by sharing your login information, you can share access with your hunting family members and friends, eliminating the need to send them pictures through text or email.
Another significant benefit of not having to collect data on site is that it helps preserve the area by decreasing your presence there. This, in turn, minimizes the impact on the behaviour of the local wildlife.

The versatility of trail cameras

Game cameras are highly versatile and practical, making them useful for any hunting scenario. Whether you’re tracking a deer or a black bear, your camera will prove helpful either way. Thanks to the high-quality photos and videos produced by today’s hunting cameras, it’s easy to identify species, determine the age of individuals, etc. You don’t even need photography or video skills, as most models have simple settings.
For example, with certain cellular trail cameras, you have the option to receive only photos and videos of your preferred species on your phone, day or night!

Choosing a camera with a solar panel allows for autonomous operation and eliminates the need for battery replacement or recharging. This feature enables you to monitor an area and keep a close look even when you’re physically distant!

What are the latest technologies on the market?

The evolution of technology also affects the hunting world, and game cameras are an excellent example. In recent years, solar panels have been integrated into some models to enable recharging of the battery – very practical when you cannot visit your property regularly. The best cameras are nearly autonomous, as opposed to the more conventional battery-powered or rechargeable models. The only limit now is not related to the battery, but the storage.
The quality of the images captured has also significantly improved with technological advancements. The standard nowadays is high resolution; many models offer 1080p, and some even allow filming in 4K!
The management options are also increasingly numerous. For example, it is possible to determine the frequency of activation of the camera, to geolocate it, and to know the surrounding temperature… The sensitivity of the camera can also be adjusted to prevent you from ending up with a hundred photos taken due to wind gusts. Moreover, thanks to a large recognition database, it is even possible to select the type of pictures you want to receive (male or female only, human presence, presence of predators or other animals, etc.).

Cellular trail cameras

Cellular trail cameras (the ones that send photos and videos to your cell phone) are becoming increasingly popular. If your hunting grounds are located in an area with good cellular coverage, you will likely find this type of wildlife camera very convenient. The captured images are sent to your mobile device via text message at your chosen frequency.
Some companies even offer apps that enable complete remote camera management. This is a major benefit as it allows you to limit your physical presence on-site, reducing any potential disruptions. Captured photos and videos are sent directly to the app. When you share your login information with your friends and family, they can view them all on their own. This will save you from having to send everyone the best shots one after the other via text or email. Some trail cameras even allow you to store your photos and videos in the cloud.

How to properly install a hunting camera

Hunting cameras are designed to camouflage themselves to the environment and usually come with everything you need to attach them easily. So there’s no need to go to great lengths to make it invisible. The important thing is not to leave any odours behind when handling them. Some people use an odour eliminating spray to make sure they don’t leave a trace. To avoid spending a lot of time at the installation site, it’s a good idea to do your testing ahead of time, on land that is not frequented by game.

The location of the camera should be chosen carefully to ensure that it is pointing at what you want to observe. Good pictures can be taken up to 50 to 70 feet (15.2 to 21.3 meters) away. Beyond that, you’ll lose a lot of accuracy and quality.

Also, consider setting up your hunting camera at a strategic location where you have observed tracks a few months before the hunting season starts. You will be able to deposit minerals nearby and validate the presence of game in this area.

How to take care of hunting cameras

Maintaining a hunting camera is very simple. After each season, it is important to take a look at the seals to make sure they are in good condition. If there are any bugs or nests, simply remove them. Then you can put it away until the next hunting trip.

As for cameras with solar panels, most of them can be left in place over the winter, as long as you use good quality lithium batteries. Check the batteries and clear the snow, because if the panel is hidden, they won’t work well.

What is the best trail camera?

There is really no absolute best trail camera. It all comes down to your expectations and your budget.
Depending on your needs and the way you intend to use your camera, there are several criteria to consider before you make your choice. Some of them should be the first ones you look into, no matter if you are a hunter or a wildlife observation enthusiast. We are thinking specifically of the following:

  • Quality of the housing, which needs to be waterproof, lightweight and portable;
  • Photo quality: preferably at least 12MP;
  • Video resolution: 720 or more (1080p, 4K);
  • Motion detector: infrared for night shots, enough range for your intended use, adjustable sensitivity… If detection is not optimal, your camera will be triggered (too) frequently due to factors such as wind or small insects, and that will drain the battery;
  • Shutter speed: it is excellent on high-end models but can be several seconds on entry-level ones;
  • LED flash quality, making sure the camera remains invisible to animals at night;
  • Autonomy: AA batteries, lithium battery pack, etc. If you can, choose a solar-powered trail camera.

Here at SAIL, we recommend you check out Spypoint and Stealthcam (with its Fusion X model, in particular).
One non-cellular trail camera that stands out to us is the Spypoint Solar-Dark. It boasts solar panels and an internal rechargeable battery, along with ultra-fast shutter speed, 12MP resolution, and time-lapse mode. When it comes to the best cellular trail cameras, we think of models like the Link-Dark. This hunting camera is particularly appreciated for its HD videos with sound, as well as its GPS and Geotag functions.
Be sure to also check out Stealthcam’s Fusion X, which is probably one of the best affordable trail cameras out there. With photo resolution of up to 26MP, lightning-fast shutter speed, and burst mode, it offers plenty of advantages!


Setting up a trail camera in the woods means expanding your field of vision. It means learning more about your hunting territory. It is improving your knowledge of the animal populations that gravitate around your camera’s lens, and keeping track of wildlife activity. Between Wi-Fi trail cameras, solar-powered hunting cameras, cellular trail cameras… you have many options, and that’s all the better: there’s something for every taste and every use. You now have all the knowledge you need to choose YOUR best trail camera.


How do Wi-Fi trail cameras work?

Where do you place a trail camera?

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