When it comes to hunting there is so much new technology coming out on the market that it gets very difficult to decide what is truly useful and what will soon become a gimmick. Trail cameras though seem to be so much more than a changing fashion that you can even start to wonder how we ever managed without them. It is not that you cannot go hunting without them, but just like you would not go fishing without a good sonar system, it is just as absurd to go hunting without several trail cameras already setup. They can tell you if there has been a big buck around your hunting area anytime soon, that way you cut your chances of just waiting around for days on end by more than three quarters. They are also great in the off season because you can set them up to watch for shedding deer, in the fall, and if you get to see a deer with just one antler you know that he has already shed one and the second one is not a far way away and you can just go and start looking for them. And they are great in the spring and summer, especially if you are trying to get young people to start enjoying the hunt because you can actually see the bucks growing up, the antlers starting to form and really get a feel for what you can hope to see if you take the time and patience to hunt for deer.
1. Browning Trail Camera – Recon Force XR
There are 2 factors that really make the Browning Trail Camera – Recon Force XR stand out from the crowd: on the one hand has a massive 100 feet flash range that allows you to capture deer during the night even if they are very far from the camera. It is the perfect camera to use in a feeding area because it can actually capture an entire glaze. In this type of situation you want to set it to take the photos at least 5 minutes apart and you do not need to use the video setting unless you want to make some sort of wildlife documentary with animals grazing. The flashlight is, of course, in the infrared and it will not spook the animals. The other great thing about the Browning Trail Camera – Recon Force XR is that is uses 8 AA batteries so it can last on a single battery change at least a season if not the whole year. The camera is a high definition or HD 8 megapixel shooter with an incredible level of detail even for the night photography. It comes with its own protection case and it merges very well with the background when you mount it on a tree, and it is perfectly safe even if a bear would take an interest to it.
2. Stealth Cam G42 No-Glo Trail Game Camera
If you are working on a budget, there is a similar type of camera to the Browning Trail that is much more affordable, it is the Stealth Cam G42 No-Glo Trail Game Camera. It has a 10 megapixel shooter with a 100 feet infrared or invisible flash, so it terms of technical specifications, you could say it is just as good. However in a parallel photo shootout, the Browning Trail is the definite winner with much less noise in their photos. Then again, a trail camera is not a wildlife photography challenge, so you do not really need to care that much about the noise level as long as the details are clear enough to be able to tell the difference between a one antler deer and a two antler one. Interesting enough though, the Stealth Cam has the option of manual shots and also burst shots of up to 9 images per shot, which is something you would expect on a real camera. It can be an interesting feature though, if you forget your camera at home.
3. Browning Trail Strike Force
If you liked the features of the Recon Force XR, you are going to love its big brother, the Browning Strike Force. It has the same excellent features like 8 AA batteries that allow it to stay in use for months on end, and the ability to record videos of anywhere between 5 seconds and 2 minutes in length. However, it uses an even more powerful camera processor at 10 megapixels. The flash light is also in the infrared so it will not spook the animals, in fact they will not even see it. And in case you are wondering why you would pay extra for those 2 megapixels, it is because they can be the difference between a shadow at the edge of the flash range and a deer’s head. The more detail you can have in a picture, the more you will be able to see towards the far edges of the camera, and sometimes the deer will not get close enough for a perfect photo session.
4. Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2
Although the Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2 is in the same price category as the Browning Trail camera we have looked at so far, it does not have a flash that is equally as powerful, and it will only work for a distance of 70 feet. However, it does have other advantages that make it a very interesting choice for different occasions. On the one hand it has a 10 megapixel resolution taking widescreen or panorama shots. That means it encompasses a lot more on each side of the view point and that can be essential in a wide feeding spot. It also has a 2” LCD screen so you can check the photos right there on the hunting spot without having to bring along a laptop. So the Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2 has several great features going for it making it the best trail camera for a feeding spot.
5. Blusmart IP54 Trail Camera
If you need a good trail camera but at a minimum cost the Blusmart IP54 Trail Camera might be the best choice you have. It uses a small 5 megapixel camera, which allows the manufacturer to keep the price low, but through interpolation it can raise that resolution to one of 12 megapixels. It is not something you would want to do with professional cameras and high definition wildlife photos, but for the purposes of hunting, the fact that the camera increases the resolution, means you can see well enough to know if there is any point in hunting in that particular spot or not.
6. Covert Special Ops Code Black Trail Camera
Hunting is all about being in close contact with nature, but if you cannot make it to your hunting grounds as often as you would like, you always have the option of buying the Covert Special Ops Code Black. It has an 8 megapixel shooter and it uses an AT&T carrier signal to send the photos directly to your phone or computer. It even uses 12 AA batteries so you can set it up and just forget about it for several seasons on end.
7.Browning Trail Camera – Spec Ops XR
There is no doubt that the Browning Trail cameras are some of the best on the market, however they are also quite expensive. So if you want that level of quality but cannot afford the premium for their top of the range cameras, you may want to go with something like the Browning Trail Camera – Spec Ops XR. It has a 60 feet invisible flash range, and an 8 megapixel shooter. It is the perfect choice for game trails because there you do not need a huge flash range, only a quick camera action. The Browning Trail Camera – Spec Ops XR has a 0.67 second trigger time which will catch a deer even if it runs in front of the camera.
8. Simmons Whitetail Trail Camera
The further we go from our top 5 best trail cameras choices, the lower the price tends to get, but so does the quality. The Simmons Whitetail Trail Camera is a decent camera with a 7 megapixel shooter and using 4 AA batteries. However, the reason why the price is so low is because the flash range is of only 30 feet. So you still have a good chance of catching about 70% of all the game that a top of the line Browning Trail camera would, but you are also definitely going to miss some opportunities.
9. Browning Trail Camera – Dark Ops
We could not finish this list without mentioning one of the longest lasting trail cameras on the market, the Browning Trail Camera – Dark Ops. It used to be the best so many hunting lodges still use them, but now the 70 feet invisible flash range, coupled with the relatively high price, have made this camera a somewhat bad choice given everything else you currently have available.
10. Moultrie A5 Low Glow Game Camera
The last trail camera we are going to feature is also the most affordable. You should not buy anything cheaper than the Moultrie A5 Low Glow Game Camera because anything else will have too bad of a resolution and you will just be throwing your money away. The Moultrie A5 Low Glow Game Camera has a 5 megapixel camera, which is quite low, but still good enough and a 50 feet range on its low glow infrared flash burst. That means you can actually see the flash in complete darkness, but the light is so low that it will not spook the animals passing by.