Oct 10, 2013 at 11:34 am #1308571
After seeing another mountain lion on my road and also seeing a great trail cam picture a BPL member took a few weeks ago, I bought a Moultrie 990i and placed it on a trail near my house. I got a few deer, raccoons, cats, a fox, wild turkeys and then something that put it's face to it and knocked it over, since it was not tied down.
I like the pictures I am getting but it does not seem to be triggered as often as it should and the reload time seems slow.
What I read about Reconyx, besides being very pricey, is that they have the fastest trigger, reload fast, but they don't take videos and the less expensive ( 450!!) still has a glow when capturing at night. What about not having a screen that enables you to check proper camera placement and what is on the SD card before removing it?
Anyone here have good or bad experiences with Moultries, Bushnells, Reconyx trail cams?Oct 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm #2032786
I have no experience with trail cameras….but you didn't happen to see this, did you?Oct 10, 2013 at 12:17 pm #2032788
Six months ago I was on the verge of purchasing a Bushnell model, but first I contacted a couple of the national parks. They told me that trail cameras are forbidden to be installed in the wilderness areas of the parks. The only places they would be legal in the parks would be in the campgrounds and only if attended, which kind of defeats the point of a trail camera.
There is one guy who uses Bushnells a lot for local wildlife.
–B.G.–Oct 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm #2032794
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
"They told me that trail cameras are forbidden to be installed in the wilderness areas of the parks. The only places they would be legal in the parks would be in the campgrounds and only if attended, which kind of defeats the point of a trail camera."
I think that's one of those rules you should just ignore : )Oct 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm #2032795
Jerry, you ignore it.
If the park service discovers anything like that, they confiscate it. They are just too expensive to do that.
Other jurisdictions don't seem to have the same law.
–B.G.–Oct 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm #2032798
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
How about "better to ask forgivness than permission?"
I'm not going to ignore the rule and risk my camera, I want you to do it.Oct 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm #2032818Oct 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm #2032819Oct 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm #2032830
The Urban Gray Fox:
One guy is the photography expert, and one guy is the fox expert.
Personally, I think that setting up a trail camera near your home would be fun. However, I would certainly want to chain it to a tree or something, just to avoid having the camera walk off unexpectedly.
I'm sure that you are aware of the numbers of mountain lions in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It would be fun to get some system set up to get images of the big kitties.
I had a mountain lion run in front of my car a couple of weeks ago, and I think that they are great animals to watch.
–B.G.–Oct 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm #2032837
It looks like both Urban Gray Fox and Parliament Of Owls are using the Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Max.
Anyone know the pro's and con's of this model?Oct 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm #2032843
Greg, you should have asked me six months ago. That was the one that I was going to purchase before I got the (negative) national park information.
One thing though, is that you really want to lock it down. So, there is a whole selection of steel cases, armored tree cables, etc. The people who use these a lot carry an image viewer around with them when they go to check on each trail camera.
When the thing goes into night vision mode, effectively it goes to black and white, and there is no color information. I think that is because the infrared LED illuminators are way out of the normal color band.
–B.G.–Oct 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm #2032847
We've used a bunch. I have never found one brand better than another year to year. So moultrie may have a good 150 model in 2011. But then the next year it will be crap. Plus I have never found one price range to last longer. Of the dozen we used 100 cameras last as long as 250. It's prett dang random.
But I love them. My father has them out all year. We like to see what's wandering around.Oct 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm #2032868
To view results, do you swap card and view at home, or do you take a viewer with you?
If at home, what do you use to access the images on the SD card?
Is a trail cam SD card is readable in a typical camera, or are the formats different?
ThanksOct 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm #2032871
Michael, can you explain more about how you use them?
I think what you are saying is that the technology is advancing rapidly, and the brand competitors keep leapfrogging whatever the best model is.
–B.G.–Oct 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm #2032874
Greg, you need to define what you mean by a typical camera.
In a typical Canon DSLR camera like mine, I can shoot and store a JPEG image. Then I can transfer that to a computer, perhaps to edit. Once the JPEG is saved again, often you will play hell trying to view it on the original camera. It's even worse if you shoot RAW images, but that is outside the scope of trail cameras.
You can get a tiny card reader that will hook up to a home computer via USB. The card reader can read any of about five or six different kinds of memory card, so getting it into the computer should not be a huge issue.
Some people who do this a lot will carry an image viewer with them. This is often a laptop computer. They pop the card out of the trail camera and into the laptop, view or copy to the laptop, or erase the card, and then pop it back into the trail camera before they leave it. It seems to depend on how many of these trail cameras you are checking and how far out they are located.
What I do not like is that it seems like some will date and time stamp each image, and that is not optional.
–B.G.–Oct 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm #2032900
"…a typical camera." – a basic P&S, accepting a SD card.
"You can get a tiny card reader that will hook up to a home computer via USB. The card reader can read any of about five or six different kinds of memory card, so getting it into the computer should not be a huge issue."
That works for me.
"Some people who do this a lot will carry an image viewer with them. This is often a laptop computer. "
I don't have one, and it will be a while before I do. Unless there is something for under $100.
Having something for field verification is crucial, otherwise you will make many trips to confirm field-of-view as well as animal density. That's not ideal.Oct 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm #2032908
I do several things to view them. I don't have a fancy trail camera with built in viewer. But some do.
I usually swap cards and look at them at home. Depending on location and time, I sometimes take a laptop for viewing. All of our cameras take simple jpgs that anybody can view.
We got our first cameras because we like to hunt. And we got curious about what was running around the area when we weren't there. We would see signs and tracks and be curious when different animals showed up. Even when you aren't going to shoot anything it is fun to see what is around.
Now we usually just have 1-2 our around the property at any given time to see what is out there. Put them near water/game trails and you see lots of fun animals. All of ours are on private property. We attach them to trees. Some of my father's are now attached to a square piece of plywood that is easier to attach to the tree. With all the feral hogs around we usually up the interval between shots if it is at a busy location. Else you run the battery down taking hundreds of hog pictures every day.
The quality is improving. But what I was saying is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of consistency between manufacturing batches. One year a certain brand and model will be great and reliable. But the next year, the same brand and price point will have a crappy product. We have found it is a good idea to get a camera from Walmart or other friendly returnable place and keep the receipt. You might have to return it soon.Oct 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm #2032914
Which ones are you using now?Oct 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm #2032919
"But what I was saying is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of consistency between manufacturing batches. One year a certain brand and model will be great and reliable. But the next year, the same brand and price point will have a crappy product."
That is quite an indictment of one manufacturer's quality control process. I wonder if they are all that bad.
–B.G.–Oct 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm #2032942
The only one that is working still at the moment is a Wild game one. It was very cheap but took very clear black and white photos. It is only a year old though. We will buy some more in the Spring. I'll research the best again at that time.
I frequented a hunting site to get some details on them. Nobody seemed to favor one brand. Or actually everybody seemed to have a problem with a brand. Lots of stories of issues that occurred, with all the different ones. I now look for one brand that is getting good current reviews on amazon and hope for the best!
Yes it is. I have tried at least 3 brands. Moutrie, Wild Game, and I can't recall the 3rd. But all break after 1 or 2 years at most. And that isn't constant use. Stored inside without batteries in when we aren't using them.
I know that the some of the wild game ones would turn on but not stay on. The manufacturer had no interest in fixing them.
I am not impressed with any and it seems like a throw away of some cash. But a few hundred dollars for 1.5 years on average works ok for us. My father and I each buy them, so the cost is spread out. The 250 dollar one I bought lasted a year and wasn't significantly better than a 100 one, except it was in color. But clarity was the same.Oct 12, 2013 at 8:19 pm #2033562
This guy has been recording some incredible footage on Mountain lions .
This clip was from last night. He uses Bushnells.Oct 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm #2033567
Excellent night video.
–B.G.–Oct 12, 2013 at 9:31 pm #2033574
What fun that was, Kat. Thanks for sharing it.Oct 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm #2038337
This morning, about 30 yards from the cabin.
My cheaper camera got video of a fox, bobcat and a blurry mountainlion, all in 3 nights. Then I used a Moultrie Fieldviewer and copied the pictures to a different SD card and erased the originals before re inserting into the camera. The SD card with the copied videos was unreadable by my ipad and my Sony and the Sony reformatted it and erased the video. Heartbreaking.
Now I don't copy, I just replace the SD card and download the pictures, then when I stick the card back in the camera I erase them, preventing a different device from reformatting them. Lesson learned.Oct 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm #2038347
Apparently the bobcat was photographed at 1:05 a.m. Then it appears that you copied the files from the card right after that. Correct?
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