View Full Version : Trail cam's

07-31-2013, 09:05 AM
What is your opinion on using trail cams? Good, bad.

I have a friend that is a top notch outfitter here in Nv and he has been given a lot of negative feed back on using trail cams on water holes looking for deer and elk.

I've always thought there was nothing wrong with it, just cause you know what's coming into a water hole you still have to seal the deal.

07-31-2013, 09:48 AM
My dad was giving me crap the other day for using them. He thinks its cheating along with me flying the unit and scouting so much. My rebuttal was I needed every advantage I can get to kill that buck of a lifetime. Luck needs to play less of a part in the equation because I'm not that lucky of a guy.

I think it is an old school mentality along with some guys take hunting more seriously than others.

07-31-2013, 10:02 AM
I'm on the fence with trail cameras. One side, I prefer to get out on the ground and see what animals are where for myself. On the other side, it is nice to have a camera capturing potential game throughout a couple weeks. With cameras, you can determine what time game is travelling whether to/from water or along a main trail. They help to pattern the animal. You can also determine the quality of animals for a give area. I don't personally own any cameras, but my two main hunting partners do and use them extensively to gauge how an area's potential is.

I have considered getting a camera, but so far, have relied on boot leather and lady luck instead. Always seem to find something else I don't need to buy instead.

07-31-2013, 10:06 AM
Like everything else, it's personal opinion. I personally don't like the "idea" of them but have been tempted to get one to try and get an "advantage". I don't care for other technology either like videoing and digiscoping or whatever's it's called. I don't like over scouting either, as in an outfitter with a dozen guy's in the field camping on animals until there client shows up. Heck even the technology in the bow hunting culture with all the new equipment and commercialization turns me off. I like more adventure and the element of surprise. But, that's just me... if you like it use it, if not, then don't. There's definitely nothing "wrong" with it.

07-31-2013, 10:34 AM
Growing up, I saw game cams as something that was only useful for hunters out east hunting from tree stands. It makes sense, if I were stuck in one spot to hunt, other than driving me batshit crazy, I would want to at least know that animals were going to be walking by. That being said, I have had hunting buddies start using them in recent years and they paid off. You can only scout so much and having cams at different locations is a real advantage in deciding where to hunt. As for IKIC's comment about an outfitter getting crap about it, I can't understand why, it's his job to put in the ground work and know where the animals are. Giving his clients the best opportunity to shoot a trophy animal is what they pay him for. Not taking every advantage he can to succeed at his job doesn't make sense, there is only so much ground an outfitter and his team can cover.

Umpqua Hunter
07-31-2013, 10:51 AM
I'm still trying to decide if I am in favor of them. I have eleven of em' ;-)

07-31-2013, 11:11 AM
I like them when they are on hidden seeps/springs not a fan when you bump into a guzzler and can find one on every trail coming into the guzzler and 3 of them sitting side by side at the nearest tree to the guzzler.

07-31-2013, 11:54 AM
I am fine with them. Don't have a problem using them. It gives you a idea of the game in the area. The thing is you still have to get into that section and then find them. That's only part 1. Then you have to get without range of them. That's part 2. Then you have to seal the deal.

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07-31-2013, 12:05 PM
I've never been in faver of them, but I am borrowing one now for my upcomming antelope hunt. I feel like I'm cheating by using it, but its leagal. I've waited 15 years for this hunt and I am taking every advantage I can for success. I'm not sure I will go buy some for future hunts, I will have to decide if I want to change my ways I guess. I do know of a water hole that is always tore up during archery elk season that would be an awesome spot to have one at. I've never seen anyone elses there, maybe I will have to buy one next year??

07-31-2013, 12:49 PM
I think it is funny that an outfitter is having a problem with a game camera. A lot of people would never think using an outfitter is okay. I just got into the trail cam this year. I went up a couple weeks ago to set it in the area I hunt. I decided to set up a camera after talking to various people that use them. As I became interested in using a camera I asked all the people I run into at work a set of four or five questions about the cameras. After our conversations I'm not convinced that the cameras are used as much to find specific animals or even to find better animals. One of the questions I ask is if it improves their success, and the response I receive is that it hasn't. The salt licks and the jam stuff that they put out has helped out more than the camera and I think that is an entirely different conversation (baiting animals into a location.) I have found it has become as much of a hobby for them as hunting and they just enjoy the process and the pictures. my wife could not make it up to the area I hunt and she is excited to be able to see the pictures and get a taste of the animals I see when I'm out. I'm pretty excited to go and check the camera this week and bring home some pictures to share. When I went up to scout and set the camera I scared two bulls right out of their bed in the area I hunt, I have always found animals and have a shot to get one so the camera will not aid in the harvest however I hope to be able and bring some good pictures home of the animals. I have also heard of people that are able to harvest an animal they have a picture of and blowing up the picture and displaying it next to the antlers, I think that would be cool.

Colorado Cowboy
07-31-2013, 01:49 PM
I have a couple that I use oround my place. I want to know what is coming into my garden and eating everything, whats getting all the duck & goose egs around our pond and whatever else gets caught in the camera. Raccons, skunks, deer, fox, feral cats....you name it.

Technology is always on the move. We all use range finders, new & better optics, GPS, etc, etc. Can't see any difference with game cameras.

07-31-2013, 02:24 PM
I have one camera I usually put it over a water tank where I think deer are watering. Almost every picture is of a deer drinking at night, or an occasional coon or coyote. I use mine to see whats around in hopes of getting a picture of a big one, or anything else interesting. I just enjoy looking at the pictures of animals, even if I get a picture of the state record it's still just that....a picture. To me, a game camera is not going to fill your tag, but may inform you of a nice buck that your scouting has not revealed (usually bc they are only moving at night in my area).

07-31-2013, 03:11 PM
I just got one last year. I don't get to scout where i hunt enough to make multiple trips over and over to monitor cameras.

My logic is this:
A game camera has a very limited range, so the hunter who is using it already has the skills and the knowledgr to determine where animals will "likely" be. I think it allows hunters of mature animals to confidently pass on smaller animals because they know a more mature animal is in the area. With that said, think about the fact that a hunter will pass on "good" bucks in the hope of the "great" buck and go home with a tag, because he never came back. A guy that never used a camera will take that "good" buck, and feel great about his accomplishment.

Either way, a camera is just a means to an end. I don't see it being any more or less ethical than a couple guys with big spotting scopes covering 5 sq miles and comparing notes for a few days and then going after the herd and having a great hunt.

Please don't let this thread deteriorate like some others. This is a great topic, and i think these topics need to be raised periodically as technology continues to improve. We love our sport, but someone else's opinion can be pretty enlightening once in awhile.

07-31-2013, 09:54 PM
Have 3 myself. I mostly just enjoy seeing the videos of the animals and getting a peak into their life. Also feel good knowing I have some eyes on our family farm because no one is there 90 percent of the time. I do feel like they are cheating a bit. So far I haven't used them to pattern any animals but I am hoping I get some pics of some decent bucks...and I am not sure how I will feel if using a camera leads to me getting a deer. If it is something I could have done using my wits and just pure interpretation of sign, hunches, hard work...I know I appreciate the success more. Hunting is as much about the journey , if not more, as it is the destination.

08-01-2013, 02:20 AM
I have a few and use them whenever I can. I can't say they've really helped me get any deer, but they sure are fun. Half the fun of hunting is all the preparation and planning. This just gives you another thing to get excited about. At times they also help to keep your motivation up after a long season. On a number of occasions I've hunt a stand multiple days and never saw anything. Motivation started to get low. Getting up so early to climb the mountain is a little less fun each day. So I put up a camera and I'm shocked at what I see. Some times it's a big buck in the middle of the night, others I'm surprised to see deer go by mid day when they should be bedded and lastly I've seen a buck come through less than 5 minutes after I left. In all those instances I still never shot a deer from those stands, but those pictures kept me thinking...."there's still a chance!"

08-01-2013, 03:56 PM
I don't mind people using them, but I won't use them myself. It is more exciting to be surprised by whats coming in, whats around the next bend, or whats over the next hill. I don't know what is so enjoyable about hunting an area where you know every animal by name and the biggest surprise is seeing a new buck or bull that you don't have a trail cam picture of. On the rare occasion I watch a "modern" hunting TV show, it seems as though all the hunters go to guide services and the first thing they do is look at the trail cam pics of the deer they will be hunting. Its almost as if the hunters can browse a catalog and pick out what they want. Even the nocturnal bucks/bulls can't hide anymore. Its seeing the unexpected with my own two eyes that gets my heart pounding....but like I said before, I don't care if other people use them in their own quests.

08-01-2013, 06:12 PM
I have a bunch of them. Heavily in favor of them as they are probably the best mgmt tool available.

08-01-2013, 08:17 PM
I have a couple and I really enjoy them. I like to see what's around my hunting areas and enjoy looking at the pictures. I don't try to pattern a particular buck just enjoy seeing them on the camera. I guess it's like a whole 'nother sport for me. Just an excuse to get out in the woods sort of like shed hunting I guess. I put cameras out in spots I don't intend to hunt sometimes just to see what I can get.


08-02-2013, 11:51 PM
A lot of this depends on how "aggressive" you are with your cameras. If I was strictly a Trophy Hunter I would probably be more religious about keeping multiple cameras going to make sure I knew what was out there. If I was only a meat hunter I wouldn't waste my time/money on any of it. I am somewhere in the middle with my one camera that is on the shelf more than in the field. To each their own.

08-03-2013, 07:53 PM
I am up to three now and have had a blast with them. At first I got them just for trying to pattern deer but now I seem to use them year round. I love being able to take my 4 year old daughter out to check them thoughout the year. I think she has more fun than I do. Like BobT said it's like a new sport for us.

08-04-2013, 11:47 AM
I went and checked my trail cam (the first time I have put it up) and I'm excited about several of the pics. Even with all the scouting I could have done I don't think I could have ever got a picture like this one. 6178

For the first time my wife and dad were able to have a good picture of some animals in the area that I hunt. I'm excited about using a camera.

Sorry for posting this here. I just saw the field photo section and should have posted in that thread.