Trail Camera Tips & Techniques Hunters Must Know

Having a trail camera doesn’t mean that you will automatically have more meat in your freezer. You need to know a few trail camera tips before you can get out there into the wilderness.

Trail Camera Tips for Better results

Avoid Contact with the Sun

Never face your camera against the sun. Just like your eyes, all you will be seeing are photos of light. Most of the time, the motion detector will get a little bit crazy, and it will probably take hundreds of pictures until your SD card is full. You don’t want that to happen at all. This is the most basic yet most important trail camera tips. While it’s not always possible you prefer positioning trail cameras so that they face North.

Avoid Contact with the Sun

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Theft Proof It

So, the lesson is never to trust anyone. Seriously, you just can’t. It’s a harsh true, but you have to accept it. You can leave your camera in some corners of the wood and expect it to be totally fine days after days. They worth hundreds of dollars and it is totally usual for them to be stolen. If you have invested a hundred bucks in your trail camera, why not invest some more in a security box? Trust me; it is worth your peace of mind.

Not only a security box will protect your camera against thieves, but it also protects your camera against animals. Birds and deer cross your camera all the time. Your camera is likely to get kicked, stepped on or bitten. Trail camera average age is only two years. Protect it.

Cover your Stench

Bucks and animals are very sensitive to smell. So, one of the most important trail camera tips is to make everything odor-free. It means that your camera and even you need to be free of smell.

Wear latex gloves when you work with the mineral licks and your camera

Image source: Huffington Post UK

Wear latex gloves when working with your camera. Only go to the camera site and install it when you are clean and scent-free. Bucks can feel your scent in the air, and they may move to another place to avoid you.

Leave It Alone

The appropriate amount of visiting your camera should be once a day or once every two days if possible. It’s understandable that you need to replace the batteries and unload the SD card. But if you visit your camera too often, bucks and animals in that area will get out of its sight. Not to mention you will leave a trail of smell all over the place.

Visit it once a day in the middle of the day. This is the time where there is little to non-activities. Enter the site and exit using only one track to avoid spilling your scent all over the place and only visit the site when you are clean and free of smell.

If there is wind blowing in the direction when there is deer or animal there, don’t enter.

Batteries for Trail Cams

Never take the batteries lightly. If you have already invested in a camera, spend some more money on the batteries. For trail cameras, batteries mean almost everything. Having batteries that last long will limit the amount of time that you have to go to the site. It saves you a lot of breath and in the long-term more money.

Battery check

Image source: The DIY Hunter

High-quality batteries will perform better even when there are weather changes. It’s also one way to protect and keep your trail camera in good shape.

Move It  or Leave It

You are not expected to find the best spot on the first few times you set up your camera. So, don’t be afraid to move it if you think there is another better spot. You can solve this problem by buying many trail cameras if your budget allows you to. But once you have set it up, don’t approach it too often. You need to let your camera blend in with the surroundings. Constantly checking the camera will turn a favored spot into a bad spot.

Location and Location

As mentioned, even if you have all the best trail camera tips in the world, if the spot is bad, it is a bad spot. Bedding areas, food sources, and pinch points are always the best locations to consider for your camera. In the beginning, it may take you a while to identify these spots, but once you get on track, you are good to go.

Location and Location

Image source: Backwoods Whitetails

Tips to find great locations to hang your trail cameras by using topographic maps

Read between the lines

When you look at a topo map, you will notice there are many different lines with different shapes. What you need to do is not to look at the lines but look at what’s between them. The space between the lines indicates the slope of the terrain.

The smaller space is, the steeper the terrain gets.

So for instance, if a buck walks from a point to another on your map, the path that is least steep should be the priority (between the lines).

Looking beyond tops

Don’t just solely rely on your topo maps. You need to get off your shoes and start walking around the area to learn it by heart. The better you understand the area, the easier it is for you to locate and track down the bucks.

Looking beyond tops

Image source: Realtree

Roads, bench flats, bedding areas and food sources are not something that you can find on your topo map. Spend your time wandering around and take note of all those places on your map. You shall find the changing pattern of the bucks.

Tips to secure your camera:

As mentioned in the trail camera tips above, cameras are important companions of a hunter. They do not come cheaply, and it hurts if you lose one.

Trust no one; you need to buy a security box with a lock for your camera. Investing a few more bucks could save your camera.

Hang them high above the ground. Not only this would prevent animals from stepping on or biting your camera, but it also makes the camera less desirable for thieves.

Your camera should have a camouflage cover. It shouldn’t have too many wires. Also, it should not produce noise when operating. Invest in a low-glow flash camera. The harder it is to notice your camera, the less likely somebody will steal it.

Trail Camera Software

It’s not an easy thing to set up your camera and find the most appropriate mode for your hunting game. You need to read the manual carefully and have a conversation with your seller about all the modes that your camera has. Things are a lot different in real life. You can try buying or subscribing for software online. This software will make it easier for your camera to take pictures.

Other Tips

Do research before installing: Look for signs of animals, tracks, and trails. Place your camera near the food sources, mineral sources, and bedding areas.

Stay on edge: Place your camera near the edge of the area and high above the ground. This way, you will be able to see everything and won’t miss out important details.

Intersections: Placing your trail camera on intersections will optimize the vision of the camera because these are the place with most movements.

Placing your trail camera on intersections

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Weather: Pay attention to the weather forecast. Rain or snow will block the lens, making the camera unable to capture any photos. Clean your camera after it rains. Dust covering up the lens will reduce the quality of the photos and make the motion sensor faulty.

Bait: It’s a good idea to put some mineral licks or bait in front of the camera. This way, you will be able to lure bucks closer to your camera. Just don’t remember to put the bait to close and hang your camera high above the ground.

Trail Camera techniques

Improve Photo Processing and Filtering

Buy cameras that can stamp your photo. Which means other than the photos, there should be date and time off taken? Temperature, wind speed is also great to be included in the photo. This will help your research process much more convenient. You will be able to find pattern and time of the day where the bucks come out.

Improve Photo Processing and Filtering

Image sourcE: DeerLab

How mass tagging and deleting works

Tagging will help the identifying process easier if you are studying the pattern of one particular buck or a group of them. If you are a serious antlers hunter, tagging is one of the most important things to consider.

Patterning Buck Movements

Patterning a buck movement can be hard, especially if it’s a mature buck. A buck’s pattern can be totally different from another. But with a system of trail cameras, you would be able to do that. It’s quite time-consuming and painful to do so. But you will be rewarded for your effort.


Trail cameras are a companion for hunters. With them, you will be able to reach out for any bucks in sight. They save you a lot of breaths and effort. In return, use these trail camera tips to maximize the efficiency and take good care of your cameras.