Acadiana area hunters are quickly becoming fans of wildlife trail cameras. Local outdoor recreation suppliers like Academy have racks of the new digital marvels that mount to trees or fence posts and shoot high resolution digital images of anything that moves in front of the camera. Hunters like them because it takes their scouting for big bucks to a new level. Just find the trails that deer are using and then set the camera up and come back later to check the SD card to see what is using the trail.
Hunters are not the only ones that can use this affordable technology to help them out. Nature lovers and photographers can also use this valuable tool to get the edge on wildlife for more frequent encounters. Maybe you just want to know what is munching on your garden vegetables? Read on to learn more about the value of trail cameras.
Set the stage:
Wild game animals like deer, turkey and birds like an easy meal from time to time. Bagged dry corn, bird feed and mineral blocks all offer nutrition to animals and depending on the time of year, may be essential to the animals due to harsh weather and climate conditions. Just check with state game laws like the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to make sure that your activities are legal for what you are doing.
Bait piles and mineral blocks are best set about three to five feet away from the camera. The camera only needs to be a few feet off the ground and aimed at the target area. Scouting will offer you the knowledge needed to locate your camera in a place with a lot of animal movement.
Pick the camera that fits your need and pocket book:
Like most technical gadgets, options abound! There are high end brands with accessories to beam images to your email and cell phone (Moultrie GPS Game Spy Connect) and there are budget brands. The web sites like Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas can guide you in the product search and often their customers post reviews on the quality of the product and imagery. Use these valuable resources and then make the best choice that your budget can afford.
Check the images:
Once a good trail is identified and your camera is operating to the manufacturers suggested instructions, leave the site alone and come back later to check the SD card. Purchasing two SD cards is a good option for constant camera action. Just flip the cards out when you check the camera and view the images when you return home. Some folks carry laptop computers out into the field when scouting to get an immediate idea of what is moving in front of the camera. An even better choice is getting something like the Cuddeback Cuddeview X2A Field Viewer. It is a hand held unit that lets you scan your memory card at the fraction of the price of repairing or buying a new laptop computer.
Get out and view!
Homemade ground blinds, portable store bought blinds and tree stands are all useful tools for this step. Once you have identified a good place for wildlife viewing and have confirmation of active animal movement from your trail camera, get out there and take a look for yourself.
Trail cameras are great tools for learning more about the movement of wild game. The time spend afield and behind a computer screen in the new era of scouting will be valuable and rewarding for your outdoor pursuits.