When you check your trail camera pictures, you might see several issues that affect image quality. If moving trees signaled your camera's motion detector, you might have several wasted photos. Plus, pictures of deer can be grainy, obscured by brush or incomplete, cutting off antlers and other visible markers of age and health. Getting the full picture of a deer provides crucial information that helps you decide whether it's a shooter or not.
4 Tips to Get Better Trail Camera Pictures
We know how frustrating viewing an SD card of poor-quality images can be. Placing and maintaining your trail camera takes a significant amount of effort, and you want it to pay off with good pictures. Here are four tips to help you get better trail camera pictures at feeders and other sites.
1. Choose the Best Location
Any photographer will tell you that lighting is the key to taking an excellent photo. Game camera pictures are no exception. Consider where the sun rises and sets when you choose your camera's location and never point your camera east or west. The rising or setting sun will "blow out" the image making the subject not visible or barely visible in the picture. Because sunrise and sunset are popular times for deer movement, you might be missing out on a lot of clear deer pics. It's best to point your camera towards the north (remember, in the winter the sun is in the southern sky) as the sunlight will not interfere at all, in fact it will help illuminate deer in your pictures.
Remove any brush or vegetation in front of the camera that might obstruct your view and ruin the photo. This is especially important for nightime photos as the camera's flash will illuminate the brush in front causing it to "white out" the subject behind the brush and making it difficult or impossible to see what it is. Blowing leaves, grass and branches can also create false triggers, which will leave you sorting through hundreds of pictures without a deer in sight.
2. Position Your Camera Properly
If you're scouting private land, try to place your camera at a deer's eye level.
On public land or in areas with other hunters, placing your camera higher can prevent theft. Taking a small step ladder or another safe way to reach a higher spot in the tree can help you choose the best height.
If you place your camera high, be sure to point it downward to capture anything moving through the area below the camera. Trail camera pictures taken at downward angles can also help you see the entire deer, even if it has its head down.
3. Adjust Your Settings
Placing your trail camera in a suitable location is a great first step toward getting better game camera pictures.
Timing a photo is complicated. Motion detection can have your trail camera ready to shoot a photo in as little as a half-second. Still, that first photo may not capture the image at the right moment. Enabling your game camera's multi-image settings will have it take several photos rapidly so you can see what triggered the camera.
You can save space on your card by setting longer trigger intervals, so your camera will take several photos of whatever triggered the motion detector, but it'll wait longer between photosets. This is called "Detection Delay." Setting it to :30 seconds to 1 minute will cut down on redundant photos.
Experiment with other settings to choose the best configuration for your camera.
4. Choose The Best Cameras
Upgrading your tech is one of the best ways to get better game camera pictures at feeders, river crossings and other areas. Two things to consider are image quality and the ease of accessing your pictures. A camera with a higher number of megapixels lets you zoom in on your images without seeing a significant reduction in quality.
Cellular trail cameras upload images to the cloud, letting you view them from your phone instead of trekking into the woods, and allow you to keep them online for easy access.
Browse our selection of Moultrie Mobile cellular trail cameras today and improve your chances of seeing big game.