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Tips for Trail Cameras and Trail Camera Photography
As far as trail cameras go, I've got several and have had mixed results. Moultrie makes a couple good, durable cameras. These are nice because you can lock them to the tree. It sort of depends on the type of woods you choose to put them in. Believe it or not, there's a lot of jerks out there that like to steal and wreck stuff. If it's in a high human traffic area, don't leave it out for very long; especially not over the weekend. If you do, make sure it's locked and check on it often.
The cheapest cameras are the Stealth Game Cam. They run about $65, but the results have been hit and miss. A friend of mine has had great success with his. The "Non typical Deer Cam" is a pretty nice unit. They run around $200, but are said to deliver good results and have a long lasting battery system. My personal favorite is the Game Country Hawkeye: good battery life, good photo quality and an excellent housing. There are also some plans available to build them from scratch. You might be able to save a couple bucks, if you have a lot of tinker-around time.
I try to steer away from cameras that are powered by only AA batteries. They tend to wear out of power the fastest. A lot of my cameras are in remote areas and I'm not able to refresh the batteries as often as I'd like. Get ones with C, D, 9volt or 6volt if you plan to leave it out for several weeks, especially in cold weather.
Try a search on Ebay. You'll be surprised at how many cameras are out there. I've tried digital, but was thoroughly disappointed. I like getting good quality 35mm film photos, not lots of lo-fi black and white ghost images. That seems to be what most digital cameras give you. In my opinion, actual film photographs are worth the money. You do have to wait for them to be processed, but picking up your photos can be like opening a present on Christmas.
When you put your camera out, put it on a trail intersection or some type of animal traffic area. Although it's not always necessary, you can always put out some food out to draw the animals in. Try whole corn kernels and sunflower seeds for deer. A salt block can do the job for moose. If you locate a fresh deer kill, put a camera up nearby and you could get some shots of wolves or coyotes. If you are a bear hunter, put a camera up near the bait pile.
You get the picture: put the camera up where you know there's lots of animal activity.
Hope that helps. Keep us posted on how things go, an of course, send in any photographs you get - we'd be glad to add them to the site.