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jlm

Scouting Cameras

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jlm

Ok, we have all heard of them and some of use them (scouting cameras). Those of you that use them, are they worth the money? What are the pros/cons of using a scouting camera. Please do not start an ethical debate on these, it only takes away from the thread in my opinion. If anyone has pics, please feel free to post them, we all the love 'em!

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Flash

My brother-in-law uses one on his hunting land. Did it help his hunting in any way? I don't think it did. It is fun though to see what is walking by the stand when you are not there. You still have to be in the stand to shoot the deer. Personally I do not think deer move at the same time every day. Wheather has a lot to do with it. One thing that is fun is know there is a nice buck in the area. Makes going out hunting easier when you know there is a buck using the area. Keeps you moral up.
Flash
"Set the Hook"

[This message has been edited by jlm (edited 07-02-2004).]

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SCAT

I have a friend in the UP of Michgan and they have used them for last few years and he has had pictures of the last 3 bucks he has taken prior to rifle season! Others that have used then said that any large bucks vacated the area after being photod. Maybe the camera, may be the does left too...

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Mark Christianson

Scouting cameras ROCK!
I have 3 now, and plan on getting more.

The week before rifle season last year, I had 7 different bucks visit a homemade scrape.
Trouble is, we didn't see any of them. frown.gif
But it was just exciting to know what was in the area. I did get a photo in October of the buck I shot on the firearms opener.
I hang a camera on the feeder here at work. I have several dozen pics of the deer that live right here in Plymouth. No massive deer, but several real nice bucks.

I'd post pics, but me don't know how to do it.

It's worth your money!

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PerchJerker

I have a scouting camera and like it, but the batteries, film, and developing get a little expensive.

Between my land and the neighboring properties we have a few hundred acres to hunt, and the scouting camera does not change or affect how, when, or where we hunt.

I mostly like having it to see what's using my food plots and walking around on my property. Gets pretty exciting when you get photos of shooter bucks, gets pretty depressing when all you get are photos of does, fawns, or nocturnal deer.

I've got friends that have taken photos of deer they later shot. I'd like to do that. Maybe this year .....

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BLACKJACK

What kinds of cameras are you guys using? What do you like or dislike about them? Any pictures of big bucks? Anybody use a digital?

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Mark Christianson

I have 2 Stealthcams. They are $70 at Gander.
I also have a TrailTimer. Gander sells them for about $250.
They are all 35 mm.
The Stealthcams are a bit confusing to understand, but with time and re-reading the instructions a few times, its fine.
The Trailtimer is a far superior unit.
But in the end, they all take pictures. When you get the prints, you wouldn't know which camera took which pics.
I have several pictures are very nice bucks. I need to figure out how to post them.

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jlm

BLB-
You have to get someone to host your pictures before you can post them here. There are numerous sights where you can load your picks. If you go to the open water forum there was a thread related to this. The last post in this thread was on 6/25 so you will have to scroll through a little. Post away, I am interested in looking. We are also going to start a brag board soon so if you figure it out, please let everyone know how to do it!

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BLACKJACK

How about the flash, do you think that scares the deer so they avoid that area? And how about batteries, will they last quite awhile, even in cold weather? How fast will you go thru a roll of film? Even with a 30 second delay, I would think that if it was in a good spot that you could go thru a roll in a couple of nights.

Thats why I'm really contemplating a digital one. If you spend $300 on a digital vrs $150 for the other one, at $7 for processing, after 21 rolls the digital would pay for itself. Has anyone tried a digital?

Was just out to Cabelas site looking at the trail cameras, getting the lust bad.

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PerchJerker

I also have a Stealth Cam, the more expensive model -- I think it's called an MC1-D or something like that. It was under $200.

I like the price, and the photos I get seem just as good as the ones my friends are getting with more expensive cameras. I think the location - distance and lighting - have more to do with a good photo than does an expensive camera. There's a really good flash on this camera so my night photos usually turn out pretty good.

I don't like the construction -- too much plastic -- and it just SEEMS unreliable. I'm never sure if it's going to take good photos or not, but after using it a little I've got the hang of it and it's worked fine for the last several rolls of film. My friends with the more expensive cameras have the same issues -- sometimes the camera works great, the next time it doesn't seem to take photos, or takes them of nothing, etc.

Batteries, film, and developing are not cheap. I've looked at digital cameras a little, and for me the key is being able to leave the camera in the woods all the time but still retrieve your photos, whether by a removable memory card or by a monitor you can view on and download to. I do not like the idea of taking the camera down and bringing it to my computer to access the photos (I live 250 miles away from the land I hunt and have the camera on).

Usually I have my camera on my food plots. A trick is positioning it so the deer are only 10-20 feet away, such as on a trail where they come in, or in a funnel, etc. I find it interesting to 1) look for big bucks (usually I get photos of small bucks), and 2) see how much the food plots are being used in daylight vs. darkness (mostly darkness, especially once hunting season starts, and the two biggest bucks I've photoed were both well after dark).

I think setting up on a trail in the woods vs. on the edge of a food plot would be a better way to get photos of nice bucks - the cameras have delay settings on them, and there's usually so many does / fawns / small bucks moving around in the food plots that I think sometimes the bigger bucks walk past the camera while it's in it's delay mode. For example, last year I spent 3 consecutive days bowhunting over a food plot (80 yards by 20 yards) of brassicas that the deer were hitting hard, and had my camera there and set with a 5 minute delay between photos. I saw 21 deer in the food plot while hunting, and the camera took photos of only 3 of those 21 deer, because they walked behind the camera, or too far away for the sensor to pick them up, or too slow for the sensor to think they were moving, or too close together during the delay, etc. etc. etc.

I like my camera, but I'm glad I didn't spend any more money on it. Sorry for the long post, but hopefully this info helps.

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PerchJerker

I just read BlackJacks post again and realized I didn't answer a bunch of his questions.

I don't think the flash scares the deer - it may startle them a little, but does not scare them. This is from personal observation and from setting the camera to take 2-3 quick consecutive photos when the sensor is triggered. My theory is the noise from winding the film does more to startle them than the flash of light (which might be a vote for digital).

My camera uses 8 c cell batteries. They've lasted anywhere from 2-3 weeks to 6-8 weeks. I've never noticed a difference in battery life from usage or temperature, except for in really cold weather when they go down fast.

I usually use a 24 exposure roll and set a 5 minute delay between photos. Depending on location, sometimes I only get a few photos a week, and sometimes the camera records 30-40 events in a week. Sometimes I use a 12 exposure film if I'm there for a long weekend.

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BLACKJACK

Thanks for the info Perchjerker!!!

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Mark Christianson

Finally back in town.

BJ
As far as the cameras scaring deer.....
I have watched deer walk past the camera I put out behind the house, and when it snaps a picture, they just stand there in amazement. Now these are deer that live around people, so I have no idea how the ones in the real wild act, but I really don't think it bothers them.
As far as batteries, they aren't that bad. I can get a few, to several weeks out of them like PJ says. I had a camera out after deer season last year, that I got in late January, and the batteries were still working when I retrieved the camera.
I have my cameras set to take a single picture every 10 minutes. Then again, I have them on food plots now.
If I put them on a trail, I set it for a picture every minute.
I have a friend that has mastered the art of posting pics. I'll get some out here soon.

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Ben1022

I've used a few diff't cameras and I like what they do for me. First off, I work close w/guys who get the "good guy price" for these toys and that's how I got to use them. Another instance is when I was at a trade show and got to do a product reveiw for one. So here goes...film/developing gets expensive. If you are going to use them, you have to consider you're going to get a lot of picutures. Regardless if they're good or bad, you're looking to find something out and the pics can get expensive. I used a 35mm camera on one and it was great. But, the expense of running back and forth from the camera and the developing started to outwiegh what I wanted to know. So, I got to use two diff't digital ones and they are the ticket. However, I'd suggest a digital that gives reasonable battery life. I honestly don't need pro quality photos...just good enough to see what is out there. So, black and white vs. color is fine for me and something that can flash quickly. Some cameras are tricked into being "off" until something sets them off. However, they don't instantly turn on and sometimes the subject can be thru the window before it snaps. Major pluses of digital...store lots of pics (few trips to camera), replace CF cards and take one home to look at and get info. It's easy to log your info if you care to and most have IR or little flash so it doesn't spook game. I'm not totally convinced flash spooks game to the point they leave the area but that's another discussion.
A draw back I had w/one digital was that it inadvertently went off. They said that if too much sun/heat was on the camera, it could set it off. So, I had a bunch of pics I was scouring looking to see what set it off and was about crazy thinking I was missing something.
I thought it was going to be the answer to me shooting a huge animal w/little scouting and was way wrong! However, it still provides good info on time of movement and I find it good to correlate that w/the weather and other factors. It also lets you know if nothing is using the area so you don't waste time hanging in a tree that's unlikely to produce.
Overall, it's a nice aide and useful tool and the anticipation of getting the info is a lot of fun. Good luck in your search and hope you find it useful too.

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Mark Christianson

Well, I wonder if this will work:

Here is a pic in my backyard. Notice the doe staring at my Mckenzie target in the background. (PS, I had a buck attack that same decoy and knock it over. Proof was in the holes in the rear end of the target)
47b4df24b3127cce85cdfc6333000000001610

Here is a nice 8 pt hovering over a scrape I made:

47b4df24b3127cce85cde552f2950000001610

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Mark Christianson

IT WORKED!!!!

Here is a pic of a nubbin buck with a bullet hole in his right front leg. This was after firearms season. I have 2 other pictures of the same deer and he is favoring the leg by the looks of it. I also found tracks in the snow from a deer dragging a leg across the surface of the snow, so I am 99.9% positive that it is a gun wound.
47b4df24b3127cce85cdf834b2650000001610

Here is one of the many bucks around where I work. At least they used to be there, until a bunch were eliminated via sharpshooters last year. frown.gif
47b4df24b3127cce85cdfd08f2c30000001610

Here is the one I bagged opening day of firearms season:
47b4df24b3127cce85cde440b21f0000001610

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Mark Christianson

I use shutterfly.com for my pics.
Basically upload your pics to shutterfly. View the pic and do a right click on the photo.... in enlarged mode... properties.... copy the url address and paste into the spaces between the image tags like this....URL.www.shutterfly.blah.blah. If all else fails look at one of the posts that worked, in edit mode.

Is this easy to understand?
I cut and pasted from an email a friend sent to me, and it was quite simple.

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jlm

Great pics BLB, thanks for posting them. Can you give everyone your method of posting so that others may do the same? It would be greatly appreciated!

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bigbucks

I use a 35mm CammTrakker, it was a spendy unit, 3 years ago, I think they still are. It takes great pictures & works pretty well. I've had it out in the last position on a trail deep in the woods for probably 6 weeks. There hadn't been much traffic, but I checked it last night & it was full, so should have pics in a couple days. I've had some trouble with it tripping & taking pictures of nothing, but also have gotten some really cool pics. That's excluding the second film I ever developed that was half full of pictures of the secretaries from my office dressed in hunting garb, carrying guns, bows, antlers, etc. Don't tell any of your hunting buddies where you put your camera. Let's just say they got me. I was crabby for the first month or two about all the scent they left by my stand, during season, but it's pretty funny even to me now.

I set it for a short time span a minute or less along a trail, at least 5 minutes if on a food plot or near a salt lick. Put it on a salt lick one time that was heavily used with the delay on a minute about 2pm. Pulled it a week later, the 20 pics that had been remaining when I moved it there were gone by 6am the next day, oops. Batteries & film do get expensive, but they're pretty cool. I try to put it in spots that aren't directly by stands, because it did spook them off that salt lick for a while. I just put them within a few hundred yards of a stand, maybe on a trail I'm not sure how much is used.

I'll see on this film, I had it out for a while last fall & think I may have a pic of a dandy buck that galloped pasted my stand bowhunting last September. He came from the direction of the camera & there wasn't anything else in the vicinity I could think of that may have spooked him. I think it was 12 pointer, but was busy trying to draw, didn't make it.

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BLACKJACK

bigbucks, you're the first person I've heard say that the camera and flash spooks deer! I've always wondered about that.

You're also the first person that has said that they have a Camtracker, I've been looking at them for years, but always thought they were spendy. And the digital is even more spendy!!! Been checking the Cabelas and Bass Pro catalogs, now there are other brand digitals out for half the price. My sister, who works in a a film store in Rochester keeps telling me to get a digital because she sees the guys bringing in the rolls of film all the time, that could get spendy!!

Anyone here try one of the digitals? How big of a computer does it take when you download? Any thoughts on digital trail cameras?

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Mark Christianson

I don't doubt it scares some deer.

But why would you have cameras near a stand while hunting though?
That would seem to be too risky to have that 12 pt coming in, and get a face full of flash.

My cameras are out of the woods when I am hunting. There are enough other things to worry about a big bruiser getting distracted.

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bigbucks

The camera was 200 yards from the stand & it was early September. Most of the deer I photographed when it was on a short delay, just stood there & had picture after picture snapped without spooking, it's just that they didn't come back to that spot for a while. Where I had it positioned was on a field edge, it really wasn't on a trail that even leads to the stand I was in. The camera may have had nothing to do with spooking the deer. That was one of four times I saw him, the only one while hunting. He did a lot of running every time, he actually acted like a fawn, & it wasn't rut time. I think he was just wierd or hyper or something. He'd run around in the hayfield, then stopped & feed for a little while & then run out. I was watching from my garage from about 300 yards away, it was just goofy.

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Uncle Grump

I've been reading this post w/ interest - and would like to get one of these, but...

I hunt alot of public land, and even the private land I hunt gets alot of other hunters on it - I don't have exclusive access.

My question concerns theft. How are you securing your cameras?

UG

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Mark Christianson

Unfortuneately, I just pray they are there when I go to check them.

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bigbucks

First off, I got that film back from last week, no picture of the big buck I mentioned that bolted by me last fall, so it wasn't the camera that spooked him that time. I haven't really figured out the posting picture thing, but I didn't really get too many good ones. I had the camera on too narrow of a trail & mostly got facials of deer from about 2'.

I bought two padlocks & about 3' of chain to chain my camera to the tree if it's anywhere I think there could be other people coming through that would mess with it.

In other years I've gotten quite a few pictures of bucks during the day if I put the camera on a trail back in the woods say 200 yards or something like that. Anything closer to the edge they're mostly at night.

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