Game camera reccomendations

mtmuley

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Jan 11, 2009
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8,170
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montana
Looking to jump into the game camera game...maybe. What are you guys using? I'm looking for reliability, affordability and ease of use. As of now, I know zero about them. Thanks guys. mtmuley
 

81hntn

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Jan 12, 2015
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34
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Illinois
Bushnell

I've been running trail cameras since 35mm were out. I've ran just about every brand out there. The first thing is to figure out your budget! The best camera on the market by far is the Reconyx. The problem is they are expensive. When being more realistic, look at the bushnell trophy cameras or the new browning strike force. I love the bushnell because their customer service is second to none. Think about it... You leave an electronic device outdoors for months on end, you will have issues. The bushnell's only issue is that some night pictures get a little blurry. The browning strike force takes awesome night pics but I've not had to deal with their customer service yet. The cuddeback's are decent but their customer service is non existent. Just remember, you get what you pay for. Check out Natchez Shooting Sports for great deals on the bushnells. Demo models are on sale all the time for around $100. Trail Cam Pro is also a great website to purchase from and read their reviews.
 

mtmander

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Apr 29, 2014
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845
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Philipsburg, MT or NC
I use a Moultrie M-880 and have had no problems. Now I am not a expert and this is my 2nd trail camera
but it is easy to use and has different functions to give you flexibility in its use. I bought this because Moultrie was used by several members of my family.
 

TimeOnTarget

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Feb 13, 2015
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SD
I like 81, have been running cams since 35mm. I've ran lots of different brands over the years.

There used to be ALOT of junk out there. Nowadays i think most are at least decent. The big thing i have found in the last say 5 years or so is that the moultries, bushnells, and the like seem to work good for a year or so, then start having issues. Some issues that can remain unknown to the user for some time, like misses. (critter walks by but no picture is taken)

Reconyx is by far the best in the business. If something walks in front of a reconyx, it gets its picture taken. simple as that. Very very few if any false triggers.

Cuddeback has been the absolute worst for me over the years.

Trail cam pro here also, great company to do business with. And they give you an extended warranty with each and every camera purchased.
 

Trigger50

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Jul 11, 2010
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Minnesota
Dont spend alot of trail cameras. They have a way of getting stolen even on private land. Bears love to destroy them too. Even if ur not targeting bears.
 

MontanaWild

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Jan 7, 2012
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301
I've used Moultrie and Bushnell and like both. Yet to have any problems that I am aware of. You'll probably want a handful of them if you really want to cover an area well.
 

Joe Hulburt

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Feb 23, 2012
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Oregon Coast
Bushnell Trophy Cams have been the best I've used. As was mentioned above they are not perfect for night pictures but they are dependable, affordable and easy to use.

Cuddebacks are great for a short time but they don't last long and they don't stand behind them. I will never buy another.
 

pabearhunter

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Mar 1, 2014
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Pa,
All my cameras are Moultrie. I have them turn on 365 days a year and only have to replace batteries twice a year. Good clear pictures and you don't have to take out a loan to buy one.
 

gwhunter

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Jun 16, 2014
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526
Location
Michigan
I use my Bushnell year round as well. I would say it is only ok. Like others have stated, they can start to have problems after a year (my first bushnell did), but I sent it in to Bushnell and they sent me a new one. Their customer service is great. My only issue with my current Bushnell, and I've had this issue with them all, is that once the temps get sub 0 degrees it will start taking pictures non stop. I don't know why this is (maybe ice crystals on the triggering lens?) but other than that issue, I've been ok with them.

It gets addicting to see the pictures of all the critters running around. I'd buy two to start with, or three or four... :)
 

Rooster52

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Feb 18, 2014
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I plan on taking mine to Wyoming with me ,always worry about thieves but so far so good.
 

MTborn64

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Jan 7, 2015
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35
I have also been looking at trail cams. I am leaning toward a Stealth. Anyone have any experience with that particular brand?
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
382
Location
North Dakota
I have one Bushnell 8.0 MP Trophy Cam HD that I picked up in May of 2014 and three Moultie Gamespy trail cameras (M-80, M-80 XT & M-880). The Moultie’s were bought a year apart (prior to the Bushnell), so the oldest camera (M-80) is about four years old now. I leave the cameras out year round; I’m talking -20 degrees Fahrenheit on a consistent basis (during the winter) and have no major electronic failures. I’m very satisfied with the Moutrie brand and my next trail camera will be another Moultrie.

I’m not satisfied with the Bushnell lid mechanism; I read the reviews prior to purchasing it and noted the known issue, but didn’t think it was a legitimate concern until it happened to me. The back part of the camera has a metal clasp that clips onto a plastic finger on the front lid, one of the plastic fingers broke in mid-December while trying to open the front lid at ten below. The camera still works, but it doesn’t seal as designed now. It literally broke less than six months in the field and was associated with ice buildup on the latch. I’ll admit that I haven’t contacted Bushnell about getting it repaired, so it’s not fixed due to lack of effort on my part.

The batteries in the Bushnell do not have a special compartment (my Moultrie's do) and the batteries have been knocked loose when an animal decides to use it as a rub, then the camera quits working until you readjust the batteries. I ended up putting thin sheets of Styrofoam packing between the lid and the batteries to hold the batteries from getting jostled about. Make sure to catch the Styrofoam when you open the door or the wind will blow it down the trail!

I don't like to spend more than $140 on a trail camera, the Busnell was $159.99 last spring. If you keep an eye out for sales you'll get a good one in the $100 -$140 range. One thing that seems to drive the camera price is having a built in picture viewer, none of mine have this feature. I prefer to review the trail cam photos on my laptop while in the warmth of my vehicle.
 

Mthuntr

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Oct 9, 2009
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4,669
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In the Sagebrush of SW Montana
Cabelas is running a special Primos Truth trail cams. I think you can get their midrange cam for about $60 with the rebate but I think the rebate is only good for 1 camera.
 

kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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Wichita
I bought a Primos Truth (45) that worked great in the backyard trial run, then when placed over the trail intersection and left to run, I found the memory card empty and the brains of the camera fried. Cabelas stepped up and switched it out for the next model (48?). I have been very happy with the results with that one. Battery life will be at least 6 months on 8 AA. That is shooting three shot (still photo) bursts with a 15 second re-trigger delay and not using any video imaging.
 
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Sytes

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Sep 25, 2009
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Montana
I purchased 3 Moultrie A8 units. (and 3 cable locks. Cabelas sells for roughly $110. You can find online for $65+.
Reviews are mixed. Avg rating around 3.5 - 4 of 5.

I went an inexpensive route to test the waters. Plus I don't need some "jack wagon" destroying/stealing pricey game cameras.

My placement strategy is placement along three draws that flow out from one ridge line for 1 week. Go back, review @ sites. If nothing, move to next 3 draws. Once I get some hits I'll work up the draw (s) and see if some wallows exist and reposition accordingly. I've no idea where the elk are in the area of interest. Those I've spoken w/ regarding the area state they are hard to find though good size when found.

I've really no clue though Google earth, tidbits of heresay, and camera scouting I figure is better than taking my 1.5 week vacation throwing darts for a chance encounter with elk...
 

RUT JUNKEY

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Sep 5, 2012
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1,349
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Indiana
I've had a ton of different cams, but for me its Moultrie hands down. Cheaper than the Cuddebacks (which are great too) and take just as good of pics in my experience/opinion. Wildgame cams have also came along way in the last few years. Good luck and let us know what you decide and share some pics.
 

npaden

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Feb 3, 2011
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3,775
Location
Lubbock, Texas
I like 81, have been running cams since 35mm. I've ran lots of different brands over the years.

There used to be ALOT of junk out there. Nowadays i think most are at least decent. The big thing i have found in the last say 5 years or so is that the moultries, bushnells, and the like seem to work good for a year or so, then start having issues. Some issues that can remain unknown to the user for some time, like misses. (critter walks by but no picture is taken)

Reconyx is by far the best in the business. If something walks in front of a reconyx, it gets its picture taken. simple as that. Very very few if any false triggers.

Cuddeback has been the absolute worst for me over the years.

Trail cam pro here also, great company to do business with. And they give you an extended warranty with each and every camera purchased.

I bolded the key sentence above.

I had Moutrie, Bushnell, Stealthcam, Scoutguard, some homebrews, etc. and had always thought they did a good job and was happy with them until they all burned up in a fire. Several of them actually got pictures of the fire, but they all pretty much quit functioning after that.

I was lucky enough to pick up some used Reconyx cameras to replace them. I was amazed at the difference. They actually take pictures of everything that walks by! I get more pictures than I know what to do with. And they go MONTHS on rechargeable AA batteries. I left my cameras up from late November until just a couple weeks ago and 2 of the 3 took pictures of me when I went to pick them up and change the batteries. 1 of those had over 10,000 pictures on it.

When I first got them I had one that was eating batteries so I sent it in for repair. They stated that they usually charge $65 for a repair. When it was all said and done they repaired the used camera that I bought 2nd hand that was out of warranty for free and sent me a free hat to go with it.

Still not sure I could work up the gumption to buy one brand new, but they for sure are the best.

My 2 cents. Nathan
 

mtmuley

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Jan 11, 2009
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8,170
Location
montana
Wow! Thanks for all the info guys. Looking forward to trying the game cam deal. Thanks again. mtmuley
 
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