July 12, 2018
By Tony J. Peterson
I recently cleaned out a box of old hunting gear. In it was the usual detritus of a life spent obsessed with whitetails, but at the bottom of the dusty tote was a true relic. The trail camera had to be 10 years old and looked like something we would have played video games on in the 80s. It weighed about four pounds and would have been about as inconspicuous on a tree as would a full-sized toilet if you bolted it to the bark.
It was a good reminder of how lucky we are today. The current crop of cameras are small, packed with technology and easy to operate. And they are very reliable, which couldn't be said for past models that may or may not have actually taken pictures when a deer walked by. In fact, they were most reliable when it came to burning through batteries.
So, breathe a sigh of relief that we aren't in those dark ages anymore and check out the latest and greatest in summertime scouters.
Not only does Bushnell's latest offer 20mp images, 1080p HD video, six month battery life, and a .2-second trigger speed, but it also boasts some of the best cellular technology on the market. This means that the Impulse not only takes one picture per second (incredible), it also sends them right to your phone so you can take inventory while you're sitting on the deck sipping a cold one. The Impulse also features a 100-foot No Glow Flash to ensure that your nighttime images will be crisp and very unlikely to spook passing ungulates.
Browning Strike Force Pro XD
Dual Camera Lens Technology is the cornerstone of Browning's latest. What this does is that it incorporates a dedicated lens for daytime images, and one for nighttime. This means that no matter whether it's noon or midnight, the Pro XD is going to capture crisp, clear images. This 24mp camera features a 1.5-inch color viewing screen, a 120-foot flash range, .15-second trigger speed, and .5-second picture recovery time. And that's really just the tip of the iceberg for this camera, because it is built with far too much cutting-edge technology to list.
CuddeBack has been at the forefront of killer cameras for a long time, and their 2018 CuddeLink is a testament to their dedication to staying near the head of the pack. CuddeLink is a system of up to 15 cameras that are all daisy-chained together via technological magic. What this means is that no matter how many cameras on your system, they all send images to one base camera. That's the only one you need to check to understand what is going on all over your property. This is a game-changer for anyone looking to truly pin down buck movement while remaining as nonintrusive as a well-trained ninja.
Moultrie M-50 Game Camera
One of the best deals in the trail-camera market, not surprisingly, comes from Moultrie in the form of their M-50. This 20mp camera utilizes a 100-foot infrared flash, boasts a .3-second trigger speed, and offers time-lapse mode. It also operates for months on eight AAs, is Moultrie Mobile compatible, and features the Illumi-Night 2 Sensor for capturing bright and clear images in the dark when all things big and antlery start moving.
Spartan GoCam 4G/LTE
Cameras like Spartan's latest are so addictive they should come with a warning. They do everything you'd expect a high-end camera to do, but are also designed with some of the best cellular technology available in a camera. GoCams are ready to go right out of the box (SIM card included) and they are simple to activate. They are also compatible with the Spartan web portal and the mobile portal, meaning you can manage your camera from the comfort of your own home. Give a GoCam a try once and I promise you'll be hooked.
Stealth Cam GXVRW
Stealth Cam has entered the wireless camera craze with a sweet offering. Their GXVRW is a 22mp camera that can capture 1080p HD video, boasts a sub-.5-second trigger speed, and is outfitted with 45IR emitters to generate a 100-foot flash range. It operates off of the Verizon 4G network and through the simple and free Remote Link app, you can control your camera and manage images remotely.
Wildgame Innovations Rival Cam Lightsout 18
Let's say you want to pick up a new camera that offers all of the bells and whistles, but you're a little short on cash. Fret not, impoverished bowhunter, because Wildgame Innovations will sell you their latest for only $140. The new Rival Cam features Silent Lens System Technology, an anti-fog lens coating, and Exposure Control to ensure top-quality images no matter the conditions. This camera can also capture five-, 15- and 30-second video clips and will function for up to a year off of a single set of batteries.
ALPS OutdoorZ The Motive
Keeping your cameras in good shape is a great way to wring the most life out of them, and it starts with how you transport them. This is where The Motive from ALPS comes into play. This trail-camera pack is designed to hold up to eight cameras, SD cards, and has extra space for pruners, saws and other summertime deer essentials. It's also built to ALPS quality meaning not only will you keep your cameras from the elements and the abuse of summer travel, you'll have your Motive for a long, long time.