October 20, 2021
Like most archery equipment on the market today, trail cameras have undergone steady improvement, and that process has been fascinating to watch over the years. From the mammoth-sized, battery-eating units of years gone by to today’s high-tech scouting tools, trail cameras have been a popular topic of conversation among bowhunters — make that all hunters, in fact — since their inception.
Why is that? Well, in the simplest terms, trail cameras have allowed us to do something that had never been done before — keep eyes on the deer herd when we’re not able to be in the woods scouting with boots on the ground. And that capability has continued to evolve as the years have gone by.
Now, fast-forward to today, where modern technological advances have once again opened up more doors that were nonexistent just a few years ago — via cell-cam technology. Or in other words, the ability to receive real-time intel on your smartphone no matter where you might be in the world.
Pretty crazy, huh? At any rate, most of the the top trail camera companies in the world now have cell-cam models available, and I’ve spent the last few months testing one of them.
Enter the new Reactor from Stealth Cam. Let’s first take a brief look at the basic information everyone wants to know before making a purchase.
- Megapixels: 26
- Flash Type: NoGlo
- Flash Range: 100 feet
- Trigger Speed: <.4 seconds
- Video Resolution: 1080P, 720P
- Burst Mode: 1-9 images
- Uploads: High (1920x1080) & Low Res (1280x720)
- Info Bar: Time, Date, Moon Phase, Camera Name
- SD Card: Up to 32GB
- Batteries: 8 AA
- Cellular Provider: AT&T, Verizon
- MSRP: $159.99
After you have all that information in your back pocket, here’s the next thing you need to know and understand. After you place the Reactor in the field, you’re completely at the controls via a cell phone app — something that is consistent with other cellular trail cameras as well — and the one compatible with Stealth Cam is called COMMAND. To connect the unit to your app, simply scan the QR code on the inside of the camera door and follow the provided instructions. Once everything is set up, you can pretty much do and see everything you might need inside the app. Want to toggle between photo and video mode? Make the change on the app. Want to change your upload frequency? Use the app. Need to increase your burst interval? You guessed it. It can be done in the app. It really couldn’t be any easier, and once you take a little bit of time to familiarize yourself, you’ll be maneuvering around without any hesitation. I give the COMMAND app an A+.
As with any trail camera you hang in the field, just remember that it’s probably going to take a few days for deer to be comfortable with the area again. Not only did you intrude, but you left your scent behind while doing it. Trust me though; they’ll be back — particularly if the camera was placed in a food plot or near a different source of food. It took almost a week before I was getting pictures on a consistent basis, but the quality — and quantity — of photos was worth the wait.
That was my strategy for this review — put the Reactor in a place I knew would get plenty of action. And from the beginning of August until now, that’s exactly what I got — an overabundance of images. From evening feeding sessions in the late summer nights, to cruises in the middle-of-the-night, the Reactor managed to capture everything. There were even several instances where it was abundantly clear that deer were running through the field, and there was an impressive lack of blur. And I know what you’re probably thinking — you don’t want your phone going off every time a critter walks past the camera while you’re trying to sleep at 2:30 in the morning. No problem — and stop me if you’ve heard this before — as you can make sure that doesn’t happen...in the app! Seeing a trend yet?
The long and the short of it is this. After the initial price of $159.99 — a bargain based on the quality of photos/videos that I’ve seen over the last three months — you’re paying for the convenience of being able to scout from long distance. Whether you’re at work, at your kids basketball game, or lounging on the couch watching college football, you’ll be sure to enjoy seeing what your deer herd is up to at any given time. And best of all? You can do it without disturbing them, particularly in the fall months when the season is ongoing.
Payment? Well, that’s totally up to you. With both monthly and yearly options, you can choose the plan that fits your personal budget and lifestyle. But take it from me, once you put the first Reactor on your dirt, chances are pretty good that you’ll be looking to get another one (or perhaps two or three) to cover the rest of your property. So, what’s stopping you? Don’t worry. Your secret is safe with us.