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Trail Cameras Off To A Slow Start

by Justin Zarr 14. July 2010 16:19
Justin Zarr

For some reason when it comes to trail cameras and summertime, I feel like I'm cursed.  I've been running trail cameras staring in early July for the last 4 or 5 years and I've yet to get a photo of a really good velvet buck.  Sometimes I feel like I'm cursed, especially when I see some of the bucks that others are getting on their cameras.  My only real excuse is that in the urban areas I hunt I'm terrified to put a camera on a field edge for fear of it getting stolen, so I often put them in the woods where foilage is thick and deer can be hard to find during the summer.  Typical travel corridors aren't being used as heavily as deer aren't really traveling very far, and there won't be any active scrapes for a few months yet.  So these typical hotbeds of trail camera activity are fairly slow right now.

So like usual, my first batch of photos produced nothing but a couple of does.  After seeing these results I do believe I'll have to move at least one of these cameras before the summer ends!  If my next batch of photos still doesn't reveal any bucks, at least I'll know where not to look for buck bedding areas come October.

Right now I have a Moultrie i40 and a Reconyx Hyperfire HC500 out.  Both cams have great color quality during the day, and superb IR flash range at night.  However, they aren't without their flaws!  Both cameras seem to have a distinct problem with motion blur during those low-light daytime images.  Many of my Reconyx photos are really blurry, which make the photos almost worthless.  The Moultrie has similar issues with blur, combined with a lot of empty images.  I'm not sure what's setting off the motion sensor but I've got probably 50% empty images so far, which is typical for this particular cam.  The Reconyx however had zero blank photos and did not miss a beat when it comes to capturing images.  That's one thing that HC500 does extremely well.


A typical daytime image from my Reconyx.  This doe and fawn seem to love working the trail I have this particular camera on, as I have quite a number of pictures of them.


The night time IR range on the HC500 is superb.  I just wish it was a nice buck instead!


The Moultrie i40 has some better color saturation, but motion blur is still a big issue.


I have the AM/PM reversed on this camera so it's only 3 in the afternoon.  Not quite sure why the IR triggered, but the overall quality of the photo isn't bad.

After checking both of these cameras, and almost dying of blood loss from the mosquitos, I set my ScoutGuard SG550 out inside a chunk of woods where I captured my two best bucks on camera last fall.  I'm really hoping to get a glimpse of one of the big boys this summer so I know they're still around.  Come October it always helps that motivation to know you've got a few target bucks to chase.  Now it's just a waiting game.  I'll go back in two weeks and, provided nobody steals my cameras, we'll see what we've got!

This Saturday Mike and I are headed to his lease to see if we can't film some velvet bucks in a giant soybean field so hopefully we get some good footage for you next week.  Check back soon and I'll let you know how things go!

First Set of Pictures from my Moultrie Gamespy I45

by John Mueller 20. September 2009 11:28
John Mueller

After getting my first set of pictures off of my Moultrie I45 Gamespy Camera I am impressed with the lowlight color pictures. I have a couple of the I40’s and they convert over to IR images much sooner than the I45 in lowlight situations. I much prefer to get color pictures over the black and white IR images. But I would rather not have the flash going off after dark.

 

The Moultrie Gamespy I45 ready for use.

 

 

I had the camera set up on a small food plot I planted on a ridge in the middle of my woods. I'm hoping to catch a good buck stopping here for a bite to eat in the daylight before he heads out to my main food plots. There are deer here during shooting light, but the only big buck I cought still wasn't there during shooting hours. He is a little blurry because he was moving during the picture. I still think this will be a good location to kill a trophy buck this season.

This nice buck strolled in front of the camera just after shooting light disappeared.

 

 

 

I got 68 images during the first week and a half of operation and the battery life was still at 97%. I’m hoping for the 5-6 months of operation per set of batteries I currently get from the I40’s. This would be a bonus, because the I45 only used 4 D cells compared to 6 used in the I40.

 

The picture quality could maybe be a bit clearer, but a lot of the pictures were in lowlight morning and evening situations. They seem to be a bit grainy. Next time I check the cameras I’m going to put it out in the open on a food plot and see if true daylight pictures are clearer.

The I45 stayes in the color picture mode much longer than earlier IR model cameras

even in lowlight.

 

 

The IR range seems to be pretty decent. Some of the deer in the farther pictures are 15 yards from the camera and there is still good detail.

These does are close to 15 yards from the camera.

 

Here is a sampling of the pictures I got from the first set up.

You can order your I45 right here from BH.com, just follow the link below.

http://www.bowhunting.com/shopping/Products/Game-Spy-I45__12451.aspx

The New Moultrie Gamespy i45 Trail Camera

by John Mueller 2. September 2009 14:33
John Mueller

I decided I needed one more trail camera for this season so I ordered the new Moultrie Game Spy i45 from the Bowhunting.com store. It was waiting on my front porch for me when I got home this evening. It’s so nice to find things like this on the front porch after a hard day at work!


The new Game Spy i45 by Moultrie.

One reason I chose the i45 is it has the option of sending my photos directly from the camera (with an added option) to a website for viewing over the internet. I haven’t purchased the necessary equipment yet, but it’s a neat idea. One I may consider in the future.

Some of the features on the i45 are:

  • Infrared sensor for immediate game capture
  • Imprinted photo strip with temperature, moon phase, time, date, and camera ID
  • Color day pictures/IR(black and white) nighttime pictures
  • 5/15/30 second video clips
  • Multi shot trigger up to 3 shots per trigger
  • 4 picture resolution settings/2 video resolution settings
  • Port for optional power panel
  • 4.0 MegaPixel camera
  • This camera looks to be very well put together. The housing is very sturdy and seals up weather tight. I like the way the top opens up to the controls and the SD card is very easy to reach unlike my older Moultrie cams.  It looks like Moultrie really listened to their customer feedback when designing this new unit.


    The case is well built and more compact than my older Moultrie cameras.


    I really like the easy access to the SD card, much better than on my other Moultrie models.

    A couple of things I found that I didn’t care for are the color of the case and that I cannot read the SD card in my digital camera. The case is almost glossy black which seems to make it stand out more. It does have a nice bark finish to it, but I think a gray color would make it much less noticeable to deer and other hunters. I really liked the fact that I could view the pics from my other Moultrie cams on my hand held digital camera. I guess this one uses a different format, so I can no longer look at my pics in the field.


    The included strap makes for an easy attachment to the tree, but a grey color would blend in much better in my opinion.

    Now I just need to get the unit out in the woods. I’ll do another review after I get a week or two of pics on it and let you all know what I think.

    In the meantime if you'd like to try out one of these new cameras you can purchase them here in the Bowhunting.com online store by clicking this link.  I think these are going to be a big seller for this fall so get yours before they're all sold out!

    Introducting the Moultrie Game Management System

    by Todd Graf 7. August 2009 04:08
    Todd Graf

    Introducting the Moultrie Game Management System — a camera, GPS cellural accessory and web site system that allows you to check your cameras from the comfort of your office.

     




    Pattern and scout game anywhere in the world.
    The Moultrie Game Management System gives you 24/7 access to your hunting land. It's simple really, our three part system – camera, GPS cellural accessory and web site – literally connects you to your game camera. Our latest I- and M-Series cameras bring innovative options, clarity and a new level of data management to your hunt. When connected to the cutting-edge GPS Game Spy Connectiong cellular accessory, you can instantly transmit images to your own, password-protected page on Moultrie's game management web site. Even better, members can access their private web page from anywhere inthe world that has an internet connection.

     

     

    Clarity, covertness, control — a new series of cameras takes your hunting to the next level.
    Not ready for the system and web site? Not a problem. Our four latest I- and M-Series camera models can be used with or without the complete Game Management System. The new I-Series cameras have been upgraded to include truly invisible infrared technology, while the new M-Series give you the ability to capture color night video. The 65-Series offers up to six mega-pixels, with four picture resolution and two video resolution options. Each new camera boasts a faster trigger time to ensure immediate game capture. All models com in a easy-to-operate LCD menu display that shows batterly life and activity summary.

    Scout big game with a mouse.
    Once inside your private access page at www.moultriegamemanagement.com, you can easily sort and search images by time, date, moon phase, temps or barometric pressure, create albums and galleries of your images, and even plot and view your camera locations using GPS coordinates – all with the click of your mouse. Plus, you can control the settings on your camera without ever leaving your chair – switch from still to video mode, check battery levels, and more from any internet connection.

    Moultrie brings a new window to your hunting world and it's open 24/7. Get all the details of the new Moultrie Game Management System at www.moultriegamemanagement.com.

    We're always scouting for ways to make your hunting experience more enjoyable and successful.

    The Moultrie Game Management System.

    Categories: Current News

    Trail Camera Cold Weather Review - Part 2

    by Justin Zarr 4. January 2009 04:20
    Justin Zarr

    Shortly after Todd's initial cold weather trail camera test I set out to see how well two of my trail cameras had been performing in the same conditions.  I had set out a Cuddeback Capture and a Moultrie Game Spy I40 roughly 3 weeks earlier, both with fresh batteries and memory cards.  Throughout the course of the summer and fall I had great success with both cameras, capturing thousands of images.  Battery life on both cameras had been excellent, with both lasting well over a month on a fresh set of batteries.

    Click below to watch the in-field testing of the Moultrie I40 and Cuddeback Capture during sub-zero temperatures.
    Cold Weather Trail Camera Testing - Day 2

    Click below to watch the final results and view images taken during this cold weather test.
    Day 2 Testing Results Video - CLICK HERE

    The first camera we checked with the Moultrie Game Spy I40.  This is an infrared camera that takes full color images by day and black and white images at night.  I had set it out near a scrape that Mike and I located at the end of November in hopes of getting some images of a few bucks we knew were working the area.  Unfortunately after trudging through over a foot of snow to get to the camera, we found that the batteries were dead and it was no longer taking pictures.

    I'll be honest, this came as a pretty big surprise to me.  The I40 has been one of my most reliable cameras when it comes to battery life.  With 6 D-cell batteries this same camera lasted over two months during the summertime without having this problem.  After getting home and checking the images on the camera it appears that the batteries lasted just over two weeks.


    Here you can see the first image taken on the camera with new batteries on 11/30 when the camera was put out.


    I had the camera set on a 3 shot burst when triggered, and managed to get this photo of a nice buck that none of us have seen before.  One nice thing about this I40 is that with 72 IR emmitters that flash range at night is very good.  Compared to some cameras that only cover out to 20 or 25 feet, the I40 will reach out to 40-45 feet no problem.


    This is the last image on the card taken on 12/15 before the batteries expired.  The real kick in the pants is that this is a false trigger resulting in a blank image, which does happen quite a bit with this camera.

    Todd and I are working on another test right now to specifically gauge battery life in these cameras, and I'm hoping the I40 fairs much better than it did in this test.

    My Cuddeback Capture, which many of you have read has been performing very well this year, was put out at roughly the same time.  When we came upon the camera to check it nearly a month later in the sub-zero conditions it still had plenty of battery life, and did take my photo as I walked in front of it.  As you would expect the LCD display was a bit sluggish when clicking through the menus to see how many photos I had, but that's to be expected of any camera in these conditions.  The Capture is a rather "simple" camera without a lot of bells and whistles that's designed to do one thing - take pictures.  And as you can see below, even in extremely cold weather conditions it was doing just that.


    Here is the first photo taken of me on my way out of the woods just after setting the camera up.


    One of several coyotes working this area while the camera was out.  This is a good representation of the quality of image you can expect from the Cuddeback Capture at night.


    And finally the photo of me checking the camera, nearly one month later in sub-zero conditions.

    We're working on some additional tests with these cameras including battery life, trigger speed, and flash distance at night so stay tuned as the results come ine we'll get them posted.

    Todd and I are headed to the ATA Show this week where we should see not only some new trail cameras for 2009, but all of the latest bowhunting products and innovations.  Be sure to check back our blogs for daily updates from the show on Thursday and Friday! We'll be bringing you the info on all of the latest gear, which will be availble right here on Bowhunting.com.




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