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.
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.