Every hunter could use an extra set of eyes out in the field. Even for those who practically live in their treestand or blind, keeping an eye on the prize all the time is impossible. But thanks to advancements in technology, trail cameras continue to get smaller, smarter and more effective. Simply strap the cam to a tree and monitor a hunting area for years on end.
To get a glimpse of what a great trail camera can do, take a look at HUNTING's Trail Camera Contest, where there are several impressive and likewise comical photos of wildlife in their domain. And when you do pull a great photo off your own trail cam, be sure to submit it to our contest for a chance to win a brand new Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Max.
These are the best trail cameras for 2013, perfect for helping you track your favorite hunting spot.
Bushnell TrophyCam HD
If you have what your shrink likes to call 'control issues, ' the new Trophy Cam HD from Bushnell
might be for you. In fact, it's for any hunter that wants full control of a host of features, including standard hi-def images in either 3-, 5-, or 8-meg quality or a new hybrid capture mode that records both still images and HD video whenever the trigger is tripped. Also new for 2013 is a passive infrared sensor that can be triggered from up to 60 feet away. An auto setting adjusts trigger sensitivity according to ambient conditions to limit false triggers and increase battery life for up to one year. Multiple flash settings include an ultra-low feature that adjusts the 32 bulb LED flash so only eight fire, eliminating overexposure of up-close images.
Wildgame Innovations Micro Crush Cam 10
Despite what size queens might think, good things do come in small packages, and the WildGame Innovations Micro Crush cam
is the perfect example. Like Tiffany Lakosky, it's micro-sized but a powerhouse in the woods, with an industry-leading 10-meg camera for clear-as-crystal imaging. The Micro Crush shines (not literally, of course) after dark thanks to 27 high-intensity infrared LEDs and Redux anti-blur technology. Of course, like any top-of-the-line trail cam, it also features both time-lapse and video capabilities and is fitted with a wide-angle lens to monitor all types of habitat, from fields to food plots. Accepts SDHC cards up to 32-gig and operates for up to one year on eight AA batteries.
Moultrie P-150 Panoramic
Tired of half-ass pics of your bucks, and by that I mean literally half a deer's ass or just one side of his headgear? Moultrie's
newest offering features a silently swiveling camera that shoots three photos and stitches them together for a 150° panoramic view of your corn pile. Or, set it to detect motion anywhere in that 150° field of view and the camera swivels to that spot and takes a single 8-meg shot with a trigger speed of less than a second. Of course, the P-150 also features standard infrared-triggered photo mode, along with HD video and time-lapse plot-watcher capabilities. Powered by six C-cells (not included) to shoot up to 9,000 images before changing batteries.
Primos Truth Cam El Blackout
is calling the newest rendition of the Truth Blackout trail cams
the EL (for its extended battery life of eight months), we're thinking
ED is a better fit. That's because what's really revolutionary about this trail cam is its early detection sensor which monitors a 30° wider arc to capture clear images of deer as they move into the 4-meg camera's range. Of course, the EL also features the company's industry-leading black LED technology with 60 emitters that illuminate deer and other nocturnal beasts up to 35 feet away without spooking them into the next county. In time-lapse mode, the unit stitches captured images together into 1280x960 hi-def video.
Stealth Cam X Ops ZX7
With an advanced processor system that allows most new Stealth Cams
like the X Ops
to go from sleep to shooting mode in less than a second, it's no wonder they named it the ZX7, which sounds like a supercharged sports car. The processor also uses less power than conventional cameras, leading
to a longer battery life of up to 20,000 images. In addition to capturing high-resolution, 8-meg images, the X Ops also records 720p high-definition video and features a time-lapse hybrid mode. Overnight animal activities are illuminated from up to 50 feet away thanks to 38 infrared LED emitters. The X Ops accepts high-capacity SD cards up to 32 gig and runs on eight AA batteries.