How To Use Trail Cameras

How To Use Trail Cameras in 2023? [ A Complete Step By Step Guide to Follow]

Trail cameras are devices that help you monitor wildlife and see how they feed, travel, and socialize throughout day. They also help you make your hunt easier and get a great prize tag.

Guide On How to Use Trail Cameras

But like all other devices, trail cameras need a proper understanding and knowledge of features to use them properly. Therefore, for this sole purpose, I have compiled this guide which will give you enough knowledge on how to use trail cameras.

1.     Choosing the Correct Trail Camera

Market for trail cameras is quite big where you can find trail cameras with different features at different prices. Sieving through a stack of trail cameras and finding correct one that fulfills your specific needs will be the first step.

2.     Getting Your Camera Ready

If you do not want to be left unsatisfied then start only if you are well prepared. If you start using your trail camera without knowing anything then you are going to have disappointing effects. We tend to miss numerous things while we are in a hurry. Always keep in mind that “preparedness is the key”

3.     Powering Up or Replacing Batteries

Have you purchased a brand new trail camera then make sure to charge batteries or replace them if it has been idle for a lot of time. Doing this beforehand will save you from potential disaster of a camera not working properly when needed.

4.     Adjustment Of Setting

Before mounting your trail camera in desired area, make sure to turn it on at home first and adjust all the necessary settings. The most important settings to be checked are date and time, sensor sensitivity, and capture mode.

5.     Checking SD Card

Make sure that SD card is working properly. It needs to be large enough to store all your hard work. Always double-check whether your camera has a memory card or not before mounting it.

6.     Have A Test Run

Mount your trial camera to something in your home and use different settings each time while moving around in front of camera. This will give you an idea of how your trail camera will perform out in the field.

7.     Scout The Land

Selecting a potential land area to mount your trail camera is also very important. It is, therefore, crucial to scout the land and choose the best locations like water sources or significant food sources.

Pro Tip: Always place camera 3ft above and 100ft away from the place you expect wildlife will pass by to capture best results.

8.     Early Setup

Are you going to use a trail camera for hunting then it is best if you start early. Setting up trail cameras in early season will give you plenty of time to take in the learning curve and polish your skill.

9.     Best Direction to Mount Trail Camera

Always try to point a camera in north or south if you do not want to activate your camera just because of sunset and sunrise, which in turn will fill your memory faster with lots and lots of useless images and videos.

10. Using Steel Cables for Added Security

Strapping a trail camera to a tree with a steel cable will make sure that camera will not change its angle if any animal found it curious or tries to rub it. Also, it will save it from falling down in case of any mishap.

Well, these are the main steps that you must follow in order to use trail cameras properly. Now go home and wait for best results!


The location of your camera depends on the season and the data you wish to gather. Use the following critical areas in your trail camera strategy.

1.    Sources of food:

When deer are in their usual summer habits, the border of a bean field, a green alfalfa field, or a stand of apple trees can all be great early-season places. If you have access to crop fields, walk around the outside of them to find worn-out tracks that deer use to approach and exit the fields, then set up your camera there. You’ll take quite a lot of photos and get a good look at different deer age groups.

2.    Local scrapes: 

Nearly every deer will stop at these large, dinner-table-sized scrapes when it passes by. In the early fall, you can look for these naturally by scanning the woods, or you can stage a mock scrape and draw deer inside. Either choice results in a fantastic trail camera setup.

3.    Sources of water:

Deer and other animals need to drink water frequently in the summer and early fall. Walk around the perimeter of any water source you suspect deer may be using and look for tracks. Set your camera to capture as much of the water source as you can if you notice numerous tracks.

Why Are Trail Cameras Being Banned

Trial cameras are being banned because they are having negative impacts on wildlife. All trail cameras need replacement of batteries and SD cards once in a while which displaces wildlife.

Also, litter is seemed to which increase especially because of abandoned cameras, old batteries, etc

Also, many professional guides and hunters have placed numerous trail cameras which have disrupted wildlife and hunters with lesser resources.

Another reason to ban trail cameras is that there are many guides who sell data of prime hunting locations which snatches fair opportunities from hunters with fewer resources or those who want to hunt fairly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which States Ban Trail Cameras

The only states that completely forbid the use of any trail cameras for hunting are Nevada and Arizona. There are partial limitations on the use of wireless or cellular cameras during the season in Montana, Utah, Kansas, New Hampshire, Alaska, and other states.

Why Did Arizona Ban Trail Cameras

According to Arizona Game and Fish Department website, the most prominent reason to ban trail cameras in Arizona is that they defy the FAIR CHASE DOCTRINE, according to which reliance on technologies and practice of unfair means is not allowed in hunting. It basically tries to hone one’s skills of hunting.

Are Trail Cameras Illegal in Montana?

A law banning the ownership of any electronic motion-tracking equipment intended to provide information to a hunter was passed by the legislature in 1999. However, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks modified the rules in 2010 to restrict the use of any trail cameras, regardless of whether they transmitted photos or not, during hunting seasons.

Can You Use a Trail Camera on Public Land In Texas?

In the majority of states, using trail cameras on public land is acceptable. You are allowed to use your trail cameras to scout deer and other wildlife as long as the area is not designated as a “special use” zone.

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