Fun with a Hidden Camera
My Favorite Toy - My Video Trail Cam
Maybe it is because I've always loved mysteries and have often wished I could be a fly on the wall, but some of my favorite toys are my trail cams. Trail cams are also called game cameras, surveillance cameras or scouting cameras. They are used primarily by hunters to determine what type of animals might be in a particular area to decide where to hunt. I am not a hunter, but have a lifelong interest in nature and observing animals, so I have found them to be fun for a person like me, who doesn't hunt, too.
My husband gave me my first game camera several years ago as a gift. He thought I would enjoy attaching a hidden camera to a tree to see what species of wildlife roamed around a piece of rural property that we had recently purchased. It has given me many hours of enjoyment and is one of the best gifts that I have ever received.
In addition to being surprised by catching photos of species we had no idea lived on our land, we have used a trail cam to see what our dogs do when we are not home and as a security surveillance camera when there was a burglary in our neighborhood.
I'm really not a gadget person or even very knowledgeable about cameras or photography, but I had so much fun with my first hidden camera that I have subsequently purchased several more. Read further to see which trail cams I've used and some of the surprises they've revealed.
Have You Ever Wished You Had a Hidden Camera? - Would you like to be like a fly on the wall?
Am I the only one who enjoys having hidden cameras, or are there others who think they are fun, too?
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My Bushnell Trail Cam 8MP Trophy Cam - One of My Trail Cameras Mounted to a Tree
My first trail camera was a digital Leaf River Trail Cam that was given to me as a gift. I enjoyed it immensely, but with advances in technology, I've upgraded and purchased several newer ones. We have several trail cameras set up in various places on some rural acreage that we own but don't live on. This is one of our newer Bushnell trail cameras mounted on a tree along a well-used path that winds through the forest on our land. The trail is heavily used by wildlife and sometimes by humans passing through. We leave this camera in place for weeks or months at a time when we aren't around to see what animals pass by and also as a security surveillance camera to monitor human trespassers. As some added security, we purchased a metal case and lock to help prevent our camera from being damaged or stolen.
(Photo by VickiSims)
The Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam Trail Camera - Our Newest Hidden Camera
Here is one of the newest trail cams that we purchased to see what wanders around our land. We also bought and recommend some additional accessory items.
This is the current standard Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam that is similar to the model we purchased a year ago. For its surprising affordable price, it takes great videos both night and day and is easy to set up.
We purchased this locking cable for increased security for our trail camera. It fits through the holes in the case and helps anchor the camera and case to a tree.
Make sure to have a flash memory card with plenty of memory if you plan on leaving a camera set up for several weeks at a time like we do.
Don't miss a photo because your batteries went dead. These AA lithium batteries will last longer than regular AA batteries.
This is a nice package deal that includes a Bushnell HD Trophy Cam, the bear safe secuity case a memory card and lens cleaning accessores.
The Trail Camera at a Distance - A Nearly Invisible Hidden Camera
(Photo by VickiSims)
Surprise Visitors on our Hidden Camera - Videos Taken with our Bushnell Trophy Trail Cam
We had never seen one, so we had no idea we had this wildlife species on our land until their photos were repeatedly captured on our hidden video camera both night and day. My husband put several clips together and posted it on YouTube. This video also gives a good idea of what to expect from both day and night videos taken from a Bushnell Trophy Trail Cam.
Here is a video of several clips of these elusive creatures that were filmed on our trail camera.
Some Tips for Getting Good Photos and Videos from a Hidden Camera - Where to Place a Trail or Surveillance Camera
Through trial and error (and a lot of blank photos and videos) we have learned a few tricks for where to place a trail camera to both keep it hidden and get some great photos.
- If you want to film wildlife, look for a well used trail with evidence of a lot of traffic, hoof prints, tracks, etc.
- Fasten the camera about 4-5 feet high in location that will be shady all day. You won't get good photos or videos if the sun is shining right into the camera lens. It helps to angle the camera toward the ground - we usually just use a stick behind the top of the camera to get the right angle, but if you are handy, you can make a wooden wedge.
- To make the camera less noticeable place the camera in a tree under a limb, but make sure the branch doesn't hang in front of the lens
- Place the camera in a tree where the trail is straight and has a downhill slope. If you point the camera downhill it will help to get photos or videos of both large and small animals. The taller ones will be seen from head to toe further away on the trail and the smaller ones will still be seen. If you happen to capture a moose on film like we did, you want to be able to see the entire animal - not just its body or feet!
- Be sure to prune any branches from trees and shrubs in the camera's motion detection area that may move in the wind. It is disappointing to see you have captured many photos and then download and view them on your computer and see that you have mostly branches moving in the breeze.
My First Trail Camera - A Leaf River Trail Cam
This camouflage pattern Leaf River Model DC 2BU was my first trail cam that was given to me several years ago as a gift. At the time it was cutting edge technology with a digital motion-activated still camera that could be set up to take color photos by day and black and white photos by night. It has a built in memory (no memory card) that can be downloaded by USB cable to your computer. It came with a USB cable, RCA cable, steel mounting bracket, security bar and a mounting strap. Although there are cameras available now that have more advanced technology, we still use it and it works great. Below you can see some of the fun I had setting up this camera to see what my dogs did while they were home alone. This model can sometimes still be found available for purchase on Amazon or eBay.
(Photo by Guy Sims)
Leaf River Digital Game Camera - My original trail camera
We still have my old Leaf River Trail Camera and it still works great.
The Leaf River Model DC 2BU is motion-activated and can be set to work day, night or both. It shoots color photos by day and black and white at night with a flash. We've had this for many years and still works great.
Another Hidden Camera Near a Deer Feeder - A Photo of some whitetail bucks from a Wildview Trail Cam
This photo was taken with a Wildtree Trail Cam another of our hidden cameras that is positioned near a feeder where we occasionally place some corn. You can see that the quality of the photos isn't very high definition, but if you want an inexpensive hidden camera to see what visits an area it works well.
Using a Trail Cam for Security Surveillance - Our Wildview camera takes pictures of our Road
The position of our infra-red activated Wildview camera near our deer feeder is also aimed to take photos of our private road, so it serves double-duty as a security surveillance camera to help identify anyone who may have trespassed and stolen or vandalized our property.
Wildview Digital Trail Camera - An inexpensive but fun camera
We have two of these inexpensive Wildview Digital trail Cameras that we move around to various locations on our property.
If you are looking for a very affordable digital trail or security camera, this inexpensive Wildview trail camera will take photos of what has been in the area. It is triggered by infrared heat and shows a the counter on the front to easily see how many photos have been taken.
Trail Cams for Sale on Ebay - Find a Scouting Camera at a Bargain Price
Fortunately if you are looking for a trail cam, either for watching wildlife or security surveillance, there are many inexpensive models to choose from on eBay.
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