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Here are a few things you can learn from if you have never used a trail cam; some things to remember;

Make sure the camera you buy has an INFRA RED FLASH, do not buy a camera with a normal white flash, you will spook animals, and also give a position away to a person walking past it at night or in low light in the day!

If you think you have animal traffic but due to hard ground you can’t see fresh tracks, then a trail cam is amazing, it will tell you exactly what is walking around your grounds! You can maybe capture footage of stuff you never thought you had!

Always set the camera at an angle to your area you want to film, so it captures a greater area DO NOT face it facing dead straight at a cross road, as you wont have much of an area to capture on film, so placing it at an angle to a roadway will help, and make sure it is in a position that the sun comes out behind the camera and not in front. Small tips that help! Keep it knee height or a little higher max 90 centimetres.

Don’t forget a bait spot to make the animal stop etc giving you more time for videos and pictures. I use a rock with pilchards and cat food on it. Fisherman’s red bait also works well. (Use red bait in a cage trap; you will catch cats with that!)

A trail cam - a good one, will have various settings to customise your pictures. The principal is like an expensive digital camera, has a viewer for looking at pictures in the bush, it has a setting to take pictures in various pixel settings etc, so here is what I like.

REMEMBER some cameras come with a memory card to capture photos, BUT some cards are small and can’t hold a lot of info, so read on. This is important info to a beginner.

Generally it is BETTER to put the camera on VIDEO settings rather than photos, BECAUSE an animal on video will give you far more general info about that specific animal. It will tell you his body language, what he is doing, if he is alone, what is temper is like, feeding in general, and things a photo would not reveal.

Remember now that if you want to film on VIDEO put the camera on LOW resolution if you don’t - the video when running will fill a memory card in 2 seconds, and you won’t capture anything till you reset the camera.

This is another point always refresh the cameras settings as much as possible, if you don’t it can cause the camera to not function properly. And always erase the cameras memory after seeing pictures.

I don’t view photos in the field, I take out the memory card and put it in my laptop or digital camera or a card reader, (slip out the card and put in a fresh one). I look at them on those items, I don’t mess with the trail cam in the filed.

The laser that needs aiming to make sure the camera is pointed in the correct area, well lets say on a MOULTRIE Spycam 160, it is a small 10mm x 10mm MOTION SENSOR behind the white plastic cover, it is in direct alignment with the camera. So, if you want to take a picture in the day, place the camera on a tree, and walk to the spot you want to be filmed, get down to jackals height and look at your camera, IF it is looking at you dead on, with the camera in its square shape looking at you directly flat in your face, then that camera will be ok to take a picture, as long as you position it to look straight at your position. You don’t need to set it with the laser, you will get the idea when you set it once or twice, you will see what I say is correct. Take a few pictures; you will soon see how easy it is to judge and not to use the laser at all.

So, put it on low resolution for videos, for photos at night use high res and make it standard practise to set the camera to take 3 photos and not one.



Remember that security number, DON’T FORGET IT. I use a calibre for mine, and I have a message on the camera at the top, if somebody finds it in the bush, it says “ DON’T STEAL ME, DUE TO A PASSWORD IT IS OF NO USE TO YOU”.

The cameras in general are amazing; these few small things mentioned here should help you. 


HERE are two pics of a mouse, I was trying out a new camera for a client and this mouse appeared, you can see exactly what time, and it was set on for the camera to take two photos, one was a hit the other was when the mouse was gone already. (Moultrie 140)

The camera when set on taking more than one picture to fire every one minute, here is example; see the times on the photos

Mr Mouse came to say hullo at 1-28 in the morning, he was a metre away from the camera, and the camera was set on the ground.

Here the mouse has already gone but the camera still takes another picture. Time is 1-29. I had the camera set on 2 pictures.

If you buy a trail cam, you will enjoy it for sure!

See my website for the jackal photos we took in the Free State



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