Trail cameras are not just for hunters. You can also use it if you loved spending time outdoors and wanted to capture the wild animals that reveal themselves at night. You can also use your trail camera as your home security system. Trail cameras are efficient in a variety of uses.
It also plays a big part in keeping the game interesting. Imagine stalking a deer for months and finally striking it when the right time comes. The results are rewarding and can satisfy you as a hunter.
However, when you bought a trail camera, chances are, you didn’t think about maintenance of the device. Since it’s built for heavy-duty use, one of the common misconceptions of people is that it does not need any maintenance at all.
But it does.
We understand that you’ve taken some time to choose the best trail camera for you. That’s why you should also learn the best maintenance tips for your trail camera to ensure that it can last for years to come. In this article, we are going to discuss the ways in which you can keep your game camera in mint condition.
Importance of maintaining your trail camera
- It helps you to understand your trail camera better
Maintaining your trail camera will help you to understand more of your trail camera. Trail cameras are nothing like your typical cameras. It may seem complex, but if you take care of your trail camera properly, you’ll be able to understand how it works. It will give you an in-depth understanding of your device and how you can make the most out of it.
- It extends the lifespan of your camera
Let’s face it; trail cameras are not cheap. You’ve invested time and money in choosing the right trail camera that will suit your needs. With proper use and maintenance, trail cameras can last for years to come.
- It helps to save you money
Why invest in a costly repair when you can avoid it? Trail camera maintenance will keep your trail camera in good condition. If you can determine and repair the trail camera on your own, you’ll be able to save thousands of dollars in the long run.
- It provides high-quality images
One good thing about maintaining your trail camera is you can improve the quality of your pictures. By cleaning the lens, you remove any obstruction that could prevent you from having a clear picture of what you’re trying to capture. Maintaining your trail camera also means updating the software, and that can improve the quality of your images.
Trail camera maintenance is indeed important. Albeit trail cameras are made to be durable, it requires proper maintenance to function properly.
Regardless if you are still a beginner in using a trail camera or not, here are the following tips for maintaining your trail camera. The following would help you to prevent future repairs and extend the lifespan of your device:
Before Taking Your Camera To The Field
1Make sure that the battery is in excellent condition
Before you take your trail camera to the wilderness, it is crucial that the battery is at its utmost state. Always check the battery percentage and ensure that it is functioning properly. Any neglected damage of the cell can cause lost opportunities of capturing wild animals in the forest.
As much as possible, you should only stick to one brand of batteries. Experts stated that using different brands of batteries can cause irreparable damage to your trail camera. Check for possible overheating and find its cause before you set it back into the forest.
2Be wary of pests in your trail camera
Since you’re going to leave your trail camera outdoors, it is prone to tiny insects that can easily slip inside the interior of the camera. These pests might cause some damage to the wiring diagram of your trail camera. After checking the exterior, you can now proceed to disassemble your trail camera to look for possible issues.
To avoid the insects from damaging your trail camera, you should consider spraying some insecticide to the device before you set it up. But make sure that you opt for odorless pesticides otherwise animals will steer clear from the direction of the trail camera.
3Check your SD card
Similar to batteries, using the same brand of SD card is also recommended. Make sure that the SD card you’ve inserted in your trail camera has a huge storage space. Aside from that, ensure that the SD card is not virus-infected. The virus can spread to your trail camera and can cause irreparable damage to the internal diagram of your device.
Test your trail camera to see if the SD card is storing the images that you captured. The last thing that you want to discover is your SD card malfunction after leaving your trail camera in the forest.
4Update the software
Based on your manufacturer, you may have to update the software of your trail camera to work properly. Outdated software can cause delays and bugs in the system. So before you set it up, might as well give your manufacturer a call for a software update.
Installing software in your trail camera helps to fix bugs and avoid lags in your trail camera. Most of the manufacturer provide a software update for free so ensure to update it regularly.
While Using Your Trail Camera In The Field
5Invest in a camera bag
Most hunters carry a single bag in the forest where they stash all their things. It is versatile and convenient. However, it doesn’t work the same with the trail cameras.
As much as possible, you should invest in a camera bag where you can store your trail camera safely. There are bags specifically designed for trail cameras that can protect the device when accidentally bumped or banged against other hunting tools. Camera bags are designed to protect and extend the lifespan of your trail camera.
6Keep all the parts dry
While it is true that trail cameras are made to be waterproof, humidity can still damage your device. Keeping it dry when setting it up on the field is important. Be wise in choosing a location when setting up your trail camera. As much as possible, steer clear from swamp, ponds, and lakes. Low-lying branches near bodies of water can harm your trail camera, so keep your distance from these areas.
7Keep the lenses clean
A trail camera, similar to other types of camera, also needs maintenance of the camera lens. Since you’re going to leave it on the forest, seeds, dirt, and pollens can harm your camera lens.
Most manufacture’s manual guide includes instructions on how to clean the lens of your trail camera before setting it up on the field and after retrieving it, ensure that you clean your trail camera lenses. In that way, you can ensure high-definition resolution results of your images.
8Test your camera on the field
Another trail camera maintenance tip that you should know is trail camera testing. It will determine if your trail camera is functioning properly by testing it in the field. Walk up in front of your trail camera to see if the sensor technology can detect movements.
After that, you can check the pictures on site and
After Retrieving Your Trail Camera
9Do the outside to inside method
Experts agreed that when taking care of your trail camera, you should do the outside to inside method. That means you need to start examining the outer appearance of your camera first. Look for any signs of damage or scratches that might indicate an underlying problem. Once you know what the problem is, it will be easier for you to repair it afterward.
Things that you should watch out when inspecting the exterior of your trail camera:
- Bite marks
More often than not, the buckles and straps of your trail camera are prone to damage. If it’s time you replace, you must do it immediately. You don’t want to risk the entirety of your trail camera by reusing old and weak straps.
10Take your trail camera to a professional
We do not recommend DIY works when it comes repairing to your trail camera. If you discovered some damage, it is best to leave the work done to the professionals. Trying to repair your trail camera by your own may do more damage than good.
But if you are skilled in repairing your trail camera, we suggest you rely on good resources to troubleshoot your own trail camera. In that way, you can assure that the damage is properly repaired.
11Format your SD card
After retrieving your trail camera, it is a must to format your SD card before you take it back to the forest again. Once you transferred all the files to your computer, format your SD card to ensure that it’ll be able to accommodate all upcoming images that you might capture.
12Do not keep your batteries intact
As soon as you retrieved your trail camera from the forest, you must remove the batteries. Especially if offseason is approaching and you don’t plan to use your trail camera for a while. Keep it safe removing the batteries. It can help to prevent rust and corrosion. This will also help you to avoid issues of leaking that might cause irreparable damage to your trail camera.
13Always clean your camera
Make it a habit to clean your trail camera for a longer lifespan. It is highly likely that the dust, dirt, and pollens will accumulate in your trail camera. When cleaning your trail camera, use a damp cloth or Q-tip to do so. Pay attention to every nook and crevices of your trail camera because it is where dirt is most likely to build up.
Aside from that, ensure that the SD card slot and battery terminal are completely dry. Water contact into any of these slots may cause serious damage to the SD card, battery, and the trail camera itself.
And even though your trail camera is waterproof, if you keep a soaked trail camera in your cabinet, it is most likely to develop mildew growth. After cleaning your trail camera, make sure that it’s thoroughly dry before securing it inside your cabinet.
14Monitor your camera
You can check your camera once in every two weeks to check its condition. In that way, you’ll be able to determine any damage that you should repair immediately. It will save you from costly repairs in the future. Do not leave your trail camera unmonitored for more than three days.
15Store your trail camera properly
If you’re not going to use your trail camera for a season, might as well store it properly. For those who have purchased a trail camera bag, it is best to secure your camera inside. And as much as possible, you should keep it from your other devices. Chances are if you store your trail camera in the same place where you have your phone, laptop, and other gadgets, it will produce a magnetic field.
The magnetic field can cause irreparable damage to your trail camera. Avoid storing your trail camera where it is prone to moisture buildup.
It is true that trail cameras will make you hunting more interesting. If you have readied yourself to strike the trophy buck by studying their travel pattern, behavior, and anticipating their next move, you can ensure success in your hunting escapade.
Aside from that, once the hunting season is over, you may use your trail camera as security system in your property instead of storing it at the back of your cabinet. You need to keep it secured and maintained to get the most out of the benefits that it can offer.
Trail cameras should be adequately maintained. You don’t want to keep on investing in a new trail camera every season. You only need to buy one trail camera and take care of it properly. Therefore, you need to know how to maintain your trail camera using the tips as mentioned above.