Originally Posted by cottonwood
I just purchased a half dozen Browning Strike Force Pro HD for some scouting this season. I have had a few cameras over the years but never had much success with proper triggers and battery life, probably because they were more entry level units.
I was hoping to get some pointers from fellow Utahans on the following:
- How high do you mount your cameras?
- How often do you check your cameras?
- Do you put your cameras on the watering holes only, or have you had success with placing them on busy trails?
- Have you had theft issues?
- Do you leave them in video mode, or picture mode? Why?
I know my questions are pretty open ended, just looking for pointers from those who have had great success. Thanks y'all!
I was fortunate to be able to test and develop trail cameras for a living until recently. They're a hoot and you'll have as much or more fun going to look at them and find out what critters are on the cards than actually hunting. It's that's much fun. Browning makes a great camera and you won't be disappointed. They've got great service and will take care of you right. Good guys all around over there.
How high? The optimal height is 36-48" to get the best quality images. That can take some work to do to get there. You may need to take a hatchett, pruners, knife, etc. in order to get the right height. What some have said in getting the camera higher and pointing down is ok. There are drawbacks to that. The flash was designed to send light out infinitely and have that light reflect or bounce back or die off into nothing. If you put a camera high and angle down, then that light will hit the ground and bounce back which gives you potential to get a lot of washed out images. It also shrinks your detection range that the PIR is using to trigger images. The ground can be warm (or cold) and can give you some false triggers. The PIR doesn't care if it is a critter or not. If there is differences in temperatures, the likelihood of it going off is high. Shade in the morning and evening are notorious false trigger causes.
Where to put them? Put them wherever you want. Watch game trails for signs of traffic. Sometimes you get more traffic than you think you would and less where you think you shouldn't. Water is good to know if critters are around. A mineral lick or something to get them to come to you is very helpful. Helps with antler growth and gets critters coming to you. They find them quick.
I check cameras between 4-6 weeks apart depending on my schedule. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Just note, that you think you can have a critter patterned over the summer, but that can change significantly as they transition from summer to fall to pre-rut, to rut, and then to winter patterns.
Theft? Theft can happen anywhere. I've lost some hard to find ones and had several easy pickens left alone. Get a python lock and see what you can do. Try to hide the camera if possible anyway because critters love to sniff/lick/pester/destroy them.
If I remember right, your camera has both mode, where you can take a picture and video. I prefer images and put it to 5-7 shot burst mode. Videos are cool, but take up a lot of data. DallanC has some great video clips that are awesome. Do elk fart in the woods? Apparently.
Last bit of advice. Spend money on lithium batteries. It's worth it. They work more consistently than alkaline. Lithium gives you 100% power until they're dead. Alkaline gives you 50% power output with 50% battery capacity. That affects flash, camera operation, duration of video length, lots of stuff. Secondly, get a nice SD Card. Class 10 or higher. This will help with the transfer speed and re-writeability on the card over time. Most of the defects I saw in cameras was usually corrupted cards that customers were blaming on a camera.
Good luck. Happy to answer any questions you may have. It's addicting.