Why Should I Use a Cellular Trail Camera?

Why Should I Use a Cellular Trail Camera?

I remember when cellular trail cameras came on the scene. At that time, I’m pretty sure I still had a 35mm film trail camera collecting dust in my garage. Cellular trail camera technology isn’t particularly new at this point, but there are still a lot of hunters that have questions about it.

What exactly do cellular trail cameras do? How does the technology work? Are there advantages to using cellular trail cameras? Are there disadvantages? Are they difficult to use? Why would I need a cellular trail camera when I hunt close to where I live?

Let’s start at the beginning to clear up some of the most popular questions, concerns, and misconceptions about cellular trail cameras.

What exactly do cellular trail cameras do?

Cellular trail cameras operate just like any other film or digital trail camera you may have used. A motion sensor on the camera is used to bring the camera out of sleep mode, at which time the camera takes one or several photos and saves them to the SD or microSD card that has been installed.

On a traditional trail camera, this is where the process stops. As the hunter, you know you must visit the camera to remove the camera from the woods or swap cards to see what pictures were taken.

For cellular trail cameras though, this is where the magic starts. SPYPOINT cellular trail cameras can be set up to send the photos instantly, or on a schedule. According to the settings of that particular camera, the camera connects to the cellular network in the area and uses that network to send the photos to the SPYPOINT servers. Once uploaded to the servers, hunters can access the photos via the SPYPOINT app.

The photos aren’t sent directly to your phone by text or email. They are stored in and can be organized in the SPYPOINT app. Do you hunt with family members or friends? Do you want everyone to be able to see the photos without you texting for forwarding them? Anyone who has your login information can view the photos in the app, so you or you entire hunting crew can stay up to speed with the latest hunting information.

In its simplest form, it works very much the same as taking and sending a photo with your cell phone. The photo is taken, stored to the device, and then sent on the cellular network.

What are the advantages of cellular trail cameras?

There are numerous advantages to cellular trail cameras, and which one benefits you the most will really depend on your specific circumstances.

One that applies to everyone, is the time you can save with cellular trail cameras. Because you can view photos in the SPYPOINT app every day, you don’t have to take the time to go to the woods and swap SD cards to see what has been happening in front of the camera. If you hunt a property hours from your home, this saves a lot of time. If you hunt closer to home, maybe it doesn’t save you as much time, but these days every little bit counts for something.

Even if you don’t have to go far to visit your hunting property, another advantage is the ability to stay out of where you hunt. Of course, we have to visit from time to time, but we all know walking around where we hunt too often is probably going to negatively affect the frequency and quality of our deer encounters. Cell cameras let you stay out of your hunting property for weeks on end. Which also means your scent and disruption can stay out of there as well.

Beyond the cameras themselves, the SPYPOINT app is a nice advantage as well. Because you can manage your cameras, their settings, and their photos in one app, it helps you stay organized. The app isn’t just for your cameras though. The addition of custom maps and weather information have made the SPYPOINT app a dynamic tool for hunters by putting the entire hunt in the palm of their hand. Camera information, photos, maps, and weather in once place.

In the SPYPOINT app you can also make use of the Buck Tracker AI species filters to help save time. Who hasn’t put an SD card into their computer, seen 8,000 photos, gotten excited, only to be disappointed because 7,988 of those photos were of squirrels? With the species filters that SPYPOINT pioneered, photos are tagged by the species in the photos, and you can sort and view only those photos with the animals you are interested in seeing. Even human activity has a filter if you are worried about trespassers. In the spring, use the turkey filter to focus on those boss toms, then when late summer and fall arrive, use the buck filter to home in on those target deer you’ll be chasing when the season opens.

What a time to be a hunter!

Are there disadvantages to cellular trail cameras?

With the good comes the bad, right? Well, that’s how it usually goes. But SPYPOINT has worked hard to reduce many of the traditional downsides of cellular trail cameras.

Initially, cellular trail cameras were very expensive, often costing around $1,000 per camera. SPYPOINT has always worked to make cellular camera technology affordable and within reach for any hunter that wanted to use them.

When the LINK-EVO launched in 2017, it was the first cellular trail camera available for less than $300. Then, two years later, the LINK-MICRO hit the market for just $149. SPYPOINT has always worked to be on the leading edge of delivering cellular trail cameras that any hunter can afford.

The other thing people sometimes have reservations about is the need for ongoing photo transmission packages. Just like your cell phone requires a plan to cover calls and texts, a cellular trail camera uses cellular data that has a cost associated as well.

At least, it usually does.

SPYPOINT is the only cellular trail camera manufacturer that offers a free plan option for its customers. You could buy a SPYPOINT cellular trail camera and never pay for a photo to be sent to you. Yes, it would only be 100 photos per month, but nobody else is offering even that. From there, plans can be purchased at several thresholds by photo counts that are straightforward and easy to understand. These plans can be purchased on a monthly or annual basis, whichever suits your needs best. The monthly plans allow for more flexibility, while the annual plans save you the most money.

Many people have also assumed that cellular trail cameras are hard to use or complicated. SPYPOINT is constantly evaluating feedback from customers to make the process of selecting, purchasing, activating, and installing cellular trail cameras as simple and straightforward as possible.

The activation process is as simple as scanning a barcode, and most settings can be adjusted right in the SPYPOINT app. If you can use a traditional trail camera, watch a YouTube video, and follow instructions, you can work a cellular trail camera with ease.

Just another way SPYPOINT is working to reduce the perceived and traditional barriers to cellular trail camera use.

I live close to where I hunt, why would I need a cellular trail camera?

If I’m 100% honest, this was my mindset for the longest time. For years, 95% of my hunting has been within 20 minutes of where I live. Why would cellular trail cameras benefit me?

First, I completely underestimated the impact my visits to pull cards was having. I had pictures of deer, but the same properties I have always monitored saw activity increase almost as soon as I was able to stay out of them. We always think we are being sneaky and not disturbing deer and other animals, but we are having an impact, and it’s negative.

Second, the time benefit. As I’ve had kids, and they are growing and getting more active in their own lives, every second of the day is valuable. While scouting trips and hunting prep are a great time to spend together, there isn’t always time to get everything done in a day that I would like. Weekends are too short. There is always some other drain on time. If I can save a couple hour round trip to visit cameras and pull cards, that’s a couple hours I can spend with family, or working, or whatever the case may be.

Lastly, but maybe the most important is how it has allowed me to adjust my hunting strategy on the fly. Forty years ago, the idea of a traditional trail camera that we could check every couple weeks to adjust our hunting strategy seemed like the pinnacle of hunt planning advancement. Now, I can adjust my evening hunt based on that morning’s information.

I am a more engaged, informed, and efficient hunter because of cellular trail cameras.

Are they a magic bullet? No. I still have far more big deer in photos than I do on the wall. The plain truth of the matter is that deer, turkeys, and every other critter we spend time hunting have eons of evolution and the guile to stay alive ahead of us. Cellular trail cameras don’t put the fish in the barrel, just waiting to be shot. They do allow us a way to stay engaged with our hunting property every day and help us make better hunting decisions when the time arrives.

The technology has never been better or more affordable. If you’ve been putting off the transition to cellular trail cameras, maybe now is the time to make the jump.

Your next hunting season will be here before you know it.

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