It’s that time of the year when we start to place our trail cameras throughout our hunting properties. A few simple maintenance items can go a long way when it comes to the longevity and performance of your trail camera.
Here are a few simple ways you can ensure your trail camera is ready to go for the upcoming scouting season:
Trail cameras can withstand some of the worst weather conditions in the woods. Wind, snow, and dust to name a few can dirty up the most concealed trail cameras. I like to run a toothbrush or soft-bristled nylon brush over my trail cameras at the start of each season to ensure that they are as clean as they can be before being deployed to alert me on the next big buck. Don’t forget to open the battery compartment and give this a good cleaning as well.
If your camera isn’t on, you may be missing out on deer. Replacing the batteries with a fresh set at the start of the season is a good practice to make sure you are not missing any animals crossing the detection zone of your trail camera.
Format Your SD Card
As simple as it sounds, before the start of each season it is best to make sure your SD cards are formatted on your computer. You will want to make sure to uncheck the quick format box, as a long format is the best way to ensure a properly working SD card as you start to set your cameras.
An often overlooked step that can keep your camera working throughout the season at its peak is to update your trail camera to the latest firmware. Just as a cellphone needs updated software frequently to keep working, so does a cellular trail camera. Before taking your SD card out of the computer, check our support page to see if you have the latest firmware for your trail camera.
Dirt and grime can cover your lens over the course of a season. To clean your lens, take some sort of lens cleaning solution, I prefer the lens cleaning wipes I have for my glasses and wipe off any visible dirt on the camera and detection lens. Your photos will thank you later!
We have all had that early morning, high humidity photo where we can see a buck but the lens is fogged up due to the amount of moisture in the air. I like to try and curb this issue by applying an anti-fog spray to the camera and detection lens.
Cleaning Battery Contacts
A fresh set of batteries can only go so far if the battery contacts aren’t cleaned. I like to take an alcohol wipe and clean up all the visible battery contacts to ensure a proper connection with the fresh set of batteries.
Reinstall Batteries and SD Card
Now that we have gone through all the proper steps to care for your trail camera at the start of the season you can go ahead and reinstall the SD card and put the fresh batteries in.
Test the Camera
One of the very last things before heading back out to the woods and setting the trail camera is to turn it on and make sure it downloaded the updated firmware and is functioning properly before you leave your house.
Before hanging the camera, check your tree straps to make sure there aren’t any nicks or cuts in the strap itself.
Once you have gone through the list and everything checks out, it is time to head to the woods and set the trail camera.
Now the waiting begins to watch all the photos roll in!