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Trail Camera Tips for Success

If you are like me then you know trail cameras can have a bit of a learning curve. Through trial and error over the years I have picked up on a few things that have greatly increase my success while using them. This blog post will provide trail camera tips on how to set up a trail camera, trail camera placement tips, and more. 

Trail Camera Settings Tips: How to Set Up a Trail Camera

The first thing that I think about when using a trail camera is the setup and settings. How you decide to use the different settings on your camera can greatly improve or diminish your success while using them. These settings include:

  • Date/Time

  • PIR Mode

  • Photo / Video Resolution

  • Burst

  • PIR Delay


When setting up my trail cameras the first thing I will do is set the date and time. There’s nothing worse than checking your camera and realizing that you actually have no idea when an image was taken. Once I have that done I will move on to the PIR mode setting.

PIR Mode

The PIR mode is the setting that allows you to choose between photos and videos. It’s important to consider factors such as where you plan to put the camera, how many images or videos do you expect to get in that area, and the size of your sd card.

Personally, if I am planning on putting the camera on a feeder then I will use the photo setting. In this type of area, I typically get a lot of deer activity and photos don’t take up as much space on the sd card as videos.

When putting cameras in areas that I want to gain insight into how deer or other game are moving through an area I will use the video setting. By capturing a video I can see where the animal is coming from and the direction that they are traveling.

Photo / Video Resolution

The next trail camera setting that we are going to look at is the photo and video resolution setting. This setting is not super critical in your trail camera setup and is largely determined by personal preference. I typically like to keep my cameras set at a resolution of 12 MP. It is important to note that if you are using a cellular trail camera, the higher the resolution you use the more battery life will be consumed when transmitting photos. 


Burst is another setting found on most cameras. This setting allows the user to decide how many photos will be taken and at what time interval when the camera’s PIR sensor is triggered. This setting works well for gaining information about how the game is moving through an area in a situation where you don’t want to use the video mode. Burst mode works well when using cameras on field edges and allows you to set a few different photos as the animal walks by. 

PIR Delay

PIR delay is the last trail camera setting that we will cover in this post. The PIR delay allows you to determine the amount of time that needs to pass before the camera will take another video or photo. 

I personally recommend using a longer PIR delay around feeders due to the amount of time that an animal will typically spend at one. Having the delay set to a longer time will reduce the amount of redundant pictures you get of the same animal. 

On the other hand, if I am planning on placing a camera on a game trail or in an area that animals are just passing through, I will use a much shorter PIR delay. The shorter delay reduces the chances that I might miss something moving down the trail after the first image was taken. 

Trail Camera Placement TIps

When the time comes to hang your trail camera you will need to decide where place it. I like to hang my trail cameras on deer trails, old logging roads, field edges, and other areas that animals use to travel. 

Once you have figured out the area you are going to put your camera, you should consider a few things. 

Position in Relation to Sun

Firstly, make sure that your camera is positioned so that it is not directly facing towards the East or the West. This will ensure that during the early morning and late evening hours any photos or videos captured won’t have a glare due to the sun.  

Objects that could falsely trigger the camera

Make sure to clear any brush or limbs that could trigger the camera by blowing in the wind. This will save you the headache of sorting through hundreds of pictures of nothing when the time comes to check your camera.

How to Mount a Trail Camera

When it comes to mounting your camera there are a few different options available. The easiest way to mount your trail cam is simply by using the provided strap to mount it to a tree. 

If you are in an area that has limited trees or does not have a tree in the ideal location for your camera then you can use a t-post. I personally like this method because it allows me to optimize my trail camera’s location without the need for a tree to mount it to.

How to Hide Trail Camera from Humans

When hunting and using trail cameras on public land its a good idea to hide or keep your camera out of sight from other hunters. It’s sad to say but I have had my fair share of cameras stolen on public ground. 

To prevent this I like to hang my cameras on public ground higher in the tree than normal and have them angled down towards the area I want to cover. I use a couple of tree stand climbing sticks to get my camera to the correct elevation and will take them with me when I leave. 

By the camera being higher than eye level other people are less likely to spot them and even if they do they wont be able to reach them on their own. 


Trail cameras can be an effective way to learn and monitor the wildlife you are planning on hunting. By utilizing the tips and tricks mentioned in this post you will be able to not only perfectly set up your camera but know where to place it to maximize the number and quality of the pictures you get. 

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