Best Trail Cameras You Need Right Now

best, cameras, need, now, outdoor, right, trail, you - 8 minutes to read


Derrek Sigler   10.19.21

There is no denying that trail cameras have changed how we hunt deer and other game. They allow us to have a view from the inside of the animal’s habitat and see movements, times of those movements, and even interactions between animals. They certainly have changed how I hunt deer and I’m betting they have helped you out too. Trail cameras are kind of like fishing lures, or firearms – you can never own too many.  Here are some of the best trail cameras you need right now. Get one or ten of them, get them set up and get to hunting.

Image: Shutterstock/Riechner

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Table of Contents

1. SpyPoint LINK-S-DARK Cellular Trail Camera – Editor’s Pick

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The author started using these and now runs several

I have had the great luck of using the SpyPoint Link-S Dark for a while now and have liked it so much, I’ve swapped out several old cameras for this model. It’s a 12 mp camera that also shoots video both day and night. It operates on a cell server and works through SpyPoint’s recently updated mobile app to send everything to your phone. You can even check weather conditions in the field. It’s a solar camera, too, so you don’t need to check it very often, or much at all. It is truly a set-and-forget camera.

Pros/Solar powered, nightime video, cellular high resolution, black IR flash doesn’t spook game

Cons/None. Seriously my favorite camera

Bottom Line/If you are only buying one cellular camera, this is the one I personally recommend

2. Reconyx HyperFire 2 Cellular Trail Camera – Highest Rated

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If you ask anyone who owns a Reconyx camera what they think of it, or if they’d ever use another brand, you’ll get glowing recommendations for the brand. They inspire loyalty and always have extremely high reviews. If that isn’t telling you something, you’re not paying attention. These are simply amazing cameras. So it stands to reason that a cellular camera from Reconyx is going to be a great unit and the Reconyx HyperFire 2 Cellular Trail Camera is just that – Amazing..It has a crazy fast .2-second trigger speed and 150-feet NoGlow Covert infrared flash, giving you really clear images regardless of the time of day. It takes 12 AA batteries with a 40,000 image or 2-year battery lifespan for battery life – that’s solid! The camera is LTE-enabled for wireless transmission of images and videos, straight to your smartphone or computer. And it accepts up to a 512GB SD card for optimal storage. Want security? It has Reconyx’ CodeLoc pass-code protection to keep unwanted people from using the camera. Made in USA.

Pros/Secure and legendary performance

Cons/It’s pricey, but worth it

Bottom Line/There is a reason these are the highest rated cameras by customers – they perform!

3. Bushnell Core DSK4 No Glow SD Trail Camera

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I have used quite a few Bushnell trail cameras over the years and have found them to work well and be very dependable every season. They are always innovating and the Bushnell Core DSK4 No Glow SD continues that with what they call Dual Sensor (DS) Technology. It has one sensor specifically designed for sharp, rich images during the day, and a second sensor that gives you high-contrast, detailed images at night.

The camera has six high-output infrared LEDs with 120 feet range. The camera trips via an adjustable PIR motion sensor (auto, low, medium, high) with a fast 0.15-second trigger speed. This trail cam takes full color 34MP images and 1080p HD dynamic video with sound. The camera has a 2.1-inch color LED screen, too. This is a great trail camera.

Pros/Great night vision and clear images, dependable

Cons/Not cellular

Bottom Line/If you want a dependable, traditional SD-card trail camera with superb clarity, this is a great option

4. CuddeLink LTE Cellular Camera Starter Kit

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One issue many people have with cellular trail cameras is that you have to have a plan for each camera. CuddeBack cameras have been around for a long time and they were one of the original innovators in the area. It came as no surprise to me that they found a cool way around the issue. The CuddeLink Cellular system has one central camera that is connected to your phone and with a single service plan, that can be as low as $10 per month. From there, you can connect multiple cameras to that single “tower” to cover more ground. They have a starter pack with one central PowerHouse IR camera and two CuddeLink Long Ranger IR units, giving you three 20mp cameras, each with .25 second trigger speed and IR LED flashes for day and night time images. It may seem like a lot of money, but when you take three cellular cameras from other brands and add service plans, the savings rack up quickly.

Pros/Three cameras – one plan

Cons/Pricey to start, eats batteries

Bottom Line/A spectacular way to get up and running with high-quality cellular trail cameras – Great as security cameras, too

How to set up your trail camera

Each brand of camera has different set up instructions, most of which are very easy to follow. Some have helpful tips and videos on their websites, like SpyPoint.

How to Get the Best Pictures from Your SPYPOINT Camera| SPYPOINT – YouTube

As for placement in the field, I suggest doing the footwork. Get out and find signs of deer or other game activity. Check the angles and set your new camera off the main pathway, making sure to not face it directly into the sun. Also clear out any big branches of brush that is directly in front of the camera, as the wind can move it and cause an image to be triggered. I learned this the hard way one time when I got 2,115 pictures of a branch moving in the wind.

How often will a trail camera take a picture?

Most all trail cameras are motion activated, meaning that something has to be moving in front of the camera for it to take a picture. While this means that a deer or other animal moving in front of the camera can trigger it, it can also be triggered by wind blowing a branch, or even the sun moving shadows across the area. If you have a lot of underbrush, set your sensitivity of the trigger to lower settings to avoid accidental images.

Do trail cameras have flashes?

Most cameras have a flash of some kind, with most modern cameras having some form of LED flash. Many have switched to an infrared flash so you can’t see it. Some older and lower end cameras have a traditional flash that everything can see. Years ago, I set one of these types of cameras up in the woods across from my mother’s farmhouse. She called me at 2am in a panic because there were these weird flashes of light coming from the woods every few minutes. Good times.

About the Author

Derrek Sigler

Derrek Sigler has been a professional outdoor writer for more than two decades since earning his Master’s Degree in creative writing with a thesis about fishing humor. But if you ask anyone that knows him, he’s been telling fishin’ stories since he was old enough to hold a pole. He has written for Cabela’s and served as editorial director for Gun Digest books. Over the years, he has also written for Petersen’s Hunting, North American Whitetail Magazine, Wildfowl, Grand View Media, and has worked with Bass Pro Shops, Hard Core Brands and Bone Collector. Successful Farming had him write for their magazine and he has appeared on their TV show to discuss hunting and ATVs on multiple occasions. He writes about the things he loves – hunting, fishing, camping, trucks, ATVs, boating, snowmobiles and the outdoor lifestyle he enjoys with his family in their home state of Michigan and more as they adventure around North America.

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