The first time you pulled an SD card and reviewed the photos your game camera captured, you basked in the glory of your wise decision of purchasing a camera. You chortled at all the deer intel now available at your fingertips, and you dreamed of how you could use all that valuable information to take your deer hunting to the next level.
Then, reality struck. Sure, you did obtain a lot more information about deer in your hunting area. But you also realized that putting up cameras, pulling memory cards, moving cameras, replacing batteries (you get the idea) is a lot of work. And if you’re a savvy hunter, you quickly realized that game cameras can do you more harm than good.
“Probably the biggest thing that’s saved more deer from hunters is game cameras,” said Neil Dougherty, a deer hunting guru and wildlife consultant who helps hunters turn their property into deer hunting nirvana (northcountrywhitetails.com). “Based on my experience, the average hunter spends about 40 hours in the woods for the sole purpose of dealing with trail cameras.”
One way to reduce your intrusion on the whitetail woods is to use wireless game cameras. Today’s wireless cameras use cellular data networks (the same technology as your mobile phone) to transmit photos to a website (Cloud server), where users can then download photos to their email inbox or smartphone. The technology gives users real time information on the whereabouts and travel patterns of specific deer.
But wireless trail cameras also come with a host of drawbacks. For starters, they can be difficult to set up a data service to transmit photos, and game cameras usually aren’t supported by the user’s mobile phone carrier company. In other words, your cell phone provider won’t help you troubleshoot any problems you run into using your wireless camera.
Providing real time photos can also quickly drain the battery life, and some wireless cameras offer only limited remote control of camera settings. This last point’s important, because you’ll still have to visit your camera if you want to adjust some settings (e.g., change to time lapse mode).
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage to wireless cameras is the cost to view photos. One of my first forays into the wireless game cameras quickly showed me just how expensive it can get. One company charged me nearly $10 to view only 10 photos!
Thankfully, some wireless camera companies are changing the game. Spartan Camera, a leader in surveillance, offers a line of GoCams certified by AT&T and Verizon. This means Spartan Camera and AT&T/Verizon provide support to users. In October the company will add wireless cameras certified by Sprint and U.S. Cellular. Each GoCam provides the option of IR or black flash, enables users to remotely change all camera settings, and transmits photos from the Cloud in either real-time or at preset times.
Best of all, buying and using a GoCam won’t shred your wallet. Depending on your cell provider, Spartan GoCams cost $379.95 – $479.95, with data plans $5 – $30 a month. Sending photos to your inbox is free, while using the Spartan Camera mobile app will cost you $3 a month for unlimited photos.
For more information, visit www.spartancamera.com.