Which Trail Camera? Part 2 – Setting Up

Five Tips For Setting Up Your Trail Cameras

By Steve Sorensen


A common mistake is to place the trail camera too high. Set up a little above knee high and you should get perfect poses like this.

1. How to consider lighting – Taking pictures can be defined as capturing light, and bad lighting ruins many photos. So, set your trail cameras with that in mind. If you point them into the rising or setting sun, your images will be degraded by glare. Point them north or south for the best results.

2. How high off the ground – A common mistake is to place trail cameras too high. Deer aren’t as big as many people think. A little above knee-high is perfect wherever the ground is flat. If you need to adjust the angle up or down, wedge a short stick behind the camera.

3. How to aim for best results – Don’t make the mistake of setting up trail cameras perpendicular to the trail. Deer will walk by before the camera is triggered. It’s better to aim your camera down the trail so the deer is in the camera’s view long enough to activate the camera and trip the shutter.

4. How far from the subject – Ideally, if a deer is five to fifteen feet from the camera, you should get great photos. Digital photos cost nothing, so set your trail cameras to take multiple-shot bursts. You’re more likely to get the deer right where you want him.

5. How to stop the deer – Scrapes, licking branches, food sources such as apples or corn, mineral licks, they’re all places where deer stop. Deer usually hesitate just before jumping a fence or entering a clearing. You’ll get sharper, clearer photos when the deer has a reason to pause.

Digital cameras are a lot more expensive than the spool of thread Grandpa used, but so is everything else. Today, the least expensive digital trail cameras are as good as or better than more expensive cameras of a few years ago, so the time to buy is now. They’re fun, they’re extremely reliable, and they take very good quality photos when used properly.

About Steve Sorensen…

Outdoor writer and speaker Steve Sorensen has been a fan of knives since he was six, when he began begging his dad to take him hunting. His articles have been published in Deer and Deer Hunting, North American Whitetail, Sports Afield, and many other top magazines across the USA. Invite Steve to speak at your next sportsman’s event, or follow his writing on his website, EverydayHunter.com.

Which trail cameras do you like?  What is your experience?  Leave a comment below.

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