Currently, I recommend the Browning Trail Cams, specifically the Strike Force models. They provide good value and performance. I’ve owned three other brands, but the Browning line has worked best for me.

Trail cams, like all the other devices we use, require some maintenance. Batteries must be checked and replaced (or recharged), memory cards must be swapped, and adjustments to positioning must be made. Also, in areas where humans might see your trail cam, you have to be concerned about theft.

I configure my video settings for 15 seconds with a one second pause between videos. The reason I set it for only 15 seconds is review time. Reviewing a memory card with 40 one minute videos takes about 50 minutes. Most of those videos will be useless: the wind blowing, squirrels hiding nuts, possums walking by, etc. With a 15 second video, you know what’s on it quickly and can move on if it has no value.

There are several essential procedures you must follow when switching memory cards to ensure that a trail cam works as it should.

When you go to switch out video cards, walk in front of the trail cam to get a test shot. It if is in video mode, wait until the video has completed (if the video duration is 15 seconds, stand in front of the camera for 15 seconds). If it is in photo mode, it will snap your photo immediately. When you view the contents of the memory card, your image should be the last video file on it.

This is important: Before you extract the memory card from the trail cam, turn off the trail cam. Then remove the used memory card, insert a fresh memory card, and then turn it back on.

It is very disappointing to check on your trail cam and find that you forgot to turn it back on. Knowing that you possibly missed some great photos or videos is a bummer!

If the trail cam has a low battery indicator, check it.

View the memory card(s) as soon as possible on whatever viewer you use, typically a PC or Mac. If you don’t see your own image (when you posed in front of the camera), something is wrong. If the positioning or placement of the trail cam needs to be changed, do it immediately.

Save the images that you want to keep on your computer is a folder that gets backed up. Delete all the other images. About 90% of your images will have no value.

New and better trail cams may be available now, so check my web site at ProjectYourCatFromCoyotes.com.