Like any other form of photography, you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to trail cameras setups.
By: Reese Johnson
Trail cameras provide an amazing insight and view into the world that we only long to see. Once deer season goes out, I’ve started keeping two or three cameras in a few random places around the house in different kinds of locations. This has provided some very interesting and new pictures types. Angles and backdrops can change an ordinary picture into something worthy of hanging on the wall.
Due to my past experiences I may be biased, but these setups have provided me with likely the best pictures I’ll ever get. Barns or any other old buildings as I’ve seen from others as well can provide some shelter for many different kinds of animals but especially big bucks. This attention seems to be mainly during the hot summer months when these buildings can provide some shade. These old structures often found in the woods can provide some of the best backdrops as well if the camera isn’t placed inside.
One place you might never think about would be your backyard. It’s the easiest place to check every single or other day to tweak and keep wildlife coming. My experiences have provided me with everything from quail and cardinals to giant subdivision deer. This setup also allows you play with your cameras like you probably haven’t been able to at the farm because you can check these more frequently. It’s also easier to find just the right video or picture setting you like trying different things close to the house. That information will be valuable for those cameras on the back forty that you are only able to check every so often.
Water sources have provided me with some fantastic pictures as well. From ducks to herons or deer taking a swim, you never know what will be visiting. While it’s great to gather information on the farm and what critters are around, pictures like these can be worthy of the wall. Finding a water source that doesn’t rise and fall too much is important if you won’t be able to check it often. During duck season although, cameras can provide some great audio and video in the right areas, but can just as easily drown with a little bit of rain. Those are definitely high risk/high reward setups.
The ground level setup can be tricky, because without the right angle you can miss everything. However it’s given me some great quail pictures and also some up close and personal views of some extra long spurs. Most trail camera pictures that people show you will be the classic field edge setup, but gathering pictures of that same buck in a wild situation is a thrill all on it’s own.
The last spot you may never have thought of would be anywhere with a view. Backdrops can make a picture and using the sun in the morning or afternoons can be helpful, or hurtful as well. Skylines or power lines around here have provided me with some great backlit pictures and videos both. High in a tree or on a limb facing downward can provide these same type of views as well.
You just can’t get enough pictures for the record books, they are something I love to show anybody that has time to see. My addiction has likely hurt my hunting chances in some ways, but having these thousands of pictures on my phone to show anybody that can relate is a joy that will last a lifetime. These creative setups have added another layer the stories I have to tell now.