By Mark Kenyon
I am a trail camera addict. At almost all times of year, I’ve got 5-10 cameras running, monitoring the whitetails at my various hunting locations. And to check these cameras, I’m driving across Michigan, Ohio and sometimes even Iowa to make sure I know what kind of big whitetails are in the area. Unfortunately, that takes a toll on my wallet when I start dolling out cash for all that gas. And each time I hike into my properties, I realize I’m putting pressure on the local deer – and potentially hurting my chances of hunting success.
For these reasons, a trail camera that can wirelessly transmit pictures to a computer or phone without needing a human visit is an absolute game changer. Recently a few camera companies have released products that do just that, but I never was quite comfortable with them given the brand producing the cameras and the hoops you had to jump to set up the data plans, etc. Finally though, I think I’ve found a wireless camera that I’d be willing to invest in. The Bushnell Wireless TrophyCam HD.
At the ATA show earlier this month, I was excited to finally check out the Wireless TrophyCam HD in person and after getting the full scoop, I’m still pretty pumped. First off, this camera has everything you’d come to expect from a Bushnell TrophyCam. The TrophyCam line has been my camera of choice for over 5 years now, and that’s mostly because they are simple to use, have great battery life, and rarely fail me in the field. The same seems to be the case with the Wireless HD, and in addition it’s got great features such as No-Glow Black LED flash, Field Scan mode, and full HD video.
Most uniquely though are the wireless features. With this camera, just like other wireless cams, you can receive trailcam pic thumbnails sent to your phone or computer without ever needing to visit your camera. With the TrophyCam though, you get your first 30 days of photos (unlimited number) sent free of any data charge, which is a pretty great way to get started. From there, you can select the monthly pre-paid data plan that works best for you – with no contracts required. This data plan is serviced through AT&T’s network, but is handled through Bushnell – and again, requires no contract. There are a number of different data packages, but the one I would probably be willing to thrown down on is the $9.99/month for 1,000 wireless images.
Unique to Bushnell is the fact that they are actually approved and partnering with AT&T on this. From what I understand, other trail camera manufacturers are not actually approved to run on wireless carriers’ networks – so if there were ever issues, malfunctions, etc regarding their data or sim card – they couldn’t get any help. That’s not the case with Bushnell.
I also love the remote control access that you get with this camera. The Wireless TrophyCam HD can be controlled by a smartphone app, which will allow you to view your photos, but also control all the camera settings and functions. You can check the battery level, change the sensitivity settings, adjust camera mode and much more. You can then do all these same things on your computer as well. Low res images are automatically sent to your phone or computer wirelessly as part of your package but if there are images you just need to have in full blown high res, you can download these a la carte. Of course, when you eventually go to retrieve your SD card, you’ll also have all the full res images.
For more information check out Bushnell.com and the video below!