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Trail cameras are an incredible tool for the hunter. They are a way to get a glimpse of what is happening in the woods when no humans are around. If you have ever used a trail camera, you know how addictive they can be. If you have never bought a trail cam, but are considering one, there are a few things to consider.
Trail cameras can be bought for as little as $80, and some are even less. In the vast majority of cases, cheaper units are powered using C or even D batteries. In cold weather, it may be just days before the units are dead. Some trail cams do allow you to attach an external 12V battery power source, and that can help. These external batteries are bulky and heavy, however. I’ve found trail cameras that use eight AA alkaline batteries to generally be more reliable and better in cold weather.
When trail cameras first appeared, all but the most expensive models used old-fashioned camera flash for night shots. Today, the opposite is true. Most trail cams now use infra-red flash technology. Not having a flash blasting animals in the middle of the night is a good thing. The infra-red flash also won't give away where the camera is to other hunters. Infra-red flash uses less battery power, and the night shots also seem generally better. There are still trail cameras out there that use old-school flash, but they are going the way of the Dodo.