Trail camera tips for wildlife monitoring


September 7, 2019

Make sure your trail cameras are secured to their locations, so as to not "walk off" with thieves. PHOTO: STEPHEN VANTASSEL

Make sure your trail cameras are secured to their locations, so as to not “walk off” with thieves. PHOTO: STEPHEN VANTASSEL

Wildlife control can present a lucrative opportunity for pest management professionals (PMPs) because there is significant room for reward and profit, if it’s done right. Having the right products and equipment for wildlife control is key.

With trail cameras dropping in price and size, consider adding them to your equipment arsenal. Here are a few tips on trail cameras that should guide your purchases and use:

  • Choose the right trail cameras for your purposes. Select cameras that trigger quickly (a half-second or less) when the motion sensor is activated. Ideally, the cameras should take color images (daylight) and black and white (nighttime), between 1.3 and 12 megapixels.
  • Select cameras that have blackout infrared, as some animals can see the infrared flash. Camera thieves can see the flash, too. The cameras should be able to take multiple shots (burst mode) and/or have programmable delays between shots.
  • Place the cameras so they face north. This avoids the risk of being blinded by the rising or setting sun.
  • Locate a clear line of sight for each camera. Remove branches and grass that could sway in the wind and trigger the camera. The only thing more frustrating than missing the shot, is to have hundreds of photos of moving grass.
  • Think security. Cameras like to “walk.” Be sure it is hard for yours to be found and removed.

Editor’s note: This excerpt is from Stephen Vantassel, CWCP, ACE, in his May 2019 post on his industry blog,

VANTASSEL is a vertebrate pest specialist for the Montana Department of Agriculture, Lewistown, Mont., as well as owner of Wildlife Control Consultant. He may be reached at


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