We are trying to get a head start on gearing up for this coming deer season and one of the items on our list of “must haves” for this season is a good game cam. I have used some of the Moultrie products before with reasonable results, but I wanted something different so I recently picked up the Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam with Night Vision, Video, and Sound capabilities.
The first thing I noticed about the cam is how small it is. 5 1/2″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide x 2 1/2″ deep. It’s so small my lovely wife said it was “cute”… not exactly what I wanted to hear, but OK. It came equipped with a nice web strap, a USB cable, and a video cable. It has an SD slot which will accommodate up to a 32GB card (which is an additional 16GB over last years model), a 1/4 x 20 threaded socket, and Bushnell added sound to the video mode to this year’s model which is a pretty nice feature.
Inside the cam are the setup control buttons and of course the battery bank. The cam takes 8 AA batteries and Bushnell recommends using the lithium batteries which are more expensive, but they will last much longer (allegedly) than their alkaline counterparts. I found the controls very easy to use and setup took all of a couple of minutes. I set the time and date, selected the picture mode, opted to put the time and date stamp on each pic, normal detection mode, and 5MP picture.
After I got the cam loaded with batteries and an SD card, which are not included with the cam, it was time to mount the cam and put it to the test. I mounted the cam to a T-Post in my sheep pasture. So… want to know why I chose the sheep pasture? Simple answer… I wanted to put the cam someplace where I know for a fact there would be animal traffic. My sheep move all day and night so I have guaranteed traffic which should trigger the cam right?
Well, after the first 24 hours I had almost 300 pictures… that’s a LOT of pics, but isn’t that what you want a game cam to do? Yes!!! If there is animal movement I want to see pics and I had a ton of them. Picture quality for day light shots is good. Time and date stamp is clearly legible at the bottom of the pic. I was very pleased with all of the day time shots, even in heavy shadows the pictures where very good. On a side note, can you tell by the looks of my pasture how dry it is down here in Texas?
Detection distance is quoted at 45 feet. In the pic on the left those sheep are roughly 50 feet from the cam, so I believe their spec is pretty close to accurate, perhaps a bit understated. Those animals in the background are another roughly 40 feet further from the first group, so I am pretty happy with night time performance also. I would prefer a little longer detection range, but I believe 45 to 50 feet is just fine for most applications, and especially for a cam in this price range.
So far I am very pleased with this cam. It is small, detects movement and takes clear pictures during the day and at night, it is easy to program, operates on 8 AA sized batteries, and at ~ $170 I believe this is a very solid buy. I will be updating this review as soon as we get it installed at my hunting ranch, which will also give me some time to figure out how to add video files to my posts. Stay tuned!