Over the years of camera testing, hauling loads of cameras, bungees, straps, lock boxes, batteries and memory cards to and from the field, we find we make a series of mistakes and repeat those no matter how how we try not too. We have compiled a list here in hopes that you can avoid these same mistakes. And yes, you will make these mistakes and probably feel like a dummy but remember it happens to the best of us.
Memory card and battery change programming problems
Double check to see if the cam lost the date/time and settings during the battery change. We deal with multiple brand names and not all cams will hold the time date during the battery change. Repeatedly we have failed to check this.
It is our practice to carry multiple batteries and memory cards when we make our rounds to check our trail cameras.
Caution: It has been reported that an individual was transporting the 6 volt battery for his Moultrie trail cam on the way to the field when the battery rolled under the cars seat. The protective caps that came on the battery had been removed and when the battery slid under the car seat it made contact with some metal and resulted in a fire that destroyed the individual’s automobile. Some of the cameras we use have the larger 6 and 12 volt batteries similar to the computer UPS batteries and they also could cause a fire if not properly handled. Care must be taken when handling and transporting and be sure that the protective caps are re installed after charging to prevent the accidental shorting out of the terminals.
Camera alignment issues
Re-aim the cam to the desired point. The force it takes to install the batteries in the cam causes the camera to move on the stand or tree and when you come back you find a lot of butts and the edge of the picture.
Memory card and battery mix up problems
Keep the new empty memory cards separate from the used cards. Imagine you drive 50 miles back home only to discover that you have had a mix up and all your memory cards are blank and last weeks cards are reinstalled! The same thing happens with batteries too. (hint: the camera’s batteries and cards are normally colder in the field than the new ones you brought with you).
Memory Card full issue
After the memory cards are brought in and viewed and all data is transferred to the computer, delete the contents so you are not taking a full card back to the field on the following visit. If you make this mistake you are likely to get “memory card full” indication on the camera.
“Oh no, the camera was not turned on!” problem
After the cam has its new empty card with the proper date/time and settings, re-aim the cam and TURN THE CAMERA BACK ON AND LOCK IT UP. This has been our biggest mistake. Of all the mistakes we have made this seems to be the one that keeps repeating itself.
Remember: We have all been there done that. It will happen to you at some point. It never fails.