The 7 Best Deer Cameras You Should Buy

Written by Alan
Published: December 8, 2022
© iStock.com/yhelfman

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The success of your wild game pursuit depends on your preparations before going into the forest with your hunting gear. One such preparation is the use of trail cameras. They are fantastic tools that guide your hunting trips.

It’s common practice for hunters to set up their trail cameras on a game trail and monitor approaching prey. As a result, they can learn about the species that inhabit a particular area and plan accordingly.

Legalities are involved in using trail cameras, and the laws differ from state to state. Some states only allow trail cameras for scouting pre-season, not during the hunting season. Only Arizona and Nevada have outright bans on using any trail camera for hunting.

The ban is restricted to the hunting season in Alaska, Utah, Montana, New Hampshire, and Kansas. Ensure you research the laws that apply in your state. 

Beyond hunting, trail cameras can enhance your wildlife-watching experience. You can see what the animals get up to without human presence. Wildlife researchers also find them useful. 

Trail cameras have evolved from the days of those with 35mm film to conventional cellular cameras. Modern cams make it easy to control settings and get updates from the comfort of your home.

Many trail cameras are available on the market with varying connectivity, battery life, price, and photo and video quality. Typically, the batteries are long-lasting because the cameras are not constantly active. As a result, a trail camera can go for weeks or days without capturing images until something catches its attention.

While some cams run on solar energy, others are powered by rechargeable or AA batteries. 

Here, we’ve selected the best trail cameras you should buy for deer hunting. Not to worry, we covered both low-cost options and premium buys. The choice is yours.

  1. Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow Trail Camera. Hunting Game Camera with 4K Video and 32MP Images
  2. Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow Trail Camera. Hunting Game Camera with 4K Video and 32MP Images
    • Contains dual sensors, one each for daylight and night-time optimization.
    • Housing is weather-resistant.
    • Easy-to-navigate menus.
    Check Amazon
  3. Moultrie Mobile Edge Cellular Trail Camera | Nationwide
  4. Moultrie Mobile Edge Cellular Trail Camera | Nationwide
    • Available in packs of one or two cameras.
    • No SD card required.
    • Offers the option of putting in extra batteries for extended battery life.
    Check Amazon
  5. Browning Strike Force HD Pro X Trail Game Camera Bundle Includes Sub Micro Security Box + 32GB Memory Card + J-TECH Card Reader (20MP) | BTC5HDPX
  6. Browning Strike Force HD Pro X Trail Game Camera Bundle Includes Sub Micro Security Box + 32GB Memory Card + J-TECH Card Reader (20MP) | BTC5HDPX
    • Includes an SD card, a memory card reader, and a security box.
    • Has a 1.5-inch color screen.
    • Night-time images can be customized.
    Check Amazon
  7. Stealth Cam G42NG No Glo Trail and Wildlife Camera
  8. Stealth Cam G42NG No Glo Trail and Wildlife Camera
    • Offers 1080p and 720p video resolutions.
    • 0.4-second trigger speed.
    • A DVR mode is available.
    Check Amazon
  9. SPYPOINT SOLAR-DARK Trail Camera, Brown
  10. SPYPOINT SOLAR-DARK Trail Camera, Brown
    • Solar-powered
    • Can run on six AA batteries or a rechargeable lithium-ion battery as well
    • 12MP resolution produces good images
    • Can detect subjects up to 110 feet away
    • Allows you to create time-lapse movies and 720P video
    Check Amazon
  11. SPYPOINT FORCE-PRO Trail Camera 30MP Photo 4K HD Video
  12. SPYPOINT FORCE-PRO Trail Camera 30MP Photo 4K HD Video
    • Capable of 4K video.
    • 0.2-second trigger speed.
    • Audio recorded in addition to video.
    Check Amazon
  13. Bushnell 30MP CORE Trail Camera, Dual Sensor, No Glow, 119977C
  14. Bushnell 30MP CORE Trail Camera, Dual Sensor, No Glow, 119977C
    • This is an excellent trail camera
    • Activated by your subject's movement, which allows you to take closeup photos without scaring them away
    • Features two sensors: one for day and one for night
    • Waterproof and durable
    • Records 1080p video at 60 frames per second
    Check Amazon

Best Overall: Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow

Best
Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow Trail Camera. Hunting Game Camera with 4K Video and 32MP Images
  • Contains dual sensors, one each for daylight and night-time optimization.
  • Housing is weather-resistant.
  • Easy-to-navigate menus.
Check Amazon

The Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow is our top pick. What’s not to love about this camera? It uses dual sensors; one for daytime, designed to capture clear and vibrant shots, while the night sensor adds more light to subjects in low-light situations. 

This device is a complete package. It has a trigger time of just 0.2 seconds and records 4K 30fps video and 32 MP images. Although it doesn’t have a wireless connection like some other cams on the list, some users are willing to look past the extra cost of having such.

It’s weather-resistant, and the No-glow LED lights are barely visible to the animals.

“I like the response time and customization options. I’ve recommended the trail cam to hunters in my group,” a user said.

The Pros and Cons of the Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow

Pros!Cons!
Dual sensors.Doesn’t feature wireless connectivity.
Durable, weather-resistant casing.Uses 6 AA batteries.
The menu is easy to navigate. 

Best Value for Money: Moultrie Mobile Edge

Best Value for Money
Moultrie Mobile Edge Cellular Trail Camera | Nationwide
  • Available in packs of one or two cameras.
  • No SD card required.
  • Offers the option of putting in extra batteries for extended battery life.
Check Amazon

The Moultrie Mobile app is the next best thing about this camera. It’s built with image recognition technology, distinguishing people, automobiles, and deer species in pictures.

The Edge has built-in memory and unlimited cloud storage to save you the stress of using an SD card. In addition, the 33-MP sensor captures high-quality photographs and can send 720p HD video straight to your phone. However, the trigger speed stands at 0.85 seconds. 

It’s easy to set up all you have to do is scan a QR code to activate- and it works with both 8 and 16 AA batteries. Using 16 ensures durability.

A satisfied Minnesota-based hunter is pleased to finally find a functional cam with a low price tag. “I’ve tried more expensive game cams, but this is, by far, my favorite.”

The Pros and Cons of the Moultrie Mobile Edge

Pros!Cons!
Affordable.Slow trigger speed.
The app is feature-packed.The app might have bugs.
Easy to set up.
SD card isn’t required.
Solid connectivity.

Best for Versatility: Browning Strike Force HD Pro X 

Best for Versatility
Browning Strike Force HD Pro X Trail Game Camera Bundle Includes Sub Micro Security Box + 32GB Memory Card + J-TECH Card Reader (20MP) | BTC5HDPX
  • Includes an SD card, a memory card reader, and a security box.
  • Has a 1.5-inch color screen.
  • Night-time images can be customized.
Check Amazon

Not every day do you come across a reasonably priced trail camera with a 1.5″ color display screen and all-steel mounting bracket. One word for this trail cam? Multifunctional powerhouse. From its robust build, detection range, quick trigger, and excellent quality camera, the Browning Strike Force HD Pro X is a winner. 

It never misses a moment with its lighting-quick 0.2-second trigger speed and 0.6-second recovery time. It also has a passive infrared (PIR) motion sensor that detects movement 80 feet away. 

This camera records HD videos (1600x900p) with sound and 20MP still images. However, you can’t send the files directly to your phone because it’s not a cellular cam. Instead, it supports a user-supplied SD card of up to 512GB.

With a maximum range of 120′, the infrared flash may be adjusted to Powersave, Long Range, or Fast Motion as necessary. The featured Illuma-Smart technology 

optimizes the flash on each shot for the best possible photo quality. 

“This game cam is a solid 10 for me. I particularly appreciate the motion capture feature, which lets you approach the camera from several angles,” a user stated.

The Pros and Cons of the Browning Strike Force HD Pro X

Pros!Cons!
1.5-inch color screenNot a cellular camera.
Night-time images are customizable.Tree strap may be challenging to put on and take off. 
Doesn’t record at 4k.

Best for Beginners: Stealth Cam G42NG

Best for Beginners
Stealth Cam G42NG No Glo Trail and Wildlife Camera
  • Offers 1080p and 720p video resolutions.
  • 0.4-second trigger speed.
  • A DVR mode is available.
Check Amazon

As a beginner, you’re either bothered about a trail camera’s price point or complexity. The Stealth Cam G42 No-glow gives you a good start at monitoring game trails.

It incorporates the TRIAD 3-in-1 technology, which allows you to record HD video, and take still and time-lapse images. The video has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels with between five and 180 seconds of audio. 

Although the still pictures deliver 10MP, you can choose 2MP,  4MP, or 8MP photos from the device. Detailed, evenly lit images are produced using retina low-light sensitivity technology, which captures light and disperses IR illumination.

Like other rival products, the no-glow infrared flash can illuminate subjects up to 100 feet away. However, the Stealth Cam G42 claims blur reduction technology for clear night images.

Other specifications include a backlit LCD for menu navigation, 0.5-second trigger speed, a 12-volt external power jack, data storage up to 32GB, and 8AA batteries (not included). An SD card isn’t included, but many users recommend a full-sized one. Unfortunately, this camera is quite selective of SD cards, so finding the right match may be a hassle.

The Stealth Cam G42 is an excellent entry-level option. A user shares their experience. “It took me less than five minutes to set up this camera—and I’ve never used a trail camera before. After plugging in the SD card, configuring the optional password, creating a custom recording software, and getting it ready to be fastened to a tree.”

The Pros and Cons of the Stealth Cam G42NG

Pros!Cons!
Not complicated.Features 10MP for still photos.
Excellent daytime videos.Dew settles on the lens, so dawn-time videos may be blurry.
Beginner-friendlySome SD cards don’t work well with the camera.
Has room for an external power jack.

Best for Solar Power: Spypoint Solar Dark

Best for Solar Power
SPYPOINT SOLAR-DARK Trail Camera, Brown
  • Solar-powered
  • Can run on six AA batteries or a rechargeable lithium-ion battery as well
  • 12MP resolution produces good images
  • Can detect subjects up to 110 feet away
  • Allows you to create time-lapse movies and 720P video
Check Amazon

The unique selling point of Spypoint Solar Dark is its use of solar energy. A 12-volt lithium internal rechargeable battery with an integrated solar panel powers it. Alternatively, it uses 8 AA batteries for continued operation after sunset.

However, the solar component comes at a cost. The camera is relatively pricey, and there’s a disconnect between the price and the quality it offers.

It can only capture videos at 720P resolution for up to 90 seconds and 12MP still photos. 

It is equipped with 42 super-low-glow LEDs on either side of the lens to illuminate targets at night or in low light. However, the quality of the clip isn’t guaranteed, especially if the subject is too close to the LEDs.

A tester praised the Spypoint Solar Dark as outstanding in terms of battery life, menu, and trigger speed.

The Pros and Cons of the Spypoint Solar Dark

Pros!Cons!
Saves time and money associated with buying and charging batteries.Expensive.
Can stay out for extended periods.Doesn’t have full HD.
Has a built-in color screen.Nearby subjects may be overexposed.
Good trigger speed.

Premium Buy: Spypoint Force Pro

Premium Buy
SPYPOINT FORCE-PRO Trail Camera 30MP Photo 4K HD Video
  • Capable of 4K video.
  • 0.2-second trigger speed.
  • Audio recorded in addition to video.
Check Amazon

Catch your targets in 4K with the Spypoint Force Pro. Apart from the high-quality 4K video, it takes pictures at 30 MP resolution. Moreover, it comes with a simple monochrome LCD menu that can be set up to record animal activities in no time. So it’s a no-brainer that this camera has set a new benchmark for trail camera image quality.

Although it is less expensive than the Solar Dark trail camera, its clips are higher in quality. On the darkest nights, the FORCE-54 PRO’s low-glow LEDs deliver excellent, even illumination, ensuring that the images you capture are valuable and beneficial for scouting.

The major drawback is that the camera cannot display footage from an SD card. 

A Spypoint loyalist had this to say about the Force Pro. “I’m a long-time user of this brand, so the purchase decision wasn’t difficult. I’m always satisfied with the result, especially the included 16 GB SD card.”

The Pros and Cons of the Spypoint Force Pro

Pros!Cons!
4K video recording.A pricey option.
All video recording options include audio.Doesn’t have a cellular link-up.
Includes a 16GB SD card.
High-quality stills.

Best Mid-Range: Bushnell CelluCORE 30

Best Mid-Range
Bushnell 30MP CORE Trail Camera, Dual Sensor, No Glow, 119977C
  • This is an excellent trail camera
  • Activated by your subject's movement, which allows you to take closeup photos without scaring them away
  • Features two sensors: one for day and one for night
  • Waterproof and durable
  • Records 1080p video at 60 frames per second
Check Amazon

You’re probably familiar with the popular Bushnell CelluCore 20, which offers good value for money. The Bushnell CelluCore 30 is an upgrade in the previous model’s features. 

As the name implies, the megapixel count increased from  20MP to 30MP. This translates to better picture quality, and the difference is clear. It can record 1080p video at a steady frame rate of 60p. 30 MP doesn’t give the best quality available, but it keeps you from losing a lot of cash.

The name also points to the device’s compatibility with the cell network. This enables the remote transfer of videos and pictures using a no-contract AT&T or Verizon data plan. However, it requires 12 AA batteries (not included).

This camera is equipped with 100-foot no-glow infrared LEDs for improved nighttime visibility. Given that the trigger speed is only 0.2 seconds, it should film the transient behaviors of wildlife.

The time stamp on your still photos will include relevant details like the temperature, moon phase, date, and time. You can transfer pictures and videos to your phone or save on an SD card up to 32GB. Talk about being a reliable, mid-range camera from an established manufacturer.

You get more than what you pay for with the Bushnell CelluCORE trail camera. Having used and enjoyed the Bushnell CelluCore 20, a user bought the upgraded 30MP. In their experience, the shots of deer and elk taken with the CelluCORE 30 are notably better looking. Videos taken at night are also stunning; they display resolution and grayscales. 

Another user shares his experience: “Asides from the quality pictures and video, this camera is also good if you need to spot intruders during the day or late at night. I used a strap cable to attach mine to a tree.”

The Pros and Cons of the Bushnell CelluCORE 30

Pros!Cons!
Offers value for money.Only powered with AA batteries.
Free data plan for the first month.Bushnell has better rigs.
Beautiful night-time pictures.May be complex to use.

Choosing The Best: What To Look For

Features

There’s a wide range of trail cameras available on the market. Knowing the essential features and those that are just nice to have is critical. Then, choose a camera accordingly. 

Battery

Non-rechargeable AA batteries made of lithium typically last the longest but cost the most money. Alkaline batteries get the job done but risk depletion from cold. Your budget and location are factors to consider before selecting a trail camera.

Weather-Resistance

Where do you want to set up your rig? Is the camera sturdy enough to survive inclement weather? Look out for products with weather sealing and robust build.

Up Next…

About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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