Trail Cameras and Home Surveillance

Bushnell Trophy CameraIn the late 19th century, the only way to grab a photo without being present to snap it yourself was a trail camera – introduced with the intent to study deer and other wildlife in Michigan. We don’t have that problem in our digital world but trail cameras and  home surveillance are becoming a popular topic.

Trail Camera Features

Not all that familiar with trail cameras? No problem. Here’s what the modern camera does:

  1. Shoots still images
  2. Captures video
  3. Records audio
  4. Captures photos/video in total darkness
  5. Captures license plates
  6. Sends photos/videos directly to your cell phone

Key Camera Points

There are a few things to keep in mind when considering a trail camera for use in home surveillance:

  1. Motion sensors
  2. Resolution settings
  3. Sharpness and clarity of photos/videos/audio
  4. battery life

Why are these things important? If the camera you are looking at is not sensitive enough about motion to trigger when what you are looking for happens by, then you won’t capture the pictures you want. If the resolution settings are too low, you might not be able to determine what exactly was moving – just that something did move enough to take a picture. And, of course, if you are interested in intelligible audio, you need a camera with adequate audio recording.

Best Trail Cameras for Home Surveillance

There are many places you can find reviews of trail cameras. A recent one was done by Outdoor Life and it found the Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam to be best. Here are some of its features:

  • quicksilver trigger and recovery speed
  • motion sensor range of 60 feet
  • infrared sensor monitors temperature and then automatically adjusts trigger signals
  • Battery life up to one year

Well, it might just be best bang for your buck.

Tips for Home Surveillance Use

  1. Camouflage: Make sure your placement is covert. Know when shade comes to the back and front of your home. Placing cameras in the shade helps protect them from being stolen. Cameras located directly in the sun can produced blown-out photos that are unusable.
  2. No-glow: Use a black flash trail camera or with one infrared capabilities. This keeps your camera and its concealed hiding place from prying eyes who might be scoping your home and private property because they are more discreet.
  3. Timing is everything: Check to make certain the time-stamp feature is turned on so you know exactly when an intruder was on your property and in your home.


Protecting your home and private property with trail cameras is  a great place to start your home security strategy or to boost an already robust tactic. Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten the original intent of these cameras. Come back for our post about hunting with these cameras later this month.

November 2016 Contest

Bushnell Trophy CameraIt so happens that we are giving away one of these Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cams this month. Contest ends November 30.

See all the details and be sure you are eligible to win!

And here is a sample of what this camera can do:

trail camera video

You might also like:

Home Defense Surveillance Ideas

Home Surveillance Drones – Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Common Sense Self-Defense

About Bret Smith

I am a long-time lover of all things outdoors. Whether hunting, shooting, fishing or just hiking and camping, I take every opportunity to enjoy nature and share it with others.

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