1. Recommended Locations for Trail Cameras
  2. How to Position a Trail Camera
  3. The Distance From the Trail Camera to the Target
  4. Camera Shooting Mode Settings
  5. Some Other Factors to Consider
  6. How Can I Prevent My Trail Camera From Being Stolen?

Maximize your trail camera for optimal wildlife capture! Experts recommend specific locations, height and distance, shooting modes, and factors like weather and security. Get perfect wildlife videos and pictures with our tips. Read more about off-road cameras in our Ultimate Campark Trail Cameras Review guide.

Having a good trail camera is key to capturing animals. But if the camera is not positioned properly, it will be less effective at capturing animals. To allow you to shoot deer or other animals as quickly as possible, you can try to place the camera in the following recommended locations.

  • Grip or bench: Depending on the local terrain map, you can look for mountain pinches, benches, or ridges. Grips represent various places, such as funnels, fence gaps, saddles, and tree lines. The bait can be placed in front of the camera for shooting.
  • The ridge: The top of the ridge and the leeward side of the ridge. Because the terrain is curved and hidden, deer will pass through these areas when moving.
  • Travel corridor: In dense woods or open terrain, it's easy to spot deer by looking for tracks and trails. Example: Some common areas include logging roads, creeks, fence gaps, and cattle runs. This may be where they go to find food or pass by.
  • Food: Food is the main motivator for deer to move. They like to eat grass bark, twigs, and young saplings and feed on herbs, trees, shrubs, etc. If the trees in the forest are observed to be scraped, broken, or eaten, there is a high probability that elk will be present.
  • Oak floor: The detection of turf branches in spring and summer was switched to detecting oak woodland in autumn. As food and seasons change, acorns become an alternative food source that deer seek. Elk presence varies according to local food sources. So please familiarize yourself with the local food types, and move your trail camera according to the seasons and food changes.
  • Marginal habitat: Deer are often called fringe animals because they spend much time in and around fringe habitats. Often, these sites intersect two habitat types, such as hardwoods and conifers, hardwoods and grasses, etc.
  • Field corner: Deer seem to prefer field corners where trees and fields meet. Tracking cameras along the edges may be a good way to catch deer arriving in the fields at night.
  • Source of water: Deer and other animals need frequent access to bodies of water. A creek by the forest, a small pool, and depression in the woods may be a good place to detect.

How to Position a Trail Camera

Cool place

Camera traps have a passive infrared sensor, or PIR, that looks for this combination of motion and changes in ambient temperature. Under the condition that the temperature of the background remains unchanged, the animal appears higher than the background temperature, so the animal is easily detected. So, heat and movement are the conditions for the success of trail cameras. Large animals like deer and badgers are easier to detect than smaller animals like mice.

Because motion and temperature changes are easily detected by PIR, so, on sunny and windy days, the PIR will also detect vegetation that is too close to the PIR sensor (usually within 3-4 feet). Because of the sun's irradiation, there is a temperature difference in the vegetation, and as the wind blows, it induces the PIR to trigger. In order not to miss the detection of animals, placing the camera in a cool place is recommended. At the same time, it can avoid the glare of the photos taken and the false trigger shooting caused by the movement of light and shadow due to the movement of the sun.

Installation height

According to the trail camera, placing the camera at the same height as the animal is recommended to obtain the best detection ability. When the camera is set at the animal's height, the camera can detect more surface area. As these angles change by suspending the camera above or below the animal's height, the surface area the camera can detect begins to shrink. So, for this reason, off-road camera manufacturers recommend placing the camera at the animal's height for optimal detection.

Therefore, the best height to hang your trail camera is at the center of the animal's body. This gives the camera the best chance of detecting changes in infrared light in the surrounding area.


trail camera


"Animal Height"

Usually, a deer is about 2-3 feet, an elk is about 4 feet, and a turkey is about 1.5 feet. You can adjust the camera height according to the height of the animal you observe so that the camera can detect the complete image. Know your observation target and adjust the altitude position accordingly.

Take photographing deer, for example. Too high an angle and you might miss detection, but too low and you'll overexpose, resulting in "bleached" or "burned out" images. Make sure the tracking camera is pointed at your chest when standing in the exact spot where you expect the deer to stand or walk by. At the same time, please tilt the camera downward at a 45-degree angle when installing. This will ensure that you don't let the deer look directly at the camera and won't miss the deer.

When hanging the camera above 6 feet, you must move the tracking camera away from the area where you suspect animals. This will keep you from having to tilt the camera too much while still being able to cover a larger area.

The Distance From the Trail Camera to the Target

Take photographing deer, for example, as a rule of thumb. 10 yards or less is the ideal range for capturing the perfect trail camera video or picture. While most trail cameras have a range of over 30 feet, they also have enough clarity to identify any stag within 10 yards.

For best results when capturing smaller mammals and birds, we recommend positioning the camera close to the area of interest, usually within 5-10 feet. For animals like hedgehogs, we recommend keeping a distance of 5-15 feet.

If you hang the tracking camera at the animal's body height, directly perpendicular to their line of travel, the average distance between camera placement should be between 25 and 35 feet. But each trail camera makes, and model will have a different detection distance. Because each tracking camera has its unique detection distance, the field of view, trigger speed, and pixels, this may change how far you place the camera. So, we recommend walking over the camera a few times to get the trigger while you set it up, then check the card and make sure it's capturing what you want.


trail camera


"Campark trail camera recommended installation height"

Camera Shooting Mode Settings

Camera shooting mode

Common modes include burst photo, video, time-lapse, and burst.

Photo mode

This is the most common and basic setup for all game cameras. This mode will capture still images of animals during the day and night when the camera is triggered. This is great for catching food as bait, often with the animal intact.

Continuous shooting

Burst shooting is when the camera triggers one image and multiple images (up to 10). Suppose you don't want to be limited to one image but want a higher-quality image from it. Burst mode is your choice. And when it's more about giving you better intelligence, burst mode is very useful. But the more pictures you take in a row, the more memory it takes.

Video mode

When triggered by animal movement in front of the camera, this mode will record a video of 5 seconds, 30 seconds, etc., depending on your settings. This video mode is useful for getting more information than a still image can provide, such as animal sounds and movement.


The time-lapse feature on the tracking camera will capture images throughout the day based on selected time intervals. If you are not sure whether there are animals in the area, you can use this mode to detect animals active in the area, and it is very suitable for careful observation of flora and fauna.

You can choose according to your own needs and observation goals.

Interval setting

Most tracking cameras have a PIR interval between 5 seconds and 60 minutes. The PIR delay interval is the time interval the camera waits before triggering another round of photos and videos.

5-second delay: you will get multiple photos of the same animal.

5-minute delay: You may get a single image of each animal unless they stay longer than 5 minutes.

If you are starting with trail cameras, I suggest setting a 30-second delay interval. After shooting in 30-second intervals for some time, you can extend or delay the trigger interval depending on the conditions and the footage you want.


trail camera


Some Other Factors to Consider

  1. Weather: A good camera trap can withstand the weather in extreme temperatures, including rain, sleet, snow, hail, storms, ice, and more. Just because a camera has a general water rating doesn't mean it's waterproof. Watch for rising water levels if you want to place your camera near a river or stream. Be careful to check the weather if a sudden flood floods your camera.
  2. Smell: Reduce frequent detection of cameras because frequent trips to and from the detection area may leave a lot of odors, and animals have a keen sense of smell, which can easily make animals vigilant to the site.
  3. Memory card size: Because the camera works in the field, you can't check the camera frequently during the period. If the memory card you buy is too small, the memory will be filled up quickly due to taking too many pictures or videos. Purchasing the largest memory card your tracking card can handle is recommended.
  4. Clear vegetation: Too much foliage or grass can prevent you from taking a good photo, some small branches or grass need to be carefully trimmed away from the camera, but be careful not to remove too much vegetation, or it will cause a disturbance. At the same time, pay attention to the growth rate of the surrounding plants. If the plants grow too fast, the camera will be overwhelmed by the plants soon, and you may have difficulty finding them again.

How Can I Prevent My Trail Camera From Being Stolen?

Locked up

Lock your trail camera to a tree with a cable lock, cable-style lock, or an inexpensive bike lock to prevent someone from easily taking your camera. While this method is very effective, you must spend more money and installation time.

Hanging the cameras high up keeps them out of sight and not easy to reach. Bring trekking poles and hang the camera 8-10 feet off the ground. But needing to bring trekking poles every time you check your camera can be a hassle.


4G trail camera


4G trail camera - real-time monitoring

When any animal or person is detected, you can receive a notification immediately and send pictures and videos directly to your hand. When you find that the camera is stolen, maybe this function can help you catch the thief.

Campark is one of the industry leaders in the off-road camera market, offering a variety of off-road camera services. It offers professional-grade equipment and a variety of camera options designed to meet the different needs of customers in various scenarios. If you have any needs for a 4G trail Camera,low or no glow trail camera please feel free to contact us.

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