One of the keys to a successful trophy deer hunt is the ability of the hunter to scout the area he/she is planning to hunt. Technology has expanded the hunters ability to do this.

The foremost piece of equipment available to the hunter for year round scouting is a wildgame camera. Trail camera technology continues to advance with each and every hunting season. The information that these scouting cameras provide, makes them one of the most important investments an avid deer hunter can make.

Thanks to the leaps in technology made by trail camera manufacturers each year. Advances such as picture centering technology, HD photos and videos along with the ability to view this information from anywhere in the world gives the hunter extreme flexibility and knowledge of his game.

There are a multitude of trail cameras available on the market today. They vary widely in price and capability. To help you sift through, we have listed what we consider to be the top five wildgame cameras for overall performance and affordability:

1. Bushnell- Bushnell is no stranger to the trail camera market. Its Trophy Cam line of scouting cameras can fit in the palm of your hand. They run on either 4 or 8 AA batteries and have varied picture resolution settings of 3, 5 and 8 megapixel. The Trophy Cam has infrared night vision LED's and can accept a 16-gigabyte memory card. The XLT version also includes a full color two inch LCD display.

2. Cuddeback- The Capture line of trail cameras by Cuddeback touts their complete ease of use; after all they only have a rotary switch and two buttons. The entire Capture line offers Cuddeback's Hair Trigger and Centered Subject Technology. They do offer standard and infrared options. The Capture standard can take 3-megapixel color photos, day & night up to 50 feet. The Capture IR can take 5-megapixel color photos during the day and 1.3-megapixel IR photos at night up to 40 feet.

3. Campark- The Best and affordable camera for hunters  in the market is  Campark Trail Game Camera. Aavailable in the mid-price range. It also offers both 14MP resolution crystal clear photos along with full HD 1080P video recording. It can be used for any outdoor applications, including home security, wildlife monitoring, surveillance, and scouting game.

The best features of this camera is the lightning fast 0.3s trigger and recovery speed. The motion sensor has a range of 65 feet. The device is equipped with 3 auto PIR (Passive Infra-Red) sensors that can detect every motion with low power consumption.

4. Moultrie- Moutlrie offers the hunter a number of option in their trail camera technology. The Game Spy I-35 is their most cost-effective and it is compatible with their Game Management System. Sporting a price tag of about $150, the I-35 is capable of taking 4-megapixel photos and 30 second videos. The nighttime range is about 5 feet and the I-35 can accept a 16-gigabyte memory card. Moultrie also has the D-55 series. The IR model sports a 5-megapixel image, camo housing and more high end features than you can shake a stick at.

5. Spy Point- The Spy Point houses a internal 32-megabyte memory with an ability to accept an 8-gigabyte memory card. As if this were not enough, the Spy Point touts a 12-megapixel picture. The Pro-X version has the ability to attach a solar panel to the scouting camera. By placing rechargeable AA batteries into the camera, the camera has a near unlimited power source.

The smart hunter is a prepared hunter. Utilizing wildgame cameras gives unparalleled information to the hunter when preparing for the next deer hunting trip.