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Starting to think cell cams….

IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
What's interesting about cameras is I think in alot of cases it helps management. Folks can inventory, track (year to year), age, etc deer by use of cameras. You know what mature deer are around and can hold off for them. When you see a deer in person you can quickly recognize it and if you have history probably know how old it is. In alot of cases, one could argue deer get passed because of cameras cuz folks KNOW there is older/bigger deer on their farm. Just the other side of the coin that came to my head. (not really cell cam related, but cameras in general)
 

Buckscrape

Active Member
Like was mentioned 99% of cell cam users don't abuse their capabilities, but it's that 1% that'll ruin it for the 99.
Most laws, they're not for the 99% who are ethical/have morals, they're for the 1% that go overboard.
FWIW, B&C declared cell cam aided trophies are deemed not fair chase and thus are not eligible for entry into their records.
I'll probably never own a cell cam. I enjoy getting out there too much. Need the deer to get used to me traipsing around them, lol.
 

Obsessed

Well-Known Member
Like was mentioned 99% of cell cam users don't abuse their capabilities, but it's that 1% that'll ruin it for the 99.
Most laws, they're not for the 99% who are ethical/have morals, they're for the 1% that go overboard.
FWIW, B&C declared cell cam aided trophies are deemed not fair chase and thus are not eligible for entry into their records.
I'll probably never own a cell cam. I enjoy getting out there too much. Need the deer to get used to me traipsing around them, lol.
I didn't know this. Thanks for sharing. It pretty well puts this discussion to bed, I'd say. And I agree with them.
 

Rous14

Well-Known Member
What's interesting about cameras is I think in alot of cases it helps management. Folks can inventory, track (year to year), age, etc deer by use of cameras. You know what mature deer are around and can hold off for them. When you see a deer in person you can quickly recognize it and if you have history probably know how old it is. In alot of cases, one could argue deer get passed because of cameras cuz folks KNOW there is older/bigger deer on their farm. Just the other side of the coin that came to my head. (not really cell cam related, but cameras in general)
Totally agree with this thought. I guess i just feel like we were doing exactly what you describe with our regular trail cams though. Don’t need cell cams in order to accomplish it imo
 

Rous14

Well-Known Member
Like was mentioned 99% of cell cam users don't abuse their capabilities, but it's that 1% that'll ruin it for the 99.
Most laws, they're not for the 99% who are ethical/have morals, they're for the 1% that go overboard.
FWIW, B&C declared cell cam aided trophies are deemed not fair chase and thus are not eligible for entry into their records.
I'll probably never own a cell cam. I enjoy getting out there too much. Need the deer to get used to me traipsing around them, lol.
I’ve seen this line of thought mentioned in a couple threads now and I’m not really following or understanding. If you and the couple others that have said something similar are saying what I think you are saying then I guess I’d have to disagree. I would suspect that 95% of hunters that use cell cams, myself included, look at the real time pics as soon as they pop up on my phone and I absolutely make decisions about which property I’m going to hunt, which stand, etc..based on the pics. I think I have heard Mark Drury talk about the importance of “MRI” or most recent information. You can’t get any more recent than real time. Every Hunter I know that has a cell cam checks their phone every time they get a picture like it’s Christmas morning. Are you suggesting that that’s “abusing their capabilities”? That’s exactly what they are intended to do.
 

Rous14

Well-Known Member
FWIW, I also feel the same way ^^. Although we use conventional trail cams quite a bit, I have not taken the step of installing cell cams...mainly because I feel like they tip the scales too far in favor of the hunter. Keep in mind that my deer hunting career goes back to a time where we thought we were clever when we tied a piece of monofilament across a trail and then inspected that trail later to see if a deer, or who knows what, had traveled down that trail and broken the line. Talk about "intel", LOL. but I guess I still have some "old school" in me.

I had a neighbor sending me pics from his cell cam last year and honestly, I felt like that was a "bridge too far" for me in terms of fresh intel. I knew if a given buck was on his place at "X" time that the odds of me seeing it on my farm were lower, or higher, etc. Once I felt like that level of understanding could/would influence my choice of hunting location, I noped out on cell cams and have remained in that camp ever since.

We know the deer on our farm very well, we already deliberately hunt certain stands on certain days of the year based on our knowledge of how they are likely to travel a given route and when. Capping that off with fresh electronic surveillance data would be like eating a cake with so much sugar in it that it makes your eyes pucker up...to me.

I like knowing what is "out there" so we can make informed decisions on which bucks to shoot and so forth, but I also still like the element of surprise to be present at some level.
This is perfectly said Daver and is where I’m headed as well. I’ve been using a few cell cams for a couple years now and as I’m realizing how deadly and effective they can be in terms of targeting a huge deer I’m quickly rethinking our use of them.
 

Rous14

Well-Known Member
Cells cams are more of a game changer for reducing pressure/intrusion than for real time, instant decision making IMO. They save me a lot of time and gas money as well.

I bet less than 1% of cell cam users are even attempting to abuse the real time data like you're describing, let alone actually accomplish it. I'd even argue that the instant knowledge of a targets location has persuaded a lot of guys to force the issue and educate/save a deer that otherwise may have not been hunted unless wind/conditions were right. I have several buddies with shaky discipline that have done that exact thing.

If you are ethically conflicted, just set yours to send its pics once a day. Problem solved.

The crossbow kills WAY more bucks that otherwise wouldn't have been killed than any cell cam. That is FACT.
I replied to a similar thread a moment ago but it’s interesting to me how each of our experiences differ. I’d say the exact opposite of you. I’d suspect 95% of cell cam users use them how I describe, myself included. If you’re not going to use the real time data then why pay the monthly fee, the extra upfront cost, etc…Wouldnt one just use a reg trail cam? The whole idea of the cell cam is to give you instant information mostly for deer but also for trespassers as others have accurately pointed out. I have stands set up all over my farm probably much like the next guy. If you told me exactly where a deer was within hours of when I’m going to my stand I would absolutely know where to set up based on wind and where he was most recently at. I can’t imagine 95% of hunters not doing the exact same thing? That’s the whole idea behind real time info. Be no different than if you were driving down the road and saw your target buck walking in to your farm. You’d know exactly where to set up. By no means does any of it guarentee you will kill the animal or even see him but it significantly increases your odds by a huge percentage imo
 

Buckscrape

Active Member
Most of the guys I know who are using cell cams live far away from their hunting area or don't want to disturb their hunting area. It's probably different for others I realize.
 

JNRBRONC

Moderator
I hear “hunter recruitment” mentioned too much, IMO. To drag kids away from gaming, do we tech out hunting/scouting? Replace one tech with another? Just another random thought from Jack Randy.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

hillrunner

PMA Member
I think that cell cameras have the potential to cross a line I'd rather not cross. I do own 4 cell cams. They are not and never will be set to real time.
I hunt because I think it's fun. I live 2 hours away from my main hunting property and it's fun to get pictures and see what is going on when I'm far away. Especially in September when I'm finding out what's around for the year. I found out last year that 4 cell cams on 250 acres were too much for me as it became less fun when I felt like I had too much information. I like some mystery in my hunting. To combat that this year, I moved 3 of those cams to more obscure areas with less action so I don't always have such up to date information about what's using the property. I bought 1 new camera this year as a replacement, but it was not a cell camera. I don't plan to buy more cell cameras unless I pick up significantly more land. A few cameras placed properly can easily cover a large area if inventory is your main goal and that's all I'm after.
Overall, I use cell cameras the same way I use non cell cameras with the added benefit of getting to see a few pictures every day. I want to know what deer are out there and make decisions on what I want to kill or more importantly what I want to pass. I am able to track bucks for several years with the use of cameras. I do not use cameras to tell me when or where to hunt and do not set them up that way. If they decide to ban cell cams tomorrow, I won't lose any sleep over it, I'll just lose a little bit of fun from seeing deer pictures during the week when I'm far away.
Like has been mentioned, one big benefit we all get is the fear that cell cams put into potential trespassers.
 

Stoney

Member
Cameras bring A LOT of attention to really big deer. Enough that after this year, I wished they no longer existed.
They have been very helpful in dealing with trespassers though. Some people will not quit until you catch them.
 

seven twenty

PMA Member
I know of 2 deer that were taken that would probably still be walking if not for cell cams. Both 170+. Both harvested within a few hrs of walking past a cam. The guys weren’t even planning on hunting those days. They got pics before sun up and slipped in to their stands. “I got the pic at 4:30 and shot him at 7’30.

No different than calling/texting a buddy and telling him where they are at. How is a real time pic any different than a real time text?
 

Obsessed

Well-Known Member
I know of 2 deer that were taken that would probably still be walking if not for cell cams. Both 170+. Both harvested within a few hrs of walking past a cam. The guys weren’t even planning on hunting those days. They got pics before sun up and slipped in to their stands. “I got the pic at 4:30 and shot him at 7’30.

No different than calling/texting a buddy and telling him where they are at. How is a real time pic any different than a real time text?
Exactly! If I got a 4:30 AM pic of a big buck, I'd be in the nearest / best stand before sunrise hunting him. Chances are good that he's still in the area. It would simply be TOO TEMPTING for me not to use and abuse it.

"If you leave the donuts lying around, I'm gonna glaze em." Pauley Shore
 

sep0667

Land of the Whitetail
I. If you’re not going to use the real time data then why pay the monthly fee, the extra upfront cost, etc…Wouldnt one just use a reg trail cam?

My justification:

This is exactly why I got a couple cell cams. They save me money. The distance I would have to drive back and forth I would spend more in gas doing that one time to check sd cards than I do for a monthly subscription for 3 cams. I have them set to take 250 pictures a month, which cost $5 a month per cam. Thats $15 a month. Driving my pickup I will spend $5 in gas just driving about 22 miles. With gas prices right now, its costs about $30 for me to drive down and back one time.

I fully understand what you mean and how they can be an unfair advantage, but I dont use them that way. I now have 3 cell cams. I have them set to send pictures to me one time per day. From what I have read having them send instant pictures wears done the batteries quickly. I simply use them the same as I would a traditional cam. All are simply set over a scrap to help me inventory and see what different bucks are around and to just enjoy seeing the pictures of other critters. I also dont have the freedom to just go hunting on a whim any day of the season. I have weekends and then vacation time, but I can't just text my boss the morning I was expected to be at work and say im going to use a vacation day instead, because I got a photo at 300am of a nice buck, near one of my stands. I usually have to have my vacation request in a few days ahead of time.

Most people I know dont run more than 2-3 cams.

**I am sure there are people that plaster a property, say 80 acres with 20 cell cams, and could use that in their advantage with the instant pic setting to really track a deer moving about a property. But, I would bet that is not the norm at all, not even close. The # of people doing that has to be astronomically low. Tactacams are one of 'cheaper' cell cams at $120 a cam. 20 of those is going to cost you $2400 in cams, still need to add on the sd cards and plan....there are not very many people doing that. Then to do this on multiple properties, most people don't have access to multiple properties to begin with. Also, I bet most people can't just take off work at a moments notice to go run to the woods. I would bet money the # of people, that can run a high # of cams to actually track a deer in real time, and have the freedom to just instantly go chase that deer instead of go to work or other obligations is about as rare as a 200". But yes, I agree with you, for those that do have those abilities, doing that is an unfair advantage it. I just don't think its that common.
 

Windlooker

Active Member
I know a guy who missed a slammer, 200 incher, last week. Long story short didn’t kill him early, historically deer went on walk about during the rut but always returned. Last week gets a cell cam pic, goes out fresh as he didn’t waste stand hours, missed him at 5 yards. Don’t ask, he’s sick. Point is all strategized with cell cam. Should be illegal.
 

JBAGS

Active Member
I see both sides of it.

On the flipside of what most are saying here about a deer being on camera and you can slip right in on them.... I got a buck on camera at 4am one morning and by 11am, got another pic of him on a separate farm almost 2 miles away. At the end of the day they are wild animals and can go wherever at any point in time.
 

Hardwood11

It is going to be a good fall!
I like cell cams for security/trespassing. If they were banned… well, depends on the severity of fine .. I’d still likely have some out for security reasons and risk it to be honest.

I live 5 hours and 7 hours away from two farms. I’m going to make sure that I have real time security.

I doubt the DNR will go down that road ?
 

Obsessed

Well-Known Member
It sounds like it's a matter of personal distance from hunting areas that justifies cell cams for most. So, what's the minimum miles or time that qualifies them as tools of fair chase? 1 hour drive time? 10 minutes drive time? What if I use 10 cell cameras in the 200 acres of timber just out the back door of my house, and I work from home? Understood, I still have to sneak in and make the shot, but come on.
 

sep0667

Land of the Whitetail
It sounds like it's a matter of personal distance from hunting areas that justifies cell cams for most. So, what's the minimum miles or time that qualifies them as tools of fair chase? 1 hour drive time? 10 minutes drive time? What if I use 10 cell cameras in the 200 acres of timber just out the back door of my house, and I work from home? Understood, I still have to sneak in and make the shot, but come on.
Idk. Theres a million scenarios/angles you could go with it. I just now that for me personally the way I use the few I have they do not give me any advantage to tracking down a deer. Im just saying dont lump everyone that has a cell cam into the same group.
 

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