How Often Should I Check Trail Cameras?

how often should i check trail cameras

Once I’ve placed my trail cameras in multiple locations, how often should I check trail cameras? I bet this is a question you are asking yourself as you prepare for hunting season.

Just before the hunting season starts, most hunters are usually busy inspecting their trail cameras and installing them are various prime locations to ensure that they capture the information on their prey.

Fortunately, today you have landed on the right page. In this post, we will discuss how often you should check your trail cameras.

How Often Should I Check Trail Cameras?

There is no universal answer to this question because it depends on many factors, including your trail camera location, time of the year, what you plan to do with the information, and much more. Checking your trail camera often is not recommended because it may ruin your chances of ever seeing the animal you are trailing.

The best way to increase the likelihood of getting something valuable from your trail camera is by limiting your visits as much as possible.

Factors That Determine How Often You Should Check Trail Cameras

The Location of Your Trail Camera

One crucial factor that determines how often you should check your trail camera is where it is located. If your trail cameras are located deep in the woods where they are less likely to be spotted by other hunters, then I’d recommend that you check it only when you go hunting. It is not wise to check the cameras frequently because you will disturb the animals. It is better to wait until when you go hunting.

Remember that every time you check your trail cameras, you will be leaving your footstep and scent behind, and the more trips you make, the greater the impact. I don’t usually check my trail cameras unless I am going to hunt deer or if I happen to be passing close to the trail camera.

I also check my trail camera if they need a new SD card or new batteries.

What You Plan to Do with the Data Gathered

What you plan to do with the information gathered should also determine how often you should check your trail camera. For instance, if you place trail cameras early in the year when deer move a lot, you don’t have to wait for long to check your trail cameras because they will be long gone.

On the other hand, if you want to use the information gathered for research purposes, you need to give the trail camera ample time to record the required information. Therefore, the frequency of checking your trail camera should also depend on the purpose of the information gathered.

Time of Year

The time of year also determines how often you should check your trail camera. The number of times that I usually check my trail camera during hunting season is almost three times more than how often I usually check them on other months of the year. I also check the SD card and battery often during hunting months to ensure that my trail camera does not miss anything.

However, during other months of the year, I usually check my trail camera once or twice a month unless there is urgent information I want to get from the camera.

Why should you check your trail camera less often?

Animals like deer have a stronger sense of smell and can easily detect anything that does not look familiar. It is part of their genetic makeup, and it is what they rely on to avoid predators. For instance, deer have over 297 million olfactory receptors in their nose and can smell even things far away. Therefore, when you check your trail too often, your target animal will sense that something is not right and avoid that route. Limiting your visits is the surest way to get accurate information.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to how often you should check your trail cameras, it depends on many factors, as discussed above. However, you should try as much as possible to limit your trips unless you absolutely need the information on your trail camera or if the camera needs new SD cards or new batteries.

The less often you check your trail cameras, the higher the chance of getting the information you are looking for and keeping the camera safe.