Tips & Tricks

Trail Camera Tips & Tricks for 2023

2023 Trail Camera Tips & Tricks - Black Gate Hunting

Another year and opportunity to get into the woods and either define or refine your trail camera strategy is underway.

By default, we tend to equate putting together a more complex plan when we start to gather more data about our deer herd. It can become overwhelming, to say the least. At the end of the day, we have to remember the basics.

Justin Greer – Black Gate Hunting Engineer

Consider Celluar Trail Cameras

Cellular trail cameras make monitoring your herd or property much easier by giving the ability for real-time remote monitoring, instant notifications directly to your mobile device, timely management of data, and in most cases, cloud storage of images and video.

While cell trail cameras come with a subscription, the cost to gain the benefits is more than worth it. As mentioned before, not having to enter into the woods comes with the benefit of not disrupting the deer in the area, thus increasing the odds of a mature deer being captured on camera and ultimately it sticking around for the hunting season.

Black Gate Hunting has the best trail cameras on the market, hands down. Check out our cameras at


Location is absolutely critical for the best results. The best location to put a trail camera depends on what you are looking to accomplish. If you are looking to monitor for security reasons, then placement would simply be where you want to monitor. If you are looking to capture a deer and other wildlife, then placing the camera where you suspect or anticipate activity is where it should go.

A game trail is a great place to start. If you can see a beaten-down path through the woods, place a camera near there. If you are in a state where baiting is legal, placing a camera in the area of bait is a great way to get a census of what is around. Fields are also very common for deer to hang out at. The bottom line, there should be a reason you are placing a camera in the area.


Once you have a location, placement is next, and where many get wrapped up simply hanging a camera and leaving. Once you find the location you should stand in multiple positions around the location. You want to study the travel routes, feeding areas, rubs, scrapes, or anything that indicates there are deer or other game in the area. Try to be no further than 30 feet from where you want to monitor.

Once you find the perfect place to hang the trail camera, make sure you follow the tips and tricks below to get the best outcome.

  • Camera Height: This is mostly personal preference but hanging the camera mid-body is the most universal. Hang the camera a bit lower if you are monitoring closer than 10 feet away.
  • Camera Direction: Unless under a heavy canopy, try not to point the camera in any direction facing south. In North America, the sun is more southern in the sky and can cause lens glare as well as cause false triggers. Staying in a mostly shaded area and pointing into a lighted area is ideal.
  • Pro Tip 1: Point the trail camera at a 45-degree angle if you are monitoring a game trail. Never put the camera head on down a trail. The motion sensor may not trigger for object walking towards or away from it. You are wanting to get profile images more times than not and deer are always looking around.
  • Pro Tip 2: If you are looking to place a trail camera higher up on a tree or post, you will need to use a stick to point the camera down. While a stick works well in most cases, you will find yourself fighting for the angle you are looking for more times than not. We recommend using our universal tree mount to get the best outcome. Check out our universal mounting bracket at
Black Gate Hunting's Universal Mounting Bracket used with the R4G Lite

Fine Tuning The Settings

Once a trail camera is set up, ensuring the settings are tuned for the situation will help with quality and data usage for cellular trail cameras. Black Gate allows you to modify these settings at any time using our free mobile app. Getting the settings right will not be an issue at any point in time. The most important settings that we recommend paying attention to are the camera modes and trigger delay. Transmitting takes 15-40 seconds per image depending on the cell signal. While transmitting, the camera will not trigger. If capturing everything is critical, consider setting the transmission frequency to every couple of hours.

Bait/Feeder Stations

Black Gate Cellaur Trail Cameras trigger using motion so when a deer or other wildlife is hanging out at a bait pile, you will find that there are a lot of images or videos being sent of the same deer. While you can run multiple image capture on immediate settings, you will incur more data usage and heavy battery usage. We recommend setting the trigger delay to at least a minute if not more on bait/feed stations. Also, consider sending images every few hours instead of immediately. This will optimize battery usage and also allow the camera to recover faster.

Game Trails

Game trails typically are a travel corridor and deer are most likely moving through. We recommend using multiple image captures in these instances. Multiple image capture increases the chances of a clean image of movement. We do not recommend running dual mode in this instance (if the trail camera is capable). The dual mode does video and images during a trigger event. While this may seem like a good idea, the camera does require a second to switch from video to image and you may lose the opportunity to capture the game animal you were looking for.

Field & Field Edge Placement

For fields and fields edges are free game. If you have a good location where deer linger, you can play with the settings to get your desired outcome.

Use HerdWatch

HeardWatch is an add-on service provided by Black Gate Hunting that allows you to visualize your camera data like a pro. You will be able to use the 3D Mapping tool, camera analytics, and even visualize tagged game animal movement through your property and animations. It also provides weather forecasts and movement predictions specific to your property when hunting season comes along.

At the time of writing this article, HerdWatch is in beta. It is scheduled to be released to the public in late summer 2023.

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