Game Cameras – What The Manufactures Don’t Want You To Know

The sole purpose of a game camera is to keep score of the wildlife you are trying to attract. The game camera will let you know if all the hard work you have put into your private hunting land is paying off.The primary thing we want to know… Is There Game On My Land, How Much and How Can I Improve It?

When shopping for a game camera most sportsman look at the features, size, internal memory, will it take an SD card and how many batteries they hold. Then we want to know how good the pictures are and will it do video.

Most of us hunters types don’t think , “is there something I could/can/am going to do that will make this expensive toy/ thing blow up”?

The Manufactures Secret

Two years ago I bought a pair of Moultrie game cameras to use in one section of the farm. It doesn’t matter the model as you will see in a minute. Last week I had a problem with one of my Moultrie game camera’s not reading the sd card. I kept getting an error message “Card Lock” when the sd card tab was not in the lock position.

I test lots of game cameras on the farm and had never seen this error before. Our goal is to have several sd cards for the cameras so we can change the cards quickly and not spook the wildlife.

We have a small box with extra sd cards stored in anti static bags. We take a weekly trip in the field to get the cards out of the cameras. At the camera we take a blank card out of the box and replace the card in the camera. We bring the sd cards back to the house and check the pictures on our laptop.

We have a system we use to file the pictures on a disk and in a file on the computer, noting what section the pictures were in and what we saw. After we copy the pictures to the computer we delete the pictures on the camera.

Our process made common sense to us, making it very efficient to get in of the field leaving the least amount of human scent with little disturbance to the area.

Our Process Blew Up Our Camera

I called Moultrie about the problem I was having with my camera and the “Card Lock” error. The customer service person was very knowledgeable about the problem. First she wanted to know about the brand of SD cards I was using. Some cheap SD cards won’t format to their cameras.

After a lengthy conversation the jist was every camera has software installed that runs the game camera. But every model is different with different software meaning every model has different formatting, so every sd card has to be formatted to the trail camera it is being used in.

The procedure your suppose to take when deleting pictures and video’s from the sd card is your suppose to put the sd card back into the camera and delete the pictures from there. This defeats getting in and out of the woods quickly. The whole purpose for taking them back to the house and doing the work is so we can change the cards quickly and get out of the area so we don’t spook the wildlife.

How Not To Blow Up Your Camera

If you delete the pictures and videos from your computer it wipes out the formatting for the camera and has to be reformatted when reinstalled in the camera.

Ok, that’s not a real problem, because in order to reformat the sd card you have to put the sd card back in the camera and go through the mode function and use the cameras delete function even though there are no pictures on the sd card. This process is supposed to reformat the card.

If you don’t use the cameras delete function after you deleted the pictures on the computer, the game camera won’t be able to read the formatting and will lock out the card. The kicker is it will lock out every card thereafter because the camera loses the capacity to format the SD card. Essentially, you just blew up your camera and rendered it useless.

The Manufactures Big Fix

Moreover, the customer service rep knew a lot about the “Card Lock” message on the screen. She told me it was way to expensive to repair it and to compensate me she offered a 30% discount off MSRP of another camera. MSRP in case you don’t know means Manufactures suggested retail price. I say it means manufactures super retail price.

After a long conversation the customer service rep also told me I could only get one camera with the discount. To give you an idea of the pricing… she offered their low end camera for $55 after the discount and a big box store had the same camera for $47.99.

The moral to the story when shopping for a good trail camera make sure you understand the process of formatting the sd card. Common sense would tell us if you didn’t format the sd card correctly the game camera would destroy the cheap SD card not lock out the camera. But, the manufactures don’t sell the new model camera if they destroy the sd card.

Just My Two Cents…

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