How To

Night Vision Trap Cameras: From the Battlefield to the Backyard

nightvisionesque12

Craig Pearson is an avid hunter, outdoorsman, and adventurist. His main passions are hog hunting in Texas and writing about his many adventures. He currently blogs for nightvision4less.com, a supplier of high quality night vision equipment.

Since the advent of night vision technology, it has been deemed a game-changer for its effectiveness during obscured conditions as well as increasing accuracy due to its ‘seeing in the dark’ features. From its earliest beginnings by Germans engineers in World War Two, it has since become ubiquitous with precision scopes and in some hunting circles (especially those who hunt wild pigs). But even more exciting is the further evolution of where night vision is headed.

Once relegated to military arms, it has expanded into my further fields, namely that of science. With the use of infrared (IR–a spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, first discovered by a German astronomer, William Herschel in 1800) technology, night vision has since been used for many additional scientific purposes. One of the benefits of night vision is of course its ability to work during ambient light, hence the reason animal researchers have embraced night vision’s technology to help study animals that would normally be unseen because of their nocturnal nature. Having night vision capacity in an easy to use camera reveals not only numbers of species, but types of animals in an area, as well as their eating and social habits. All with the animal completely oblivious to the camera’s presence.

And night vision is not just for military, hunters, or trained animal-behaviorists, you too can easily purchase your night vision needs over the internet, right in the comfort of your own home. Let’s say your interests lie in night vision unique abilities; as in capturing wildlife in your own backyard. There is a device just for you as well, and if you’re in the market for a “trap camera” then let’s look at three features that should keep in mind:

  • Battery Life: Researching the battery life on your new trap camera is an important feature to consider. After all, if you’ve left your camera high up in a remote game trail, the last thing you need to worry about is whether the batteries have suddenly gone high and dry, leaving you without critical recorded footage. Some Bushnell camera’s features have nearly 30 days of battery usage for one pack.
  • Covert Infrared: Another feature to consider is looking into a function like ‘covert’ infrared, where there is no flash to disturb the animal as it goes about in its natural habitat. Since a trail/trap camera is “triggered” by motion (i.e. walking, objects moved by wind), they are only filmed when it is close enough to activate the sensor (about 40 meters). Images can either be produced during ambient lighting during the day or when the darker hours occur and are captured through the IR still or video features. Some cameras even have audio functions, to hear any noises.
  • Price: Of course with any new device, one of the biggest mitigating factors is cost. And budget will probably dictate which features you will be likely to achieve or not (or have you wait and save so that you can afford the right features at the right price). As far as the industry goes, there are a range of manufacturers and price points. A simple internet search can help you find exactly what you need and you can shop around, compare prices, and with a little patience, get a good deal.

At the end of the day, night vision will only continue to increase its clarity and uses due to its ongoing technological uses. By studying the eyes of dung beetles, scientists have vastly improved upon night vision’s camera lenses to not only mimic an insect’s compound eyes and multiple lenses to pick up even more visual areas, but also the insect’s nocturnal abilities. Now, only the (night) skies are the limit!

Image courtesy Craig Pearson

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of OutdoorHub. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
  • Trail cam guy

    “Trap cameras”? Researchers use the term “camera traps”, most hunters call them trail cameras, scouting cameras, deer cameras… But trap cameras is a first for me.