Articles and Stories


Submit Your Article or Story
To Submit Your Article or Story Click Here
Click Here to view our Submission Guidelines


Articles

Trail Cameras, Is Expensive Always the Better Option?


Stories

Stay or Go?



Trail Cameras.......Is Expensive Always the Better Option?
Is buying the top of the line, name brand, expensive trail cameras that you see in commercials and magazines always the best option?  The answer might surprise you.


By: Joe Rubino
Rubino Films Chief Editor
Joe

So you’re considering buying a new trail camera.  Or maybe you have a couple but need a change or are looking to replace old ones.  You’re not sure which one to get.  Which options you need?   Which options you don’t need?   You search at popular outdoor stores online.  You stop in the local outdoor store and browse around.  Maybe you check eBay for a “deal” or maybe you do some research and get some reviews from other customers.  There are many brands, styles, colors and options on the market today as well as tons of reviews both good and bad about every camera available.  So finally you narrow it down to a few that you like and are still stuck.  Most people at this point will spend the extra money and go with what they think is the better option because it’s more expensive.  But is that really the better option?

I found myself in this situation a few years back.  I had owned two pretty expensive name brand trail cameras.  They had night vision and a bunch of settings on them that most cameras offer.  I even went as far as customizing them and adding solar panels to keep them charged which didn’t work as well as expected.   I was very happy with the picture quality on these 2.1MP cameras, but not so happy with the settings.  I also didn’t like the fact that every time you put them out, you had to set the time it gets dark, the time it gets light, the date and time among many other things.  It made setting up trail cameras a little less fun each time.  I finally decided to sell them online real cheap just to get them off my hands.  That’s when I started my research.

Being on a budget, I quickly became confused about which one to buy.  Most “good’ ones are very pricy and nobody wants to waste their money on a camera that is missing that one important option you need or doesn’t work like it should.  I eventually came across a camera made by TCC.  They had a small neat looking trail camera for under $200.  After researching them I was still skeptical but it seemed that they had everything I needed plus things the most expensive cameras didn’t even offer.  The sample pictures online taken from these cameras were excellent.  They offered settings for distance, a display to set the time and date, options for one picture, three continuous pictures or video.  They had options for delay between pictures and a test mode.  But do I really want to spend my money on some name that nobody including myself never heard of?  What happens if its garbage and I am stuck with it?  On the other hand, this camera did come with a single rechargeable battery pack.  I haven’t seen any other cameras on the market with a rechargeable battery at this point.  Almost instantly I was convinced to give it a try.  If for nothing else, I was sick of constantly buying batteries!  I figured that it couldn’t hurt and I could always sell it online and cut my losses if I wasn’t completely happy with it.

After getting it in the mail and playing with it in my house, trying out the settings, using it in the bathroom with the door closed to see how it was in complete darkness, I set it up out in the woods and left it there.  To my surprise, I checked it two weeks later and it had tons of pictures on it and the batteries were still full!  The picture quality was great, daytime and nighttime and I had no problems what so ever.  After a second trial run, I now own several of these, a spare battery and a spare memory card for each AND I plan on buying more in the near future.  I simply charge up the extra batteries, bring them with me, swap out the batteries and memory cards right there in the field and leave the cameras there.  No more paying for batteries and no more hassles or worries at all.  Set up is simple, quick and easy.

Next time you find yourself in the market for a new trail camera, ask yourself this one question, Does more expensive always mean better?  Don’t always be fooled by the names that you see on TV and prices they charge for these popular names.  Yes, most of them are great cameras and people sear by them, but I have the same options, same great quality pictures and a well built camera without all the hassles for a fraction of the cost.  I also have some jealous friends with top of the line name brand cameras costing several hundred dollars, still paying for batteries constantly and picture quality equal or less than mine.  While I am not here to advertise cameras and am in no way an expert on the subject, I would recommend that anyone out there looking for a new camera try out the ones I have.  You will be surprised at the quality pictures you get, the ease of use, the useful settings and features and your biggest problem will be what to do with all the extra money you save.  Maybe you could spend it on your next hunting trip to catch the trophy that your camera snapped a picture of!

For more information on the TCC brand Trail Camera, please contact me and I can tell you the best place to buy them.  I bought mine from there and will be placing an order with them for more in the near future.  joe@rubinofilms.com

Back to Top



Stay or Go?
A Mid-November hunt from the heart of the Catskill Mountains in New York that will have you questioning yourself next time you just can't sit still and are contemplating whether to sit longer or leave that favorite hunting spot.



By: Joe Rubino
Rubino Films Chief Editor
Joe

With New York being one of the toughest places to hunt, I call it home.  Hunting pressure makes it very difficult to catch that trophy of a lifetime to hang on the wall.  In fact, in my hunting area like many in NY, it’s not uncommon to have mostly small rack bucks with doe’s out numbering bucks.  The bucks don’t get the chance to grow very much before being taken and are most often even outnumbered by hunters.  With numerous surveys put out by the Department of Conversation for antler restrictions, I am shocked there is still nothing in place in my area with the success shown in other areas in NY and throughout the country.  I hunt a 350 acre retired farm in the Catskills with permission to hunt a few small pieces of acreage surrounding it.  There are not many food sources on the farm and plenty of hard woods, pines and large uncut fields.  The south side of the farm is bordered, by one owner with thousands of acres of land and there is no hunting allowed.  The north side is bordered by houses and tons more land that I don’t have permission to hunt.  The west side is bordered by a few hundred acres, again with no hunting allowed and the east side is bordered by a neighboring farm where hunters from the city pay to come and and hunt.  They tend to be meat hunters and shoot anything they see including button bucks, spikes and from time to time yearlings.   Here is my story of a late season hunt in a pressured area and a hunt that I will cherish for a lifetime.

It was an extremely cold morning in November when I decided to hunt my favorite ground blind above a known bedding area.  After parking the car on the side of the road as I have done hundreds of times before and heading out into the woods before sunrise it became clear that it was much too cold to sit still in a ground blind that is low to the ground without moving a lot to create some body heat.  Shortly after entering the woods, I decided to turn right instead of left and sit behind a giant oak tree on a side hill about 75 yards from my blind.  The oak tree has a rock seat that and old timer must have placed there many years ago and is perfect to sit on for a morning hunt.   The tree is big enough for an army to hind behind and I am able to sit behind it and watch the thickets as well as every other direction without being detected.  My hopes were that the morning thermals coming up the hill and the tree blocking the wind from the other direction would keep me warm and comfortable for hours.  I had on my warmest camo clothes, the thickest gloves I own, a wool face mask and the warmest boots in my closet yet I still could not sit motionless because it was just so frigid.  It later turned out to be the coldest morning of the entire season.   Shortly after sunrise, I took one off my gloves to get some water from my bag and within minutes, my fingers were numb.

About 9:00 that morning, after not seeing much of anything, not even the usual squirrels scurrying around, I called my brother on the radio to see how he was making out.  He started off in his stand about 200 yards below me, entering from the opposite end of the farm with the plan of covering the bottom side of the same bedding area.  He had not seen much either by this point and had already moved to a box blind 100 yards further down the hill to get out of the cold and wind.  I decided that I would force myself to sit for at least another hour before deciding to call it a morning.  I couldn’t wait to go warm up in the farm house, grab some coffee and a hot breakfast sandwich from the local store and plan a warmer spot for the afternoon.

As the sun got higher and higher in the morning sky, it felt like it was getting colder and colder with every passing minute and after about 30 minutes, I called it quits.  I packed up my bag, made sure the safety was still on my 30-06 Savage and got ready to head back up the hill to the car.  I had the rifle sling over my shoulder and bent over to pick up my bag and I just happened to glance over in the direction I was watching all morning and there he was.

He was a beautiful eight pointer with a lightly colored rack that we had never seen before.  We didn’t get on film at night spotting and had no trail cam photos of him.  We never knew he was in the area.  While keeping my eyes planted on him, I slowly lowered my bag to the ground, crouched down on one knee, steadied myself against the tree, slowly raised my rifle up and put the scope right on his vitals.  I followed him in my scope and with him moving pretty quickly down the hill, I knew I didn’t have much time before he would enter the thickets below and be gone.  The first opening he stepped into I pulled the trigger on a 40 yard shot.  While waiting for my dad and brother to come help me track him, I walked up to where he was standing and there was good blood.  Even with good blood at the shot site, I didn’t want to disturb the area or push him away so I waited about 30 minutes for help to come at which point we started tracking.  Seventy-Five yards from my new favorite oak tree, he was laying there with his antlers gleaming in the little bit of sunlight that was filtering through the tree tops.  Ironically, he expired 30 yards straight in front of the same ground blind I originally should have been sitting in.  After taking many photos, shooting some video footage for our movies, field dressing him and dragging him out up the hill, I made plenty of phone calls and there were many congratulations given.  He’s now on the wall with the rest of my collection, his back straps tasted better than anything I have ever eaten and I now have another fond hunting memory that will last me a lifetime.

Even with the difficult hunting situation I face every season, deer outnumbered by hunters, tons of “safe havens” for the deer surrounding my hunting area, trail cam photos of mostly does, small spikes, fours and sixes, and hunters less than a half mile down the road shooting anything that moves, this hunt still fell right into place.  Now-a-days when the weather gets the best of me and I am ready to get up and head in, I always think back to that hunt.  What would have happened if I left 30 minutes ago when I was planning to leave?  I would have never seen him.  No matter how cold, how wet, how windy or how miserable some days can turn, I will always stay in my spot just a little longer when I say I am ready to go.  Sure, in good weather, it’s easy to stay put for half or even a full day, but in bad weather, when you convince yourself that you just can’t sit anymore, and you haven’t seen a thing all morning, there is always that possibility that the next nice buck will come walking by, possibly because he too was cold, wet or miserable to stay bedded and went on the move just like you were about to do.

Back to Top