Tips & Tactics

The Heat of the Moment

The Heat of the Moment

By Ken Piper

Trail camera settings affect performance in high or low temperatures.

Last week we talked about the importance of using quality batteries to run your trail cameras efficiently and effectively. This week we’ll cover another little-understood camera item, the PIR sensitivity setting.

Most hunters look at that setting and assume a high sensitivity is better in any situation since nobody wants to miss a trigger event. That’s not the case.

Our trail cameras are triggered by heat. Yes, that’s right, it’s not motion, but heat that triggers our cameras to take a picture. The sensitivity setting determines how much of a heat difference the camera needs to see to trigger a picture.

In warmer temperatures, those above 80 degrees, for instance, it’s more difficult for the camera sensor to pick out a deer’s body heat from the surrounding air. In that case, it might miss taking a picture if the sensitivity is set too low.

On the reverse side, a deer’s body heat is easily detected in colder temperatures, so a lower sensitivity is called for.

Having the correct setting for the given temperatures keeps you from missing deer triggers (sensitivity too low), or from taking a bunch of false triggers (sensitivity too high).

The good news is today’s cameras are excellent at picking out animal body heat, so standard settings are good for most situations. Summer scouting and late-season trail watching are when most of these issues occur.

To sum up, keep your camera sensitivity at normal levels for most situations. For hot months, turn the sensitivity up, and for really cold months, turn it down.

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Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd