Cellular trail cameras are a new development in the game camera industry. They use a SIM card from a cellular carrier to transmit captured images to a cell phone or email inbox.
This means that, unlike with traditional trail cams, you won't have to walk out into the woods and grab your memory card to see what kind of activity is being captured on your camera. This is especially useful if your residence is a long way from your hunting property.
If you're one of the lucky hunters able to hunt in the same area as your residence, it's possible that a cellular trail camera could give you a chance to grab your rifle or bow and get a shot at a deer you otherwise wouldn't have known about. (Of course, to accomplish this feat you'll need a favorable wind and some stalking skills).
Cellular trail cameras not only will allow you to physically check your trail camera less often, they also give you increased surveillance functionality. Many people use traditional game cameras as affordable home or property surveillance cameras. However, because they don't transmit any real-time alerts about the trespassers, these cameras can't help prevent the crime from happening.
With cellular trail cams, you'll receive a picture on your cell phone or in your email inbox within 90 seconds of the camera taking the picture. This means you'll be able to call the police or respond yourself while the intruders are still present.
Like any new technology, cellular trail cams are expensive, with most models costing $200 - $500 dollars more than their non-cellular counterparts.
The Bushnell HD Wireless is a popular cellular trail camera that takes 8-megapixel stills, records 720p video and uses an invisible infrared flash. It also has iPhone and Android apps so you can upload videos easily to social media. The Bushnell HD Wireless has comparable specifications to the Bushnell Trophy Cam HD, but retails for more than twice the amount.
Another popular cellular trail camera is the high-end Reconyx SC950C. The Reconyx features professional-level performance. It shoots 1080p high-definition video, has an invisible infrared flash and an insanely fast trigger speed of 0.2 seconds. Here again, though, the SC950 is two times the cost of the same Reconyx model without the cellular capabilities.
The initial cost of the camera will deter many hunters from buying a cellular camera, but you can expect these prices to drop as the new technology becomes more streamlined and more manufactures produce cellular trail cameras.
Don't be surprised if, in a few years, most trail cameras have cellular capabilities. The ability to check a game camera from a smartphone is appealing, and the surveillance possibilities presented by cellular trail cams will open up the trail cam market even further to the general public.