Spy cam deer camera

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Use a trail camera to spy on wildlife in your yard

A small backyard nestled between houses on a well-used residential street in Alexandria, Va., seems like an unlikely spot for a wildlife &#;highway.&#;

But during one evening in March, Evan Kosinski&#;s neighbor told the 6-year-old about seeing two foxes, two raccoons, a rabbit and one opossum between midnight and 6 a.m. His neighbor doesn&#;t crouch outside all night watching for critters and never leaves food to attract animals.

Instead the neighbor uses a trail camera, or trail cam, as an extra pair of eyes observing wildlife activity without human interference.

Trail cams &#; small, motion-triggered, weatherproof cameras that operate with batteries &#; take videos or still photos. These easily operated devices are popular with nature lovers, educators and researchers. Daytime images are in color. Night images, relying on infrared lights that minimally affect animals, are in black-and-white. Trail cams offer an amazing look at the natural world of urban wildlife.

Wanting to learn more, Evan began looking for any animal signs in his fenced yard. Noticing a small hole under the steps of his family&#;s deck, he borrowed a cam and recorded a family of chipmunks coming and going.

This fox was captured early one morning last summer in a yard in Alexandria, Virginia. Foxes are regular visitors in suburban neighborhoods and often appear on trail cameras, which operate by motion sensor. (Ann Cameron Siegal / The Washington Post)

A &#;wow&#; moment occurred when, with permission, he put the cam facing a hole under the neighbor&#;s shed.

&#;It showed a litter of raccoons living there,&#; Evan told KidsPost.

A fox, seen passing earlier, spooked the mom into moving her five babies (called kits) that night, taking each by the scruff of the neck. Evan noticed that each move took about 10 minutes, so he figured that her next hiding place was nearby.

Tempted to go hunting for the raccoons, he wisely decided not to.

&#;The mom moved them because she was scared,&#; he said. &#;We might scare them more.&#;

Since receiving his own trail cam last summer, Evan has seen bunnies&#; ears twitching as they munch on grass, a young opossum in search of ticks and insects, and cats on nighttime prowls for mice or other prey.

&#;It&#;s a great hobby for someone Evan&#;s age,&#; said his dad, Shane Kosinski. &#;He tries different spots and angles and thinks about where the animals might go, and then if he doesn&#;t catch anything, he tries again.&#;

The use of trail cams in urban backyards provides year-round entertainment, as well as an education in animal behavior. What is creating mysterious holes in your yard, getting into your trash cans or eating your plants?

Evan hasn&#;t recorded any sick or seriously injured animals, but he has captured a limping fox on video. With research, he has learned that the best action to take is often no action.

&#;The rule of thumb is if the animal is moving in and out of your cam range, it&#;s probably OK,&#; said Carolyn Wilder, president of the Wildlife Rescue League in Virginia. &#;Wild animals are adapting to urban life, trying to coexist with us, and we want to figure out ways to live peacefully with them.&#;

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Keep these phone numbers and websites handy if you see injured wildlife. Each website can answer often-asked questions.

&#; Wildlife Rescue League (D.C. metro area): referral for help and questions. wildliferescueleague.org/wildlife-helpline.

&#; City Wildlife (Washington): citywildlife.org.

&#; Wildlife Services (Maryland): bit.ly/3qS2Qc2.

&#; If you are outside the D.C. area, find resources through the Humane Society of the United States: humanesociety.org/resources/how-find-wildlife-rehabilitator.

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Kids can upload cam footage to a Smithsonian-run database that monitors urban wildlife behavior at emammal.si.edu/urban-wild.

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Trail cams come in many sizes and price ranges. A good beginner cam can be purchased for less than $ (Ann Cameron Siegal / The Washington Post)

Good beginner cams can be found online or in sporting goods stores for less than $ (This site reviews a few: outdoorwilds.com/best-budget-trail-camera)

&#; Tie your cam securely to a fence or deck post, tree or bench.

&#; Face your cam north or south to avoid glare during sunrise and sunset.

&#; Make sure branches or grasses are not in front of the cam&#;s sensor.

&#; Use manufacturer-recommended batteries and SD cards.Evan found regular SD cards easier to handle than micro SD cards. Lithium batteries last a long time in cold weather.

&#; Place your cam at knee height to photograph foxes, raccoons and other backyard wildlife on their level. Higher for birds.

&#; Check your cam only once or twice a week so you minimize disturbing wildlife&#;s natural activity.

This story was originally published at washingtonpost.com. Read it here.

Sours: https://www.seattletimes.com/explore/at-home/how-to-use-a-trail-camera-to-spy-on-wildlife-in-your-yard/

Trail Camera Review: Spypoint Link-Micro-S

Cellular scouting cameras are still relatively newcomers to the hunting world, and most companies are happy to simply bring one to the market. Spypoint, which has been in the wireless camera game from the beginning, is pushing the envelope with the Spypoint Link-Micro-S, which introduces some great features at a price that will surely draw some attention. In addition, Spypoint’s data plans are some of the most affordable and innovative, making the Link-Micro-S Celluar Trail Camera worth a hard look from anyone serious about wireless cams for scouting.

The Spypoint Link-Mircro-S LTESpecs

  • Megapixels: 10
  • Trigger Speed: .4 second
  • Detection Range: 80 feet
  • Power: Rechargeable battery pack (included) plus solar boost.

What Kind of Trail Camera Is the Spypoint Link-Mircro-S LTE

With one of the lowest price points of any cellular camera on the market, it would be tempting to classify this as an entry-level cam, and it certainly fits that niche nicely. But the Spypoint Link-Micro-S also breaks some new ground, with a rechargeable battery pack that should result in big savings on battery purchases, and the solar panel is designed to assist the battery pack in powering the camera. Finally, Spypoint’s data/picture management plan is very affordable and offers additional benefits that makes it as attractive as any of the competition.

Spypoint Link-Micro-S Key Features

Perhaps the biggest standout feature on this camera was the rechargeable battery pack which, if it proves effective and durable, would save users a ton of money on expensive lithium batteries. And the solar-assist charging panel will only help in money savings and efficiency. The Spypoint Link-Micro-S is a relatively easy camera to set up and run, and the small physical size makes it perfect for areas where deer act hinky around cameras, or there are only small trees (or fence posts) for setting up.

Testing the Spypoint Link-Micro-S LTE

I charged the battery pack supplied with the unit, then followed manufacturer instructions for setting up the camera. Then I evaluated the unit for adequate instructions and simplicity of setup, a significant issue for cell-cam rookies and experienced users alike. When pics were delivered to my app, I noted the time lapse between the photo event and when the image appeared on my phone.

Read Next: How to Mount a Trail Camera

After the camera was up and running, I left it on an active food plot for 24 hours and evaluated photo quality of the pics it took of deer and other wildlife. When pics were delivered to my app, I noted the time lapse between the photo event and when the image appeared on my phone. Then I brought the camera home, mounted it to a tree in my yard and ran some standard tests for photograph and video quality at day and night. I also tested detection/flash range by walking past the camera at pre-measured distances.


The Spypoint link-micro is one of the easiest trail cams to set up I’ve ever used. Simply charge the battery pack—which charges with a USB charger—for about 10 hours, slap the pack into the camera, and you’re up and running. When you turn the camera on the unit immediately starts searching for a wireless signal. Since I live in an area with spotty reception this took a couple of tries (if the cam doesn’t find a solid signal, you shut it down and start again), but it wasn’t a big deal.

Flash and Detection Range

At 80 feet, according to my tests, the daytime detection was very good, and similar distances with nighttime runs. Since this is a low-glow (red) IR flash, pic quality wasn’t great at longer distances. That is typical for low, or no-glow cams.

Trigger Speed

Like most wireless cams, the Spypoint Link-Micro-S had a fairly lethargic (second) trigger, making it best for setups that make deer pauses, such as licks, bait piles, and mock scrapes. If you’re setting up on trails or rut funnels, the pics will likely be blurry.

Image Quality

The photos this cellular trail camera took quality ranged from decent to very good—but there were a few exceptions. The vast majority of day-time pics were fine, but some were a little grainy. Nighttime pics were good, provided the deer (or me) was not too close or too far. At the end of the detection range, the images were a little blurry. And close shots sometimes showed some glare, which is actually unusual for a camera with an IR flash.

Burst Mode

Two photographs is the limit on burst mode, which is 30 percent less than the standard three-shot option. I typically set all my deer cams on three-shot, so this was a bit of a disappointment. But, hey, maybe I’ve been wasting a shot all this time and I just didn’t know it.

Video and Time Lapse

There are no video or time-lapse options on this camera. Since I don’t typically use wireless cams for this purpose, this wasn’t a huge mark against the camera for me. But for users who expect more from their camera, this will be a disappointment.

What The Spypoint Link Micro-S Does Best

For the trail-cam user who is just dipping their toe into the wireless world, the Spypoint Link-Micro-S is the best trail camera for the money. The original purchase is about 50 percent less than most of the competition. And the rechargeable battery (with solar assist panel), promises even more thrift when it comes to buying batteries, which can add up in a hurry. The Link-Micro-S is also easy to set up and is physically small (3 ½ x 6 ½ inches), which makes attaching it to smaller trees or fence posts much easier. Finally, Spypoint offers pics per month for free, and the price to join the company’s “Insider Club” are not only insanely reasonable ($8 per month for unlimited pics), but qualify members for other benefits and giveaways.

What This Trail Camera Does Worst

Intermediate and advanced camera users will have to lower their expectations when using the Spypoint Link-Micro-S. Because video and time lapse options aren’t on the menu with this unit. Picture quality is solid but not exceptional. And while the rechargeable battery is an awesome idea that really excites me, I haven’t tested it for long-term performance. Finally, and this is really nit-picking, the camera uses a micro-SD card, and I dislike these with a passion. I have fairly clumsy fingers, and these cards are not only tiny, but require an adapter (one more thing for me to lose!) to plug into a computer and read. 

Does the Spypoint Link-Micro-S LTE Deliver on its Mission?

There’s a lot to like here, especially for someone new to the cellular camera market. The Spypoint Link-Micro-S comes in at an attractive price point, and the setup is easy to follow, both huge assets for a newbie. The camera is also small and easy to install on a tree or fencepost. If the rechargeable battery and solar panel assist prove to have solid longevity, this will be a game-changing power source over standard lithium (and certainly alkaline) batteries, which can get expensive in a hurry, especially in colder climes. While the Link-Micro-S doesn’t allow for video or time-lapse functions, let’s face it; for a camera that retails for significantly less than most of the competition, I don’t consider this much to give up. Finally, Spypoint’s subscription program is amazingly reasonable and that only results in more added-value to a camera that is among the most affordable out there.

Sours: https://www.fieldandstream.com/outdoor-gear/spypoint-link-micro-review/
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Designed to work with the LINK series cellular trail cameras, the SPYPOINT app allows you to receive photos from your camera directly to your smartphone or tablet. You can activate your new camera, view your photos, manage and monitor your trail camera from anywhere. Includes BUCK TRACKER species recognition technology that allows for quick sorting and filtering of all your photos. The app provides a simple and easy way to:

* See and store your trail camera photos
* Check signal strength, battery level and SD card storage space
* Manage multiple cameras and change their settings
* Set and control notifications
* And much more


This update includes new features for maps and weather that allow you to mark the location for all your cameras, create custom markers for your hunting property, and plan ahead with weather forecasts. The SPYPOINT app now has more scouting tools than ever, putting your entire hunt in the palm of your hand.

Ratings and Reviews

out of 5

K Ratings

Not the perfect cellular camera, but pretty darn good

The camera isn’t perfect, but it does what’s advertised. It’s virtually a maintenance free camera in regards to battery life. What more can you ask for with a cellular camera. I do wish it had the option to send pics on demand, but every 2 hours isn’t bad. The transmitted pics are good, not great. More than good enough to get a good look a what’s been coming around. The pictures off the sd card are extremely good. You should be using class 10 card high speed card. My signal was bars so installed an external antenna and now never below 3 bars. The camera won’t operate at it fullest capacity unless the signal is at least 3 bars. Remember that the camera is NOT associated with your own cell phone carrier. It’s all thru SPYPOINT. It’s very important to check what cell carrier has the best reception at your particular place. I added antenna to my at&t camera and my buddy gets a constant bars with Verizon version and is about 1/4 mile from me. The only issue I have with the app is that most of the time I can’t check internal battery percentage. I have to keep pressing internal battery tab and it will just randomly pop up sometimes. Other than that, it’s a great camera.

Thank you for your feedback. Glad to hear that you are making good use of your SPYPOINT product!

Nice concept, but disappointing performance

This Link-Micro was my first trail cam and purchased primarily to capture pics of vehicles, including rear license plates, which enter/exit our ft long driveway. Getting pics of wildlife is nice, also. Camera operation and iPhone app setup were relatively simple, although did need to format SD card in computer. Camera ate up 8 alkaline batteries in less than one month and pictures. Switched to lithium and those are still showing % charge after 3 weeks and + pictures. Tried several different camera settings and locations, but found it’s hit or miss to capture good picture of the rear of a vehicle. Have it set up to take 2 “instant” photos of every detection, but shutter speed is such that it usually only captures a vehicle or wildlife in only one picture and sometimes misses entirely. It rarely captures the rear of our vehicles with normal use of our driveway, so it’s doubtful we would catch a good shot of a potential intruder vehicle. If it does capture rear of vehicle, must take SD card out of camera to view picture on computer to have a chance of reading license plate. Might be able to make out make, model and color of vehicle, if daylight picture. An annoyance is failure of iPhone Spypoint app to remember login credentials, in spite of checking “Remember Me” box. Also, initial screen usually appears each time, in spite of checking box for “Do Not Show Again.”

Worst customer service ever

I purchased and have had in the field since April a Dark Link camera. My camera quit transmitting pictures with all indicators on the camera showing a strong signal and battery strength. After 2 weeks and several phone calls the Customer Service had me do a hard reset and reinstall the camera to the website app. My Premium service plan was deleted and had to be reset up after another Trail period. SPYPOINT assured me that the first account was deleted and I would not be billed for the next month service. Guess what I was billed for the “deleted” account. Several more phone calls/emails, submission of my bank transaction and I was refund. Part 2 set up the account a second time every thing was working fine till the end of July when I started to get completely washed out over exposed daylight pictures. I used the text feature in the app and I would wait most times a day for a response. I would answer and wait. I finally kept manipulating the settings of the camera through the app and the daylight pictures started working. A few days later the night mode pictures went dark showing a full screen black image. Through all this I have given up on customer support help. They are untimely and do not seem to know the product very well. I Use the cuddelink system also and have had no issues running 4 cameras. I bought SPYPOINT because of the app & the camera so I am hoping that I can get it straightened out

The developer, Quebec Inc., indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Used to Track You

The following data may be used to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies:

  • Location
  • Contact Info
  • Identifiers
  • Usage Data

Data Linked to You

The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Location
  • Identifiers
  • Usage Data
  • Diagnostics

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More


Quebec Inc.



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