Can You Track a Cellular Trail Camera?

Last Updated on March 24, 2022 by Thomas S. Tucci

Whether you’re a hunting enthusiast or just cautious about the security of your property, you most likely would like to use some trail cameras. Now when it comes to these eyes in the woods, you are so fascinated by the cellular ones. Especially their remote usability and GPS tracking saves you a lot of hustle.

The tracking feature puts the cellular trail cameras miles ahead of the conventional ones! Or do they?! Can you track a cellular trail camera? How real and reliable are the advertised tracking systems. That’s the point we’re gonna clarify here. I warn you beforehand: the answer is multifaceted, so trail carefully not to miss out on any point of interest.

How to Track a Trail Camera?

There are primarily two methods of tracking trail cameras. Manual and electronic; then the electronic method has subcategories based on the specific tracking system they use.

Good Old-Fashioned Tracking

It’s manual tracking that’s based primarily on your experience and skills. Like the conventional ones, sometimes you’ll have to manually track your GPS-equipped cellular trail cameras, because of a dead or otherwise disabled battery.

To track down manually you’ll have to remember the color and pattern of the camera. Having a written or drawn record of camera placements, it’ll come in really handy. If you’re tracking at night, keep an eye for flashes and beeps.

Tracking Cellular Trail Cameras Using the GPS

Many cellular trail cameras use GPS as the tracking method. It’s suitable for many scenarios such as anti-theft measures, lactating the camera for servicing, etc. It should be noted that the GPS tracker is not the magic solution for theft. The tracker can be manually disabled by the thief!

As for getting back to your camera without keeping a detailed drawn map, GPS makes the work a walk in the park. It can locate the trail cam well within 3 meters. Again this cannot be done if the battery is dead. So it’s recommended to draw a map when placing the cameras.

Non-GPS Tracking

These tracking devices include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth trackers. They consume less energy thus they’re better for long battery life. These are also relatively cheap. On the downside, the range is very limited.

Most non-GPS cellular trail cameras actually use a method called triangulation to identify the location of the device. This method doesn’t have any range problem but they are not as accurate as GPS. But they are often advertised as GPS-tracked! So beware of that issue.

How to Avoid Theft Altogether?

More often than not you’ll have to ‘track’ your camera just to retrieve or relocate it. But in some cases, you may have to go after the thief. It’s actually much easier said than done. To avoid the host of hurdles that’ll come your way, it’s better to take some precautionary measures.

Camouflage

Believe it or not, the overwhelming majority of thefts can be easily prevented by using a simple camouflage. Buy a camera with a color that matches the environment. Then place the cell cam on a tree that is located at a good spot and hide the camera. You can use some limbs and leaves to make the camouflage even more effective.

Place it High & Lock it UP

If you’ve placed the camera somewhere high up, it’s very unlikely to be noticed. Whereas the ones at plain sight and within reach just keep begging to get stolen! On top of that, if the camera is locked up, it’ll make the thief’s job all the more difficult.

Dark Flash

Flash often gives away the location of the cameras. It can be noticed from relatively long distances. Thus, instead of buying cameras with infrared or white flashes, go for the ones with dark flash a.k.a. No-glow flash. These are more costly, but to prevent theft, they’re worth every penny.

Final Words

The cellular trail cams are traceable. Especially those equipped with a GPS tracker. But it’s better to avoid the theft altogether. Use the method we explained, and most likely, you won’t have to track the thief!

And keep your eyes open to the vague facts camera companies use to sell their cameras. Yes, we’re talking about a camera being GPS enabled when actually it’s not! This happens when the device uses a triangulation locating method, which is not as accurate as the GPS.

Happy tracking and hunting.

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