Any recommended surveillance cameras and capture cards?

I’m trying to figure out what animal is cleaning out my Havahart traps without triggering them. Squirrels are my main problem but they usually trigger the traps. Even peanuts attached to a wire aren’t good enough to catch this creature who can reach over the trigger plate and nibble on the peanut without paying any penalty.

What kind of cameras are people using outside for animals, and what’s the best way to get the information into a computer?

We discussed that awhile back so a brief search you can probably find it. Lots of brands. All of them take a SD card, most computers have a SD card slot built in or you can buy a plug in reader.

I have an older Bushnell …seems to work fine. I know right now you can probably find a good deal on a game camera with hunting season right around the corner…check Amazon and Cabelas. Lots of different makes/models.

Do game cameras take video or only still photos?

In my yard, the one that usually does eat all my bait without triggering a trap is a chipmunk.

I saw a bunny hopped in and out of my Havaheart trap once without triggering a trap.

Both video and photos.

Both…one i have is older…i’m sure the newer ones have more options. One thing to watch is battery usage.

Looking on eBay, there are a lot of these game cameras being sold for parts or needing repair. Are these cameras especially fragile, or are they just typical made in China devices with limited lives.

warmwxrules, how’s your Bushnell for battery life? I see Bushnell Trophy Cameras on eBay auctions starting at pretty low prices. They’re claiming 1 year battery life.

Sounds like voles or moles.

Rat was doing it for me. I was watching it going in and out the cage set for groundhog without triggering it. I ended up placing the bait inside bird suet feeder and placing the feeder inside the trap. That helped.

Here in Topanga Canyon I’ve never heard mention of voles or moles. I have plenty of gophers, but I’ve never seen a mole tunnel around my house.

Hey John, so smaller critters will usually harvest the trap bait without activating the trigger. A game cam will show you how to defeat that as @galinas mentioned. That happened with my squirrenator.
I have a Bushnell with a 32GB card and use rechargable batteries in it.
These posts and this one will give you valuable info on our experiences with critters of all kinds.

I think it’s too dry their for moles to flourish. They feed on earthworms and various ground insects. Rats are what I remember there more than anything besides ground squirrels and your gophers as far as rodents go. My father kept seed stocked bird feeders- dutifully refilled daily throughout the year and I don’t remember mice of any kind as part of the cycle.

I use Moultrie, and Bushnell cameras. They work well but there are others lesser price that work very well.

I am using an Amcrest ProHD Outdoor 1080P WiFi Wireless IP Security Bullet Camera - IP66 Weatherproof, 1080P (1920TVL), IP2M-842 (Black) from Amazon to monitor entrance drive / gate activity remotely from the house a few hundred feet away. It is not battery powered, but is intended to run on a 12VDC adapter, I have mine connected to a deep cycle battery and a 100 watt solar panel to keep it charged (total install cost about $300). I do get the occasional frame drop, but blame that on the distance I am operating at.


I do similar for deer hunting/monitoring.

I see @JustAnne4 already linked to the recent thread. Here are a couple videos that my new game camera has taken.

Two Raccoons:

A fox:

While the videos were pretty interesting, they didn’t pinpoint the issue for me. But it did show that they were going in, yet not setting it off.

I read that sometimes WD40 is needed to keep them closing well, so I went out with a can of it yesterday. Before applying it, I figured that I should see where it is catching. When I pressed on it with a stick, I had trouble setting it off. The animals would have had to jump up and down on it to trip it. It turns out that one of the wires supporting the trigger was resting on a horizontal wire from the cage (maybe it was shifted out of position by a previous occupant?). I fixed it in under a minute and was rewarded with a double catch. It’s almost like the 3 stooges- one runs into the other, which sets it off…

After fixing the issue:


In case you are interested in the model, I got the following from Amazon:

I’m not sure if it is the best one out there, even at this price-point, but I’m pretty happy to have a camera which can take such interesting videos.

Drawbacks of this one:

  • It only takes 20 seconds of video at a time. It will then pause for at least one minute.
  • I haven’t been able to make the timestamp stick, so I don’t know when any of the videos are from. I’ll give this another try at some point- don’t want to be the guy with 12:00 blinking on his VCR after 10 years :blush:
  • One night it was very blurry. The only thing I can think of was that I had it inside and brought it out just in time for the temp to drop and condensation to form. I left it out the next day in the sun for a bit and haven’t had a problem since.
  • Only takes up to 32 gb micro SD cards. I have a 64gb, but it won’t recognize it at all. So, I’ve done everything with a very old 512mb card, which shockingly, has only filled up once (when I actually caught something).
  • Doesn’t activate when it is upside down (oops!)

The last two are obviously minor, and several don’t reflect well on me as a user…


  • Nice quality (though I haven’t tried others to compare)
  • Activates at the right time for the most part (not a lot of video of the grass moving in the wind)
  • Video is pretty compact (storage efficient)
  • While basic, the controls (other setting the time) are pretty basic.
  • Sound (as Subdood pointed out)

Pics of mine:

Good job, Bob! A coon twofer! Are they your pets now? Or is this a catch and release program?

I was wondering what the critter was in the second vid, until I saw the ‘fox’ caption. Are they that common in your area?

I like the fact you can get sound out of it, too.

I don’t think that there are too many- I didn’t know what it was until several people clued me in on the other thread. I actually saw it a few days later in the early morning (school is starting for the kids or I wouldn’t be up…). It seemed bigger in person and looked like a red fox (I think).

I don’t think catch and release would even be legal- as @Olpea has pointed out, you are just making them someone else’s problem.

And I was talking to my parents earlier tonight and they mentioned someone else (thankfully not them) who got his (expensive) car’s interior destroyed that way when the raccoon ran back in, instead of into the woods.

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