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Trail Cam Failure!!!
I set up one of my trail cams last week....set it on a post near a trail going into a field deer were feeding in. I'd seen a couple nice bucks there and wanted to get some photos of them. I could see the trail cam from a ridge about a half mile away, so I went up a couple days later and set my spotting scope up. I watched 4 bucks come within 5 yards of the trail cam, so I was excited to see what I got for photos. I went up the next afternoon and pulled my trail cam and had no photos of any of the bucks! It did capture photos of me when I set it up and when I went to pull it. I'd but new batteries in before I set it up....I wasn't very happy...not sure what the problem was. It's a Moultrie Gamespy 1-45 and I've never had any trouble with it....... Frustrating!!!
Maybe sensitivity is set too low. Only thing I can think of that I've seen in my experiences.
I’m not familiar with that model but the first thing I do when having issues is to hard reset it, take the batteries out for a couple days. You can see if Moultrie has any updates available for that can too.
I love my Bushnells, but I've had the same thing happen. Last year I watched a buck feed for ten minutes in what I know to be the detection range of a camera and had zero pics of him. It's a buck I passed because I thought he was only 3.5/4.5 and on this place we only kill 5.5 and up. I've had it happen before too. I don't know why it happens, but it does.
Check the camera after you turn it on and make sure the countdown by number starts on the right side of screen. I have had my Moultrie instead of showing the countdown from ten, a display appeared saying "card". I simply reinserted the SD card again and turned it on of which it went right to countdown mode. and worked fine. Not sure why sometimes it does that but I do know when it does it takes no photos.
In a similar vein to what Great White mentioned, I used to have the exact same problem on what I thought was a rather random basis.....but it wasn't random at all. I used to use several different types of trail cameras, and I would routinely swap SD cards between them all the time. Many times I got photos, some times I did not. In the last year, I have gone completely to one brand of trail camera. I have two sets of SD cards....so when I pull the cards, I can put in the second set, and take the first set home and review the photos. I went so far as to number my cameras as well.....so camera #3, ALWAYS has either SD #3a or SD #3b card in it. Haven't had a single problem since.....not one. Keep the same SD card in the same camera, and any formating issue with the SD cards is eliminated.
It took photos of the OP when he set it and when he retrieved it. I'm not sure but I think the SD card and re-set type issues would have prevented that. It may be the sensitivity setting or just a lemon.
If you had photo's of yourself putting it up and checking the camera, then it could have been the deer didn't come as close to the camera as you think and it didn't set it off. If its in high grass and the deer is off 40 yards, sometimes that disturbance out front of the camera makes it hard for the camera to detect movement.
To reiterate what Xman said, if it took pictures of you setting it and checking it, the camera was working. You need to figure out why the deer didn't trip the sensor. How high was the camera? In the past i have had issues when i set the camera too low to the ground and this severely limited the cameras range, (camera 2 feet off the ground and the range was like 12 feet). I raised the camera to chest height and the range was back to where it should have been.
The only cameras I have had this trouble with is brownings,you never know when they will work
The bucks were within a few feet of the trail cam....one even stretched his neck out to sniff it at point blank range. I hang my cams at about eye level (deer eye level) and try to hang them on fence posts as we don't have many good trees around here. The trail cam flat out failed to photograph the deer for some reason..
I have a theory that the more technology used, the larger the chance for failure (generally speaking), and this applies to all aspects of today's world....not just trail cams. We used to have an old Lenox furnace... That thing ran forever, but all there really was to it was the burners and fan to blow the hot air up through the ducts. I cleaned it once a year and cleaned the filter every now and then. The only failure I had with it was when the belt broke on the blower fan one time. It wasn't very energy efficient so I put in a new one that was 95% energy efficient. Something failed on it about every year or so. The flame sensors would go bad, the automatic ignitor would fail, etc.. One time the blower fan froze up. Seemed like I was calling our furnace guy all the time to come work on it. The other extreme is an old wood stove we have as a back up..... Not much to fail there..... You throw wood in it, get it started and you have heat... Low technology, but about as dependable as you can get (although a lot of work).
Cars and truck are the same. When I first started driving, if the truck didn't start it was either not getting fuel or not getting spark...Simple as that. These days the "check engine" light comes on and it could be any one of a multitude of things going on and most of us aren't going to get out our tool box and crawl under the hood and figure out what the problem is..
OK...didn't mean to get into the technology discussion/debate....just saying that a trail cam has a lot of technology going on inside that little box and for whatever reason, they can fail...not the end of the world by any means...just a little frustrating.
On a side note, I'm just glad that we can finally use them during hunting season here in Montana. Up until they year, they were illegal. The ones that can be checked remotely are still not legal, but the ones where you have to go and physically check them are now legal.
Good hunting to all!