New 2017 Browning Trail Cameras

Posted by Nick Hartman on

Just got the first 2017 trail cameras in - the new Browning cameras!

2017 Browning Strike Force 850 HD

2017 Browning Strike Force 850 HD trailcam

As you already know, the Strike Force 850 is the red glow trail camera. The 850 refers to the IR nm light spectrum. So this camera has 850 nm (or what we refer to as red glow).

We have begun testing, should have results posted throughout the next several business days.

2017 Browning Dark Ops 940 HD

2017 Browning Dark Ops 940 HD trail camera

The 940 in the name "Browning Dark Ops 940 HD" refers to the nanometers once again. Anything 935ish and above the human eye can't see.


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Year in Review | HCO Trail Cameras

Posted by Nick Hartman on

2016 remained the year of the cellular trailcam for HCO Outdoors. Their Spartan Cameras led the way last year throughout the cell cam market.

2016 HCO Trail Cameras

While HCO makes other trail cameras, they specialize in cellular trail cameras. So that will be the main focus of this post.

HCO Spartan Trail Cameras

The Spartan cameras were our go-to cell camera last year. Customers looking for a good combination of affordability and performance seemed to gravitate to the Spartan's. The trigger speed won't "wow" you, but the cameras just seemed to work. For a cell camera, that is pretty stinking important.

Like every cell camera, they haven't been without their problems, though. Lately, we have had regions of the country that needed firmware updates for Verizon cameras (still not sure why) and they don't have a solar panel option. Both issues are frustrating, but the good easily outweighs the bad.

Buck on cellcam

The Spartan's have been our most reliable cellular unit this year and they seem to work in lower reception areas better than other models. You can also choose between Verizon and AT&T, which isn't the case on some other cameras.

HCO Premium service allows users to pay $4 a month (to HCO) and it enables transfer of larger images, two-way communication, and ability to use the HCO phone app. While the premium service is great and works really well, HCO is making a huge mistake by not offering this for free. This would be a great way to gain and retain customers to their platform, and trust me, in 2017 you will have plenty of good, affordable cellular cameras to choose from.

2017 HCO Trailcams

Other than offering a 4G camera, no notable changes are on the horizon for this year.

While I really like the HCO Spartan cameras, and continue to highly recommend them, I fear that HCO could be left behind in the coming years if they don't do 3 things:

  1. Offer the Premium Service for free
  2. Improve trigger speeds
  3. Come up with a good 6-volt Solar Panel that works in combination with internal batteries

If you have questions on cell cameras, or anything else, don't hesitate to send me an email ( or write it in the comments section below.  

Thanks for reading and have a great day!


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Year in Review | Bushnell Trail Cameras

Posted by Nick Hartman on

Bushnell cameras are picture taking machines. When it comes to overall picture taking capabilities, Bushnell has no equal. They have made their name by winning our trail camera comparison test (Detection Shootout), year after year. 

Perhaps more importantly, and often misreported on other parts of the ol' interwebs, is durability. Our warranty rate on Bushnell game cameras is well under what we average for all other cameras made overseas. In most cases, it is exactly half what we see from other companies. This is a big deal since we hand out 2-year warranties on all trail cameras purchased through our site.

deer trail in snow

2016 Bushnell Trail Cameras

The Bushnell cameras are led by the Bushnell Aggressor series (comes in Red and No Glow). The case design is exceptional and provides a clean, strong clamp when closed. However, what these cameras are known for is picture taking ability. 

The Aggressor's detected out to 110 ft. this year, which is incredible. Along with that, they get over 8 months battery life. 

My biggest complaint on the Bushnell cameras is the inconsistent photo quality. Many of the images are perfect - in fact, some of our best photos come from Bushnell - however, they can be maddening in low light conditions. If you can overlook that, though, you have a #winning combination of speed, durability, and battery life.

grizzly bears in alaska.

While the Aggressor cameras are known for speed, they aren't my favorite Bushnell trailcam this year, that distinction belongs to the Bushnell Essential E2

It has decent speed, good battery life, nice case design, blah blah blah. The reason I love it so much are the killer night photos. I'm not kidding when I say they may rank among the best night IR photos I've ever seen.

bear on bushnell camera

Bobcat on Bushnell Essential E2

 Crazy good contrast, exceptional flash range, and crisp clarity. I'll take two, please.

Bushnell Cellular Camera

The Bushnell Aggressor Wireless remains an enigma. I'll break this down and make it really simple.

If you have really good AT&T reception (think 4+ bars), buy it, it'll be awesome. If you don't, chances are you will have nothing but problems. 

The Aggressor Wireless has a weak antenna, which makes it useless in most remote areas. However, it is an excellent wildlife camera (or security camera) if you can place it in an area with great reception.

Overall, 2016 was a great year for Bushnell cameras. Which is why I'm happy to announce....

2017 Bushnell Trail Cameras

Bushnell maybe did the smartest thing here and didn't mess with much. These cameras were not in need of a redesign, just a few tweaks. If detection was a strength in 2016, I think it is going to get even better in 2017. 

They told us they replicated our Detection Shootout to produce a camera that should absolutely dominate the competition. What that means remains to be seen, but I'm intrigued!

As far as I know, there are no planned changes to picture quality. As always, we will test everything when it becomes available (sometime before May/April) and post updated Bushnell Trail Camera Reviews to our site.

Thanks for checking our blog out! :)


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Trail Camera Photo Contests

Posted by Nick Hartman on

If the cold winter months have you bored and you are already working on getting an awesome Predator Photo Contest Picture, organize some of your best trailcam pictures and submit them to the Wildlife Conservation Society Photo Contest.

These are great folks and they have asked us to see if any of our customers and readers are interested in entering their contest.

Good luck!

buck chasing doe


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Year in Review | Browning Trail Cameras

Posted by Nick Hartman on

It was just a few short years ago that Browning trail cameras even came into existence. Although they were blessed with a strong brand name, Browning went from startup to market-mover in less than two years.

We have sold more Browning units in the last three years than any other brand, which is a remarkable feat for one sincere reason:

Our customers do not buy their trail cameras based on fancy advertising. 

For this I am thankful. Nearly everyone who comes through our website spends valuable time researching the best trail camera for their needs. Our customers make their purchases based on facts, data, and advice from people who do this for a living. In order to be our #1 selling trail camera brand, you have to have the hard evidence to justify your value.

snowy coyote

2016 Browning Trail Cameras

2016 was a banner year for Browning Trail Cameras. The Strike Force Elite and Dark Ops Elite were upgraded in speed and battery efficiency while keeping all the features that made them top wildlife cameras, to begin with. Neither camera is the best at anything, yet they are really good in every area with no apparent weakness.

As a bonus, the Dark Ops Elite is excellent as a quick, easy, and versatile security trail camera.

Maybe it's just from the sheer number of Brownings we have sold, but my inbox is always full of really cool Browning pictures like these:

coyote trailcam

deer in rut

How can you not love snowy pictures?

The Recon Force Platinum and Spec Ops Platinum are our best video trail cameras under $600. What they lack in picture quality (and speed) they easily make it up with insane video quality. I think they are below average picture cameras, but top-notch video trailcams.

Video resolution on these two models is 1920 x 1080 w/ audio.

2017 Browning Trail Cameras

2017 will bring some changes to the Browning line. Expect to see an internal picture viewer option for the Sub-micro Browning cameras (Strike Force and Dark Ops), increased trigger/recovery speeds, and longer flash range - along with a few other wrinkles.

There may even be a wireless trail camera (wireless, not cellular)... I imagine there could be a long line waiting for that.

As always, though, past performance is not an accurate predictor of future success. These cameras should come out a few months from now and they will still need to be thoroughly tested and reviewed. 

Just like you, I don't take marketing as gospel. 

Thanks for reading! 

@browningtrailcams #fox #trailcamera #trailcampro #outdoors #wildlifephotography

A photo posted by (@trailcampro) on

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