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Trail Camera Software for Photo Management

Trail Camera Software
photo credit: epredator via cc

In the quest to take a trophy buck, it’s not uncommon for deer hunters to have a large fleet of scouting cameras.  Most people I know run anywhere from 3 to 20 game cameras across their hunting property. With that many trail cameras going at the same time, trying to pattern whitetail movement can quickly become disorganized and unmanageable.

Sifting through dozens of folders filled with mostly empty images trying to find a pattern to deer movement can become a labor intensive task for even the most organized hunter. Fortunately, several methods have emerged to make the process of culling through and making sense of all those photos a much simpler task.

As always, there is a do it yourself method, using spreadsheets, databases, and custom macros. However, this post is for the less computer savvy hunters, who would rather use web apps or software like W.I.S.E. to do the dirty work for them.

Browning Recon Force BTC-2Getting Started

First thing, before you go and buy software, or dream up your own personal system for managing game camera photos, there are some tasks you need to take care of to make your life easier.

1. Name and Number Each of Your Trail Cameras

Each number and description will help you remember where the photos were taken. Most trail cameras will let you give it a custom name through its internal settings. This is a great place to put the number and description, as it will show up in the timestamp of each photo.

2. Set the Correct Date and Time

Make sure you have the date and time correctly set on each game camera before deploying it the field. Nothing is more confusing than trying to sift through hundreds or thousands of photos with bad timestamps.

3. Get More Memory

Make sure you have enough SD memory cards. Ideally you should have 2 cards for each camera. This makes it possible to review your most recent photos while keeping your cameras in the field.

4. Go Wireless

You can make your life even easier by utilizing cellular trail cameras. You can get the pictures sent to your phone without needing to visit the camera in person. Now you can take advantage of online tracking tools even if your camera is out of state.

5. Make a Map

I like to print out an aerial photo of my property and put it on the wall next to my computer. Then I place a sticker or pushpin at each location, and use a pen to draw lines of sight for each camera. This helps me visualize the orientation of my photos and ultimately how the deer are moving on the land.

Online Trail Camera Software

There are several choices for camera software available. Three of the most popular programs are Big Game Logic, WISE, and DeerLab.

Big Game Logic

  • Pros: Free Online Tool
  • Cons: Limited Features

This is a free online tool that allows you to create aerial maps of your land and then add icons showing the location of your game cameras, tree stands, deer sightings, scrapes, rubs, and any other point of interest you might want. It has some limitations, and you have to manually add all photos, but it can help you get an idea about deer movements.

DeerLab

  • Pros: Best Looking User Interface, Good Set of Features
  • Cons: Requires Monthly Subscription, Limits on Numbers of Photos

This is a newer entry into the trail camera software world, and is an online tool that requires a monthly subscription. You can add your own custom property using aerial photography, and allows you to drop pins for each of your cameras. Each trail camera pin will have information like brand and model.

DeerLab lets you upload your photos to that specific trail camera and add tags and other details. Two interesting features of DeerLab is the ability to filter your entire photo library by a wide range of criteria, and to view activity patterns for individual trail cameras.

WISE Trail Camera Software

  • Pros: Full set of Features, No Monthly Fee
  • Cons: Not the Best Looking App
WISE trail camera software

Photo: HuntersClub.com

WISE gives you all the features of the other programs, minus the monthly fee. Like the others, you setup your custom property and place the locations of your trail cameras. After that, you can import your photos, add tags, and sync them with historical weather data.

After using WISE for a while, you have the power to create custom reports for all the deer on your land, and even pattern individual bucks. WISE can even suggest to you which tree stand to hunt based on your historical data and the weather forecast.

There is excellent support through the Hunters Club website, even including live chat support during daytime office hours. WISE is also planning mobile apps for iOS and Android smartphones to give you the ability to add and review data in the field.


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5 Comments

  • Great article, I would encourage you to give HuntForce a shot. I think you will find it checks all the right boxes. Please shoot me an email and I will get you set up with a Pro account as well as give you access to a mature account that has been in use since last Spring to give you an idea of how powerful the analytics are and how much they can have an impact on the success of a season. With thousands of users and hundreds of thousands of photos uploaded, the success stories are steadily rolling in and I’d love for you to see why.

    Ryan White
    HuntForce, Co-Founder

    • I’m looking for a good trail camera software A few months ago I bought a geopad from spypoint it had a software program with it that peaked my interest. I have 5 different farms totaling around 2500 acres with about 20 cameras in use. will your product handle this??

      • Hi Alan. DeerLab has customers that are using over 100 trail cameras and multiple properties that are thousands of acres or more. If you want to give DeerLab a spin we have a free trial at http://app.deerlab.com/signup.

        Feel free to contact me directly if desired as well (I’m a co-founder of DeerLab). My number is (904) 638-8880.

    • Does the program allow to store information and photos on own computer also does it show numbers of male,female,fawns that visit a particular camera in a particular time. Does it take info off photos date time etc. does it allow for a print out of information gained.

  • Thanks so much for highlighting DeerLab. Since this article was added I wanted to point out that we have added a number of new features. One in particular is how we pattern bucks as it is very different from all the other services or products out there. Instead of counting every photo of a buck we automatically group sightings in 15 minute increments. This change has dramatically improved the accuracy of our stats.

    Here’s an example. Lets say you have one camera over a food plot that has taken 40 photos of a particular buck in a given week. On another camera, which is situated on a trail, that same buck has shown up 5 time during the same week. If counting every photo the food plot camera would obviously be the most active camera as you have 40 photos of him. But that’s not the case as all the photos were within a 15 minute period. DeerLab would count this as one sighting, were the camera on the trail would have 5 sightings. Grouping photos within 15 minute increments changes the stats completely and gives you an accurate way to understand various patterns your deer are making. I invite you to try out DeerLab’s free trial and check it out for yourself.