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It started with a little piece of string. When an animal tripped the string stretched across a trail in the woods, an innovation called the Trailtimer recorded the time of the event.

Years later, advancing technology allowed wildlife biologists to do research with remote monitoring cameras. Deer hunters soon jumped on the bandwagon to get these “trail cameras” to help them kill their bucks.

These days, trail cameras are often known as game cameras because monitoring deer trails is only a fraction of their overall capability. From panthers to poachers, the list of critters folks are keeping tabs on is endless. What was primarily a seasonal hobby in the deer woods has expanded to a year-round passion stretching from suburban back yards into the wilderness.

Many of today’s cameras are as easy as this: install batteries and a memory card, affix the camera to a tree or fencepost and switch the unit on. Sensors inside a waterproof housing detect heat and/or motion and trigger the camera to take photos while you’re away.

The following are some fine picks if you’re in the market for a new critter catcher.

For more information visit:

Browning Trail Cameras browningtrailcameras.com; 888-618-4496

Bushnell bushnell.com; 800-423-3537

Covert Scouting Cameras covertscoutingcameras.com; 877-462-1799

Cuddeback cuddeback.com; 920-347-3810

Day 6 Outdoors day6outdoors.com; 706-256-2578

Big Game Treestands biggametreestands.com; 800-268-5077

HCO Outdoors hcooutdoors.com; 770-582-0004

Moultrie Feeders moultriefeeders.com; 800-653-3334

Primos primos.com; 601-879-9323

Reconyx reconyx.com; 866-493-6064

Simmons simmonsoptics.com; 800-423-3537

SPYPOINT spypoint.com; 888-779-7646

Stealth Cam stealthcam.com; 877-269-8490

Wildgame Innovations wildgameinnovations.com; 800-847-8269

Wildview gsmoutdoors.com/wildview; 877.269-8490

This article originally published in THE NEW PIONEER fall 2014 issue. Print and Digital Subscriptions to THE NEW PIONEER magazine are available here.

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