Be The Expert Part 9—Trail Cameras

Outfitting the 21st Century Hunter

Hunting Is on the Rise

While the hunting and fishing industries face headwinds in today’s crowded consumer marketplace, evidence gathered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service suggests that after decades of decline, the US population of hunters is growing once again. More than 6% of the population participates in hunting, with the true number of hunters approaching 16 million people.

This is great news for retailers—a 2011 study showed that the average hunter spends $2,484 a year on hunting experiences and equipment, making them a consistent consumer base to build retail strategies around.

However, it’s important for hunters to begin their preparation before the season starts, and the same is true for retailers. Stocking inventory early that can help hunters get a jump on their prey helps you and your customers meet your goals. One item that can make the difference between landing a trophy buck and going home empty-handed is the trail or game camera.

Why Trail Cameras?

While some traditionalists may feel like a trail camera is an unfair advantage, it’s important to tout the benefits of these devices. First and foremost, a trail camera allows a hunter to monitor a particular area of interest without having to spend extensive time in the deer blind. With a limited amount of time in the field—a report from the state of Wisconsin guessed that most hunters would have approximately five days a season—it’s important for hunters to get the most out of each hour. The trail camera allows the hunter to digitally stalk the prey, with many cameras now having cloud capability. This advanced warning helps hunters achieve their goals.

Some hunters worry that the use of trail cameras can spook game and perhaps make it more difficult to convert on the hunt. To address this concern, provide hunters with options that can minimize this risk, such as No Glo lighting cameras. Knowing the difference between the different types of flashes can give you an advantage in selling these products. While they are some game cameras that still feature white flashes, there are more high-tech options that are more effective. Low-glow flash options emit a visible flash that’s greatly inhibited, providing a middle ground option for consumers who are looking to minimize their investment.

No Glo technology is the hottest trend in flash. These cameras allow hunters to take pictures without emitting any light while still providing quality images. For instance, the 10.0-Megapixel G42NG 100ft No Glo Scouting Camera from Stealth Cam captures game up to 100ft away without light emission. It includes features such as low-light-sensitivity technology and Matrix Blur Reduction to compensate for the lack of light, dispersing IR illumination and giving this camera the ability to capture moving targets.

Furthermore, as their outfitter for adventure, there are many tips that hunters can use to effectively mount and monitor their game cameras. Author Jeff Sturgis provides many of these tips for free, including:

  • Hanging the camera at least 6ft high
  • Avoid placing the camera directly in the eyes of approaching animals
  • Setting the camera up in areas that are 20ft–40ft away from ideal crossings

And more. As your customer’s designated expert, take advantage of these free resources to supplement your knowledge.

Other Features to Know

One of the most obvious features that customers will be asking about is obviously the amount of megapixels a camera has. While there is definitely a correlation between the number of megapixels and the quality of the pictures, don’t forget to emphasis to customers the importance of the camera lens. Just as with a typical consumer camera, each game camera has a specific lens aperture, the higher the aperture, the more lower-light levels the camera can function in. For instance, the 14.0-Megapixel Trophy Aggressor HD Low-Glow Camera from Bushnell has an f/3 rating, making it ideal for taking quality pictures at dusk. Educating your customers on the relationship between the megapixels and the aperture can show how more powerful cameras are worth the investment.

Consumers are also going to want to compare their options for trigger speeds and video possibilities. The faster the trigger speed, the more likely the camera will activate in time to catch the game moving. Encourage customers to not skimp on the trigger speed—just like when trying to make the shot, going to slow can ruin the hunt.

Most trail cameras now come with photo and video recording options. The consensus among expert deer hunters is that the photo mode is sufficient, although other game benefits more from video.

Finally, the Internet of Things is everywhere, including in the field. There are a variety of cameras that feature out-of-the-box Internet capability. The storage and delivery options can be a key selling point by emphasizing the additional convenience they provide. The 12.0-Megapixel Wireless No Glo Scouting Camera from Stealth Cam sends wireless images to a smartphone or computer. This service does require a subscription, so it won’t be for everyone, but most cameras with this feature are also compatible with SD™ Cards.

The Takeaway

As a retailer, it might be easy to forget about the results of the hunt after the sell is made. But hunters who keep hunting are the ones who keep shopping, year after year. Helping your customer find the right trail camera is about more than making one sale; it’s about building a relationship that helps them have fun and your business thrive.

Go to www.petra.com to see Petra’s full line of trail cameras. While you’re there, check out the full array of accessories, from mounting sticks to security boxes. Put the total preparation package on your shelves today.

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