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Cellular Trail Cameras: Benefits and Best Models

Are trail cameras worth it? Absolutely! Learn about the benefits of adding a cellular trail camera to your deer mineral site and the best models to buy.


In this blog Andrea Rothove—avid hunter, outdoor enthusiast, and hunting instructor—talks about cellular trail cams with real-time updates.  Andrea is the founder of Huntress View, a hunting website and blog that helps women learn about hunting and the outdoors from other women. She also works for Browning Trail Cameras. Here Andrea shares expertise about the benefits of cellular trail cams and recommendations for finding one that’s best for you.

My love for trail cameras began 16 years ago when I first began deer hunting. It was the excitement of the unknown,  never knowing what images I'd get on my trail cameras, that reeled me in. From there I started using trail cameras year-round -- not just for hunting purposes, but to get unique images of specific animals at each camera location.

One of my trail camera setups captured images of waterfowl from my Browning Trail Camera carefully mounted above the water level in my pond. The picture caught the eye of Tom Rainey, marketing manager at Browning Trail Cameras. That same year I met Tom at the Archery Trade Association show and we began talking about how we could collaborate. Not long after I started working with Browning Trail Cameras as a social media specialist.

In this post, I’ll share some of my experience working with trail cams, the benefits of cellular trail cams, and which Browning models I recommend.

duck on pond5 Benefits of Cellular Trail Cams

I still remember my first trail camera. There were no SD cards you could quickly insert into a laptop or other device to view images instantly, and the camera certainly didn’t send images directly to your phone. No, it had 35mm film that had to be taken to your local Wal-Mart or photography store to be developed. How the times – and technology - have changed!

Trail cameras with 35mm film are now a thing of the past and cellular trail cameras are all the rage. They can still be used as a traditional trail camera with an SD card you swap out and view on your computer. But what’s even better? Now with real-time updates sent to your mobile phone, you don’t even have to do that.

Whether you use cellular cameras for hunting purposes, surveillance or just pure enjoyment, there’s no denying they're incredibly convenient. Here are five benefits cellular trail cams offer hunters and wildlife enthusiasts.

1. View Images Remotely

Cellular trail cameras make it possible to view the images and videos directly on your phone without having to physically be around the camera. This is especially great for deer hunters who want to be scent cautious, or for those who have a trail camera in a more remote location or on a property that is miles, or even states, away

2. Control Camera Settings Remotely

Through the cellular trail camera’s app that is downloaded to your phone you can control the camera settings, update the date and time, and view/save/delete images and videos, all without being anywhere near the camera

3. Set Real-Time or Scheduled Updates

You can also control whether you receive your images in real time or by a set schedule. To do this, you need to have a good signal from the network provider on the property where you hang your cellular camera. For example, Browning Trail Cameras has a Defender Wireless cellular camera that is available in either AT&T or Verizon versions. If you purchase an AT&T model, then you will need to place that camera in a location that has a good AT&T signal, and vice versa, regardless of who your actual phone carrier is.

4. Gather Hunting Intel

This fall I was able to get some helpful deer hunting intel while using my cellular camera. I had my camera next to a tree stand that was deep in the woods. It was set up to send me images in real time so I'd be notified if deer were by my stand. If deer were nearby when I was ready to head there, I'd opt to hunt elsewhere instead of spooking them.

5. Take Incredible Photos

Aside from the convenience factor, cellular trail camera image and video quality is great as well! Some of my most beautiful trail camera images have come from my Browning Defender Wireless. Like this one!

deer in fall leaves

Cellular Trail Cam Recommendations

Whether you're new to cellular trail cameras or have used them for a while, there are a couple different models I suggest trying.

For newbies, check out the user-friendly Browning Defender Pro Scout. It takes 18MP images, beautiful videos with audio, and is Standard IR flash. That means it has a faint red glow at nighttime when the camera is triggered. The Pro Scout has a long battery life and runs off of 8 AA batteries.

If you’re a little more advanced with trail cameras, give the Browning Defender Wireless a try. This camera is unique because it can be either Black (invisible) flash OR Standard IR flash, whichever one you choose! It takes 20MP images, 1920 x 1080p FHD videos with sound, has a 2” internal viewing screen, and runs off of 16 AA batteries. The Defender Wireless is also user friendly but has a few more bells and whistles that trail cam enthusiasts may enjoy. Both Browning cameras mentioned transmit HD images and video clips over a nationwide 4G LTE network and come in either an AT&T or Verizon model.

I’m sure I’m not the only one thankful for the advancements in trail camera technology through the years. And I’m excited to see the technological advancements of cellular cameras in the future!

trail cam 1

Redmond Hunt Trail Cam Contest

Got some brag-worthy photos snapped from your trail cam?  Submit them to our Redmond Hunt photo contest! Each month our team picks two favorite photos (must include any visible Redmond Hunt product) for a Reconyx Camera or pair of Vortex Diamondback 10×42 binocs. Or if your pic gets the most fan votes for the month, you'll win an Outdoor Edge/Trophy Rock gift package! Oh, and we also have a monthly random-entry drawing where one photo is chosen for a Browning trail camera. So what are you waiting for? View, vote on, and enter photos here or watch the video below to learn more about the contest!

Photo contest play button

Need some great products to attract deer and other critters to your trail cam and get more quality photos? Try our Redmond Hunt deer mineral products with 60+ trace minerals. Deer love natural Trophy Rock, Four65, and Cherry Bomb.  Click below to purchase and start attracting animals to your mineral site!  Don't have a site yet? Read this article for five easy steps to set one up.


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