Wireless trail cameras are all the rage these days, as more and more bowhunters embrace the convenience of “scouting” while seated behind a desk or on the living room couch. After all, there’s not much more exciting than being miles from your hunting property only to have your wireless camera send an image showing there’s a giant buck standing in front of your stand right now!
Moultrie has long been at the forefront of wireless trail-cam technology, and the company’s all-new Moultrie Mobile Cellular Camera seeks to build on that history of innovation by combining a high-performance camera and 4G cellular modem in a single, affordable ($129.99 after $50, mail-in rebate) unit that is extremely simple to use. Although the camera officially launches today, I’ve been testing a unit provided by Moultrie for the past couple weeks and have received nearly 1,600 images sent directly to my cell phone during that time. So far, the system has worked flawlessly and helped me identify a great 10-point buck that will certainly be on my hit list this fall.
The Cellular Camera is available in two models — XA-7000i for AT&T and XV-7000i for Verizon — allowing users to choose the option that provides the best coverage in their area. From the outside, the unit doesn’t look much different than any other trail camera, though the Moultrie White Bark Camo does a good job of helping the camera remain hidden while deployed. It’s when you open the camera’s access door that you immediately notice something different — no display! In fact, you will find only three controls on the camera: an on/off switch and two buttons — one to manually check the camera’s network signal and connection status and the other to manually format the camera’s SD card. That’s it.
The need for a full user interface on the camera is eliminated by using the free Moultrie Mobile app (on your smartphone or tablet) or website to control the camera remotely. Moultrie Mobile allows you to easily view, share or delete your images. You can also request a hi-resolution version of an image if you capture something particularly interesting and want a closer look with more detail than a standard thumbnail image provides. The camera’s date and time are automatically set by the network, and all images are automatically tagged with a wealth of additional data, such as temperature, moon phase and barometric pressure. Moultrie Mobile even includes Smart Tag image-recognition that automatically flags images with deer or turkeys, allowing users to filter out unwanted photos.
In addition to viewing and managing your photos, Moultrie Mobile provides a report on your camera’s status each time it connects to the network, keeping you up to date on things such as the camera’s battery life, SD card capacity and cell signal strength. You can also change all camera settings such as choosing between still images or video, selecting image resolution, establishing the delay time between triggering, choosing how often the modem uploads images, etc.
Finally, Moultrie Mobile is also where you go to register your camera initially and manage your monthly data plan. Moultrie offers six plan options for its 4G devices, ranging from $4.99-$49.99 a month. For most users, the $14.99 Medium (1,500 images) or $19.99 Large (3,000 images) plan should be just right. One thing worth noting here is that, because the Cellular Camera can only be managed via Moultrie Mobile, you must maintain at least a minimum service plan in order to use it. However, all plans go month to month, with no contracts and no startup or cancellation fees. So, you can simply discontinue service in the off-season when your camera is not in use.
Other noteworthy features of the Moultrie Mobile Cellular Camera include 20MP photo resolution, 1080p high-definition video with audio, .3-second trigger speed, 80-foot Invisible flash and detection range and Moultrie’s ILLUMI-NIGHT 2 sensor for brighter, clearer nighttime images. The Cellular Camera runs on 12 AA batteries, with an advertised battery life of three months.
I’m looking forward to keeping tabs on my hunting area with Moultrie Mobile throughout the rest of the summer and into the fall hunting seasons. If you’ve been on the wireless camera sidelines thus far but are thinking about getting into the game, the Moultrie Mobile Cellular Camera is certainly an option worth your consideration.