Bushnell Trail Cameras, by Pat Cascio

I’m old school – especially when it comes to hunting. I always thought that the word “hunting” meant you got out there and beat the bushes for the game you wanted. I guess things have changed over the years, and now it is a scientific and calculated thing – doesn’t sound much like a hunt to me. It is more of a game, if you ask me.

Have you ever wondered what is going on at your digs, when you aren’t home, or who – or what – is on your property in the dead of night? Yeah, I thought so – many of us are curious about what is lurking and may pose a threat to us – when we aren’t as attentive as we should be. I know on my small retreat, of only about four acres, I can’t see the entire place, without actually walking my property – it has heavy timber and other vegetation.

There are times when we’ve been gone for several hours from our home, and when we return, we just have a feeling that someone has been on our property. That is just a feeling, and I’m sure many of you have had this happen to you. You just know that something isn’t right, or is out of place, from the time you left until you returned home. Sure, you’ve looked around your place, but you can’t put your finger on it – but something is different.

We have motion sensor alarms all over our front yard – and it is a big front yard. We also have motion sensor lights that turn on after the sun goes does, and we know when someone is on our property with the combination of lights and audible alarms. However, none of that is of any use, when we’re not home.

Many hunters have turned to trail cameras in recent years. These are handy-dandy cameras you can attach to trees in the area you plan to hunt. Used to be, these sort of cameras were very expensive, and there was always the chance that someone else might discover them, and steal them. That happens a lot more often than you might think. Plus, when setting up these cameras, to check the game in your area, you have to have a good idea where a game trail might be. To inexperienced hunters, they might walk over a game trail or even on the trail, without knowing where to place a camera or two.

So now Bushnell has branched out into trail cameras. They are a long-time and favorite optics maker. I have quite a few of their rifle scopes and binoculars that I’ve tested over the years. I’ve never had a bad optic from Bushnell. The quality is about as good as you’d expect from an American maker, especially when it comes to the clarity of their optics. And their prices? You get more than you expect, at a very real down-to-earth price.

Like most folks, I live on a budget, and since my wife is now retired, we live on a very strict budget, and we have to budget” everything we plan on purchasing. If something isn’t a good deal in our book, and that means quality as well as price, then we have to pass on it. I’ve heard of people who have to budget their paychecks, but I had never experienced it before – I always found a way to get whatever it was I wanted. But nowadays, we can’t do that.

The Bushnell Cameras

I was recently sent two trail cameras to test from Bushnell. They are the Cellu Core A20 and the Core S-4K – and they are similar in some ways and quite a bit different in many ways. The “set-up and go” isn’t quite as easy as claimed – you have to really study the instruction manuals that come with trail cameras. It’s not just a question of installing batteries and attaching these cameras to trees. It takes a little work. But once you’ve done it, it seems a lot easier than the first time.

The Core S-4K

Some of the highlights of the Core S-4K are as follows: According to the information enclosed with the camera: “4K single sensor, Best in class 4K @ FPS video, up to 30 MP images, best in class 110 ft night range, 1.5 inch color view screen, removable battery tray for easy battery changes, 2-year limited warranty.”  It is described as “no glow” trail camera – meaning that the camera’s nighttime infrared lights don’t emit light visible to the naked eye.

The Cellu Core 20

On the Cellu Core 20: “One switch set-up for images sent to your phone fast, crystal clear 20MP images, HD video, low-glow LED/80 foot night range, removable battery tray, free 30-day free trial for images sent to your phone, data plans starting at $9.99 per month, and a 2-year warranty.” It is described as “low glow” trail camera – meaning that the camera’s nighttime infrared lights do emit light visible to the naked eye, but not much.


The Cellu Core is great, if you want images sent to your cellular phone – day or night – so you know what is going on – right when it is going on. Heretofore, the only app that I have put on my cell phones over the years, is a weather app, so we know what kind of weather we have in our area. So, my oldest daughter, put the Bushnell app on her cell phone and she has been having a ball, watching the game going through our yard at night. You may not see the wild game that is activating your camera, but the camera sees it all.

The other Bushnell trail camera that I tested is the S-4K. This one where you have to remove the card from the camera in order to see the pictures on your computer. Now, I’m not sure how many images the SD cards hold, but in testing these cameras over a two-week period, we have hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of images. We even “caught” the UPS and FedEx drivers making deliveries to our front door when we weren’t home. In one image, you can see a super-sharp picture of the FedEx truck’s front license plate.

One camera is set up near our driveway, near the road, and every now and then a heavy logging truck going past, tripped the camera, so we had quite a few images of logging trucks. And, every now and then, someone would use our driveway to turn around — usually because they were lost. We live in a pretty rural area, so we don’t have many visitors coming into our driveway. But it is nice to know who is entering our driveway just the same – especially when we aren’t home.

Our Pet Deer

At this stage of my life, my big game hunting days are pretty much at an end. With various health issues, I just don’t have the fun I used to have, trailing game, taking a shot, and then having to dress out the game and getting it home. I shodl also mention that in my part of Oregon, a lot of hunting is done on logging roads, because the vegetation is so heavy, it is extremely difficult to walk through the woods. So many folks drive the logging roads. I thought that I might miss getting out there and hunting on foot, or on a logging road, but I honestly have found that don’t miss it.

We have quite a few “pet” deer that come into our yard, they know they are safe – no hunting allowed – period! I can see the deer, at times feeding on the rose bushes right outside our front window. At times, I go and stand on the front deck, a mere 15-feet from the deer who are feeding, and I can “talk” to them – they know my voice and don’t run off. My wife gets frustrated when she tries it – the deer usually run off as soon as she goes out the front door.

We have about a dozen different deer that are in our yard throughout the day. We’ve had as many as eight deer at one time in our front yard. They come from two different directions – some enter from the north end and others the south end – and once in a great while, one or two deer will chase off some of the deer from the other side. I guess it’s a territorial thing. This doesn’t happen often, but it happens.

As you will see in some of the pics I’m attaching to this article, we have one lone buck, who hangs out with one herd of deer. We believe he was born to one of the does, because they know him. And, he’s been very curious about one of the cameras – and almost posses for pictures from this one camera. He is growing a good set of horns, and I expect he’ll be joining some other bucks this coming fall.

So, if you’re into hunting, and you want an advantage, and you want to know when the big game is in a certain area, at a certain time, then install a couple of their trail cameras. Or, if you just want to know who or what is on your property, then these cameras are a really great idea. Consider them a useful adjunct to your retreat security. If positioned properly,  trail cameras will capture faces and license plate numbers. Those saved images could be crucial to your local police or deputies developing a case, should you ever suffer a home burglary.

Best of all, the Bushnell trail cameras are reasonably priced. I don’t want to go into prices – but you can find them on the Internet and you’ll be surprised at how little they cost. Just a good idea to see who or what is on your property – day and night – and you’ll probably be surprised at what you will see taking place in the middle of the night.