In the precision sport of hunting, both sides of the barrel use their advantages. We use modern tech, and the animals use age-old instincts. Bushnell, the leading sports optics manufacturer, looks to disrupt that balance. With their new Wireless Trophy Cam, they’ve tipped the scales distinctly toward the hunter — good news for us, bad news for the buck.

Bushnell’s cam doesn’t differentiate itself by its optics (the quality’s on par with other high-end models), but it does hit hard on connectivity and interface. It’s the first carrier-approved wireless cam, which connects to AT&T’s 3G network, a coverage area encompassing all but the most remote spots in the US. That extensive connectivity enables the camera to send up-to-the-minute trail photographs directly to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Vital to the process (and distinct among the convoluted nature of other trail cams), the setup is simple: install batteries and SD card, register camera, send test image, then mount the camera and get the live feed. A month of free data comes with the cam, and extended pre-paid plans are available from Bushnell. The mobile applications and web interface also control the camera, so you can change time-lapse intervals (from one minute to one hour) and alter heightened observation hours (depending on animal activity). At the scheduled intervals and triggered by the sight of any animal activity, the camera snaps a photograph and sends a thumbnail to your synced devices.

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Bushnell’s Trophy Cam Wireless hits all the expected bases of a top-notch trail cam: it records 1280×720 HD video and takes full-color 8MP photographs; its Hyper PIR motion sensor has a range of 60 feet and its Field Scan 2x gives a wide angle view; the cam senses day and night conditions and adjusts accordingly. But the true dexterity of the tech comes from connectivity. A wireless live feed of photos puts the powers of observation into the hands of the hunter, in real time, without leaving a trace. There’s no need to disrupt a trail with activity, no reason to leave wafts of human scent. For tracking prey, it’s a game changer (no pun intended). It erases the delay between something happening in the field and becoming aware of it. Now, all the relevant trail info arrives at your fingertips. The only question left is: how quickly can you respond?

$600


App: free iOS and Android app
HD Video: 1280 x 720 pixels
Lights: 32 no-glow black LEDs with 60 feet of range
Sensor: motion-activated PIR sensor
Battery Life: 3 months