I’ve had the Bushnell X-8 trail camera in the field for a month and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. It’s on a trailhead with approximately 15 feet of space before a corn field begins. I knew the deer were using this trail because of the amount of corn which was eaten off the stalks and their tracks. I just couldn’t wait to get this camera on the tree and see what bucks might be visiting on opening morning of bow season.
When I initially set the camera up I placed it on Field Scan mode to automatically take a 3-photo-burst every two minutes for the last hour and half of day light. During the time it was on Field Scan mode for more than 3 weeks the Bushnell X-8 took more than 2,000 photos and with most of them being on Field Scan mode during the day time. During the first week of testing I got almost no PIR (Passive Infrared) photos. I thought maybe there were no deer at all using the area, but then I had a few deer caught on the Field Scan mode, so that couldn’t have been the case.
After re-examining the instruction manual, I found the PIR sensor is adjustable. The manual says:
When setting up the camera to capture images of wildlife on hot summer days, it can be more difficult for the sensor to detect the temperature difference between animals and their surroundings. Setting the sensitivity switch to “H” can help, since it makes the PIR more sensitive to small differences in temperature. The opposite is also true-setting the switch to “L” can help prevent false or too frequent triggers during the low ambient temperatures of winter. And “M” (medium) is a good setting for moderate fall and spring temperatures.
Following the PIR settings readjustments and putting it back on the tree, the camera captured numerous photos of deer and other wildlife as soon as they entered the detection zone. It was great to see that a simple switch adjustment would make all the difference in the world. The best part about it was during the testing I was only using 4 alkaline AA batteries and the camera will accept up to 8 lithium AA for maximum battery life. After a month in the field taking more than 2,000 photos and about 25 videos as well, the battery bar had not moved from full.
After seeing the Field Scan mode and PIR photo mode worked well at both day and night, it was time to test out the video mode. I wasn’t even aware it would take videos at night, until I pulled the card the first time; but it really does a great job. You can tell so much more about the deer when they are moving in the video, than in a still photo. It could definitely make the difference in distinguishing a shooter buck from a non-shooter even with the excellent image quality. Seeing how different deer move and react will allow hunters to more accurately identify deer while in the stand.
If you are having second thoughts about which trail camera to buy, you can’t go wrong with this one. It’s tiny, takes great photos and videos, and is simple to set up. Add in the fact that it has a 9-month battery life on eight lithium AA batteries taking up to 30 photos a day, and I’m sold. To see the instruction manual on the Bushnell X-8 trail camera see Bushnell’s web site.