Trail cameras of old helped hunters put eyes in the trees. This gift of stealth surveillance has proven invaluable, but it also has its limitations. Hunters with standard cams often pressure deer, elk, or whatever game they’re after when they enter the woods to retrieve SD cards. Thankfully, with the best cellular trail cameras of 2023, you don’t have to take that risk.
With a wireless cellular cam, you can check in your cameras and send photos to your phone via a 4G LTE cellular connection from Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile. Doing so will free up time, money, and legwork.
Instead of sneaking into the woods frequently, you can set up your wireless game camera to send photos at your specified frequency to stay in the loop without lifting a finger. And when you choose a solar-powered option paired with a rechargeable battery, you’ll save both gas and battery money.
We know solar is great, but many solar-powered options occupy the higher reaches of the price range. So, we’ll look at various options, from affordable budget buys to mid-range and top-rated high-end cams.
Keep in mind that the device purchase won’t be your only investment. Trail cams come with individual cell plans with recurring charges. For that reason, we included a brief breakdown of each plan offered by Spypoint, Tactacam, Moultrie, Bushnell, and others to see how much it costs to operate these best-rated options in 2023.
Now, let’s survey the best cellular game cameras for deer, elk, big game hunting, and home security. You’re sure to find a top-ranked option that dramatically improves your scouting and hunting abilities.
Legal Note: Check local laws regarding legality of these devices in your area before you make a purchase.
Best Cellular Trail Camera for the Money
Camera: 33 MP
Trigger Speed: 0.85 Seconds
Detection Range: 80 feet
Network: AT&T or Verizon
The Moultrie Mobile Mobile Edge is our favorite trail cams for the money in 2023, thanks to its excellent specs and low price tag.
Moultrie released a significantly upgraded Edge model new for 2023, which rocks its powerful new Cellboost Antenna that delivers a stronger signal. For hunters who plan on hanging their devices in the boonies, this feature helps create a solid line of communication longer than a country mile.
The Edge takes excellent photos with its 33-MP sensor and can transmit high-definition 720p video directly to your cell phone. This detailed video is helpful for actively checking out which bucks and bulls are the most aggressive and will help you plan your calls around their bold behavior.
While it doesn’t have the fastest trigger speed on the list, it’s quick enough to take excellent photographs day or night. Its Free Species Recognition software lets you quickly thumb through your photos to locate turkey, buck, or bull on your Moultrie Mobile app. Not to mention, all of its storage is internal, so you’ll never have to fuss with an SD card again.
For our money, we can’t think of a remote option that’s better.
Best Overall Cellular Trail Cam
Tactacam Reveal X Gen 2.0
Camera: 16 MP
Trigger Speed: <.5 seconds
Detection Range: 96+ feet
Ingress Protection: IP66
Network: AT&T or Verizon
One of the best devices to hit the market in recent years was the first version of Tactacam’s REVEAL X. Now that Gen 2.0 is here, Tactacam has earned its position as one of the best overall cellular trail cameras on the market. Our reasoning stems from the camera’s overall price point, features, and photo quality.
Even more revealing, it’s hard to find many hunters who dislike their devices, and I attribute that to the brand’s overall quality, attention to detail, and ruggedness.
With an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP66, dust won’t ever enter the enclosure of your camera. And the gadget is even rated to withstand low-pressure water jets from any direction. In other words, no matter what mother nature decides to throw at your cam, it’ll stand up to it.
Plus, thanks to its 16 MP camera, the device takes quality photos and videos, day or night. While I tend to prefer no-glow, the truth is most deer probably won’t notice a low-glow flash at night time from a well-placed device.
When you combine these aspects with the camera’s quick trigger, you’ll understand why we rated the Tactacam REVEAL X Gen 2.0 one of the best overall game cams for the money.
Top-Rated Made-in-America Choice
Reconyx HyperFire 2
Camera: 3 MP
Trigger Speed: .2 Seconds
Detection Range: 150 feet
Network: AT&T or Verizon
Some of the best cellular trail cameras on the market, which can double as security devices, are Made here in America by Reconyx. While it’s true you’ll spend more money on a Reconyx product, they’re time-tested and work exceptionally well for both big game hunting and protecting your property.
When you choose the Hyperfire 2 model, you’ll get one of the fastest triggers in the cellular game trap market. With a .2 second response time, you’ll ensure that no buck or bull escapes your lens.
If you’re concerned about the HyperFire 2’s lower megapixel number, don’t be. Most manufacturers use large megapixel sensors that don’t capture enough light to make the extra pixels worth it. Or, they just digitally add pixels, which doesn’t make for sharper images.
When using Reconyx trail cams, full-HD photos and 720p video simply work. With an incredible 150’ no-glow night vision flash, you can spy deep into the night to spot your prey or perp.
That’s a great feature, especially if you want to use this camera for security purposes. It’ll help deliver peace of mind to remotely monitor your home, barn, or garage from anywhere in the US.
For a tremendous Made-in-America device, check out the Reconyx Hyperfire 2.
Best Customer Service on the List
Yellowstone.ai 4G LTE Wireless
Camera: 12 MP
Trigger Speed: .4 Seconds
Detection Range: 65 feet
Network: AT&T and T-Moble
Quite possibly our favorite deer, elk, and wild game cam on this review comes from Yellowstone.ai, a small business based in the United States.
If you ever have a problem with your cell cam, just give Yellowstone.ai a call, and an actual, America-based representative will answer the phone to give you a hand. Their reps understand their cams inside and out and help sort out issues quickly so you can go back to surveilling whatever game you’re hunting.
But, just because you can talk to a real person doesn’t mean the product is worth a purchase. Thankfully Yellowstone.ai’s solution ranks as one of the best on the market. With an excellent no-glow flash, you’ll get great pictures that won’t spook the game at night.
And in the daytime, any motion this device captures will come through to your cell phone instantly and without delay. It’s more than capable as a game camera and would also work well as a home security device.
No matter your reasoning for picking one up, this might be the top option for the money of 2023 when you factor in its mid-range price, photo/video quality, and stellar customer service.
Not convinced? Call Yellowstone.ai today at (970) 821-8525, talk to one of their reps, and see how they do business.
Picture + Video + Streaming Trap
Spartan GoLive M
Camera: 8 MP
Trigger Speed: <.5 Seconds
Detection Range: 80 feet
Network: Auto-switches b/t AT&T and Verizon for the best connection
All the cellular gadgets on this list take pictures; that’s a given, and most even take crisp 1080p videos. But none other than the Spartan GoLive M can give hunters the power of live streaming.
With the Spartan GoLive M, you can see precisely what’s happening at one of your traps in real-time. So, if you notice that a bull triggered your camera, you can tune in and watch what’s going on from anywhere — bed, couch, and La-Z-Boy included.
For that reason, and a few others, the Spartan GoLive M is the most advanced option on this list. In addition to streaming, the GoLive M can dynamically switch between cellular carriers to provide you with the strongest signal. You’ll never have to spend any time second-guessing whether or not you picked the right network for your camera.
With all these high-tech features, the Spartan GoLive M is one of the best wireless trail cameras for capturing wildlife. And, since wildlife can’t escape its lens, humans will have a tough time too. Point one at your home or property during the offseason to deliver peace of mind when you’re far from the things you want to protect.
Mid-Range Bushnell with Cellular
Bushnell CelluCORE 30
Camera: 30 MP
Trigger Speed: .2 Seconds
Detection Range: 100 feet
Network: AT&T or Verizon
If you’re looking for a solid mid-range option from a name you recognize, look no further than the Bushnell CelluCORE 30.
Featuring the highest megapixel camera on the list, Bushnell’s claim as the best cellular trail camera on the market lies with its large sensor. But don’t let that confuse you too much; most companies tend to mislead consumers about megapixel counts.
So, while it would seem easy to pick this camera based on the number of megapixels it claims to use, the only real way to see how well a camera performs is to look at its pictures.
For us, the camera showed some great daytime photographs, which is expected of a camera with as many megapixels as Bushnell advertises. But, what’s important is how much light the camera could absorb, especially when considering nighttime performance.
Thankfully, when comparing the images with Bushnell’s previous camera, the CelluCORE 20, the CelluCORE 30’s photos of deer and elk look noticeably better. Admittedly, they won’t give you the best image quality on the market, but you’re also not spending the most money here, either.
For a solid all-around game cam from a well-known name, go with the Bushnell CelluCORE 30.
Most Affordable Cams
Camera: 10 MP
Trigger Speed: .5 Seconds
Detection Range: 80 feet
Network: AT&T or Verizon
If you’re a hunter on a budget and looking to get into the cellular trap game, I can’t think of a better way to do so than with Spypoint’s LINK-MICRO-LTE.
Regularly on sale for under $80, this small device takes quality photos, has a fast trigger speed, and detects critters up to 80 feet away. And because it’s paired with Spypoint’s seamless phone app, setting it up is a breeze.
It requires eight AA batteries to run, or you can pair it with a rechargeable battery to save some dough in the long run. Heck, even better than getting a rechargeable battery would be to opt for the solar version, the LINK-MICRO-S-LTE.
Now, I’ll admit that many online reviews say that this cam is defective or doesn’t work. For us, those appear to be isolated cases, and we find that most people love this camera and the value it brings for hunting.
If you feel comfortable giving this device a shot, I think it’s the best value you’ll find for the money. That’s especially true when you consider Spypoint offers a free cellular plan.
Fastest Trigger With Solar
Spypoint LINK-S-DARK Solar
Camera: 12 MP
Trigger Speed: .07 Seconds
Detection Range: 100 feet
Are you searching for a solar-powered device with the fastest overall trigger on this list? Look no further than the Spypoint LINK-S-DARK.
This cellular trail cam features just about every feature you could ask for. With a built-in solar panel and rechargeable lithium battery, you can say goodbye to the obligatory long trips to your game cams every few weeks.
And with a fantastic 100’ detection range, deer and elk should be very careful should they cross the LINK-S-DARK’s path — because this game cam won’t miss. With a .07 trigger speed, you’ll capture more deer and fewer blank pictures.
At night, Spypoint gives hunters the ability to choose whether or not they want a full IR flash or no-glow. So if you’re any bit concerned about scaring off that buck you’ve had your eye on in the offseason, put those fears to rest.
Plus, Spypoint offers an entirely free cell plan, so you can give this sucker a test drive before deciding how much service you actually need to buy.
For the fastest-shooting solar-powered wireless game camera I know of, check out the LINK-S-DARK from Spypoint.
Standing at the cutting edge of hunting tech, cellular game traps give hunters critical benefits over standard, non-cellular options.
Here are three key benefits.
Going in and out of your hunting location puts pressure on the animals that live there. If you have to visit your cams all the time to retrieve SD cards, that prized deer or elk may change their patterns and stay away from your traps.
Because these cameras transmit photos over a wireless network, you’ll get information much faster than you would physically retrieve SD cards. That means you’ll know precisely when that buck you’ve had your eye on for the past three years is still alive, well, and in your area.
Fewer Miles Traveled
If you’ve got a hunting lease far away or even in the next state, the ability to remotely check your cameras gives you more time for all the other stuff you have to do in your life. By eliminating travel time, you’ll have more time for everything else life has in store.
This section will review some of the boots-on-the-ground factors you should consider when examining the best cellular trail cameras of 2023. We’ll dive into the more technical considerations in the section after this.
The first thing most hunters, and consumers in general, consider before making a purchase is cost. For example, game traps with high-end specifications and the latest technology typically take better pictures but also land outside many people’s price range.
Size and Packability
Unless you plan on leaving your trail cams up for the entire year, you’re going to have to pack them in and pack them out at the beginning and end of the year. That said, be sure to pick units that you feel comfortable packing.
Another consideration is the wireless antenna. Some antennas are fixed, making them much more prominent and unwieldy. All the options on this list use foldable antennas, but if you find one you like that isn’t on this list, be aware of how the antenna works first.
Also, a smaller device is less likely to be spotted and stolen — keep that in mind. If you want a small unit, check out the Spypoint LINK-MICRO-LTE.
If you’ve used a cell phone, and we’re sure you have, you know how coverage works. Sometimes your phone works in one place and not the other. So, be sure to pick a wireless provider you know works in the area where you plan on placing your camera.
Most of the devices here use AT&T or Verizon, while a few use T-Mobile. Even fewer use technology that switches between networks to ensure your photos transmit.
For a trap that can use multiple networks, go with the Spartan GoLive M.
Because you’ll set your game cameras up and use them remotely, driving to them to fix a problem defeats the purpose. Be mindful of the quality of customer service these companies offer.
Typically, with a good customer service team, you can get your issue fixed over the phone so your gear gets back to scouting the deer, elk, or wild game you’re pursuing. For the finest customer service experience you’ll find in 2o22, check out Yellowstone.ai.
Cellular game cameras use high-tech equipment to transmit photos through the air to your cell phone or computer. Understanding what these terms mean can help hunters make the best buying decision for their budget and style of hunting.
Scroll down to learn more about the technical sorcery that goes into making each product.
Each megapixel is composed of a million individual pixels. The more pixels your cellular trail cam has, the more detailed your photo or video will be. But, it isn’t as easy as picking the model with the most megapixels.
Frequently, manufacturers advertise large megapixel sensors into their gear just to boost the number on the package. Instead, what matters most is how much light the sensor itself can capture.
In the case of cellular game cams, the sensors aren’t generally that big. After all, they have to sit in a tree and hopefully go undetected. So, even if you’ve got a gadget with a large megapixel sensor, it won’t matter much if the sensor itself isn’t getting enough light.
With that in mind, read reviews about what people are saying about the cams that catch your interest. You can get a feel for how well the camera takes photos by reading through reviews and looking at the images they’re kind enough to post.
A great example of a lower-MP device that takes excellent pictures is the Reconyx HyperFire 2. Even though it has the lowest megapixel count of any game cam on this list, it takes fantastic pictures day or night.
Detection range is the distance measured in feet that a sensor can detect an animal, whether an elk, deer, or whatever other game is out there. It measures the difference between a critter’s body heat and the surrounding area.
Cameras with large detection ranges, like the Bushnell CelluCORE 30, allow hunters to see further from where they’re posted. But, if you just need to monitor something minor like a food plot, an extended range model might be overkill.
If you want a picture of an entire animal, not just one half or another, you need a trail cam with a fast trigger. Essentially, trigger speed measures how long it takes for the device to detect motion and then snap a shot.
Trigger speed is one of the most crucial factors in the trail cam market. If you can’t trust your device to get a quality picture of the animals on your lease or property, there isn’t much use in taking the time to hang the little doodad.
Buy a camera that can take photos in half a second or less; this gives you the best opportunity to capture the types of elk or deer in your hunting area.
If you want the fastest marketed trigger speed available, check out Spypoint’s Link-S-Dark Solar. With a .07 second trigger speed, it’s the quickest on this list and one of the best cellular trail cameras for the money.
The flash on your trail camera can do more harm than good if your main objective is to keep animals near your hunting grounds. I know I don’t want my device spooking any deer or elk.
Let’s look at the most common types of flash you’ll run into when researching camera traps.
We’re sure you’re familiar with the white flash of a camera. Unfortunately, this flash isn’t great for cams in most cases because it will freak out that deer or wild game in the middle of the night.
Compared to white flash cameras, low-glow units emit red light. When set up a proper distance from its target, your low-glow device is unlikely to spook your game. Ensure you get your device set up correctly, and you shouldn’t have any issues with stealthiness.
No-glow devices don’t emit a visible flash. Instead, these camera traps use infrared light to illuminate a subject. So, neither your trophy buck nor the hunter using the same public land will see the camera flash.
The chief benefit of a cellular camera is that it’ll allow you to travel less often. But, if the battery life stinks, you might make more trips to the trap than you’d like. To avoid that, opt for lithium batteries whenever you can.
Another tip is to set the cam up, so you’re not sending more pictures and videos than you need. If you’re transmitting HD videos to your phone all the time, you’ll burn through your cam’s batteries quickly.
Consider a solar option if you don’t want to deal with batteries. Solar cams can give you nearly unlimited battery life if they get good sunlight. A tremendous solar option is Tactacam’s Reveal SK.
Each trail cam company offers separate plans from your cell phone plan. In other words, don’t be scared of picking up a Verizon cam if you and your family use AT&T.
Also, ensure you’re getting as much or as little service as you need. Some plans offer just a few hundred pictures a month, so if you place your trail cam at a salt lick or food plot, you’ll blow through those limits in no time.
Carefully consider how many photos or videos you’ll want to transfer to your phone during a given month, how many months you plan on using the gadget, and how much you want to spend on a plan.
Here are the 2023 wireless plans for all brands you’ll find on this list.
We modern hunters are so spoiled; it’s incredible. When armed with one of the best cellular trail cameras of 2023 for hunting, your game camera acts as a stealthy spy that will send photos of bucks, bulls, and other critters straight to your phone.
These are likely messages the most exciting messages you’ll receive all year.
With these high-tech devices, you’ll get to pick the best service for your area (usually AT&T or Verizon) without fear of impacting your cell phone plan. While this technology seems like it could be out of reach for many people, even those on a budget can find affordable, top-rated products with excellent battery life.
And if you’re willing to spend a little more, we included the best mid-range and high-end cellular game cameras for the money you’ll find in 2023. No matter your budget, you should have no trouble viewing and reviewing that deer, elk, or wild game you’re drooling over.
Now, climb a tree, hang a trap, and let the camera do its magic.
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Last Updated on January 19, 2024
Ryan Squires lives in Colorado, where elk roam free from the plains to the Rocky Mountains. When he’s not thinking about elk, he can usually be found with an ice-cold brew.