This one probably goes without being said, but the #1 thing you need to remember when setting up trail/game cameras is your camera. The original store packaging is a pain to remove so make sure to remove the camera from the packaging before heading into the field.
I have a couple dedicated carrying cases that I use for all of my trail cameras and accessories. This is great when I’m done for the year and picking up all of my cameras so I know that everything is organized and packed up in a single location. Same goes for setting up at the beginning of each year, I know that I can grab one of my bags which usually has anywhere from 4-6 cameras in it and that I have all of my straps, batteries, memory cards and cameras in one spot.
Remember to bring along extra memory cards during setup or when swapping out cards to check pictures. The quicker you can be in and out of the woods, the better. You don’t want to be sitting in the woods checking hundreds of pictures before you clear the pics because you forgot to bring an extra memory card. Size of memory cards greatly varies but I’d suggest no less than 2 GB cards but prefer to set my cameras up with 6GB or larger to ensure I have plenty of space. Size of the card you need will depend on the picture quality your camera is set up for (low/high image quality) and how often you are switching out memory cards. Earlier in the season I tend to have 8GB or larger cards since I know that it may be weeks or months before I’m back to check some cameras.
Be sure to bring along your favorite brand of scent eliminator with you when checking cameras. You should be practicing good scent control to minimize human odor in the areas you are checking. This also includes wearing the right gear such as rubber boots and gloves when handling the cameras.
Make sure to check the rules and regulations of the state that you are hunting in before putting out attractants. Attractants can be a great way to get game to stop in front of your camera for a close up shot. If your state allows it, you can lay out food, scents, minerals or other attractants for the game you are going after and it can be a great way to stop the animal or pull them in to a desired area with a camera.
If you are setting up a camera in an area that doesn’t have a lot of good options for trees, you may want to consider a trail camera tripod. Most vendors offer some type of accessory tri-pod that fits with their camera brands or there are a few generic ones out on the market that typically work with most camera mounting brackets.
Stic-N-Pic Mini Ground Mount
HME Products Men’s Ground Trail Camera Mount
You never know what will have grown up (weeds, thorn bushes, etc…) from the time you initially set up your camera to the time you head back to check memory cards. This seems to especially be the case for me, when I’m setting up cameras early in the year (Feb/March/April) and then heading back in June when everything has greened up during the spring growing season. I always try to carry along a hand saw or extendible saw that I can use to cut brush. Lesson learned for me on this one and I always make sure to carry something along with me for this purpose now.
Fiskars 7-14 Foot Power-Lever Extendable Pole Saw & Pruner
Fiskars 28 Inch Bypass Lopper
Heavy Duty Pruning Saw