Well known for its expansive selection of treestands—fixed, climbing, ladders, tripods, quad-pods, boxes—Big Game Treestands has stepped beyond the crowded field of ground blinds, feeders, and game carts into value-packed field cameras. It’s no longer sufficient to call them “trail cameras” since these in-the-field monitors can keep watch not only on trails, but on feeders and food plots, and in today’s security-conscious environment, a trail camera easily adapts to monitor one’s home or business.
“We studied the market for a long time and did a lot of comparison shopping,” says Sales Manager Casey Blum. “Treestands tend to be a Fall purchase so game scouting cameras—and our move back into ground blinds—help us round out our line and our sales year.”
Big Game Treestands introduced three EyeCon Trail Cameras at the ATA Show in January, the QuikShot (#TV1001), the Black Widow (#TV1012) and the Storm (#TV4001). Blum says dealers streamed into their booth throughout the show to look at these affordable, user-friendly units.
Hate reading instruction manuals? This is the trail camera line for you.
The beauty of these cameras, says Blum, is that because their electronics are programmed to factory defaults they are ready to take pictures as soon as a new owner inserts batteries and an SD card (up to 32GB, sold separately) and turns it on. When owners are ready, there are plenty of customizable adjustments and several optional accessories.
All EyeCon trail cameras have a number of features in common.
Cameras have a burst-option setting for 1, 3, or 5 sequential photos with a split-second interval between shots.
Cameras will take still photos or video (10-, 30-, or 50-second segments).
Photos are marked by date, time, temperature and moon phase.
Units have a long battery life—up to 40,000 images, even with the occasional use of the flash (both standard and infrared are built-in).
Cases are durable, waterproof ABS plastic (7.5x4.5x3 inches). Black for QuikShot and camo for Black Widow and Storm.
Back-lit LCD screens are easy to view. Screens are 1.7 inches wide for QuikShot and Black Widow; 2.5 inches wide for Storm.
Each unit comes with a one-year warranty.
Additionally, each unit operates either on 6 C-cell batteries or the EyeCon Extenda-Life rechargeable battery pack (sold separately). The Extenda-Life battery unit more than doubles normal battery life and comes with its own charger. “This is a very nice add-on sale,” says Blum, “Because it allows retailers to capture the battery sale.”
EyeCon also sells a Deluxe camera mounting kit, “Another great add-on sale for the retailer,” Blum notes. “Often there is not a good place to attach a camera. Our Universal Mount lets a user select the best spot and any camera with a strap can be used. It also includes a screw-in mount.”
QuikShot ($100) is the entry-level unit. Users can adjust the camera to take pictures at 1.3, 3.0, or 5.0 megapixels (the larger the picture the fewer an SD memory card can hold, but the sharper the image). It has a 1.7-inch-wide screen, a detection range of 40-50 feet, a 50-foot flash range, and 1.2-second trigger speed.
Storm—adjustable at 5.0, 7.0, and 9.0 megapixels—is the high-end EyeCon trail camera with a 60-foot flash range and a 1/3-second trigger speed. Storm’s viewable screen is also 1/3 larger than QuikShot at 2.5 inches.
Black Widow ($150) and Storm ($229 map) have an invisible flash that Big Game calls “InvisiFlash” because it can’t be detected by animals or other hunters. The flash won’t spook game or alert thieves to the camera’s position, either.
“We tried to hit the right price points with the right features to make our cameras a good value and also allow good margin to the retailer,” Blum says. “We actually power-up and pre-program every camera at the factory before it’s put in the package for shipping. And speaking of that, EyeCon packaging is attractive and informative.”
Testing units in Wisconsin last November, Blum proved EyeCon trail cameras work as advertised. His Storm unit photographed a magnificent whitetail and Blum hunted him throughout the archery season. “I shot over the back of a smaller buck,” he says, “which turned out to be a good thing. I kept bowhunting during the muzzleloader season and when that 180-class buck eventually walked by I didn’t shoot over its back!”
Blum says the EyeCon marketing program is designed to support dealer sales with an extensive print campaign and by supporting popular outdoor shows on the Outdoor and Sportsman’s Channels. Big Game (and EyeCon) support programs with Drury Outdoors and two motorsports cars in the World of Outlaws racing circuit. (Hint: When you call Big Game Treestands about the EyeCon Trail Cameras, ask whether the introductory offer is still good. Buy a dozen and you may still be able to get one free!)
EyeCon Trail Cameras and Big Game Treestands are based at 1820 N. Redding Ave. (P.O. Box 382), Windom, MN 56101. The toll-free dealer number is (800) 268-5077; www.biggametreestands.com.