With flooding rains scrambling our deer hunting plans from almost start to finish last fall, my two Texas-based sons and I found ourselves having to make a number of on-the-fly in-season deer hunting adjustments last year.
At least where the roaming nature of a couple of big bucks we were hoping to connect with were concerned.
On more than one occasion, as rainfall tried to drown strategically-placed food plots and scrambled the usual patterns of local deer movement, we were forced to abandon preconceived notions (not to mention locations) and scramble a bit in our portion of the Southern Great Plains.
That meant continually processing incoming whitetail intelligence as the fall progressed, making some quick new stand set-ups and figuring out a new corner of the woods in a big hurry.
One tool we utilized in doing so was the Moultrie A-7i Game Camera, a unit that utilizes the company's iNVISIBLE FLASH technology in an affordable price point, something that allows multiple cameras to be purchased and pressed into service.
With the ability to capture up to 16,000 images on a 32-gigabyte SD card – and on a single set of eight AA batteries, no less – putting the unit up over a fresh scrape was a no-brainer for us.
With easy-to-follow instructions from Moultrie, it didn't take long for my sons and I to slip into a newly minted hot corner of our hunting property on a November mid-day scouting mission and set the camera up for some quick scouting.
After putting up a portable tripod stand, we set the camera up on a tree overlooking a scrape and turned the unit's 36 black infrared LED's loose to see what would come in. With a 40-foot daytime range and a similar nighttime flash range, the unit was perfect for the task we asked it to perform.
While not the fastest camera on the market, the A-7i isn't the slowest either with a trigger speed of less than 1.5 seconds. When put over a scrape – or a nearby food source – that's more than enough time to get a high-resolution photo or even a 640x480 VGA video clip.
With easy-to-use multi-shot modes, the option to imprint images with various types of data (time, date, moon phase and camera identification info) and a power port to connect to an external power source if so desired, the A-7i is a can't miss unit that effectively combines a number of desired and easy-to-use features for a quick strike set-up.
All without breaking the bank, either, something that can easily be done these days with the myriad of high-dollar, feature-packed units that sit on the shelves of many box stores and outdoor super marts.
While I'd love to tell you that my boys and I used the A-7i to catch up with one of the big bucks that was roaming the area and pock-marking the ground with muddy scrapes, that didn't happen.
Courtesy of El Nino's flooding rains and the year's volatile weather conditions – killer tornadoes struck the North Texas region the day after Christmas – our season was a bit off kilter all the way from start to finish.
But there's always next year.
And armed with a fresh supply of whitetail intelligence gleaned from this past fall – and with the affordable price of the A-7i camera in place, something that makes other unit purchases possible during the off-season – those big bruiser bucks shouldn't expect a free pass next fall.
Because the rains won't last forever, especially in the normally dry neck of the woods that we happen to hunt.