You will need a camera suited for hunting to document and capture your hunt for future reference. Fortunately, there are plenty of great action cameras designed for hunting. Sifting through the numerous options available to find the best camera for bow hunting can be overwhelming.
So we decided to do the sifting for you by scouring the camera market to find the best action camera for bow hunting. We narrowed it down to six that we found to offer the highest value for money.
Quick View Of Our Top Picks
We picked these six based on their construction, i.e., being waterproof and shockproof to withstand the occasional downpour. Also, we checked how easy they were to mount, the operation, and the battery life. This is in addition to the performance.
Last update on 2023-04-01
Differences Between Bow Hunting and Trail Cameras
The main difference between hunting and trail cameras is what they are designed to do. Trail cameras are designed to be mounted onto a tree or any other permanent fixture. Once mounted, they act as a way for hunters and wildlife enthusiasts to monitor animals.
Due to their use, trail cameras have built-in sensors for detecting wildlife movement and sound recorders. On the other hand, hunting cameras are designed to be mounted on a bow. They typically have a spherical shape to make them easier to mount onto a compound bow, similar to a scope.
Hunting cameras are designed to capture a hunt and typically have a shorter battery life than trail cameras. Both cameras have to be waterproof and shockproof, though, to withstand the elements.
Can I use an action camera like a GoPro to film bow hunts
Yes, action cameras like GoPro have features that make them suitable for use as bow-hunting cameras. The Gopro, for example, has motion triggers that start or stop when the camera detects motion. They are also easy to operate with a single on/off button.
However, action cameras tend to have a wider field of view than hunting cameras and do not zoom in easily on your prey like a hunting camera.
How to Mount a Hunting Camera on a Bow
Hunting cameras designed for use on bows will have some type of mounting rail, in most cases a Picatinny rail. Remove the screw on the end of the rail—slide one end of the camera on an opening between the scope and bow.
Secure the camera with the screw and mounting mechanism that it comes with.
What Accessories Do You Need to Use Action Camera For Hunting
If you plan on using an action camera to film your hunt, there are several accessories you will need to accompany the action camera. These accessories are;
- A head strap if you want to mount it on your head
- An external microphone
- An extra battery if the main one runs out of juice
- Mounting clip or bracket if you want to mount it on your bow
- A monopod can also be useful
How to Improve Your Hunting Technique With An Action Camera
- You can use an action camera to capture your shot from different angles to get better insights into your shooting technique.
- Record your hunts for future reference and review the footage to identify areas you can improve.
- Use the slow motion feature found in most action cameras to study your shot in greater detail.
- Share the footage with other hunters or friends for feedback and areas of improvement.
Best Action Camera For Bow Hunting: Our Top 6 Picks
TACTACAM 6.0 Action Camera, 4k 60 FPS, 8X Zoom
First up is the Tactacam 6.0 Action camera 4k 60 FPS camera. It has a barrel mount and can be attached to a bow or rifle. We picked it as our top pick for a couple of reasons, which we have explained below.
The first thing we loved about this camera was the video quality. It supports 4K, though we preferred the 1080p resolution due to video size. Also, at 1080p, it is capable of 120FPS, which is better than the 30 fps of the 4K resolution.
8X optical zoom
The 8x optical zoom adds to the camera’s video quality. You can get a clear view of your prey even from far away. And since you will most likely be hunting from 40 or 50 yards away from your prey, this is great to have.
Waterproof and easy to use
The camera is waterproof and should withstand the occasional downpour. The manufacturer claims that it is waterproof up to 30ft. In terms of operation, we loved the single on/off button. It makes it easy to use.
Decent Battery life
The camera came with a rechargeable battery. When fully charged, we were able to get about 2.5 hours from it, which is decent enough for most hunting trips. Though for longer hunting trips, we recommend carrying a spare battery.
This camera is incredibly easy to mount onto a crossbow, rifle, or even a shotgun. It can be mounted with mounting brackets from other cameras as well. It also allows for wifi connection to your smartphone via the tactacam app.
LIDCAM+ LC-WF Hands-Free Digital Camouflage Action Camera
The Lidcam+ LC-WF hands-free digital action camera is one of the most lightweight options on the market. It also comes with some additional accessories, including a wall and car charger, a USB cable, and a removable lithium-ion battery.
Good Video Quality
The video quality of this camera was quite decent. It wasn’t as good as the TACTACAM 6.0 but still decent. The main issue we had with the video quality was the quality in low light. The video quality was gray and grainy in low light, so it is best suited for daytime hunting.
Unlike some of the other options on our list, the LIDCAM camera mounts onto a baseball cap. And the best part is that it is quite lightweight. It weighs only 4 ounces, which is significantly less than the weight of some other action-hunting cameras.
The camera is wifi compatible, and you can easily control it from the LIDCAM app. However, we found that the app could do with some improvements. It was more challenging to control from the app than is with other cameras, but still a nice feature.
So should you buy the LIDCAM+ LC-WF hands-free camera? It does have its negatives, but for its price, it is well worth it. Also, its lightweight design and wide-angle lens allow you to capture the hunt without adjusting the lens. Also, it has a slightly better battery life than Tactacam, which lasts for up to 3 hours.
iON CamoCam Realtree Xtra® Texture Camouflage HD Video Camera
The iON Camocam Realtree Xtra camo video camera is considered one of the best for bow hunting. It is lighter than the Lidcam, but it is also not heavy and adds some features that the Lidcam lacks.
Designed for Camoflouge
The Realtree Xtra texture camouflage blends in well with the rest of your gear if you use this camouflage. To add to its stealth design, it has a one-click button to turn it on/off. We found this button to be silent and does not make any sound when clicked. This is really important to ensure you do not spook your prey.
Good Video Quality
In terms of video quality, you can capture videos in either 1080p resolution or 720p resolution. At 720p resolution, the videos can be captured in 60fps and 30fps in 1080p. This ensures great video quality.
You can use the aluminum mount it comes with to mount this camera to your bow or rifle. This mount is lightweight and can fit a bow, rifle, or even shotgun. To maintain its stealth design, the mount features the same realtree xtra camouflage as the camera.
Waterproof and wifi connectivity
The camera is waterproof and should work fine even when it rains. It has a waterproof rating of 30 ft when submerged. Similar to the other cameras on the list, it is also wifi enabled, and you can connect it to other devices, such as smartphones.
Like the Tactacam 6.0, the main issue we had with the iON camoCam was its battery life. It lasts for only 2.5 hours, which is decent but could be better. Overall, this is an excellent action-hunting camera with exceptional video quality.
RunCam ScopeCam2 4K Zoom Action Camera Waterproof 4xDigital HD Mini Video Camera
The RunCam scopecam2 HD mini video camera comes in two variants: medium-range and long-range. For bow-hunting purposes, we picked the mid-range zoom; the long-range zoom may be a better option for a rifle.
The Video Quality
This mini video camera supports 4K resolution videos at 30fps. The quality of the videos could have been better than some of the other options hence why the Runcam is lower on our list. Nevertheless, the video quality is good enough for capturing your hunts.
Easy to use
We loved the slide button that is used to start and stop video recording. It was easy to use and relatively quiet compared to some clickable buttons on other cameras. You can also connect to the Runcam app to view the videos on your phone. Though this proved to be quite difficult and was one of the features, we felt it needed improvement.
Water and shock resistant
This camera is 1p64 water resistant. Thus the aluminum body of the camera is well shielded from the rain. The camera is also shock resistant; therefore, it should survive in the great outdoors without any issues.
You get about 2.5 hours of battery life from the rechargeable 1400mAH battery it comes with. Though this is similar to what you get from other options on our list, it could be better, especially for long hunting periods.
The Runcam Scopecam2 has its pros and cons, but it manages to keep up with other action cameras on our list. The main reason we have it lower on our list is its poor smartphone app experience and video quality.
TACTACAM 5.0 Hunting Action Camera Underscope Mount
The Tactacam 5.0 hunting action camera has a slim and spherical design that mounts seamlessly onto your bow without it blocking your view. It is also easy to use and is quite lightweight.
This camera can take videos in both 4K and 1080p resolutions. It is capable of capturing videos at 30fps in 4k and 120fps in 1080p resolution. You can choose between the two resolutions, with both offering great video quality.
Easy to use
There is only one button on top of the camera, acting as an on-and-off switch. This makes it easy to use as there is no screen to set configurations. Also, it has a nice feature where it vibrates when your target is not within its field of view.
Waterproof and image stabilizer
It is waterproof and should not have trouble withstanding a downpour. In addition to its being waterproof, it has an image stabilizer. This helps prevent shaky videos. The image stabilizer works with both 1080p and 4k resolutions.
The Tactacam app
The camera can be integrated with your smartphone through the tactacam app. The app experience is better than what some of the other camera options offer. And it makes it easy to view your videos and share them through your smartphone.
It comes with an underscore mount that makes it easy to attach to a bow. In addition to the mount, it also comes with a 128GB micro SD card that you can use to store your videos. Compared to some of the other cameras on our list, it also works really well in low light.
GoPro HERO11 (Hero 11) Black – Waterproof Action Camera
If you want to use an action camera with your bow, there is no better option than a GoPro camera. GoPros are among the most popular cameras around, and for good reasons. And one of the best GoPros for hunting is the GoPro Hero11 black.
In terms of video quality, the GoPro is hard to beat. While most of the other options on the list support 4K resolution, this camera support 5.3K resolution at 60FPS. This is incredible and offers a better image quality than 4K. It also provides a wider field of view compared to the other options on the list.
Another area where the GoPro Hero11 black scores high marks is in the image stabilization department. The camera uses GoPro’sHyperSmooth 5.0 stabilization. Our tests found it does a fantastic job of reducing shakiness.
Waterproof With front LCD
As you would expect from a GoPro, the Hero11 is waterproof and should hold its own in different conditions. There is a front LCD and a rear touch screen for navigating the camera’s menu. This makes it not as easy to use as dedicated hunting cameras.
You get a lot of accessories with this camera. The accessories include-
- a 64 GB micro-SD card and
- a microfibre cloth.
- You also get a mini tripod,
- car ring case,
- and wrist mounts with screws, among other accessories.
In terms of ease of use and attachment, it cannot compare to other options on the list, hence why we put it at the bottom of the list. It is also quite costly compared to other options on our list. However, if you want the absolute best in video quality, the GoPro Hero11 is well worth the money.
What to Look for in an action camera for hunting
Now that we have seen the best camera for compound bow, what are some things you should look for when shopping for an action camera for hunting? There are several things to consider, some of which are.
You will be using your camera in different weather conditions. As such, chances are you will be caught in a downpour when it rains. Therefore, the camera you pick needs to be able to withstand rainwater or even being submerged for fishing.
Thus the camera needs to be waterproof. As a bonus, the camera also should be shock resistant and be able to handle dust and other particles in the environment.
Sometimes you may have to move your bow when hunting, causing the camera mounted on it to shake. Image stabilization ensures that the video quality is not shaky when taking a video, regardless of whether you took the video while standing still or running. This is an important feature to have on a camera for hunting.
Optical zoom and Fish eye view
Fish eye view is achieved by the use of an ultra-wide angle lens that creates a curvature of the surroundings being filmed. This is different from the kind of lens you want for your hunting camera. What you do want is a camera with optical zoom. This will allow you to get close-up views of your target from a safe distance without spooking animals.
Low light filming
Some cameras perform better in low-light conditions than others. If you intend to use a camera in low light conditions, you can pick one of the six on our list. The LIDCAM+ LC-WF Hands-Free Digital Camouflage Action Camera performed poorly in low light compared to the others.
Typically, different cameras have different mounting options. If you want a camera that easily mounts on a bow, you need one with bunting brackets. Others, like the GoPro and Lidcam+, can be mounted on baseball caps. Thus the mounting options will depend on how and where you want to mount the camera.
The Battery life
Most hunting cameras feature a rechargeable battery. Most on our list have an average battery life of 2.5 hours. This is sufficient for an average hunting trip. But if you spend more time on a hunt, you can carry an extra battery or go for a camera with longer battery life.
One of the most important factors to consider is the camera’s video quality. Most cameras offer 720p, 1080p, and 4K resolutions. Ideally, a camera that is capable of more than one resolution will be ideal. If you want the best video quality, the GoPro Hero 11 is undoubtedly the option to go with.
Since you will be attaching the camera to your bow, it needs to be lightweight. This way, it does not add to the overall weight of the bow. All the cameras on our list are quite light, with the LIDCAM+ LC-WF digital camera being the most lightweight.
Wifi Connectivity and Storage
Wifi connectivity is a nice feature to have to allow integration with a smartphone. This allows you to back up your videos on the cloud. Also, you can use your smartphone to share your videos. A micro-sd in a camera is also nice to have for storing the videos on the camera.
Quiet Operation and Camouflage
The camera you pick needs to have one button to operate to make it easy to operate out in the field. Also, a camouflage pattern is important to have so that the camera does not break your camouflage alerting animals to your location.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Cheap Action Camera Worth Using?
Yes, there are many cheap options on the market. They do come with some tradeoffs, but if you want a camera to capture decent enough videos, you can choose a budget option.
Overall, the best action camera for bow hunting is the one that will help you capture great videos of your hunt either for future reference or to share with friends. It is important to consider video quality, camera weight, and construction.
About The Author:
Lake Streeter, A Gun enthusiast, and loves to hunt in the middle of the wood. Always check the latest hunting gears out in the market and try to share his honest opinion with the audience in OUTDOOR EVER.