Understanding Moultrie Mobile's New Plans
New for 2020, Moultrie has overhauled their cellular Trail camera plans. We break them down.
By Pat Lefemine, Founder Bowsite.com
If you are new to cellular trail cameras, understand that each camera must have a plan. You sign up for the plan through MoultrieMobile.com, and not a carrier like Verizon or ATT. Like a cell phone plan, there are various options associated with each Moultrie Mobile plan.
In 2020, Moultrie completely overhauled their plans and pricing making them an even better value. In this feature I'm going to break down each plan so you can decide which one is best for your needs, and your budget.
The first thing you need to understand is that Moultrie Mobile has no hidden fees and no fine print. What you see is what you get. Other brands advertise attractive pricing until you get your first bill, then you realize they are not as attractive.
There are now 5 plans to choose from. Pricing per trail camera ranges from $2.99 to $22.99 a month if paid annually, or 4.99 a month to 34.99 if you prefer to pay monthly. Also understand that you can upgrade and downgrade your monthly plan at any time. This is important. This means that you can pay $4.99 a month during the off season, and then pay $34.99 per month just for the deer season.
Moultrie announced two major additions: Unlimited plans, and a Pro plan for guys like me who run multiple trail cameras.
Moultrie Mobile Plans
Monitor Mode (2.99/month paid annually, 4.99/month)
The lowest price option is 'Monitor Mode' which provides 100 images per month and cost $2.99. This is a good plan if you are watching something that gets very little activity. A perfect use case for monitor mode is when you are using your cam for security, not hunting. You can have a cam watching a back door, or a gate. When combined with Moultrie Mobile's artificial intelligence it can detect a person and alert you to the movement. For hunting, most most hunters use it for when they put their cam 'on ice' during the off season months.
Standard Plan (8.99/month paid annually, 9.99/month)
The next level is the 'Standard Plan' which is less than $10 per month and provides 1000 images. This is perfect for watching trails, scrapes, and wallows.
Large Plan (9.99/month paid annually, 14.99/month)
If you are watching food plots, then the Large plan is better than the standard based on my experience. It provides 1500 images and cost $10.99 per month.
Unlimited Plan (12.99/month paid annually, 16.99/month)
Personally, I would opt for the unlimited plan over the large plan. It is just $2.99 per month more and if you get a lot of pics then you don't have to worry about upload counts. This plan is a great value for hunters who just run one camera and watch either food plots, and particulalry baits.
Pro Unlimited Plan (22.99/month paid annually first camera, 34.99/month, additional cams $7.99/month)
If you are like me, you are not running just one camera. I am running 10 cellular trail cameras. Moultrie recognized that the previous pricing was just too expensive when running several cellular trail cameras so they recently introduced the Pro Unlimited Plan. You pay $22.99 for the first cam on this plan, then you can add additional trail cameras for just $7.99 each. Every cam has unlimited uploads.
The bottom line is you have options and flexibility.
Moultrie Mobile De-activation Trick
Since Moultrie has no activation fees or penalties, you can de-activate your cameras at the end of deer season and re-activate them during next deer season. This can save you hundreds of dollars a year, especially when running many cams.
Scenario - (3) Moultrie cell cams for the back-40
Let's illustrate and compare the plans using a common scenario; A deer hunter who is both bow, and rifle hunting the back 40.
The hunter wants real-time photos of a food plot, a main trail leading to a bean field, and the top scrape. To minimize disturbance to the area, he buys (3) XV-6000 Moultrie Cellular Cameras. He places one in the food plot, one watching the trail, and one watching the scrape. What plan should he choose?
I see two potential options: Since he is running three trail cameras I would compare a combination of individual plans (let's call that option 1) against the Pro Unlimited plan (option 2).
For Option 1 plans; I would choose the standard plan on the cameras watching the scrape and the deer trail, and the unlimited plan for the camera watching the food plot.
For Option 2, I would just choose the Pro Unlimited Plan.
For both options I am going to choose the monthly payment option since I only need these plans during the months of September, October, November, and December. Come January to August, I would switch all three cams to the inexpensive monitor mode only.
Let's do the math.
Which plan is best for this scenario?
After plugging in the per month cost for four months of hunting season and 8 months of off season I come up with a total, annual cost of $267.64 for Option 1, and $323.64 for Option 2 if you want to place your cams in Monitor Mode. You can save even more by de-activating your camera in the off-season and that cost would be $147.88 for Option 1 and 203.88 for Option 2.
So given this scenario, it would be better to go with Option 1 - monthly pricing and different plans regardless of whether you used monitor mode, or the de-activation trick.
Video: We compare Moultrie Mobile plans in depth
Keep in mind that every scenario is different. The more cams you have, the more attractive the pro plan becomes. And if you run your cams all year, then you should choose to pay annually (up front) which can save you as much as 40%. The key here is to do some quick math and determine which plan is best for you.
Now for those of you thinking that $270 a year is a lot of money to spend on trail camera plans, then think about this: How much does it cost you in gas money, truck miles, and time to go check your trail cameras? More importantly, how much less are you disturbing your hunting property since you are not traipsing around swapping chips every couple of weeks?
I run 10 cams across 4 states and learned quickly that my Moultrie Mobile expense is an incredible bargain. More importantly, it is probably the most enjoyable benefit of my 'stupid' smart phone.
I am totally addicted to my Moultrie Mobile App. It brings me right in front of that scrape, in real time, without ever stepping foot on my hunting properties. To me, that is priceless.