Camera & Trap Unit

Cellular Coverage

To communicate between the BoarBuster camera and the BoarBuster server, the system uses 3G cellular service from AT&T Wireless.  The cost of the cellular service is included in the “BoarBuster Service” monthly charge.  Currently, AT&T is the only cellular provider option.  In the future, we plan to offer other cellular provider options.

The BoarBuster system will only work where there is adequate AT&T 3G cellular coverage.  To check AT&T coverage in your area, go to:

http://www.att.com/maps/reseller.html

Then, under the Wireless Coverage Type heading, select “Data”.

Then, under the “View Coverage by Device Type”, select “3G”

You can then enter your zipcode, city/state, or full address in the search bar at the top of the page and click the “Search” button.

coverage-map

In areas with marginal cellular coverage, a higher gain external antenna kit is available from W-W Livestock Systems at 1-800-999-1214.

 

 

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BoarBuster Service

The BoarBuster trap requires a subscription to the “BoarBuster Service” to operate.  There is a monthly charge for the service, but there is no long term contract.  The monthly charge for the BoarBuster Service includes the cellular connectivity to the camera.  There are no separate bills from a cellular provider, and you do not have to provide your own “SIM card” to make the system work.

To sign up for the BoarBuster Service, go to:

http://service.boarbuster.com

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System Overview

The BoarBuster electronics consist of a Camera Unit and a Trap Unit.

The Camera Unit includes a black-and-white camera, IR illuminators for better night-time video, a motion sensor, and a 3G cellular radio.

CameraUnit-Closed

The Camera Unit is attached to a T-post which is driven into the ground approximately 20 to 25 feet from the center of the suspended corral.  The Camera Unit should be mounted approximately 4 feet off the ground, with the camera pointed towards the center of the corral.

CameraUnit-Mount

 

The Trap Unit is a gray waterproof box which is mounted on the corral, and connected with a four pin cable to the corral latch.

Trap Unit Housing

The Camera Unit communicates with the Trap Unit via a short range “Zigbee” radio.  The Camera Unit communicates with the BoarBuster server via the 3G cellular radio.  To conserve battery, most of the time the Camera Unit is in a low power “sleep” mode.  The unit only fully awakens when motion is detected, or when a command is received from the server.  For more details on the sleep/wake operation, see the section titled “Sleep/Wake Modes”.

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About Batteries and Runtime

Both the Camera Unit and the Trap Unit operate off eight AA batteries. The batteries should give approximately seven to ten days of operation in the Camera Unit, assuming typical usage. A typical week of usage is defined as approximately 25 minutes of live video streaming, and 50 motion alert notifications. In the Trap Unit, a set of batteries should give approximately one month of operation.

The approximate battery level of both the Camera Unit and Trap Unit are shown on the LCD screen of the Camera Unit as well as via the BoarBuster website and smartphone applications.

When inserting the batteries in each unit, take care to observe the battery orientation indicators on the battery holders. Inserting a battery backwards may result in the battery overheating and possibly leaking fluid into the unit.
In cold weather, it is recommended to use lithium AA batteries. While more expensive, lithium batteries have more capacity and better performance in cold weather.

It is possible to use an external rechargeable battery with both the Camera Unit and Trap Unit. The batteries supported are standard 12V lead-acid batteries. The batteries should not be recharged while still connected to the Camera or Trap Units.

 

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Camera Unit

CameraUnit-Open

 

Before powering on the Camera Unit, make sure the 3G antenna is attached to the connector on the top of the Camera unit, and that the CHANNEL switches on the Camera Unit and Trap Unit match each other so that they are able to communicate with each other wirelessly.  By default, the Camera Unit and Trap Unit should ship with the CHANNEL switches set to all OFF (Channel 0), which should work for the majority of applications.  However, if you plan to use multiple Camera Unit and Trap Unit pairs in the same area, you will need to make sure the two (or more) pairs are set to different channels from each other.  For example, the first BoarBuster pair could have its CHANNEL switch #4 set to ON (leaving #1-3 OFF), while the second BoarBuster pair is left at all CHANNEL switches set to OFF. Multiple Camera and Trap pairs set to the same channel within wireless range of each other will lead to unreliable communications and erratic behavior.  The Camera Unit and Trap Unit will connect to each other automatically if they are set to the same CHANNEL switch settings.

 

CameraUnit-Connecting

 

To power on the Camera Unit, install 8 AA batteries and slide the POWER switch up to the ON position.  The LCD will display “Connecting” for approximately 45 seconds while it is registering on the 3G network.  Once the Camera Unit finishes powering on and successfully connecting to the 3G network, the following screen will be displayed on the Camera Unit LCD.  An icon will be displayed that corresponds to the current Camera and Trap Unit statuses.

 

IconLegend

Once this screen appears on the Camera Unit, you should be able to control it via the BoarBuster Service.  Visit https://service.boarbuster.com/guide to get started, or visit https://service.boarbuster.com/login if you have already activated a camera under your account.

For more information on using the BoarBuster service via your web browser, visit Web App – Camera and Trap Operation.

The Camera Unit’s motion sensor will be disarmed by default when it is turned on for the first time.  You will need to Arm the motion sensor via the web interface before receiving any motion alerts.  Once a motion alert is sent to the user, there will be an automatic 10-minute delay before the Camera Unit checks the motion sensor again.  The Camera Unit will use the least amount of power from the batteries when it is not receiving motion alerts (and not being viewed from the web), so it is preferrable to Disarm it when it is not needed or expected to have hogs present.

To shutdown the Camera Unit, slide the POWER switch down to the OFF position before removing the batteries.  The Camera Unit will safely shutdown the system before powering off.

 

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Trap Unit

The Trap Unit is mounted to the trap using the four included brackets, screws, and bolts/nuts. Never drill any holes into the Trap Unit box, as this will compromise its weatherproof seal. When in use, always make sure the door is securely closed and latched to maintain the weatherproof seal.

The Trap Unit batteries are held in place using a plastic plate which is tightened down with thumb screws. If this plate is not used, the batteries will likely pop out of the battery holders when the suspended corral is dropped.

The Trap Unit does not have a power switch. When the batteries are inserted, it will immediately power on. The Trap Unit awakens every 16 seconds and checks to see if it can talk to the Camera Unit via its short range Zigbee radio. If it can’t hear the Camera Unit, it will enter a low power sleep mode. The “power” LED of the Trap Unit only illuminates when the unit is awake. If the device is operating normally, the power LED should blink briefly every 16 seconds.

The Trap Unit has a “test” button. Pressing this button will actuate the latch and drop the trap. This button should only be used to test the latch when the trap is already on the ground, or when the safety cable is attached. The test button should not be used to fully drop the unit as it doing so would require the operator be in too close a proximity to the trap.

 

Assembly


For detailed instructions on Trap Unit assembly, please visit:

http://wwlivestockonline.com/assymanual.html

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Troubleshooting

ProblemPossible Solution
Camera Unit will not power on.Make sure new batteries are installed with correct polarity.
LCD says "No Net Detected"Make sure 3G antenna is securely connected and reboot.
LCD says "No GSM Detected".Try rebooting first. Not user serviceable. Please contact boarbuster.com
LCD says "No SIM Detected"Try rebooting first. Not user serviceable. Please contact boarbuster.com
LCD says "To activate, visit boarbuster.com"The Camera is not activated. Please activate camera at service.boarbuster.com.
Camera will not wake-up using the Web browser.Make sure the Camera IMEI was entered correctly during activation.
A "!" is continuously displayed on the Camera Unit LCD's Trap Unit Status(a) Make sure the Trap Unit has a fresh set of batteries installed with the correct polarity.

(b) Make sure the Camera Unit and Trap Unit have the same CHANNEL switch settings.

(c) Make sure the Camera Unit and Trap Unit are within 50 ft of each other.

(d) Try a different set of CHANNEL settings on both the Trap Unit and Camera Unit. Power cycle each unit for the changes to take effect.

(e) Follow these steps to verify the Trap Unit will connect to the Camera Unit:
(1) Start with BOTH the Trap and Camera Units powered off.
(2) Unless the user is running multiple BoarBuster systems in the same area, put ALL CHANNEL switches in the down/OFF position.
(3) Insert batteries in the Camera Unit and power on.
(4) Wait for the Camera Unit's LCD screen to pass the "Connecting" screen to the Camera/Trap Status screen. Leave the Camera Unit's door open during this test.
(5) Once the Camera Unit's LCD is displaying the status screen, insert the batteries into the Trap Unit.
(6) The Camera and Trap Units should connect within a few seconds, indicated by an "X" or a "Check" on the Trap Status on the Camera LCD. The Power LED on the Trap Unit will also stay illuminated.
A "!" is continuously displayed on the Camera Unit LCD's Camera Status.(a) The Camera is receiving a weak 3G signal. Make sure the 3G antenna is securely connected to the Camera Unit.

(b) Try adjusting the orientation of the 3G antenna. Wait a few seconds for the LCD to update.

(c) Try moving the Camera to an area that is more clear of obstacles.

(d) If this does not resolve the problem, an external antenna kit may be the solution. These kits are offered through W-W Livestock Systems
An "X" is displayed on the Camera Unit LCD's Trap Unit Status.The Trap Unit Latch is not fully latched--please latch it securely.
An "X" is displayed on the Camera Unit LCD's Camera Status.The Camera Unit's motion sensor is not armed. Please arm it via service.boarbuster.com if you want to receive motion alerts.
The user is not receiving motion alerts.(a) Make sure a phone number and/or email address are entered correctly and alerts are enabled in your user profile at service.boarbuster.com.

(b) Make sure the Camera Unit is armed and displaying a "Check Mark" on the Camera Unit LCD's Camera Status.
Batteries are running down quickly on the Camera Unit.(a) Make sure the Camera Unit door is completely shut when in use.

(b) Send the Camera the "Sleep" command via service.boarbuster.com when not viewing video.
Camera is not able to stream video.Make sure you are not out of minutes for the month.
The Trap Unit is not dropping the Corral Trap.(a) Try using the TEST button inside the Trap Unit to drop the Corral Trap to determine if the problem is with the Trap Unit / Corral Trap or the Camera Unit. Make sure the safety cable is securely latched before dropping the Corral manually.

(b) Make sure the Camera Unit LCD's Trap Status is not showing an "!" to indicate a communication problem between the Camera Unit and Trap Unit.
The user did not receive the confirmation emailThe confirmation email was most likely flagged as Junk. Check your Junk Folder for the confirmation email.
The trap status icon is a check box, but the trap won’t drop when I press the button.Try the following suggestions:

1. While watching live video, make sure the “safety” slider is disabled so that the “drop trap” button is active. Press the button and see if the trap drops.
-- If it doesn’t, open the trap electronics housing and see if the PWR led is on. If it is not, then there is a communication issue between the trap and the camera. Troubleshoot the communication issue.

2. Press the test button on the trap and verify that the latch releases.
--If it does not release, watch the led down in the lower right corner. This led should light when the test button is pressed. If it doesn’t, then there could be a problem with the fuses. Test the fuses and verify they are good.
--If it lights, but the trap still will not drop, then manually release the latch, and let the trap down to the ground. Then close the latch with your finger and press the test button again. If it releases without the load of the trap, then the trap/latch is binding and needs mechanical adjustment.
--If the latch still won’t release with the “test” button, even without load, then there is likely a wiring problem between the trap electronics box and the latch. Verify this wiring is correct.
--If the wiring is correct, then either the latch or the circuit board in the trap housing could have a problem. You can test the latch by disconnecting it from the electronics box and applying 12 volts to the screw terminals of the latch. It should open. If it doesn’t, then the latch has failed and needs to be replaced.

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Proven Strategies

Bait Placement

Baiting should occur near feral hog bedding areas. Trapping efforts will be most successful when the bait source is the first food source the hogs contact when they leave the bedding area to feed. Bedding areas are often dense vegetation near water sources (i.e., creeks or earthen ponds). Rubs on trees and scat are indications of a bedding area. To locate bedding areas, follow trails leading to dense vegetation and/or water. Fence lines are often a good location to easily find trails.

Areas with abundant rooting are not always the best locations to bait. This is simply where hogs have fed recently, which may change from night to night.

Be sure to bait in a fairly flat surface free of rocks, sticks, and depressions. When BoarBuster is deployed, it must contact the ground without leaving large gaps for hogs to escape.  However, flat does not necessarily mean level. BoarBuster can successfully trap hogs on sites with greater than 25 percent (14 degrees) slope. Remember, BoarBuster is 18 feet (5.49 m) in diameter.

Place all of the bait provided at each site within a circle 8 feet (2.44 m) in diameter. This ensures all hogs consuming the bait will be within BoarBuster’s optimum catch zone.

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Pre-baiting

BoarBuster works best if feral hogs are conditioned to a bait source a few days prior to setting up the system. This is called pre-baiting.

Only provide enough bait so that feral hogs clean it up in approximately 30 minutes. When the quantity of bait is limited, all hogs in the sounder are forced to eat immediately or risk not getting anything to eat. Odds of catching the entire sounder increase when hogs are conditioned to hurry to the bait.

Whole corn has proven to be an effective bait for capturing feral hogs, but certain situations may call for a different bait. Once you have determined a bait that works for you, avoid switching to a different bait in the middle of your pre-baiting or trapping period.

Avoid using tube feeders or other equipment that limit the number of hogs feeding at one time.

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Monitoring

BoarBuster’s head unit can be used independently of the trap for trap site monitoring. Place the head unit approximately 30 feet (9.14 m) from the bait and 4′ from the ground. Arm the motion sensor via www.boarbuster.com. You can elect to have an SMS message or email sent to your smartphone, tablet, or computer when motion is detected in front of the head unit. The images are also stored on your account at www.boarbuster.com.

Use the images stored on your BoarBuster account to decide when it is time to set up your trap. From our experience, it is best to wait until hogs have consistently used a pre-baited site for a minimum of three days.

Use the images stored on your account to determine how many hogs are in the sounder. This will help you determine when all hogs in the sounder are within BoarBuster’s trap zone.

You can also use these images to adjust the amount of bait presented to the hogs. If hogs are lying around waiting for their turn to eat and the camera captures 3 hours of photos, you need to reduce the bait quantity. Having the entire group feeding at once increases your chances of catching the entire sounder.

There is a date and time stamp on each photo captured by BoarBuster’s head unit.  You may notice a pattern in daily visitation by hogs (i.e., same time each day/night). Avoid visiting a baited site when hogs are likely to be present.

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Trapping

Set up BoarBuster directly over the pre-baited location.

Place the head unit 30 feet (9.14 m) from the bait location and 4′ from the ground. This will allow you to see the entire trap area and at least 10 feet (3.05m) to each side.

Feral hogs can often be caught the first night after setting up the BoarBuster. Be mindful of this and have everything (head unit and trap actuator) ready to go with fresh batteries.

Feral hogs have a keen sense of smell and hearing.  When erecting BoarBuster or baiting a site, keep the noise level to a minimum and avoid leaving unnecessary scent at the trap site.

Do not linger around the trap. With experience, the trap can be set up in less than 30 minutes. Set up the trap, bait it and leave as quickly as possible.

Be greedy! With proper monitoring, you will know how many hogs are using a baited site. The BoarBuster head unit allows you to watch live streaming video of the trap site. If possible, wait for every last hog to enter the trap before deploying. After you have captured feral hogs on a site, the integrated door can be used to transport hogs away from the location for euthanasia. Then, the BoarBuster can be reset to capture additional hogs at the same site.

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Specifications

Specifications

 

BoarBuster Camera Specifications

Case:                                                                                                   Weatherproof, 10.2”x8.2”x3.5” case molded from ASA/Polycarbonate

Camera resolution:                                                                        1280 x 960

Camera field of view:                                                                     54° horizontal field of view/ 42° vertical field of view

Camera Responsivity:                                                                    6.5V/lux-sec

LEDs:                                                                                                   30 Infrared LEDs

Wavelength of IR Illumination:                                                   860nm

Night time illumination:                                                               Black and white

Operational distance (Camera/motion sensor):                    50-60 feet

Network:                                                                                           3G

Photoelectric Sensor:                                                                    Yes

Viewing Screen:                                                                               2.5”

Internal Power                                                                                (8) AA alkaline batteries

External power                                                                               12 volt via external power jack

Camera Unit Hardware

  • Utilizes a high resolution, low light, black and white sensor which is designed specifically for use with infrared illumination. The image sensor has “superior near infrared (NIR) performance”.  Image sensor resolution is 1280 x 960 pixels.
  • Black and White sensors have better low light performance than color sensors. Low light performance was prioritized in the BoarBuster because that is when the hogs are typically most active.
  • The camera has a horizontal field of view that is approximately 54 degrees and the vertical field of view is approximately 42 degrees. This field of view was chosen to allow the Camera Unit to be placed approximately 35 feet from the center of the trap and give the user 10 feet of visibility on either side of the trap.  Visibility outside the trap is important.  By watching live video, the user can time the trap drop to capture as many hogs as possible.  As many as 44 hogs have been caught in one drop.
  • The Camera Unit uses a “quad band” GSM cellular module. The specific technology is HSPA+ which is typically considered to be a “3G” service.
  • The Camera Unit utilizes an external “SMA” antenna connector for the cellular module which allows longer range external antennas to be connected. These external antenna kits will be available as an optional accessory.

Key Features

  • LIVE Streaming video over the cellular network.
  • High resolution “motion alert” photos to your phone.
  • High performance, high definition, infrared image sensor.
  • One monthly bill includes everything (boarbuster.com service and cellular service)
  • Wireless control of accessories including the trap unit’s latch and future items such as an automated feeder and additional infrared lights.
  • We try not to refer to the system as a trail camera. Trail cameras are tailored to capturing quick photos of animals passing thru the area.  The BoarBuster typically wouldn’t trigger on these types of “false alarm” events because it is not characteristic of boars feeding in the trap area.  We also stream live video.  We haven’t found any other cameras in the market that do this.

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Accessories

External Antenna Kit

The External Antenna Kit allows you to improve your AT&T cellular signal in marginal areas. The kit consists of a high-gain dual-band antenna, 15 feet of coaxial cable, a mounting plate, and Velcro cinch straps.

*The kit requires the user to supply their own extension pole.  These poles are available at virtually all hardware stores, and are sold for use in painting, changing light bulbs, etc.  A few examples of poles which are suitable for use with the external antenna kit are:

Mr. Long Arm model 3212 (12ft) from Amazon

Mr. Long Arm model 2324 (23ft) from Home Depot

Mr. Long Arm model 2324 (23ft) from Lowes

These poles have an ACME thread, designed to work with paint rollers and other accessories.  The BoarBuster external antenna kit includes an adapter which allows the high-gain cellular antenna to be mounted to any extension pole with this universal ACME thread (3/4″ diameter, 5 threads per inch)

BB-Antenna-Instructions_01

1. Attach the white digital antenna to the mounting plate by inserting the slotted antenna base into the antenna mounting hole on the top side of the plate. Secure the antenna by tightening the nut.

2. Thread the extension pole* into the bottom of the mounting plate as shown.

BB-Antenna-Instructions_02

 

3. Connect the coax cable to the antenna base by fastening the 3/4 inch make cable connector to the antenna base.

4. Connect the opposite end of the cable to the BoarBuster Camera Unit by fastening the 1/4 inch male cable connector to the antenna input on the outside of the unit.

BB-Antenna-Instructions_03

 

5. Drive a standard T-post into the ground next to the BoarBuster Camera Unit

6. Use the supplied Velcro cinch straps to tighten and secure the extension pole* against the entire length of the T-post.

 

For best performance, raise the pole to a height necessary for achieving three or more bars of reception.

 

 

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External Battery Kit

The external battery kit allows you to power your camera unit for longer periods of time.  The kit uses a rechargeable 8 amp-hour, 12 volt Lead Acid battery.

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Web App

Camera and Trap Operation

Cameras and traps can be viewed and operated by clicking the Cameras tab at the top of the page.

Screenshot from 2015-07-01 10:42:02

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Supported Browsers

To get the most out of the BoarBuster Web application, we recommend using the following desktop web browsers:

chrome Google Chrome

firefox Mozilla Firefox

ie Internet Explorer (version 10.0 or higher only)

safari Safari

 

BoarBuster supports the latest versions of iOS and Android mobile web browsers.

 

BoarBuster may function in other browsers that are not officially supported.

However these browsers may suffer in performance, functionality or stability.

We recommend using and upgrading to one of the supported browsers above.

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Camera Subscriptions

Before the end of the current service period, each camera can be individually set to resubscribe or unsubscribe at the beginning of the next service period. To view the current and pending subscription status for each camera, navigate to the billing page by clicking the ‘Billing’ tab at the top of the page.

Screenshot from 2015-06-30 09:45:00

Beneath ‘Camera Subscriptions’ is a table listing the current and pending subscription status for each camera. Clicking the action button associated with the camera subscription you wish to modify will open a small window allowing you to easily see how this action will affect your upcoming billing statement. Only after agreeing to the terms of service will you be able to alter the subscription status of the selected camera.

Unsubscribing or resubscribing next service period will not impact the current subscription status of that camera. Only after the beginning of the next service period will the camera be unsubscribed or resubscribed. You will be billed according to the quantity of cameras set to resubscribe upon the next service period. By unsubscribing all cameras, your subscription will be canceled. You can resubscribe at any time by visiting the billing page.

In the event that all cameras are currently unsubscribed, by clicking ‘Resubscribe Now’ and agreeing to the terms of service, you will be billed and a new service period will begin immediately. You may resubscribe other cameras at any point within the current service period. These subsequent camera subscriptions will not be billed for this service period, but will be set to resubscribe and be billed the following service period.

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Payment Methods

BoarBuster currently supports the use of Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Diners Card and JCB as forms of electronic payment. Payments are secured and processed through Stripe, one of the leading online payment processors. Stripe was chosen, in part, for their dedication to secure operating practices.

BoarBuster does not store or have access to your sensitive payment details at any point in the transaction process. Instead, Stripe provides a secure way to collect, store and use your payment method. In return, Stripe creates a unique customer identification number which only BoarBuster can use to bill you for one-time payments and monthly subscriptions. For more technical information on how your payment details are stored and accessed, please visit https://stripe.com/help/security

Screenshot from 2015-06-30 09:45:43

In an effort to simplify the billing process, BoarBuster only allows for one payment method to be used for all transactions. To view the current payment method or change the payment method at any time, click the ‘Billing’ tab at the top of the page and navigate to the ‘Payment Method’ subtab.

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Invoice History

Your previous and upcoming charges can be viewed at any time from the ‘Invoice’ page. To view these charges, select the ‘Invoice’ tab at the top of the page. Your upcoming invoice, if applicable, will be displayed at the top of this page at all times. Previous charges will always be visible regardless of current or future subscription status.

Screenshot from 2015-06-30 09:59:52

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Sharing Videos on YouTube

Step 1) Download a Video Recording

Recordings are available on the camera status page.  Click the download icon to save the file onto your computer.

download video

 

Step 2) Upload to YouTube

Navigate, in your web browser, to http://youtube.com/upload and drag your video file into the upload window.

YouTube Upload
Upload to YouTube

 

Step 3) Video Title & Description

While YouTube processes your video, add a title and description.

Title & Description
Title & Description

 

Step 4) Share

Once processing is complete, click the ‘Publish’ button.  YouTube then provides you with a link to share your video.

share_video

Finished.

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Smartphone Apps

Android App

The BoarBuster Android App is available in the Google Play store for free download.

 

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Apple iOS App

The iOS app is available in Apple’s “App Store” for free download.

 

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