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Thread: Deer can see the flash from trail cameras

  1. #1

    Deer can see the flash from trail cameras

    I know there are two types of infrared trail cameras - the "red glow" cameras that it is said deer can see and those further into the infrared that it is said deer can't see. Often those further into the infrared have less flash range and are more expensive than the red glow cameras. Anyhow, I have my Bushnell set to take 3 photos in quick succession and thought you might be amused by the following set of photos. The deer is a sika hind and, being fair, she was only maybe 8 feet from the camera when it flashed but even so she doesn't waste any time getting herself out of there:



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  2. #2
    Hello, we supply Spypoint Trail Cameras for raptor research at the highest level (big birds of prey!) and I have been informed by the raptor biologists that it is crucially important that the infrared emitted from cameras used is of the covert wavelength. I wont bore you with the frequency etc

    So based on this raptors are apparently the most suceptible to infrared being detected, and therefore we can confirm that Spypoint do not have this issue as they use IR LED's of the invisible wavelength.

    However, and this is where the confusion lies often.

    Some manufacturers use standard IR led's and simply put a lens filter over the top of them, to provide a covert infrared illumination, however I agree some of these "covert" cameras still have a faint glow, so they call them "Low Glow"

    This type with the added filter would intrinsically reduce the effective range, where as the actual covert LED's have full strength potential. (see in brackets for wording explanation)

    (Spypoint cameras automatically adjust the amount of IR needed to perfectly expose images, so no point firing 100% IR if the deer is 5ft away as it will appear over exposed "white out")

    There is a big difference in costing when this technology is employed and I guess it is a way of keeping costs down.

    Not sure which your camera uses, but worth considering.

    Also we had a customer with another "brand" of trail camera, and it was scaring off his badgers at the sett when it triggered at night.

    Upon further inspection, it was actually the camera IR filter switching into place that clicked causing the animal to hot foot it.

    Worth testing as the noise of this filter switch is actually very apparent on older Spypoint cameras too, although the new ones are silent.


    Last edited by Scott Country; 22-08-2012 at 14:10.

  3. #3
    Double post sorry.
    Last edited by Scott Country; 22-08-2012 at 14:07.

  4. #4
    Oh and worth noting also, we found Otters really notice non covert infrared cameras, and they look at them very inquisitively.

    Here is the difference

    The first video is with the Spypoint HD-12 and the otters are completely oblivious to the cameras presence.

    So much so we have one actually eats fish from right below it!
    Last edited by Scott Country; 22-08-2012 at 14:06.

  5. #5
    Interesting stuff Paul, I have the Bushnell 437C which is the 2012 version of the 8 battery trophy cam with the "red blob" or "low glow" or whatever you want to call them LEDs. Basically it works in the near infrared and if you trigger the flash you can see a red glow around the LEDs, though you certainly don't see a bright flash.

    The reason I didn't go for the "no glow" or "black flash" version, or another camera with this feature, was that i wanted the speed of trigger that the new Bushnells offer plus, as you can see, it has a great flash range, plus I like the small form factor. The deer seem to get used to the camera, though it takes a while, so I'm not as worried about avoidance as I might be plus my main interest is seeing what is where rather than in long term observation. It is also the case that deer usually only spot the "red glow" when they are close to the camera and pretty much looking at it. My feeling is they don't see a big flash or anything close to it but rather see a similar glow around the LEDs just like I do. You can clearly see the reflection of the flash in this deer's eye for example but because its attention is elsewhere, even though it is close to the camera, it doesn't pick up on it and the other frames in the sequence show no reaction to the flash:

    Same for this hind taken around the same time, she has her head down and there is a little daylight about and so she doesn't notice a thing as the other frames in the sequence showed no reaction:

    With cameras evolving so quickly it is hard to pick the features you want and I decided on the good flash range and very fast trigger speed as being important to me as I want to see what is there and want to try and work out where they go in the winter, plus Bushnell get a good name for their sensors, however in a few months I bet that you can get a camera with similar performance plus "black flash" plus better battery life for less money. That seems to be the way the market is these days and it seems no one has produced the "ideal" camera as yet so we just have to pick the features that we think are important. It also helps that the Bushnell I have costs 112 in the USA which isn't such a huge investment to hang up a tree when your use is pretty casual such as mine is.
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