The straight forward and simple answer is YES. Yes, they do. Actually, all trail cameras have the ability or potential to spook mature bucks! That's why we go through great efforts to be very meticulous with how we are setting our cameras up and sharing that information with you. Nothing is left to chance on most of our setups and anytime we can remove variables from the "spook equation" we do what we can. Certain mounting height, tree sizes and shapes, mounting/securing options, side cover, and flash types all play into eliminating any adverse effects from trail cameras. If you'd like to learn more specifics on some of those topics be sure to check out our YouTube channel and podcast. We also have this topic cover on YouTube so if you're more of a visual content consumer check out "Do Cell Cams SPOOK Big Bucks?"
Questions To Ask Yourself
Before we dive into the topic of cellular trail cameras spooking deer, I want you to ask yourself a few leading questions. As you continue to read through this article, keep your answers in the back of your mind because we will be circling back.
Have you ever taken or seen anyone take a video of a buck with a cell phone?
Have you or anyone you know ever been on stand with your phone out texting, scrolling through social media, maybe even talking on it and had deer within eyesight?
Have you ever seen deer around a cell tower site or right of way?
Do you only see mature bucks in areas with no cellular service?
How Data Is Moved Wirelessly
To fully understand this topic, at a high level we need to explain the concept of how cell cams move information wirelessly.
A cellular trail camera is exactly what it spells out. A trail camera that transmits or moves the photos and videos taken through a cellular network. A cellular device or any wireless device for that matter moves information by the way of radio frequency, also known as RF. RF strength and exposure is regulated by the FCC for the sake of public safety and health...meaning no existing consumer product can exceed those limitations set forth by the FCC. If any device or product exceeds those limitations, exposure times and personal protective equipment (PPE) are mandated in the case of use in professional field I.E. cellular antenna equipment on towers. All meaning, RF is initially unmeasurable by any living body without extensive exposure over the regulated RF limits.
The concept of moving data by radio waves is nothing new. In fact it has been around since 1901 when the first wireless transatlantic radio signal was broadcast by Guglielmo Marconi. The concept of moving information with RF has not changed and at a very basic level RF does not know what it is moving. It could be moving data in form of audio, data in form of video, maybe a photo, maybe a text message it could even be data to make a block buster investment....the bottom line is data is data is data and RF doesn't know the difference between any of it. With that said, the technology, applications, speeds, and the amount of data that can be moved has certainly come a long way which has led us into the "connected" era as we know it.
Back To The Leading Questions
If data moved by RF negatively effect whitetails, every phone video of a whitetail would be of deer jumping out of his hide.
If data moved by RF negatively effected whitetails, every time you had your phone with you on stand, whitetails would be blowing and leaping off to security.
If data moved by RF negatively effected whitetails, you would never see a single whitetail deer anywhere close to a cellular tower, AM radio tower, 911 tower, etc.
If data moved by RF negatively effected whitetails, you would see deer constantly shifting to areas where there was zero cellular service.
The bottom line is cellular trail cameras do not spook deer due to RF or data being transmitted wirelessly. Whitetails do not recognize data being moved by RF, they do not know what RF is, and they cannot feel RF. The only way a cell cam is going to spook deer is from poor placement and location. So the next time you're in the timber deploying cameras be sure to cross your T's and dot your I's to eliminate as many "spook equation" variables as possible.