Do trail cameras scare deer?
By: Cole Seitzinger
Absolutely no question about it, Yes trail cameras could spook deer!
Before you go sell the camera you just got look closely at that statement. The key word here is could. Trail Cameras COULD indeed spook deer. There are many variables that go into this so lets dive into it a little deeper and make sure you are doing everything you can to limit the amount of deer you spook with your trail cameras.
First, we will put an end to any doubt that trail cameras spook every deer that is in the area. This is simply not true. Deer like humans have different personalities, different fears, different memories, and act very differently in different situations. Bottom line here is just because one doe hits your mineral site every day and just about licks your camera without a care in the world does not mean that you mastered the art of not spooking deer. A very mature cautious deer may be onto you and every move your making with that camera. Each deer could react differently if they know a trail camera is present.
The next big debate with trail cameras is what style you go with to spook deer the least amount. Again people’s opinions will be persuaded with different results because they used a flash camera one time and a giant buck never cared about the flash being in his face. That doesn’t mean that is the best one to use. The majority of cameras available now are Infrared Flash most commonly being a Red Glow IR, or a No-Glow IR camera. Flash and White Flash cameras are still available but not as popular. For one IR cameras have much less of chance at spooking deer, and two for theft and trespassers you wouldn’t want to use a flash style camera. No-Glow is the best option for a camera to go undetected at night when it takes a picture of a deer. It simply leaves you with the best odds out of any option in being undetectable, but that does not mean your No-Glow camera will not spook deer either. Learn the difference here on Different Flash Cameras.
You have to be aware of your camera placement as well. If you walked into your dining room or bedroom and there was shoebox sitting there one day chances are you would notice that right away. Same goes with deer and setting up in their bedroom or the middle of a food plot. Off the main trail at a distance and higher up then eye level is a good option to better your odds. Don’t place the camera in their face right on top of where they are going to be. The placement importance swings from high to low when placing cameras over minerals or bait. Deer can tolerate a little more when it comes to food plots, and mineral sites than they can when it comes to their bedrooms and safety areas. Keep your tail cameras to the edges of these spots for the best results. Always keep in mind you are trying to fool the smartest oldest deer in the woods, not the young curious deer you are always getting pictures of. Don’t settle for getting pictures of young buck all the time when you know mature buck are in the area. Take your program to the next level to prevent spooking even the spookiest deer in the woods! Check out more about spook proofing your trail camera placement here! More importantly then all that is the added presence and pressure that running trail cameras add to the property.
It is easy to get carried away checking cameras as often as you can because the excitement of the buck you have been seeing is at an all-time high. Don’t do it! Less is certainly more in this case. The less you enter a property the less chances you have at spooking the deer. Every time you step foot on the property you will leave scent and sign behind that you were there. So even after all this if you say your trail cameras aren’t spooking deer. The scent and pressure you add to the property when you check them most likely is. At least a little bit anyway. You can take extreme cation with scent control and how to check your property without spooking deer but chances are there are always a few deer that are onto you. The trick is figuring out how bad they are being spooked and how to limit that as much as possible to leave you with a chance are getting that target buck year after year. Check out an earlier article on checking cameras without disturbing the property.
Now that we covered pretty much all the ways you are spooking deer be sure to check out the other articles here to put the odds in your favor while you run trail cameras this summer!