Can Deer See Trail Cameras?

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Trail cameras are arguably one of the best hunting tools for sale today. They work in the wind, snow and rain to scout deer movements. Additionally, they can help you learn a lot about deer and their environment. But can deer see trail cameras?

Some trail cameras emit a buzzing sound, which can spook deer. In other cases, trail camera infrared flashes are visible by deer. A good quality game camera eliminates all these issues.

I always place your trail cameras up high, at a height of at least 6 or 7 feet. Whitetails don’t normally look skywards, making a flash coming from that height less noticeable.

What Do Bucks See?

Whitetails can primarily distinguish two colors, green and blue, particularly in dim lighting. Unlike humans, they can’t tell orange and red, making them dichromatic. Deer may see the white light of a flash, but will not be necessarily be spooked.

Deer in Snow

Do Bucks Get Spooked By Trail Cameras?

As a scouting tool, trail cameras are great. While effective at getting candid photos of deer, they can ruin your hunt too. If the camera itself will not spook them, you will, in the following ways:

Hanging around the Camera

Retrieving footage from your trail camera often might seem like a good idea. This not only ruins the surprise factor, but puts the buck on high alert. Not just the commotion you will cause, but by your scent.

You Throw Off a Scent

In areas with little traffic, bucks cannot distinguish hunting and off-season. Their sense of smell is better than their eyesight. No matter the season, every trip to your trail camera should be cautious.

Your trail Camera Is Mounted Too close To Your Target Buck

Most mature bucks don’t stray far from their safety zone or bedding area. Therefore do not hang your trail camera within this area or zone. Hang your trail camera on the outskirts, identifying favored travel directions into and out of these locations.

Your Trail Camera Flash Has Been Seen

Just to be on the safe side, only buy no-flash or infrared trail cameras. Not only do the deer find them harder to see, fellow hunters will not either. Trail camera hanging location is key, try to point them away from their direct eye line.

White Flash vs. Infrared Trail Cameras

It is known that white flash game deer hunting cameras produce superior image quality. Black flash or infrared scouting cameras reduce light emitted while photographing. Additionally, their battery performance is greatly enhanced, especially for months-long duty.

Maybe the Deer HEARD the Camera…

Newer trail cameras take photos silently, while some older models do not. While the older trail cameras may be reliable, they often emit noises when triggered. Once you realize your older device makes sounds, swap it out with a newer one.

Running Deer


By avoiding the above-mentioned mistakes, you will increase your chances of landing that prize buck. Trail cameras revolutionized deer hunting on their conception, and they continue to be improved all the time. How and where you hang your trail camera determines your success as much as a buck seeing your trail camera.

Read about how to save battery power on your trail cam

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