Do Trail Cameras Really Spook Deer – or Not?

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If you want to invest in a trail camera to monitor wildlife, you’ll want an answer to the question ‘do trail cameras spook deer?’ If a trail camera has an incandescent flash, will it frighten animals such as timid deer?

Deer are spooked by CERTAIN trail cameras. If a trail camera has an incandescent flash, will it frighten animals such as timid deer? Leading trail camera manufacturers agree: ‘Yes, no question about it – trail cameras that do not have a no-glow feature do spook deer’.

Some leading trail camera manufacturers tell us ‘Yes’ no question about it – trail cameras do spook deer’.

Animals and birds can be heard and seen easily while others are quiet and secretive. Others are nocturnal, only coming out at night under the cover of darkness.

Deer aren’t all the same and each one reacts differently. It’s the same with trail cameras – you want to know which brand and model spooks deer the least.

There are –

  • white flash cameras
  • red flash cameras
  • no- glow cameras

No-glow cameras  are the best option for a trail camera as they are undetected at night. This is the solid opinion of most hunting experts.

Proper Placement of Trail Cam

However, there are still some no-glow cameras that will spook a deer. This means you need to look beyond just the camera and also look at its placement.

If you think that deer aren’t only spooked from the infrared flash, you can look at placing your camera 6 foot up in a tree.

It’s also time to get rid of big bulky trail cams and to look at smaller, quieter models. You can say that they key takeaways of reducing the risk of spooking deer is to –

  • place the trail camera where it is well hidden
  • elevate your camera
  • make use of no-glow cameras

Some people say the wrong trail camera is the one that is noisy or the one where the deer can see the infrared flash. Certainly, some of the newer model trail cameras will snap an image without any sound.

Spend a bit more money and buy one of the newer, better quality trail-cameras. Go for no-glow brands from the likes of –

These models have special no glow technology built-in so that the cameras don’t spook deer and their presence isn’t at all obvious.

In low-light conditions, a flash triggers to illuminate the field of view, but this creates problems when animals see that flash. They scatter and are so spooked, they never return to the area.

Some cameras use low-frequency red lights, which isn’t good enough as they are still noticeable by many species. Only a no-glow infrared trail camera will do.

The main, sought after feature of these no-glow trail cameras is that you can use it at night without it producing a visible flash. This means it won’t spook any wildlife.  A trespasser snooping around on your property won’t notice it either.

Experts opinion is always black flash

Nothing is set in stone when it comes to saying what the best trail camera is to not spook deer. When you do research however, you’ll find that the most serious of deer hunters will recommend black flash- or no-glow cameras.

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