Ask The Biologist

Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

By Bob Humphrey

If deer can’t see infrared flash, why do they look directly at your trail cameras?

QUESTION: I’ve noticed on several of my trail camera photos that the deer look like they’re looking right at the camera. I thought they weren’t supposed to be able to tell when a picture is being taken. Will this frighten the deer? –Will W.

ANSWER: A lot depends on the camera and the settings. Some cameras have the capability to use infrared (IR) flash only, which deer allegedly cannot see. Surprisingly, even some of the stealthiest cameras also have a red indicator light that flashes when the camera detects motion just before it takes a picture of video.

In many cases, this could be what the deer are seeing that causes them to look directly at the camera. Another thing that’s sometimes not considered is that some cameras make noise. It’s not much, and probably inaudible except on a dead calm day, when a deer could hear it.

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Copyright 2019 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd