Flash spooking deer

kluzy

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Put the camera's out 5 weeks ago, have been checking them once a week. Both cams are on busy game trails. Here is what I found:

1 st week both cam's had 24 pics.
2 nd week 24 and 18 pics
3 rd week 12 and 9 pics
4 th week 7 and 5 pics
last week 4 pics on each camera.

I wear rubber boots and gloves and my scentlock when I am checking cams.

Had a good mixture of day time and night pics, some of the deer walked right by and didnt even seem to notice.

Seems to me the deer changed there habits because of the flash.

Any thoughts?
 



TxCowboy

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My initial thoughts was your scent was left in the area but I have to admit that rubber boots, gloves, and scent lock are pretty extreme measures, so that can't be it. However, I just don't believe the flash is the issue. I could be wrong but after 5 yrs of deer camera use, I've never seen the flash to be an issue. I think all of us can show you photo after photo, day after day of the same deer in front of our cameras. Some guys even get repeated photos of the old reclusive mature bucks. I believe there are 2 main things that alert deer to a camera's presence and might cause them to avoid the area: human scent and the actual sound the camera makes when taking a photo (most noticeable on cheap 35mm units). Neither of those are probably and issue with your cameras. I'm at a loss but maybe you are right? If it was just the big mature bucks that were disapearing I would be more likely to believe the flash was the problem. Normally the does just stand in front of the camera for photo after photo while eating corn or such.

I'd be interested to hear other's opinions. Oh and Kluzy, please don't take this as bashing you, I do not mean this post that way at all!! Thanks for the info.
 

treestandman2

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I am going to the IR flash setup for this reason. If you check out some older posts you will get a mixed view on this. Some say flash is not a problem others say it is. Good luck!
 

Hmebuildr

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I dont find that the flash is a problem what I have been finding is that I have been going into the area to much. Archery season started here on the 15th I was in my stand the other evening and watched 2 does with 2 fawns come down the path. They paid no mind to my camera but they knew I was in the area wind shifted on me. I believe it is more a scent issue then a flash issue most of my pictures lately have been during the day on the trail I have been watching. The reason I say this is that I have moved the camera each time I am in the area and I dont get picture for a day or so after moving it but once my scent has left or is not fresh they are right back walking past the camera. The weather has been warm so even though I am wearing scent loc and being careful I still leave scent.
 

tdhunter

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In 5 weeks time the deer could change their pattern. They may be using alternate routes or they are utilizing differant feeding areas. I would guess that it is more the deer just not wanting to walk down that trail for some unknown reason other than the camera flash. This is only a guess based on my observations of the deer in the areas where I use cams and hunt. 24 pics in one week would be a very heavily used trail around here and would not stay that heavily traveled for very long. Just my
TDhunter
 

Otto

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I have hundreds of pics of five does around an old lick. They have visited it every night for months! This is a slave night blaster, not some dinky little flash. Big bucks however are more wary of this. I have had very few occasions where a large buck has had his picture taken twice on the same trail. Just twice to be exact. I have moved the camera a mere twenty steps and got them again. I just think for the most part deer are changing thier patterns as food sources and weather changes. If the camera really spooked them, I think they would avoid it from the get go. I think they are keying in on new food sources. I have had spells where I didn't get pictures for a week or two and I had 6 cameras out. Moved them and started getting pics again. I'm anxious to see if these IR setups yield more pics....we'll see.


Apparently tdhunter and I were on the same page on this one...
 

Fred Bear

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I have watched a doe get her pic taken at 3:00am. She spooked like the dickens when that flash went off. But a couple of hours later she was right back. I dunno how this affects mature bucks.
 

Lechwe

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I'm with OTTO and TdHunter on this one. I have several pictures of the same buck feeding right in front of the camera. Watching my deer lately they have been changing the food sources they are going to.
 

bbruno

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The deer just changed patterns plain and simple. My guess is that if you had not put the cams out, the deer still would have changed patterns. September for me is a month of at times "frustrating" hunting. Right now I am spending time scouting, only to have the movement change. Scouted some nice deer all summer...and now, 2 weeks before season opened, deer kinda vanished. Switched food sources.

I have a friend who, believe it or not will kick deer right out of there deer beds pre season and scout them with regular shoes on and regular street clothes. He is 35 and has shot 65 deer. Last year he harvested with a bow, from a ground blind, on video a 146 and a 171 typical in Ill. and Kansas. AND he does not wear scentlok either. Year before shot a 188 groos. He is a very tactical/wind hunter. So, not to worry.

I think if we are not careful we can turn deer hunting into "if you sneeze in your honey hole, the deer will be gone til next year"

just my 2 cents.
 

ACrowe

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I'm with Otto, I think deer change feeding patternsand just move around. I also think that older bucks do tend to avoid the camera after a picture or two. Silence I think is the key. If you can hear the camera taking the picture for sure the deer can. I know on my digital setups I turn off the beep and do all I can to ensure the setup is silent as I can make it.
 

Ocmulgee Ogre

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I've also gotten pictures of mature bucks with flash over extended periods. The deer on my property changed their patterns over the last 3 weeks. Mineral sites are no longer hot spots but trails leading to food plots and bedding sites are still active.
 

Matt in MO

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I can't really add much - only that I don't have my cams in the same place 5 weeks in a row. Not that I'm trying to prevent deer from patterning the cam but I just have lots of land to scout with good camming sites.
 


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