Going Hunting?: How To Spot Deer In The Dark

It is whitetail deer hunting season in the Midwest, and everyone is out with bows for the first part of it and out with guns during the second part of it. Either way, if you enjoy tracking and hunting deer for meat or sport, you want whatever advantages you can get, since it is not that easy to track an animal that does not want to be found. Here are some gadgets that will help you get the most out of your hunting expedition and search for big whitetail bucks.

Thermal Infrared Cameras

There are two types of thermal infrared hunting cameras you can purchase and use. The first type can be mounted or strapped to a tree. It tracks animal activity through the area, including other hunters who may not have realized that they have stumbled onto your hunting spot or tree stand. It records the heat signatures and timestamps it so you get a really good idea of when the deer are traveling through the area at night. Since deer tend to be rather territorial, especially in the fall during mating season, this type of camera is very useful for discovering where the deer are.

The second type of thermal infrared camera is one you can use like binoculars. It will help you see in low light and darkness so that when you take aim for a deer that has just crossed into your line of sight, you will not miss and can shoot for the heart and/or belly where the heat signatures are the warmest. Deer are most active in the very early hours of the morning and just after dawn, as well as sunset to just past twilight, and it is very hard to see them during part of these hours without a thermal camera. Contact a local outlet, such as Infrared Cameras Inc., for further assistance.


If you can find one and if it is battery-operated, a handheld spotlight is effective at not only spotting a deer but holding its attention while you make the kill shot. Just as a deer freezes when the headlights of a car shine into its eyes, a similar effect happens when you use a handheld spotlight. An extremely bright camp lantern may work too. You will have to experiment with different lights to find what works best for you.

Night Vision Binoculars 

Instead of infrared or bright light, you could just use night vision binoculars too. The infrared cameras let you see body warmth, temperature, and basic shapes while the spotlights allow you to see everything in full nighttime color. The night vision binoculars, which fit like goggles over your head, make everything appear as different shades of green in the black, but can also show you clear delineations between the trees and the deer and other critters scuttling about at night.