FLIR Scout for Hunting

Deer in the UK have no natural predators and as such deer numbers have increased dramatically.

Aside from deer culling the only limitations to Deer population growth are typically starvation, disease and Road accidents (the second biggest cause of deer mortality). The Deer Initiative, a group dedicated to "ensuring the delivery of a sustainable, well-managed wild deer population in England and Wales" estimates that there is a need to cull at least 500,000 deer a year in the UK. Without selective and careful culling of deer, problems could increase dramatically. Damage caused by deer can include serious damage to crops, trees and shrubs and result in considerable issues for both countryside managers and gardeners. There is also the problem of ‘Deer Vehicle Collisions’, which can have very real and even fatal consequences.

It is widely accepted by government agencies, NGOs, and academics that deer are more abundant and widespread now than at any time in the past 1000 years. Whilst other forms of deer management may also be explored, for example the use of fencing and other deterrents, it is the belief of County Deer Stalking that deer numbers can only be controlled properly by selective and careful culling.

FLIR Thermal Example

County Deer Stalking was formed by Peter Jones, a professional Deer Stalker in the South East of England. Jones manages the deer over a variety of beautiful countryside locations in Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex Counties which have large populations of Fallow, Roe and Muntjac Deer - the 3 most populous breeds of wild deer in the UK.

As a professional stalker he has all the relevant Deer Management Qualifications (DMQ) and is a DMQ Approved Witness for the British Deer Society and British Association for Shooting and Conservation.

Besides managing deer over around 2,000 acres, County Deer Stalking also offers accompanied Deer Stalking of wild, free-ranging deer to both the beginner and experienced hunter. “For the last two years I heard and read more and more about using thermal imaging cameras for outdoor applications”, says Peter Jones. “I was really keen to get my hands on one to find out how I could use this technology during stalks”. Never having used any type of night or thermal vision before, Peter was presented the opportunity to add a FLIR Scout handheld Thermal Camera to his kit .

FLIR Thermal Example 2

FLIR Scout Cameras are equipped with an uncooled, maintenance free, microbolometer detector which delivers crisp thermal images in any day or night situation. Wildlife such as deer are easy to spot thanks to the InstAlert™ feature, which colours the hottest part in the thermal image red, available on all FLIR Scout Thermal Imaging Cameras.

Despite using the FLIR Scout handheld Thermal Imager for only a short while, Peter soon discovered the advantages of using thermal imaging in his profession. “Deer have become increasingly nocturnal, which makes the night ideal for counting deer numbers”, he explains. “Usually counting is done in the early morning or late in the evening, but with the use of a thermal imaging camera this can now be done at night, providing more accurate records. But a thermal imaging camera is not only a great tool for use in the dark, on a couple of occasions recently, I have seen for myself how useful thermal imaging can be during the day when I used the FLIR Scout to scan dense woodlands, to see if I could pick up any heat signatures," said Peter. "And it worked! In only one month there were three occasions where I picked up heat signatures from deer which would have remained unseen when using other, more traditional methods. Lots of people set out to stalk in the morning when it is still dark. A thermal imaging camera allows you to scan the field to establish if there are deer around. If there are, it gives you the confidence to wait until it is light enough to approach and take a shot."

A thermal imaging camera is not the only tool used for tracking wildlife, but in combination with other equipment for deer stalking it is however a very useful addition. “It takes practice to work with a thermal imaging camera in combination with your binoculars”, says Peter. “Gauging distance is difficult with a thermal imaging camera. If you use a thermal imaging camera in combination with your binoculars it also takes some time to get used to the different images that the two tools provide.”

As well as deer, Thermal cameras can be used to track all kinds of wildlife, such a rabbits, foxes or to find rats or other pests.

FLIR Thermal Example 3

To find out more about FLIRs systems, see the range of Thermal Cameras click here, or call 01949 836 990 Monday - Friday, 8:30 - 5:00 to discuss FLIR Thermal Cameras with our technical staff. We can answer any question you may have about the FLIR range. Call now to take advantage of our market leading prices on the latest ranges.



Posted in FLIR By

Joe Marshall