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Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Joined: 12/13/2003
Posts: 6
Heat Sensors for Deer Recovery

Has anyone used one of those heat sensors like Game Finder for recovering wounded deer?

Luckily, we have not lost too many deer to date but loosing one is one too many.

They sound great but wanted to hear from someone first hand if they have worked.

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Joined: 12/12/2003
Posts: 2
Heat Sensors for Deer Recovery

I would be anxous to hear about them myself. I would like to try and use one when I'm still hunting. It would be nice to be able to scan a heavy thicket when I'm approching it, I've jumped alot of deer that I could of waited out if I had known they were there.
MDH

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Joined: 12/13/2003
Posts: 6
Heat Sensors for Deer Recovery

That's something I never thought of.
We usually stand hunt but I've pushed deer as well going to and returning from my stand.
I figure if I can recover only a couple of deer when I lose the blood trail in heavy cover, it's worth it.

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Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 12/08/2003
Posts: 134
Heat Sensors for Deer Recovery

The ones I have seen (used to work at Bass Pro Shop) were very finicky. Hard to master. For hunting purposes, I would like a set of those infrared goggles the military has. You'd be able to see a deer-sized animal hiding in the brush before you spook them!

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Moderator
Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
Heat Sensors for Deer Recovery

I purchased a GameFinder about 7 years ago after I had lost a deer I had shot with a Bow and had to get a dog to find.
I spent the spring and summer using it for anything I could think of to get some sense of what I was looking at when all the lil lights lit up on it. I worked pretty good on my dog at night in the woods.
As mister_venison mentioned it was/is very finicky. The following year I killed a small buck but could see him from my stand but decided I would see if this thing worked. Well the LED lites only went up one notch when I passed it across the still warm dead deer, about the same as the sunny side of a tree. I haven't used it to find a lost deer yet but I dont believe it would prove to be of very much help. I also haven't tried scanning a thicket with it either but I'll try it and report back any findings, if any.

Mabe its because I live and hunt in florida and temps rarely get below freezing. Might work lots better in colder climates.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Joined: 12/13/2003
Posts: 6
Heat Sensors for Deer Recovery

I just found it funny that no one is promoting it. You never see it on TV.

I live in Canada so maybe it would work better for me if you use it in temperatures below 50 F or so.
After we have snow, no problem tracking, but before we get snow you lose the blood trail sometimes and if the deer does not go down within 100 yards or so, I have had a tuff time.

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Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 12/08/2003
Posts: 134
Heat Sensors for Deer Recovery

Also, when I "field tested" some of these things, we got confused readings within cedar swamps. Apparently the swamps hold pockets of heat. In all areas, we registered rabbits and turkeys with about the same signature as a person. Seems like the filters are not precise enough to detect a large vs. mininmal heat source or a large vs. small change in heat. We had a LOT of returns on those at the store. People just didn't have the patience/time to work with them. Didn't matter what brand.

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Joined: 01/23/2004
Posts: 12
Heat Sensors for Deer Recovery

They are inconsistent at best, and have a very steep learning curve. I have also found them to be weather dependent. The only use I ever had for one was sitting looking at the area deer usually come from on my stand. They usually gave me a bit of warning as to the emminent appearance of a deer from the brush. For trying to find a dead downed deer...they were next to impossible. I never once was successful with them used for this purpose...and I tried hard.

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Joined: 03/27/2004
Posts: 3
Heat Sensors for Deer Recovery

If anyone comes back to this question: Are these things to see the deer where it lays wounded or are they sensitive enought to give heat images of the blood trails or even foot prints?

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Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 12/08/2003
Posts: 134
Heat Sensors for Deer Recovery

They are meant to find downed game. They will detect smaller animals and other things like rocks in the sun...so I can't say if they'd detect blood trails or hoofprints. I highly doubt it. In my experience, you get so many readings that its hard to sort out.

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Moderator
Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
Heat Sensors for Deer Recovery

I agree with mister_venison, they are not that accurate.
The one I used, a "Gamefinder", would sense the temperature change of 2 degrees so I dont believe that would be enough to see tracks or find blood trails unless very fresh which you could see the deer still if it was that fresh.

I could barely get a response from it when I scanned a dead deer that I had shot mabe 3 minutes beforehand and could still see, laying dead, from my stand.

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