Detecting animals while hunting
It's almost hunting season! With the increasing development of science and technology, we no longer rely on hunting dogs and people to find prey, a variety of high-tech products are emerging, including thermal cameras designed for hunting.
It is difficult for humans to find prey in the mountains and forests through the naked eye at a distance, but with the use of a thermal camera, the different temperatures of the surrounding environment can be detected in real time through the thermal imaging pictures taken by the camera, which makes it very convenient to search for the prey quickly and easily.
- What is a thermal camera?
- Principles of thermal cameras
- Powerful functions of the thermal camera
- How to use a thermal camerawhile hunting?
- Best 3 Recommended thermal cameras
- Supplementary: Some references when choosing an infrared camera
1. What is a thermal camera?
A thermal camera, a camera that detects heat and visualizes it. Photographs taken with a thermal camera are called thermograms, and typically, images of hotter objects are shown in red and images of colder objects and locations are shown in blue. thermal cameras are versatile and can be used for wall building inspections, outdoor camping activities, hunting and preventing the spread of infectious diseases.
2. Principle of thermal cameras
When a camera or cell phone takes a picture, it does so by transmitting light reflected from the subject to the image sensor. However, thermal imaging cameras take pictures without any light source.
All substances on earth emit an invisible light called far infrared, and the higher the temperature, the greater the amount of far infrared radiation. Thermal imaging cameras are equipped with a sensor that detects far-infrared light and measures the temperature of a substance by detecting the intensity of the far-infrared energy.
It means that the thermal imaging camera captures a stable image even in dark environments without any light source, or in excessively bright areas such as backlit areas. The image is then colored according to the measured temperature, producing an easy-to-understand thermal image.
3. Powerful functions of the thermal camera
3-1. Non-contact measurement of body surface temperature
Thermal cameras can measure temperatures over a wide range, which is difficult to achieve with ordinary thermometers. In addition, thermal cameras provide a real-time image of the temperature change of the object being photographed. The trajectory of the prey can be observed from a distance during hunting, avoiding close proximity to large animals that could be attacked.
3-2. Capturing in total darkness
The principle described above shows that the far-infrared light captured by a thermal camera is emitted by the object itself, so that a sharp image can be obtained even in a dark area where there is no light source. This is very convenient for trappers who need to conduct hunting activities at night.
3-3 For Hazard Warning
Thermal cameras detect temperature changes in objects. Upper and target ranges for the detected temperature can be set, and an alarm can be triggered and an e-mail notification sent when the temperature changes. Therefore, thermal cameras can be used to detect temperature changes in the vicinity of a camping site to ensure the safety of personnel.
4. Situations in which a thermal cameracan be used while hunting
Finding hit prey
One of the things that all hunters want to avoid while hunting is not finding the prey that has been shot/shot and escaped. This is where a thermal camera comes into play!
If a shot doesn't kill the prey, it will usually hide behind something and not move. In this case, without a hound, it's often hard to spot the prey, even if they're bleeding. But if you have a thermal camera, you can locate hit prey from a distance, as long as you know the general direction of the prey. And freshly shed blood will show up in a different color than the surrounding area, so you can find them easily.
Expulsion of Nuisance Animals
For farmers living in rural areas, preventing animals from spoiling their personal property can be a major headache. Even patrolling around the farm 24 hours a day is labor intensive and not cost effective. With a thermal imaging camera, you can observe the movement of animals around your farm and repel or kill them before they get too close to your farm.
NOTE: If the target is completely obscured by trees, the far infrared light will be blocked by the trees, making detection difficult. Therefore thermal cameras may be less suitable for use in areas where there are many trees blocking the view. In addition, thermal cameras come in different sizes, and some are less able to detect small creatures such as birds
5. Recommended three thermal cameras that can be used during hunting
Thermal cameras make it easy to detect the presence and movement of prey, so we've tested the following three cameras on the market. Of course, we will also clarify their advantages and disadvantages, so let's take a look.
InfiRay Xinfrared T2 PRO
The T2 Pro is a thermal camera priced at around 399usd that can be used directly with a cell phone. It has a detection range of up to 1,300 meters and is designed for observation in security, hunting, and other outdoor activities. Advanced imaging algorithms provide clear, ultra-sharp images, enabling this advanced thermal camera to find and identify targets in pitch-black environments and difficult terrain.
With a resolution of 256x192, the 18g weight is a completely negligible weight that won't add to the burden while hunting. It connects directly to your phone so there is no need to charge it, just download an app on your phone and use it straight away. An extension cable can also be used to connect the two devices if necessary.
Note that the T2 PRO is available in Android and iOS versions, so please choose the appropriate version based on the model of the phone you are using.
Seek Thermal Reveal PRO EC
The Reveal PRO EC is a thermal camera the size of a cell phone that is easy to carry around. The specifications are 320 x 240 pixels, 32° viewing angle, a detection range of about 550 meters, and a battery life of about 4 hours in normal mode.
However, the price is as high as $499usd and the display is so small that it is occasionally inconvenient when hunting for observation.
The FLIR ONE is also a smartphone-connected thermal camera that measures temperatures from -20°C to 120°C. It's a well-received camera that's widely used for monitoring electrical circuits and wall pipes, in addition to outdoor activities such as hunting.
The only drawback is that the battery life is too short, about 40 minutes, so if you need to stay outdoors for a long time while hunting, you may need to recharge it more often.The FLIR ONE series is currently available in a wide range of models, so you can choose one according to your needs.
6. Selection of a thermal camerafor your reference
There is a bewildering variety of thermal imaging cameras available in the market. Although the specifications of thermal imaging cameras vary from brand to brand, you can choose your favorite thermal imaging camera based on the following criteria.
Pixels: This is the same as a digital camera's pixels; the higher the pixel count, the clearer it will be of distant and small objects.
Viewing angle: This indicates the horizontal x vertical viewing angle. The larger the number, the wider the angle of view and the wider the range of infrared images that can be seen.
IFOV: The smallest size of the object that the camera can detect, it is recommended to select the IFOV of 3 to 5 times the size of the actual object to be photographed.
NETD: The smallest temperature difference that the IR detector can detect. The smaller the value, the less noise on the screen and the clearer the temperature difference.
Thermal imaging cameras visualize the intensity of far-infrared energy emitted by an object and display it on a monitor. They can capture images in the dark, with or without a light source. Because thermal imaging cameras are non-contact and can detect a wide range of temperatures, they are now also widely used for hunting activities.
The use of thermal imaging cameras, not only to observe the movement of animals and find the location of struck prey, but also for outdoor rescue and danger warning, has become one of the essential tools for hunters.