Using a FLIR for Bowhunting - Discussion
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Florida Mike 30-Apr-13
Mad Trapper 30-Apr-13
midwest 30-Apr-13
Medicinemann 30-Apr-13
Surfbow 30-Apr-13
oldgoat 01-May-13
Russ Koon 01-May-13
Ziek 01-May-13
r-man 01-May-13
Ziek 01-May-13
Forrest Boone 01-May-13
JusPassin 02-May-13
DonSchultz 06-May-13
smokey 06-May-13
Elkhunter - Home 06-May-13
Florida Mike 07-May-13
Kevin Dill 07-May-13
Knife2sharp 07-May-13
IdyllwildArcher 07-May-13
arctichill 08-May-13
KJC 08-May-13
Russ Koon 08-May-13
Ollie 08-May-13
Box 09-May-13
Wombat 09-May-13
Wombat 09-May-13
Ollie 09-May-13
Knife2sharp 09-May-13
Two Bar 09-May-13
Jon Simoneau 12-May-13
stick33 21-May-13
bass2xs 23-May-13
Oak Walker 24-May-13
Candor 24-May-13
Coyote 65 25-May-13
hookman 27-May-13
Grounblind 31-May-13
Oak Walker 31-May-13
hookman 31-May-13
r-man 29-Jul-16
From: Florida Mike
As long as you don't thermal image no more fat gals.... Mike

From: Mad Trapper
I agree with Mike. Should come in handy when Jake is blood trailing in Kansas.

From: midwest
Maybe when the price comes down significantly. Very cool toy!

From: Medicinemann
Mad Trapper....aka FNG

When someone has just taken possession of YOUR Tule elk antlers, are you SURE that you want to try to bust their chops? You have much to learn, Grasshopper!!

Apparently you prefer to to take hours to locate animals after arriving on the scene...whereas I prefer minutes (when conditions suggest that it is appropriate to do so).....LOL

From: Surfbow
I used to use those for work, very cool tools...of course, the idea of dropping $25,000-50,000 cameras was a little nerve-racking!

From: oldgoat
Pretty neat except for the price, but it's like any other thing, if you have good ethics, it's a good tool, if you have bad ethics, it's a bad tool! I'd just be happy to be able to have that kind of disposable income to spend:)

From: Russ Koon
Not legal here in IN. For whatever reason, our DNR outlawed the use of thermal imaging technology even for trailing/locating downed game. Even made it illegal to possess them while trailing/searching without a weapon.

If you're using one to find your buddy who's late getting back to camp and hasn't responded to calls on the radio/cell, you'd better find him before the warden finds you.

I can only assume they feared the danger of people using them while actively hunting and shooting at sizable blobs of heat without properly identifying the target.

Might have been done to protect the resource from unfair advantages, back when the reg was instituted, but since then they've legalized virtually unlimited killing of antlerless and the use of laser sights, crossbows, rifles, silencers.... pretty much everything except bait and drones.... so I doubt that's a consideration here now.

Personally, I think an effective one would be a welcome addition to the tracking arsenal and safety equipment of any responsible hunter, and I wouldn't worry much about it occasionally being used to locate game while actively hunting, in such instances such as windy days in standing corn.

Better than a wounded and lost animal, or a hunting buddy laying there unconscious and bleeding out or slowly succumbing to hypothermia after an accident or a medical event.

But that's just me. Our state sees it differently. Probably be a good idea to check the reg's in your state of residence or where you anticipate hunting before plunking down big dough.

From: Ziek
It won't come as any surprise, that I don't think it's appropriate. It's just one more use of technology to replace woodsmanship, encourage less disciplined shot selection, and increasing hunter success without a commensurate increase in hunter commitment or skills.

"...if you have good ethics, it's a good tool, if you have bad ethics, it's a bad tool! "

The problem with that philosophy is that ethics too easily change with time as technology continues to advance. We already employ more technology than we need, or should want, in an effort to pursue a pastime that returns us to our hunter/gatherer roots. This is just one more example of electronics going "over the top" to redefine hunting "success". While we all strive to fill the meat pole, too many hunters define success by that metric alone. The process should be more important. Increasing acceptance of electronics is the biggest threat to the future of bowhunting from within the sport.

From: r-man
wanted one for yrs, but moneys not there, i love walk hunting and thought it would help finding bedded bucks.

From: Ziek
And the very next post after Woody's insightful response, supports my concerns.

I have a FRIR for sale if anybody wants to invest $4500. Unit sells for $6000. Like new in case.

From: JusPassin
How about we just hire someone else to hunt and kill our game for us and then we wouldn't have to learn any woodsmanship at all. There wasn't that easy?

From: DonSchultz
I sell a variety of sensors used in industrial applications. One is a thermal imager. It must be connected by USB to a computer running Windows since it doesn't have its own display. I've been interested in getting it out to view fields. I can use my wife's Netbook as the display device.

Yup. Free to me.

From: smokey
As a retired wildland firefighter I can recall using these many years ago to detect hotspots that weren't visible to the naked eye. Useful tool for that and for many other uses too. I just can't see a need for me using one for bowhunting. I can see a use in game detection for population surveys. In my area there are few opportunities to see deer since it is big timber, hilly and thick in some areas along with wetlands.

I have a FLIR monocular for my hog control business in Alabama. Great tool for spotting hogs and yotes at night and finding them. Not to good on blood trailing.

From: Florida Mike
Just another tool to use ethically or unethically depending on the hunter and whos watching.

I think some of the concerns are laughable but I tend to oversimplify. If they do get used unethically its not the end of life as we know it so please back away from the ledge sir. Before anyone strokes out on me remember we all use technology now to be better hunters so get off your high horse. Even the trad guys that knap their own heads and use tree limbs still use modern transit to get to their hunts so thats technology...

Senator even if we outlaw guns then only outlaws will have guns and good people will still die in movie theaters and classrooms.

We all use technology so why not embrace this technology and create guidelines for its use?

I could see a lot of good uses for an FLIR. And yes maybe a few abuses but again that would not be the end of the world. Mike

From: Kevin Dill
My guess is that many or perhaps most states will handle the FLIR in much the same fashion they do the use of a spotlight, though the two are dissimilar. I don't think most states will give it an automatic pass...but that's the state's call. I wouldn't spend the money on one for myself.

From: Knife2sharp
For scouting at night, why not use the traditional night vision optics out there? Same goes for night hunting varmits and hogs. So really, this is simply a tool to assist with tracking wounded game at night. Obviously this will only help tracking game shot in the afternoon or evening, unless you hit one marginally in the morning and can't find it by night. What if you shoot a deer in the last hour? I like to wait for the morning to track if it's cool out to avoid jumping the deer. How does the FLIR work to spot game in tall grass, cornfields or cattail swamps? I presume it works best in wooded areas or open fields, so it's not going to work in all situations or areas. Would be fun to have though, but battery life would be a concern as well.

I'd rather have one of these just for night hikes and wildlife viewing than to hunt with. You'd be able to get a look at a lot of the animals we don't get to see much of and watch them do their thing.

As far as hunting goes, I bet many states will outlaw them. Hell, if you can't use lighted nocks, you think they'll allow these?

They could be useful for finding downed animals, but I don't think they should be on your person if you have a weapon in hand.

Personally, I'd rather follow a blood trail. It's one of the parts of the hunt that makes it hunting.

If some would say that it's better to use this and find an animal that would otherwise not be found? Well, I could see the point there as well.

I enjoyed this feature and am glad it was done.

From: arctichill
I didn't read the feature, but I've seen "Predator" before so I think I get it. LOL

I'm with Ziek on this one.

I can't help but think that it's getting to the point that bowhunting seasons need to be split up the way 3-D shooting classes are.

I shoot fingers, so I'm in the "Limited" division. Kudos to those who hunt "Traditional".

As for the guys salivating for nightvision and thermal imaging....feel free to apply for the "Freestyle" or "Unlimited" class hunts.

Obviously, it's not logistically feasible to have this many hunt categories, but this technology is getting out of control. Sure, I shoot a compound and drive a diesel pickup. At some point though, we have to draw a line somewhere.....hopefully not after unmanned drones are releasing our arrows.

From: KJC
If I used one to find a deer that I killed by dropping a rock on it's head from my treestand who's side would I be on?

From: Russ Koon
KJC, depends. Is it a traditional rock, or one of the new leaded synthetic ones with the extended tether and a release aid device, and the imbedded laser pointer to show the point directly below the rock?

From: Ollie
If you are able to use a thermal imager to safely navigate your way to and from your stands in the dark, does that give the hunter an unfair advantage, negating the concept of fair chase? How would the non-hunting public view the use of such devices? Would they view us a bunch of paramilitary wannabees or consider us as sportsmen? If you can use the device to locate deer without having to follow a blood trail, would having this device in your pack encourage hunters to take irresponsible shots? Would you shoot an animal in the pouring rain when normally you would stay home knowing that any blood trail would be quickly washed away and greatly reduce the odds of finding a shot animal?

While many would use such a device in a responsible manner and limit it too locating game they cannot find or evaluating hunting clothing, it will tempt too many "sportsmen" to gain unfair advantages. Negatives outweigh positives (at least in my view) so I would vote "no" for it to be legal for use.

From: Box
They should come up with a system to give you an overview of your land with all the deer noted. Kinda like an aerial survey but with thermal imaging so you know at one moment in time where all the deer were, how many deer your land had on it, etc. I'm not talking about just before you go out hunting but a once or twice event over a year. So you would know on May 9th at 10 AM and on Sept 15th at 11PM where all the deer were. That would be fascinating to me. Would it be unethical or give you insights that would be unfair, I don't know, I just think it would be cool to look at.

From: Wombat
I just want one to spy on the neighbors.

From: Wombat
I just want one to spy on the neighbors.

From: Ollie
09-May-13 basically Woody, you are saying we should have no restrictions on any items that hunters want to use and that "anything goes."

From: Knife2sharp
To me the FLIR doesn't give a hunter any advantage in harvesting game because hunting isn't allowed at night anyways. To outlaw something because people could use it in an unethical and illegal manner is ridiculous. That would be like outlawing flashlights while in posession of a bow or firearm, even though you only plan on using it to get out of the woods.

Relying on a FLIR for your only aid to track wounded game is unreasonable too, since it can't detect blood and the limited battery life.

From: Two Bar
"Don't fear the FLIR"???

We carry ultra engineered compound bows, with carbon arrows, fiber optic sights, tipped with super steel points, on our ATVs to a engineered aluminum stand....use our ozone scent suppressors wearing scent lok suits....

I would love to have one of those things, would have saved some long nights in the woods, and maybe recovered one or two more animals, but not for 6K..

From: Jon Simoneau
Bad idea for hunting use. Consider a rifle hunter hunting mule deer or something. The ability to spot bedded animals that would otherwise not be seen would turn hunting into shooting. Just find the buck with this device and blast it from a couple of hundred yards? This is not hunting anymore.

From: stick33
How about locating roosted turkeys in the predawn darkness! Wish I had $6K laying around :)

From: bass2xs
Is it neat? Yeah

Would it be fun to play with? Yeah

Do I think it crosses a line? Hmm...somewhat. I do think it is an interesting tool that could be used to help recover marginally hit game. That being said, I would be nervous that this would encourage people to take risky shots since they know that they have this as a "safety net" to rely on.

From: Oak Walker
Another perfect example of an unnecessary piece of expensive equipment dumbing down the hunt and eroding the ethics of what should be a noble pursuit.

From: Candor
I would love to have one. Call it cheating or whatever you want, I don't particularly care.

I would use one to locate deer to practice stalks. I have never stalked up on a deer and killed it with a bow. I have tried but simply don't have that many opportunities. I think this would be a lot of fun after the season is out to locate a few deer and make it a game with my son to see who could get closer to a deer. I simply don't have the patience to do this with binoculars in this part of the country.

Use it for a But I would use it to refine my stalking skills.

My lease would be perfect for this - 900 acres of planted pines with rolling topography.

From: Coyote 65
One of the fun things we do in the evenings after dark is to drive the roads with a spotlight out the window and look for elk/deer. It is ok with the game warden as long as there is not a firearm in the vehicle. The elk/deer don't seem to mind too much either. It would be a lot more fun with the flir, and I am willing to bet we would be seeing rabbits and raccoons and skunks and lots of owls that we are now missing.


From: hookman
What happened to good old hard work, scouting putting all the signs into a plan and carrying out that plan with acquired knowledge of the lay of the land and habits of the game you are hunting. Too much malarkey for me , I'll do it the old way.

From: Grounblind
Someone said if you can't accept change you will be doomed by it. I think I was doomed a long time ago with the advent of baiting and no holds barred unlimited gun seasons. This is just another easy button device to abuse.

From: Oak Walker
Amen hookman, Amen Groundblind you can share my camp anytime.

From: hookman
Thanks Oak Walker. Glad there is still people that have a passion for hunting.

From: r-man
anyone else have comment or model info , or about

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