Ask the experts: Is a thermal imager still useful in the summer?

Q: Do you find thermal imagers are still worth it at this time of year, when nights are short and everything is warmer than usual?

A: Indeed I do.

The biggest problem with them, of course, is heat retention by many other objects. That can be a bit confusing. Stones, wood and earth absorb enough heat during the day to show a definite heat signature well into the night. However, if you are out after a fox you will, with practice, soon be able to tell the difference between the heat signature of a living creature and that of an inanimate object.

Movement, of course, is the biggest giveaway, and with thermal technology improving all the time I can see that it won’t be too long before better, positive identification will be available through thermal imagers. With present technology, though, I wouldn’t like to guarantee that you will identify quarry species absolutely 100 per cent under all circumstances. Practice make perfect, always have a backup, and never take a shot you aren’t completely confident in.

All that said, the thermal imager is a great piece of kit for seeing what goes on in the countryside, be it winter or summer. Mike Powell

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