Sponsored by: Atsko Products
The most underestimated sense of a white tailed deer is vision. This is because it is so different from our own vision.
While their hearing and sense of smell are more sensitive than ours, they still provide about the same results, just better. We can also experience them ourselves. You can cup your ears with your hands and aim them for about a 200-300% improvement in a particular direction. We also have earphones, amplifiers and noise canceling headphones to hear artificially. We can press our ear to the handle of a screw driver while the tip is resting on an engine to hear moving parts inside by bone conduction, just as a deer might hear vibrations through foot, leg, shoulder, neck, and skull when his toe is pressed to a root or rock.
We all recognize that if downwind in proper conditions, a deer can easily detect human scent and we can often smell them too.
But frequently we can eliminate scent and sound/vibration and we are busted any way. It is so common as to not be surprising to us. You are down wind, silent, motionless and busted again. When that buck finally breaks cover at 100 yards he is looking directly at you. He may not know what you are, but he can see you as easily as a white shirt under a UV light. He is just waiting for you to make mistake #2 and he will be history.
It’s not odor, it’s not sound, it’s not vibrations and it’s not your electromagnetic field.
Why do we humans have such a difficult time accepting that we are being seen? Is it because we spent way too much money on the latest camo pattern? No, it is because their sight is so different from our own. We see sharper straight ahead, they don’t. We see sharper in bright light while they see sharper in low light. They see well enough to run through the woods when we think it is totally dark. We see standard* safety orange as bright orange while they see it as bright blue. We see things best when we can hold them still and they see it best when it’s moving. These kinds of differences don’t make any sense to us so we have a very hard time accepting them.
Deer see shorter wavelengths (350 to 500) much better than we do and we see 550 to 700 much better than they do. What you can see is not a problem. You can fix it. It is what you don’t know that gets you busted.
But if you can’t see it, how can you do anything about it? You must have a tool that will enable you to check your clothing, blinds, orange, etc., to reveal whether or not the deer can see it. The professional tool is called a UV-VIS SPECTROPHOTOMETER and it costs thousands of dollars.
Fortunately, you can easily check clothing, blinds, and equipment with an inexpensive blacklight. That psychedelic poster light from the 80’s might not do it, but for under $20, you can tell which clothes to wear for hunting and which to save for cutting wood.
You need a fluorescent 350 BLB, a blacklight bulb with a blue filter. It is dark purple when it is not lit. They come 6”, 12”, 18”, 48”, and now in those twisty CFL’s that screw into a standard 110 volt threaded socket. Get one of these in a dark room and it will reveal which items will be more visible to a deer than you could ever imagine, moving or motionless.
Google ‘Check camo orange‘ for complete directions to become an expert at determining what glows and what does not.
Google ‘How game animals see’ for a complete explanation of the difference between what humans see and what deer see.
Before you spend another penny on hunting clothes get a UV Light so you don’t make mistake #1. Again! If you already own a closetful of items that glow, don’t despair. One treatment with U-V-Killer can permanently stop the glow that got you busted.
Never overlook deer vision and you will see more animals.
* If treated with U-V-Killer it will appear dark yellow to a deer.
For more please go to: Sight & Scent Control
For more on conquering UV, scent control and waterproofing please go to: Atsko Products
Dan, great article and I have enjoyed reading your articles and speaking with you in the past. It is and eye opener (no pun intended) reading your stuff and listen to you speak about deer.