How does a deer see orange?
The answer to our question is: No, deer cannot see blaze orange the same way that humans see it. It likely appears brown or gray to deer. But they are more sensitive to blue wavelengths than humans, and probably to clothing that has been washed in detergent that contains UV brighteners.
I have hunted whitetails in 20 states and 4 Canadian provinces and have found that blaze-orange is not a detriment whatsoever to being seen by a deer. Whitetails, in fact, are essentially color blind in that end of the light spectrum.
Although white light is best for illumination at night, most hunters know that a white light will likely spook and scare away the game being hunted. This is the reason most hunters choose colored hunting lights such as red, green or even blue and purple.
Without talking too technically about rods, cones, nanometers, color spectrums, and short and long light wavelengths, we know this: Whitetails can distinguish blue from red, but not green from red or orange from red. Research also suggests deer distinguish light grays and tans better than dark reds, browns and greens.
Some of the means to attracting deer to a specific spot include the use of: food plots, baiting, mineral sites, and deer scents. Hunters can utilize one or many of these methods in combination to attract deer into their hunting area depending on factors like state and local laws, available resources, and terrain.
Most importantly, you must remember that no ground blind is 100% scent-proof, so always practice comprehensive scent control.
A radio, activated by a motion detector can scare off deer. Pie pans, metal cans, or wind chimes suspended by strings make noise when they rattle in the wind, and have also been used to deter damage.
Deer do not see well in the longer and middle wavelengths (oranges, greens, yellows, browns and reds) in the visible color spectrum. These colors appear in shades of gray or yellow.
Deer repellents are most often made from putrified eggs, dried blood, garlic, or soaps. Several studies, including this one, have found that egg-based products are the most effective. These include Deer Away, Bobbex, and Liquid Fence. I've used all of these and have had good results.
When it comes to vision, however, a deer's vision is poor at only 20/100 vision. Although a deer may sense something is around them, they cannot focus on it unless their nose is pointed up for both their eyes to see. They even see better colors than we do and are not colorblind, as once thought.
What color should you not wear hunting?
Color: Stick to neutral-colored and earth-tone camouflage clothing and avoid colors not designed for hunting, like blue patterns and denim.
Deer also jump in front of cars while trying to cross roadways. They may be trying to cross to find food, to get back to the spot where they bed down, or to find a mate. Headlights confuse deer, especially at night.
Turns out all we had to do was measure the rods and cones in a deer's retina and compare them with ours and we can tell how well they see various colors. Rods are photoreceptors that help in low-light conditions. Cones are photoreceptors that enable color vision and distinguish fine details.
During the day, deer discriminate colors in the range blue to yellow-green and can also distinguish orange and red wavelengths. But at night, deer see color in the blue to the blue-green range. So deer actually can see those orange vests worn by hunters.
The answer lies in the fact that a deer's eyes have evolved to work best with short-wavelength light. This means they can see blues, greens and UV light far better than they can perceive red and orange.
“Hunter orange is worn by hunters to increase their visibility and to reduce their potential for being mistaken for game,” Busbice said. “ (And) hanging an orange vest or other cloth on or near your tree stand alerts other hunters to your presence without attracting the attention of deer.”