What do Deer Really See?

About this time of year we get the usual arguments for/against hunter orange. I’m a convert. I used to duck hunter orange as much as I could, until I draped my orange poncho over the shooting rail of my tree stand and the deer treated it like it wasn’t there.

Still, we have to wonder what they really see. It isn’t black and white. They see some color. They just don’t see red well. Hunter Orange? Well, it isn’t quite gray, but here’s a good indicator.

Supposedly, whitetail deer have what’s known as Protanopic color blindness. That means they do not see red well.

If you go to this website: Color Blindness Simulator

. . . and upload a photograph, and then pick the 2nd option marked “Red-Blind/Protanopia” It will give you a pretty good idea of what a deer sees.

I gave it a whirl:




The one on the right is Moose with a spike. The one on the right is a Protanopic rendering (what the deer sees.)


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