You need to know that this deer vision issue is huge. The research was conducted at the Warnell School of Forest Resources at the University of Georgia. It is now run by a friend of mine by the name of Dr. Bob Warren, but it used to be run by well known deer researcher Dr. Larry Marchinton. They teamed up with Dr. Jay Neitz from the Medical College of Wisconsin. They actually transported optical medical instruments to Georgia for this testing and tested the vision of live white-tailed deer.
University testing revealed that deer have no UV filter in their eyes and that they see only two colors: Yellow and Blue.
Some of the best known names in the whitetail research world including Brian Murphy (QDMA) and Dr. Karl Miller worked on the project. Nine whitetail does were tranquilized and then transported into the lab on operating tables. They were then fitted with the exact same instruments that are used in human vision research and their eyes were tested using a variety of parameters. One significant test utilized an instrument that measured the ability of a deer’s eye to detect particular photopigments or color.
Contact lenses fitted with measuring devices were attached to the deer’s eye and tests were conducted using ERG Flicker Photometry. This big word means that the eye was stimulated by rapidly pulsing single color light. The light values were varied to eventually cover and test the entire color spectrum….even the UV spectrum. Data was gathered at each value and what they learned is significant. Here’s the scoop in plain English.
THE RESULTS IN PLAIN ENGLISH – DEER SEE UV
The testing revealed that deer are basically color blind as we describe it humans. They can’t see red or green. They had two sensitive areas when it comes to color. One was at 537 nanometers or Yellow and one in the short wave length…at the left edge of human vision, at 455 nanometers. This describes the color Blue. They see only Yellow and Blue!
This buck see his world in shades of yellow. He can also see the color blue. Bad news is that UV-Brighteners in your camo reflect light at the exact frequency that coincides with the color blue. You’re Glowing like a blue Popsicle.
Humans have a special filter in our eyes that filters out all ultraviolet or UV light…so we can’t see UV-Blue. But deer can see this color and even more significant they see UV (455nm) at their peak of sensitivity! Interpreted into the real world this becomes especially important to hunters because it means that a deer sees UV-Blue better than we see blaze orange.
HOW DOES UV GET INTO CAMO?
About 15 years ago most US based camo manufacturers had the problem solved by insisting that Southern textile mills not put UV-Brighteners into the base cloth that camo was printed on. Since then the textile industry has moved to China. Today nearly all camo is made in China and they commonly add permanent UV-Brightening dyes to all base cloth. As a result much of the camo reaches our stores with brighteners in it.
Story continues below
If you or your wife washes your camo, even one time, in laundry detergent that has UV-Brighteners in it…the camo will GLOW. All grocery store detergent has UV-Brighteners in it. Deer see these brighteners as Blue. Once you wash your camo with it once…the game is over and you’re UV HOT. Deer will see you as a Glowing Blue Ghost.
CAN’T I WASH MY CAMO IN SOME HUNTING DETERGENT AND FIX IT?
NO, is the answer. There are no laundry detergents that will remove UV-Dyes.
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY CAMO IS GLOWING?
A common black-light will light-up UV in your camo. You can either go to Wal-Mart and buy a black light or use the newly developed UV-flashlight that Atsko sells.
The new UV detection light is a must for every deer hunter.
You can get their new UV-DETECTION KIT which includes a DVD- Whitetail /Sight and Scent Strategies plus the UV-Flash light and their UV booklet for $10 by going to www.atsko.com.
This tiny UV-Flashlight will tell you if your glowing and the DVD and booklet will make you a better whitetailer.
HOW DO I FIX THE GLOW?
The research scientists at ATSKO developed a simple solution. The process is a permanent fix as long as you only wash your camo in SPORT-WASH after you treat it. Here is the fix.
FIRST- Wash your camo in SPORT-WASH laundry detergent. SPORT-WASH is made from a straight carbon chain and it will open the dye sites and also clean the smelly residue out of your camo.
SECOND- Treat your camo one time with UV-KILLER Spray. Now your camo is UV-Dead and deer will not see you as a Blue Ghost.
ALL DONE-One treatment lasts the life of your camo if you continue to wash your camo in SPORT-WASH.
FIRST STEP- SPORT-WASH, SECOND STEP-U-V-KILLER, THIRD STEP- GO HUNT.
WHAT IF I’M TOO CHEAP TO SPEND $10 ON THE KIT?
If you don’t have ten bucks you can go to www.atsko.com and watch a short version of the DVD for free.