Have you ever wondered in the woods and scared innocent animals around?

If you understand how deer look at the world, you can avoid simple mistakes next time you go hunting. For decades hunters believed that deer saw in black and white, but scientists have dissected every aspect of a deer’s life, and it turns out a deer’s universe doesn’t resemble our grandparents’ knowledge! So the question many people ask, can deer see infrared light?

Can Deer See Infrared Light?

As you love hunting, you should know the answer many people asked. Can Deer See Infrared Light? Here you’re going to get an answer before you go hunting a deer.

Marketing Trap!

Know that clothing contains UV brighteners, additives incorporated in some fabrics, and detergents? They supposedly make the clothes appear brighter. There is a theory that clothing makes hunters glow in the dark to a deer’s eyes. 

Using that theory, a company made a UV-killing detergent. They attempted to prove this with a video showing hunters wandering around after dark, wearing UV-brightened or non-UV camouflage. They claim that their findings are astounding! In the dark, the cloth with UV-brightened glowed, and the other didn’t. So we ask, how convincing is this theory for infrared?

Light, Color, and the Eye!

To understand how a deer sees, we must look into its anatomy. In case you don’t know, mammal eyes contain two different types of cells that receive light: rods and cones. They have different functions. Rods are only sensitive to low light, whereas cones are only sensitive to colors. We, humans, have more cones than rods. We are good at picking colors! All these advantages come with limitations. Our night vision is compromised due to a lack of rods!

Now, let us look at the case of deer. The issue is very different for Deers. The number of rodes is very high for deer, and this feature is very useful for them to move in the dark.

Now the color. Our eyes can sense a particular range of electromagnetic waves. These sensations are later interpreted as colors by our brains. 

There are two ends of the spectrum. On one end, we have red (lowest frequency) and at the other end is violet(highest frequency). You should not ignore the possibilities that other light wavelengths do not exist. Keep in mind that there are other ranges as well. Scientists have found that the sensitivities of lights for deers are towards the end of violet. Other colors such as green and yellow appear shades of grey to them.

It is also important to know the configuration of their eyeballs. These eyeballs can rotate up to 300-310 degrees. A considerable portion of the view to the surrounding. Plus, in the front, they also have a binocular vision of 65 degrees. Their blind spot is on the 50- to 60-degree angle behind them. Because of all these features, they can easily detect the slightest motions without a doubt! So it is more suited to detect motion, not colors!

Difference Between Human and Deer

You must know that there are similarities between deer and human eyes; their eyes and pupil can significantly dilate and constrict to alter the amount of light reaching the retina (rear of the eye). Let us focus on the difference now.

Deer’s oval-shaped( or almost rectangular) pupil is more advantageous for them than a round-shaped human pupil. It minimizes the light entering from above, and so It is more suitable for locating danger at a greater distance so they can run off before it’s too late. If you observe more, you will find that both their eyes and pupils are different. They are bigger than our eyes. For this, they can see better than us as their eyes can gather more light than ours. These cumulative features explain why deer seem different than we do!

In a Nutshell

Humans can’t see infrared light, although it’s possible for devices to reflect it and convert it into other lights, which we can see. Still, it’s doubtful deer see Infrared in one way or another. According to Professor Karl Miller of the University of UGA, “Deer see darker blues than we can see, and they see into the UV range, but I doubt what they see is glowing,”. He also added,” It just means they can see far into the blue-spectrum. We can see red-spectrum light like blaze orange, but we can’t see all the way to the infrared spectrum. We see further into the red-spectrum than deer, though, so they can’t see infrared light either.” 

Professor Karl Miller’s statement answers it all!

Final Words

In the end, researchers have learned much about the deer’s visual capabilities, but much remains unknown.

Best we know, Deer vision isn’t all about color; it’s about quickly detecting and processing the dangers that lie ahead, whether it’s near or far. And when they find one, they will not hesitate to escape far beyond.