What Colors Can Deer See

What Colors Can Deer See Best? Scientific Deer Vision Facts

Whether you are a hunter or just love animals, you must be interested to know about them. It is a misconception about deer that they are color-blind but it’s not true.

When it comes to deer sight vision, they perceive differently from humans. Some colors are visible to deer while some are invisible.

So, what colors can deer see? Deer can only see colors with sort and mid-length wavelengths. In short-wavelengths, the blue color is included and in mid-wavelength includes some green colors. It means blue and green colors are most visible to deer. Specifically, deer cannot perceive red and orange colors as they are invisible to them.

Let’s go ahead and explore more about deer eyesight and color vision in detail.

Are Deer Color Blind?

Are Deer Color Blind?

Deer are not color-blind as color blindness is something in which no colors are visible. According to animal experts, they are partially color-blind from red to green.

But they can see colors with shorter wavelengths and mid wavelengths such as blue and green.

They cannot perceive larger wavelengths in which red and orange colors are included. The major difference is that deer cannot see the colors as humans do.

Besides that, the deer’s eyesight can be described as having poor visual perception. But it is enhanced with an amazing ability to detect movement using a 300-degree benefit.

The comparison of deer eyesight to human perception is an excellent starting point when trying to figure out what deer perceive.

What Colors Do Deer See Best?

1. What Colors Can Whitetail Deer See?

What Colors can Whitetail Deer See?

The best colors to see for white-tail deer are those with short and medium wavelengths as blue and green.

While their eyes are less receptive to colors with long wavelengths, like orange and red. The color vision of whitetail deer has been examined using a variety of methods.

It involves electron microscopy, molecular genetics, and electroretinography.

A short-wavelength-sensitive cone system, a medium-wavelength-sensitive cone system, and a short-wavelength-sensitive rod pigment were discovered to be present in a deer’s eyes according to the study.

A white-tailed deer’s eyes were modified to increase the number of rods and cones in its retina. This gives them sharp sight in both daylight and darkness. A deer can distinguish between hues in the blue-to-yellow-green spectrum.

A deer’s night vision ranges from blue to blue-green. But their rods’ spectral sensitivities are broad and they can also identify some colors with longer wavelengths.

Besides that, blue and green are two colors that a deer can see best from a distance.

2. Can Deer See Brown?

Can Deer See Brown?

Deer have different eyesight as compared to humans. The color that is bright in human eyes will be dull in the deer’s eyes. Also, they are unable to distinguish colors at a greater distance. Thus, they can see brown or gray color instead of red.

3. Can Deer See Blue?

Can Deer See Blue?

So, yes, a white-tailed deer can perceive blue as it is a color with a short wavelength. They can perceive green as it is a color with a moderate wavelength. But they cannot distinguish orange and red as they are colors with a longer wavelength.

4. Can Deer See Orange?

Can Deer See Orange?

Hunters are commonly suggested to wear orange color while hunting. It is because the orange color is not visible to deer.

The reason is that the orange color has a longer wavelength and they get difficulty recognizing the orange color whether at night or daytime.

5. Can Deer See Pink?

Can Deer See Pink?

Pink is more difficult for a deer to perceive. It is because it is far away from the yellow on the color scale, which deer can see. It is difficult for deer to distinguish the pink color as they will see this color as a shade of blue or purple. So, it is challenging for a deer to see pink color same as orange or red.

6. Can Deer See White Light?

Can Deer See White Light?

The white-tailed deer is the best illustration of how well deer can see white color. They have long tails with a white underbelly which they flash when they have to alert other deer in the surroundings.

Other deer in the region can see the whitetail from a wider range. In this way, they can distinguish it from its surroundings with ease.

They have only two kinds of cone cells in their eyes. They are in charge of identifying color and its brightness. A specified number of colors can be recognized by each cone as given below:

  • Green Cone Cells
  • Blue Cone Cells

Green Cone Cells

All hues of green, cyan, yellow, and white are produced by green cone cells. So, they can distinguish between these colors.

Blue Cone Cells

Deer can see hues of blue, violet, cyan, magenta, and white due to their blue cone cells.

Furthermore, unlike red, orange, blue, and green colors, white does not have a particular wavelength. The white color has wavelengths of between 400 and 700 nm.

7. Can Deer See Blue Jeans?

Can Deer See Blue Jeans?

Deer have weaker eyesight compared to humans. The blue color is visible to deer but they can perceive blue jeans. As I told you before, bright colors appear dull in the deer’s eyes. So, the blue jeans appear blander to deer but they are still visible to them.

8. Can Deer See Black Clothing?

Can Deer See Black Clothing?

So a question that I see around the forums is Can Deer See Black? Although deer have poor color perception, they CAN perceive black color. This is because deer have more rod cells in their eyes, which are good for night mode and black-and-white sight. Cone cells of deer work extremely well in daylight and enable them to perceive colors more clearly.

Black color might stand out sharply because deer are found in grassland or woodland regions with green and brown tones.

In this way, deer can quickly identify people wearing black clothing. But they won’t be able to distinguish black clothing from its surroundings.

Due to this, wearing black or using the black color when shooting deer is a great suggestion for hunters as it will enhance the hunter’s ability to be hidden from deer.

What Colors Can Deer Not See?

What Colors Can Deer Not See?

According to the experts, deer cannot see colors with longer wavelengths. So, they cannot see red and orange very well because their eyes are less responsive to these colors’ longer wavelengths.

Their eyes contain fewer cones than human eyes. This makes it difficult for them to perceive colors with long wavelengths very effectively.

Their eyesight during the day is also affected as compared to nighttime. Due to this, the wildlife agency advises hunters and shooters to wear bright colors while shooting or photographing deer.

What Color Should I Wear in Woods?

You must wear clothing that deer find difficult to see if you are a hunter or a nature photographer. If you need to go near the herd of deer in the woods without scaring them, you must avoid wearing colors like blue, green, or anything that emits UV wavelengths.

If you will use these colors, you will have to face a safety risk. Deer can also see blue and green.

Ultraviolet wavelengths can be produced by shiny clothes, such as nylon and vinyl clothing. Deer will be capable of detecting these colors. So, you must look for silky as well as unstructured clothing and headgear.

Can I Wear Blue Jeans While Hunting?

Studies show that blue jeans are very common among deer. The eyesight of a deer allows it to capture blue light. So, it is inappropriate to wear blue jeans while hunting. Wearing blue jeans will make you more prominent in the deer’s sight.

Can Deer See at Night?

Can Deer See at Night?

Many people are confused about deer whether can see at night or not. It is because humans cannot see at night without a flashlight and they think the same for deer. You will be shocked to know that deer can see more clearly than humans at night.

The difference between rods and cones in the eyes is the major factor that decides what will be more visible to deer as well as humans. Rods in the eyes help to recognize light while the cones are responsible to recognize colors.

When you talk about humans, they have more cons and fewer rods in their eyes. That’s why; humans can differentiate easily among different colors and lacks light recognition at night.

On the other hand, deer have more rods in their eyes and fewer cons which indicates they can see lights more accurately as compared to colors.

The essential fact to remember about deer is that they are far better at absorbing light at night than humans. In this way, you can say that deer have more capability to see at night than in daylight.

How Far Can Deer See in the Dark?

How Far Can Deer See in the Dark?

I am sure that you might hear different arguments on how far a deer can see at night. Some people claim that deer can see humans or even slight movement from hundred yards. While some people argue that deer can only see from a short distance range.

According to research and experts, deer can see between 100 and 150 yards at night under normal circumstances and weather conditions. Based on the climate and other lighting effects, the distance range can change.

For instance, during the full moon nights, the distance range can rise to 200 yards from 150 yards.

What Colors Can Deer See at Night?

What Colors Can Deer See at Night?

The blue-to-blue-green color spectrum is more prominent when discussing the colors that deer can perceive at night. Deer can quickly distinguish between these colors at night.

Also, deer can perceive some wider wavelength colors of light at night due to more rods. So, the rods in the eyes help to produce clearer vision in low- to medium-light conditions.

Additionally, there is tapetum lucidum in their eyes which is a coating of tissues and works as a reflector.

This coating of tissue in their eyes helps to amplify light. Due to this, their eyes also illuminate when light falls on them at night. They have exceptional night vision due to all of these features.

How Can I Select the Best Camouflage for Hunting?

As you are aware that blue color is most popular with deer, so it would not be good to wear blue color while hunting deer. Camouflage should be brighter and less visible to the unaided eye to blend in with the surroundings.

Deer perceive blues and other short-wavelength hues more easily than humans do. It is because they don’t have the ultraviolet light filtering that humans have. While selecting the best camouflage for hunting, you must consider light bright colors instead of dark colors.


Now that you might be aware that what colors can deer see after reading out this article. Deer do not have color blindness, but they cannot perceive like humans.

To assist them in avoiding hunters, their eyes and vision have changed. Due to their short wavelengths, blue and green hues are visible to deer. Long wavelength hues like orange and red are invisible to deer.


A deer can perceive white and yellow colors. Commonly, when deer see white color, they get this as a movement, sound, or odor that causes them to flee. In this way, white is the color that scares deer the most.

Deer can distinguish between colors with short and middle wavelengths as blue and green. But they are less responsive to colors with long wavelengths such as red and orange.

According to Cohen, deer consider blue to be the best color and red to be the worst color. So, you can say that red and orange colors are those that deer dislike.

The best colors for deer to see are blue and green. The retina of deer lacks cone-like features, which limits their ability to distinguish between the two primary hues blue and green. But blue color is the most visible color to see for deer.


About Author

Hi, I’m William. a hunter, part-time blogger, and SEO Editor at Hunting Monitor. I have experience with hunting blogs for the last few years. I’m here to share my experience with beginner hunters. More about me here.

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