Can Coyotes See Red Light?

Hunting coyotes is quite the experience- thrilling and fun is a way to describe it. “Can coyotes see red light?” is a question that is popular among hunters, especially those who love hunting coyotes. 


Coyotes are canines that are quite smart. They are nocturnal animals and are quite smart when it comes to being preyed upon. Because coyotes are nocturnal animals, they are active and more confident at night. Basically, their sense organs are sharper at night.

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The vision of a coyote is very sharp at night, it is similar to that of a cat, this is as a result of the number of cones present in its retina. A coyote can see seven times better than a human at night, a coyote also has incredible eye movement. As opposed to a human whose vision can only cover about 180 degrees; a coyote’s vision covers about 260 degrees. 

Thus, if you think that hunting coyotes at night might give you an upper hand over these canines, then you might need to have a rethink. However, nighttime is still the best time to hunt coyotes as that is when you can see them easily. It is quite difficult to see coyotes during the day because they are animals who prowl at night. 

To even the playing field, you have to get equipment that can improve your hunting skills and help you better while hunting coyotes. One such equipment is light. Although hunting at night is quite the experience, we humans don’t have the luxury of a clear vision at night, unlike the coyotes. Thus, while hunting at night, you need the aid of light to help you spot coyotes better. 


There are several colors of lights available and in this lies a weakness of the coyote. Although the coyote has incredible vision at night, the coyote cannot see all colors. It is blind to some specific colors. One of such colors is red, coyotes cannot see the color red.

Why Coyotes cannot see the Red Light

Coyotes are known for their sharp eyes which are particularly active at night. Coyotes instantly recognize the presence of light due to this sharp eyesight. However, red light is an exception, rather than instantly recognizing it, they are mostly unable to see it. 

can coyotes see red light

This is also due to their eyesight; although their eyesight contains cones that allow them to see very well in the dark, coyotes are unable to see a wide array of colors, unlike human beings. Human beings have three different types of cones; it is these cones that allow us to see several types of colors. Coyotes, on the other hand, have only two different kinds, making them blind or making it difficult for them to identify some colors, one of which is red.

How to Hunt Coyotes with Red Light at Night

Coyotes are most commonly hunted at night because that is when they can be easily found. However, you can also hunt coyotes during the day. This will however require you to call out to the coyotes. You do this by mimicking the sound of distressed prey, on hearing this sound, the coyotes may come running expecting to find an animal to prey on. 

You can do this with your mouth or use an electronic caller. However, it is not as effective as hunting that night. Coyotes are even easier to call at night, they respond very quickly. 

When preparing to hunt coyotes at night, you should ensure that you do reconnaissance by scouting and doing a survey of the area before night falls. Look for places where coyotes hunt, you should also look for their place of abode to your job easier at night. Reconnaissance is very important for night hunting, it is like the preparation you make before you write an exam or test. 


When night comes, take up a good vantage position in the area you have scouted. Ensure that you are well hidden and that you blend in well into the darkness. Avoid any light shining onto you including the moonlight as it can blow your cover. 

After settling down, you can start calling out to the coyotes. Mimicking distressed prey is not the only way to call out coyotes. You can also call out to them by mimicking a coyote itself. After calling out, start scouting the entire area with your hunting light. Red is the choice color as it cannot be seen by coyotes, it is a dark color and quite difficult for a coyote to pick. 

Ensure that you watch carefully so that you do not get startled by the shiny eyes of a coyote. There are several types of light to use while hunting, you can use a mounted light that is fixed atop the gun or handheld light. A mounted hunting light should be your light of choice, it gives you a good chance at scouting coyotes. 

However, it is best to hunt with a partner. One of you can control the lighting while the other controls the gun. This gives you the liberty to get a clear shot. 

Coyotes are best hunted in the early hours of the morning, it is around this time that they wander out as they get desperate to find food before the day breaks.

Best color Light for Night Hunting

There are the three most commonly used lights for night hunting: green, white, and red color

Green color

Most animals that cannot see red light also have difficulty seeing green. However, this does not apply to coyotes, they can see green light better than red light. Green light is brighter than red light, thus, their eyes pick up green light. 

Although green being a brighter color than red helps hunters see better, however, the moisture can absorb the light thus making your hunting experience bad. You shouldn’t use the green light. 

White color

The color white is the brightest color, it is no surprise that lights are most commonly made in this color. It allows us to see, particularly at night, it can give you a clear view while scouting for coyotes. The downside is that the coyote can easily recognize the white color thus spooking it off and making it aware of your presence. 

Red color

This is the most common and also the best light to use in hunting coyotes at night. The red light gives you the desired cover as coyotes find it difficult to see red. This color also does not cause eye fatigue, it is better than green or white.

Features Your Hunting Light Should Possess

Battery Life

Perhaps the most important feature; of what use is a light that cannot last through the night while you are on a hunting expedition. The hunting light you use should be able to last all through the night without any significant change in its brightness. 


Ensure that you get a hunting light with a very high battery life. At least, it should be able to last for a whole day. If the battery life is not strong, you can pack extra hunting lights. 


Ease of transportation is another feature, how easy is it to carry the hunting light. You don’t want to use a light that is very difficult to carry or move about when you may want to change your position. A problem may arise when the hunting light you are using is difficult to move. 

Make sure that your hunting light is portable such that you can easily pack it into your bag in case you need to leave your current position or maybe you need to stalk a coyote. 


Coyote hunting expedition requires you to enter into the bumpy parts of the bush or forest. Thus, your equipment needs to be durable and strong to survive harsh conditions. Fragile hunting light is useless on a hunting expedition as you cannot count on all factors working in your favor. 

For instance, you may bump into something and fall causing your equipment including the hunting light to fall. If it gets damaged due to the fall, it is useless as it cannot serve its purpose again. 

Another important feature of a hunting light is how easy it is to use. A hunting light that can be easily mounted atop a rifle gives you the liberty to operate your gun without any hindrance. You will be able to scout and scope out coyotes better. So also is a hunting light that can be operated with one hand. A hunting light should be easy to operate as it is not your main equipment while hunting, which is the gun, you should have the free use of your hands for the gun rather than the hunting light.


No, coyotes cannot see infrared light. 

Coyotes cannot see the red color. 

Red light is the best color to use while hunting coyotes. 

Final Words

As a hunter, hunting coyotes can be quite the experience, coming home with coyotes after a successful night is an even better experience. Take every advantage you can while hunting coyotes and you have a better chance of coming home smiling.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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