Can Deer See Red Light?

The short answer is no. They can’t see red light. Instead, it appears grey to them. Deer don’t see the red, green, and orange parts of the color spectrum. This is due to the arrangement of the cones and rods in their eyes.


There are many precautions a hunter should take if he or she wants a successful hunt. One of them is not startling your potential prey. If a lot of sounds are made, or erratic movements, prey might be alerted to potential and imminent danger.

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Another very important one is to not dazzle it with your flashlight. Yes, some inexperienced hunters or wildlife gamers make the mistake of startling their game with a flashlight.

Deer are one of the most hunted animals. Not only that but also one of the most alert animals in the jungle. Deer have a wide range of sharp senses, beginning from their sharp night vision to a succinct sense of smell. Just a few uncalculated moves could make a deer suspect danger. Therefore, not many mistakes are allowed when hunting deer.


Like we said earlier, the nature of the light one uses in a deer hunt could be the deciding factor. That means not any kind of light should be used in hunting deers. For instance, a white flashlight will startle the deer and that may be the end of your hunt.

Wildlife gamers, hunters, and scientists who have an interest in going for deer do need to know the pieces of information we are going to provide about the perception of red light by deers.

Tips for Hunting Deers with Red Light at Night

  • Deer are highly sensitive animals, they can see a broad range of things better in low light than you can. 
  • Deer are highly sensitive to movements around them, you will not want to shuffle your legs too much, or make a lot of unnecessary sounds. 
  • Deer are blind to orange, green, and red lights but not to blue- so, don’t wear a blue outfit to a deer hunt.
  • Since they are blind to orange, green, and red lights, red lights are the best for hunting deers because it doesn’t interfere with your night vision or infrared technologies that are many parts of hunter’s tools. 
  • Red lights are your ace for breaking the barriers between you and your deer, and now you know it.

What You Should Consider before going on Deer Hunting

Light Matters

Deer don’t see a wide range of colors, but that is not all. It makes them not able to distinguish objects in the environment when those colors are shone. Red, dull green, and orange appear grey and indistinguishable when deer see them. 


No matter the flashlight you use, a deer can hear you if you ruffle the grasses a lot, or cough loudly. So, you might want to make sure that there are no loud gongs with you. A deer’s wide eyes, wide pupils and sensitive fiery auditory system make sure that not a lot of movements are made close to them without their knowledge. 


Shooting Methods

This is the more reason you need to be particular about the flashlight you use. In some places, shooting far or wide might not be healthy as people might reside nearby. In countries like Germany, you don’t shoot anyhow as it is congested. This means, using a calmer and less visible light to approach the deer will prove ideal in this situation. You go closer to it, shoot in close range or use whatever other method that seems good to you.


Red lights for hunting are colors of flashlights used by wildlife hunters for their expeditions. It is mainly made of red lenses covering a light source, while in some models it is cellophane sheets laid over flashlights.

This is used mostly because it does not cloud night vision and does not interfere with infrared technologies. You can easily detect game with red light at night than with most other colors of light.

Deer cannot see red, dull green, and orange lights as these have longer wavelengths than their cones can detect. According to Larson Electronics, due to the presence of more rods than cones, deer can see quite better at night. They do see some colors well especially those towards the violet end of the color spectrum. This means that farther ones with longer ones are impossible for them to visualize. 

Though they can see blue and yellow lights, even ultraviolet light, green, orange, and red remain elusive for them.

No. Red light doesn’t bother deer. White or blue lights can bother it but not red. This is because, with more rods than cones in a wider area, they can see much better than humans in low-light but can’t distinguish many colors. 

This doesn’t mean that if a concentrated beam of red light like in a spotlight is shone in them, they won’t take off. They do sense light but do not react to red light as it appears grey to them. 

Bottom Line

Since deer are highly sensitive animals, quick on their feet and sharp in their ears, there are blind spots to their sensitivity.  Deer cannot see the red light, neither can they see green or orange ones. These are huge blind spots for them.

Hunters, gamers, wildlife research scientists, and curious observers could use this to their advantage. Approaching a deer is not easy and might even be impossible if one is relying on sheer senses. Deer are quick, sharp, and very sensitive to their environment, but they won’t know you’re carrying a red light if you are with one.

That said, if you are a newbie in the art of hunting, catching, or generally approaching deers for whatever purpose you have in mind, you now know that flashlights of any color other than red, green, and orange are doing you no good. Next time you mount your expedition, be sure to go with a red light. 

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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