Black Gold Sights
red or green filter for deer hunting?
Contributors to this thread:
nh bowhunter 12-Aug-09
nh bowhunter 12-Aug-09
smokey 12-Aug-09
cope30tyee 12-Aug-09
Knife2sharp 12-Aug-09
Zbone 12-Aug-09
Kodi 13-Aug-09
Redneck 13-Aug-09
Bernie P. 13-Aug-09
SANDMAN 13-Aug-09
Estesparkhunter 13-Aug-09
Preacher Man 13-Aug-09
Handie 09-Mar-18
Handie 09-Mar-18
LKH 09-Mar-18
greg simon 09-Mar-18
APauls 09-Mar-18
kentuckbowhnter 09-Mar-18
Pigsticker 09-Mar-18
Bowriter 09-Mar-18
rick allison 09-Mar-18
Z Barebow 09-Mar-18
oldgoat 09-Mar-18
Olink 09-Mar-18
Woods Walker 09-Mar-18
DanaC 09-Mar-18
HDE 10-Mar-18
stjohnh4 10-Mar-18
Backpack Hunter 10-Mar-18
fisherick 11-Mar-18
From: nh bowhunter
I'm buying a new LED headlamp that comes with different colored filters. I've read that both the red and green filters don't spook deer like the unfiltered white light. Any opinions about this one way or another?

From: nh bowhunter
Just to be clear, I'm not "hunting" with the light, only get to and from my stand.

From: smokey
I would not worry about it too much. The sound and scent are something to consider. I use a standard flashlight when going to and from stand in the dark and just think about scent and attempt to be quiet.

From: cope30tyee
I am also interested in this subject. I believe I heard on tv that deer don't see red very well, but I have no personal experience.

From: Knife2sharp
Went back to white LED. White lights are relatively common at night and if a deer is close enough to spook from your light, then it has likely heard you already. I've encountered deer in fields under the moonlight without using a flashlight and I'll still see deer return to the field by sunup. They don't seem to get as spooked by humans at night.

From: Zbone
Have messed around with light beams and animals through the years (both wild and domestic) and honestly think, it’s not the color of the lens or beam, but the intensity of the light beam.

A red laser will absolutely drive a Jack Russell Terrier crazy. 6-pack and Jack is some of the cheapest entertainment a man can find…8^) Yet, a low light beam like of that of a flashlight with dying batteries they don’t seem to be able to see, or a least take notice.

I know that is not scientific evidence, but is from a lot of personal experimentation.

From: Kodi
I heard Blue is the way to go. No personal expierence my self just a freind of mine mentioned it to me. Check it out.

From: Redneck
The Blue light if used will reflect off your trail marking flags (orange red) and appear black Very Hard to See for this out last year. Don't use blue if using marking flags.

From: Bernie P.
No matter how careful I always spooked them while trying to get to my stand in the dark with or without artificial light.These days I just wait until I can see well enough to shoot.

Blue light is the absolute worst for stealth (other than white) Red is by far the best. Green is made to be seen by other hunters, but deer can see it too. Red is the hardest wavelength for deer to see.

Back in the late 70's early 80's my grandpaw used to love to go out at night and "look" at the deer in his fields. With a normal spotlight theyd freeze then take off when he spotlighted them. He had a red spotlight also and the deer would hang around in the red light plenty long enough to "look" at them. I was about 4 years old at the time but I can remember seeing some big deer under those lights.

From: Preacher Man
IMHO a low intensity red light tends to spook fewer animals than anything else I've tried.

I know human eyes are much different from a deers eyes(rods and cones and such)but at night I can see green better than red. Specifically, the point at which the light passes thru the filter. I catch myself covering the end of the flash light with my hand and pointing it at the ground right in front of my boots.

From: Handie
At twilight deer is best seen by blue, blue-green tones - they are bright gray for them. The longer the wave of light becomes, the darker the objects reflecting such a light become the perception of the deer. Therefore, dark red objects for a deer in the twilight are black. And the red lantern for the deer is a source of black light, that is, we conclude that for such a hunt Predator Tactics Nightmare or Nitecore

From: Handie
At twilight deer is best seen by blue, blue-green tones - they are bright gray for them. The longer the wave of light becomes, the darker the objects reflecting such a light become the perception of the deer. Therefore, dark red objects for a deer in the twilight are black. And the red lantern for the deer is a source of black light, that is, we conclude that for such a hunt Predator Tactics Nightmare [url=][/url] or Nitecore

From: LKH
You should not confuse a canine's reaction to red light with that from members of the deer family. Totally different capabilities.

From: greg simon
The red or green does not cause pupil constriction like white light does. Therefore you maintain good dark vision with red or green, not so with white light. As far as the deer I don't think color of your light makes any difference to them.

From: APauls
It's a fickle thing. I've had good luck with red. Walked right into a herd of elk at night with red. But then once a couple got my wind they bolted. But then it begs the thought - I'd rather a deer runs away from a little distance from a white light than bust a deer up close that gets a nose full because I was using a red light.

To me white light is similar to a vehicle or ATV. If you spook an animal with a vehicle they don't spook far, and you'll often see the same animal again, even mature bucks. I've shot 2 different 140+ whitetails that spooked from vehicles while I was sitting and they still came out again before legal light was over and I thwacked em. They simply count it as an extremely temporary danger. I use a white light for exactly this reason. I'd rather spook the animal before light well before it gets a full nosefull of me. I generally feel like I have another chance at those animals. If I end up walking right up to animals in the dark that don''t spook, but they end up downwind (remember I can not see them) and they get a nose-full; those animals are gone and know a hunter is roaming the woods that day. And they are gone, like gone gone. I feel like you need to get real lucky to walk right past whitetails without a light, or using a red light that won't bust you big time anyways, so I'd rather "nudge" them using the white light. Just my $0.02.


From: Pigsticker
I primarily opt for no light have used red and green in the past with about the same results. I have bumped more with colored lights and lived under the assumption that white scared most off before I was close enough to know that I was there other than the occasional distant blowing. The majority of my hunting has not been farms with large pastures or cut crop fields.

From: Bowriter
Any light, no matter what color filter, will spook deer just as any thing that is unnatural spooks them. Easy remedy-wait until you can see where you are going to enter the woods. Then, only you spook them instead of you and your light spooking them. Best bet is to just drive as close as you can get then, ride your 4-wheeler to the tree.

Seriously, you are over-thinking it. If the deer see, hear or smell you, it won't matter what color light you use. Just go hunt.

From: rick allison
I use a red light when light is necessary. For a couple reasons. 1) I've red where deer have trouble discerning red light. I dunno, but it gives me ample light to rig up my climber, or whatsoever I need light for. 2) My primary light doesn't wreck night vision like a white light flashlight. There's a reason WWII submariners used red lighting at night in the control room & conning tower. For a night surface attack, their night vision wasn't compromised when climbing to the bridge to direct the surface approach and attack.

From: Z Barebow
Overthinking it. I had some guy ridicule me for using a white light headlamp on an elk hunt this past fall. To be honest, I think he was more pissed off I was hiking faster than him up the drainage.

I have had critters watch me and critters flee.

From: oldgoat
It's the scent and noise not the light color. I do use red though to help acclimate my eyes to night vision, I use white to go in, then turn to red once I'm up in the tree and set to go.

From: Olink
I'm with APauls. I'd rather bust the deer at a distance and have them not really know what I am. However, once I'm at the stand, I go to red, especially if I need light once I'm up the tree.

From: Woods Walker
If you're hunting near a marijuana field use a strobe light, it works better than baiting!

From: DanaC
I see better with green. Lots of hog hunters use it for night hunting. Have heard it doesn't spook deer but imo everything spooks deer! Would rather have adequate light so I can get in quietly. So, green. Current favorite light is a Fenix E-25 with a green filter. Two-AA, plenty of lumens at the high end, low settings for stealth.

From: HDE
Go with Christmas, best of both worlds...

From: stjohnh4
I think green is the better choice. Red is to intense and can make you nervous. The color red will have you looking at the dot and not the target. I have tried these settings at both rifle and archery ranges and I get better target performance with the softer green. Also consider going with the minimum brightness setting for the weather on the day of your shoot. If you are outdoors on a sunny day you may need to increase the brightness of the sight to compensate for the glare. Also, take note if you are wearing sun glasses that will only complicate things if your desire is hitting the target.

I hope the op has decided by now.

From: fisherick
I think it depends if the animal is in a wilderness or a suburban setting for spookiness. I own both a red/white and a green/white head lamps. I have walked up to deer early morning with red or green and did not bother them, if I switched to white they would run away. I have found green to be better for lighting up tripping and eye hazards on non-trail routes. Both red and green lights illuminate reflective tacks well. I will always use a headlamp during low light conditions to let other hunters know the noise they here is another hunter.

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