Nov 1, 2018 -
Modern gun deer season opens across the land this month, and many hunters will forsake the
gridiron for the woods.
In our home state of Arkansas, modern gun opens Nov. 10 and the woods are expected to
hundreds of thousands of hunters for its start. It’s possible that up to one-tenth of the state’s
entire population will be hunting that weekend.
More than 300,000 Arkansas residents are licensed hunters in a state with a total population of
2.9 million. Not all of them are licensed for deer, but last year the 66 percent of licensed
Arkansas hunters who took a deer combined to kill more than 215,000 deer, according to the
Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.
The enthusiasm for deer in Arkansas is shared by hunters in many other states. Hunters across
the land are ready to get back in the woods, and Meateater is here to help. As a run-up to
modern gun season, Patrick Durkin blogs about whitetails and how they see color, light and
Bradley Cohen, the lead researcher in a 2014 University of Georgia (UG) study, calls
whitetails an “anti-predation machine.” For starters, their eyeballs are positioned in
their head to provide 300 to 310-degree views of their surroundings, including about 65
degrees of binocular vision to the front. The only area they can’t see is the 50 to 60-
degree cone behind them. And because they easily detect the slightest motions within
their huge visual side-to-side arc, the whitetail’s eyes are more than a backup safety
Further, the whitetail’s eyes are most sensitive to colors in the blue-spectrum – the light
that’s most available at dusk and dawn when they’re most active. Without talking too
technically about rods, cones, nanometers, color spectrums, and short and long light
wavelengths, we know this: Whitetails can distinguish blue from red, but not green from
red or orange from red. Research also suggests deer distinguish light grays and tans
better than dark reds, browns and greens.
Good stuff. Read the full post here, and happy hunting.