Deer Eyes

How Eyes Work

Most of us were forced to sit through some sort of biology class where we were told about our own eyes and how we are able to perceive the world. For those of you who aren’t old enough or weren’t paying attention, I’ll run through that quickly before talking about the difference between deer eyes and human eyes. In extremely simple terms, our eyes take in light through it’s lens and direct it to cones where it is then turned in to a picture that our brain can interpret. Our eyes have three different cones. One translates Blue, one Green, and one Red. All other colors that we see are made with a combination of these three colors.

Deer Eyes – Deer Vs. Humans in Color

So, the main difference between deer eyes and humans eyes is that deer eyes have cones that can interpret 2 colors, Green and Blue. Because of this, deer are basically unable to see the colors with longer wave lengths (Orange and Red). That is part of the reason that we all have to wear blaze orange when we hunt are hunting with a firearm. The human eye can pick that out extremely easily while a deer isn’t really able to.  The only humans that have an idea of what deer see in terms of color are those that are color blind to red. When we look at a bowl of red delicious apples, we can see the difference between the ones that are perfectly ripe verse the ones that need a couple more days. A deer and a person who is colorblind to red will not be able to tell any difference in the apples.

Deer Eyes Vs Human Eyes in Clarity

This is another area in which there is actually a huge difference in the way that we see verses the way the deer see. We have astonishing clarity within our focal region while deer see very little detail. Also, we have a very small window to focus on an object where deer have a complete horizon of focus. This allows them to continuously scan the horizon for danger. Deer also have very poor depth perception compared to humans. If you’ve ever noticed, deer will almost always walk right up to a fence before jumping over it. Only if they are on a dead run will they jump if from farther back. This is something that the Wildlife Solutions’ Deer Hot Zone fence takes advantage of.


Even though human eyes are far superior in many different ways, there are a couple different ways that deer eyes have the advantage. First, field of view. Deer have a huge field of vision which comes in handy while trying to avoid predators. Another thing that comes in handy to avoid predators, eyes that rotate as you bend. Deer are able to keep their eyes level with the horizon as they lower their heads and eat. That is part of what they are doing when you see the dreaded head bob from a deer that has spotted you up in your stand. Next, night vision. Deer have great night vision compared to humans. Finally, deer eyes have an awesome ability to pick out movement. What they lack in clarity, sharpness, and color identification, they more than make up for in field of view and movement identification. So even though you hear about how deer can’ t see well, make sure you don’t count deer eyes out completely. Happy Hunting!


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