The Problem with a Turkey Hunter’s Clothing, Part 3

Does It Matter?

This is the real issue!  Will having UV brighteners in your hunting clothes really make that much difference?

Unless you are hunting at dusk or dawn, it’s not a big issue.

I’ve run an informal test on the issue over the past years and have decided the following:  It matters if you think it does!

Hunters who don’t worry with uv brighteners in their clothing seem to bag as many hunters as those who carefully protect their clothing from the brighteners.

Be Careful; These Birds Are a Whole Lot Smarter Than They Look!

 

Where It Might Matter

 

However, where you hunt could be a factor:  There might be a difference between hunting on public lands versus hunting on private leases.  I haven’t researched this.

What I mean is that hunters on private land may have less competition for turkeys.  Thus, the turkeys see fewer hunters — with or without UV brightener-infested clothing.

And turkeys certainly learn from their interactions with hunters.   The more hunters there are, the faster turkeys have to respond to stay out of the crosshairs of the hunter’s gun.

So, hunters on public lands may need to be more careful about the issue of UV brightened hunting clothes than others.  The more hunting pressure in a place, the more each factor counts.

Other Facts about Turkeys & Deer

Deer and turkeys see colors differently than most other animals. They seem to be red & green color-blind. That’s why you can wear blaze orange hunting wear without worrying about being seen by deer or turkeys — green, red and orange are non-colors to them.

Other Considerations for Your Hunting Pleasure

Biologists say that having patterned clothing (camo wear) that blends in with the landscape is more important than its color. The scientists warn hunters about wearing large patches of unbroken color.

Specifically, don’t wear two specific materials: vinyl and plastic. Why? Because they reflect light. It is not the color of these two materials that’s important, but the fact that light reflects so readily from them.

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‘Threesome’ used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Rear Window Graphics

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Have You Missed the Other Parts of this Series?

1) Yet Another Mistake Turkey Hunters Make

2) The Problem with a Turkey Hunter’s Clothing, Part 2

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FYI: This info is just one section of a multi-part series on Mistakes Turkey Hunters Make – it has run here for the past couple of weeks!

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Missed the List of Good/Bad Washing Products for Your Hunting Clothes?

Keeping UV Brighteners Out of Hunting Clothes

This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

 

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The Problem with a Hunter’s Clothing, Part 2

What Should a Hunter Do?

The solution is obvious: Only buy hunting clothing without UV brighteners!  Another solution is to wear wool clothing — it does not have added UV brighteners.

This problem has been around long enough for the hunter’s screams to have been heard all the way to China!

UV Brighteners in Clothing are Most Notable to Turkeys and Deer in Low Light Conditions!

So, is the Problem Gone?

No.  Essentially, there are 2 parts to this issue:  new hunting clothes and the ones you already own.

New Hunting Clothes

Even companies that promise they have added no brighteners — fabrics that became parts of the garment — pockets, lapels, etc. — may have been treated before sale to the manufacturer who made the clothes.

If your kids have a black light, you are in business!  Black lights will make any clothing with UV brighteners glow in the dark!  Use their black light to test your hunting clothes.

If you don’t have access to one, you can order a black light flashlight on the Internet.  You can also take it shopping with you; find a dark area and check to make sure the hunting garb doesn’t glow.

Be particularly careful to test hunting clothes on the clearance racks!  Guess why they might be there?

The Hunting Clothes You Already Own

This is the ugly part of the story.

If you are like most hunters, you wash your clothes with whatever clothes washing powder or liquid is available.  Most of those products add UV brighteners to clothing — permanently.

Once UV brighteners are added to clothing, there’s only one way to remove them.  There’s a product sold online that removes it.

I’m not interested in helping them sell more products, so I’m not mentioning their name.  I’ll explain more in Does it Matter (tomorrow’s part).

Naming Names

I’ve done research on this issue and have a list of names of regular grocery store products that you can use that will NOT add UV brighteners to your clothes.

The list is extensive — both the good and bad products.

A Reminder

Bear in mind that you must never use the “bad” products on your hunting clothes — even once.

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Come back tomorrow for the final part of this article!

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‘Woodland Splendor’  used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics

This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Yet Another Mistake Turkey Hunters Make

This is #6 in a series outlining some of the most common errors that turkey hunters make, in no particular order.  I also make suggestions for avoiding these mistakes.

According to Biologists, Turkeys See some Colors – Especially at Dusk and Dawn!

Deer & Turkeys See Some Colors

In a landmark 1993 study, scientists at the University of Georgia conducted a study that literally shook the world of deer and turkey hunting.

I could go into a long explanation: ‘The difference in our eyes versus that of the deer and turkey.’

However, most folks don’t want the full sermon; they just want to know how it will affect them and their hunting.

A Quick Summary

1) Deer and human eyes are the same – in that both use rods and cones.

  • Rods = are light-sensitive and
  • Cones = see colors

Deer and turkeys have more rods and can see better in low light. Humans have more cones, which means that we can see colors better than deer and turkeys.

2) Human eyes have a protective layer that protects them from up to 99% of UV rays, but deer and turkey do not. This means that we can see details better than they do.

3) Human eyes see light in the “visible spectrum” – including violet, blue, green, yellow, orange and red.  Beyond violet, there is something called the ”ultraviolet spectrum.”

Deer & turkey can see this “ultraviolet spectrum” naturally. We can see this range of color only when we use a black light.

What Does this Mean for a Hunter?

When most garments were manufactured in the US, there was no problem.  However, when the Chinese took over textiles and the manufacture of our clothing, they started doing things differently.

They added UV brighteners to all clothing.  Why?  Because it made the fabrics look nice longer.  Think about your white business shirts; they keep their bright, white color longer.  This is all fine and dandy, except for hunters.

Through experiments, scientists proved that turkeys and deer could see those UV brighteners in clothing.   Keep in mind, they noted that the animals would notice them most during dawn and dusk hours.

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It has been 17 – 18 years since the public learned of this issue.  Is there still a problem?  This is an involved concern that I will try to finish tomorrow.   Come back then.

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‘Thinkin’ Spring’ used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics

This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

 

Keeping UV Brighteners Out of Hunting Clothes

The Problem

Many of the hunting clothes made in the past few years have UV brighteners in them.   Most of the laundry products on your grocer’s shelves have UV brighteners.  They make clothing look brighter and more attractive.

Unfortunately, turkeys and deer can see those UV brighteners – especially in low light conditions!  What’s a hunter to do?

A Solution

Hunting Wear with UV Brighteners Looks Bright & Blue (& Seems to Glow)! This Suit Does Not Have Brighteners

If you buy hunting camo wear without those pesky UV brighteners, there’s a way to keep them out of your camouflage wear.  You can buy an expensive product at a hunter’s supply store or you can use approved laundry detergents from your local grocery store.

It may surprise you to know that law enforcement and military uniforms cannot be washed in products with UV brighteners.

Here are products members of law enforcement and the military consider safe.

Military & Law Enforcement List of Safe Washing Products *

  • All® Powder (all versions)
    Bold Powder
    Cheer® Liquid (all versions)
    Cheer® Powder (all versions)
    Surf® Powder (all versions)
    Woolite® (all versions)
  • Country Save **

Other helpful info: If using a store brand or “generic” product, the label usually states “compare to [brand]” on the front panel. Match that product brand to the list above for ingredient content. ***

Products That are NOT Safe (They Have Brighteners)

Ajax® (all versions)
All® Liquid (all versions)
Arm & Hammer® FabriCare Powder (all versions)
Arm & Hammer® Liquid (all versions)
Arm & Hammer® Super Washing Soda
Arm & Hammer® Fresh ‘n Soft Fabric Softener (all versions)

Colgate-Palmolive laundry products
Delicare® Fine Fabric Wash (all versions)
Dreft® Liquid
Dreft® Powder
Dynamo® (all versions)
Era® Liquid (all versions)
Fab® (all versions)
Gain® Liquids (all versions)
Gain® Powders (all versions)
Ivory Snow® Liquid Ivory Snow® Powder
Rain Drops® Water Softener and Detergent Booster
Suavitel® Fabric Softener (all versions)
Surf® Liquid (all versions)
Tide® Liquids (all versions)
Tide® Powders (all versions)
Tide® Tablets (all versions)
Wisk® (all versions)
Yes® (all versions)

Dial® laundry products including:
20 Mule Team® Detergent (all versions) ****
Purex® Baby™ (all versions)
Purex® Fabric Softener (all versions)
Purex® Liquid (all versions)
Purex® Powder (all versions)
Zout® (all versions)

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* This information comes from Ranger Joe’s

** This extra product comes from 4 Military Families

*** Compiled by A. Hammond, 3rd IBCT RFG Assistant 10th Mtn Div, July               2005

**** More about this next time!

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This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Turkeys and UV Brighteners

In the past few days, I’ve explained that deer and turkeys see colors differently than most other animals.  They seem to be red & green color-blind.

Turkeys & Deer See Differently than Other Animals!

That’s why you can wear blaze orange hunting wear without worrying about being seen by deer or turkeys — green, red and orange are non-colors to them.

Other Considerations

Biologists have increased our knowledge of  ‘what makes turkeys tick’ in significant ways.  One of their recommendations has to do with camo clothing.

Biologists say that having patterned clothing that blends in with the landscape is more important than its color. The scientists warn hunters about wearing large patches of unbroken color.

Two specific materials are discouraged: vinyl and plastic. Why? Because they reflect light. It is not the color of these two materials that’s important, but the fact that light reflects so readily from them.

Back to the Big Blue Blob of Hunting Clothes

If you are concerned about this issue, there’s a product available that will remove the UV brighteners. It is manufactured by ATSKO (www.atsko.com), the U-V Killer. Once this product eliminates the “glow,” you will need to always use their washing liquid to keep the fabric safe.

Another company is touting their wool hunting garments as an alternative to the ‘glowing goods’ that seem to be rampant in the stores today.

Other Choices

Next time, I will list all of the washing products that I know of that are on grocer’s shelves that will NOT add UV brighteners to your hunting clothes. It’s a surprisingly long list.

My husband and I’ve discussed this issue ‘ad nauseum.’  Should we toss his clothes and get new ones, without UV brighteners, and then use products that won’t add the brighteners to his new clothes?

MDH, Richard, decided to conduct tests regarding this issue.  He decided that if he stopped getting his limit of deer and/or turkeys, he would buy new clothes and get serious about UV brighteners.

The results are:   In the past 4 years, Richard has gotten his limit each time he’s gone hunting.   However, he has friends who worry a great deal about  UV brighteners.

Richard’s conclusion is that if you think that the UV brightener issue is important — it is.  If you think there are more important issues, other than the brighteners — you’re right too.

Your belief system about this issue is the most important ingredient!

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Next Time: Grocery store products that won’t put UV brighteners in your hunting clothes!

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This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Part 2: More on a Turkey’s Eyesight

Last time, I was talking about the senses of wild turkeys.  On the subject of  turkey’s eyesight, I mentioned 3 ways to handle the UV brighteners in most hunting clothes.

Bright Blue Blob

This guy sees the "blue" in blue jeans clearly!

The issue of UV brighteners has been with us for several years. Take a look at the ground-breaking study of the University of Georgia (see below).  He refers to deer, however, wild turkey were found to have the same eyesight abilities.

Forums on the Internet

Folks in the forums have been discussing this issue since the study became common knowledge. And when Atsko came out with products to “remove” UV brighteners from hunting clothes, the discussion became more intense!

Hunters have taken positions on both sides of the aisle.  Some talk about the fact that our ancestors did just fine hunting with what they had at hand.

Some hunters are of the mind that they should use every tool at their disposal.  If you feel the need to make sure that you have every advantage in a hunting situation (i.e.: removing UV brighteners from your hunting clothes), so be it.

It’s not my place to tell you what to use or do.  I can only tell you about my experiences.

The Long View

I’m not planning to burn all of my husband’s hunting clothes, even though they have all been washed in detergents.

I’ve decided to take the long view: Reading the reports by the  scientists conducting the tests, I can see there is a problem.

However, the scientists admit that deer and turkeys see this “blue glow” at two distinct times: early morning and late evening. This is during low light conditions.

True, deer seem to be more active during both of these times, while turkeys are active in the early am.  During regular daylight hours, the animals’ (deer and wild turkey) eyesight seems to be less acute.

BTW, this study (and others) did comment on wearing blue jeans while hunting deer and turkeys: Don’t. The blue in jeans is very obvious to the eyes of deer and wild turkey!

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Next Time: More on this Issue!

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This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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* ‘A Year in the Life of the White-tailed Deer Through the Eyes of a Deer,‘ by
Karl V. Miller, School of Forest Resources, University of Georgia.  This is an excellent overview, in layman’s terms.

The Senses of Turkeys

One of my favorite comments about turkeys is that their brains are the size of a walnut.  However, don’t get too cocky, they seem to use every ounce of their brain matter to stay out of your clutches!

The Senses of Turkeys

A Wild Turkey

Over the years, biologists have studied turkeys and have some surprising findings.  First, their sense of smell is about as strong as ours.

Their hearing is no better than ours. However, their eyesight is another matter.  Because of the particular placement of their eyes, their peripheral vision is excellent.

Turkeys, Deer and UV Brighteners on Clothing

In a nutshell, turkeys and deer see colors!   They can see the UV brighteners in hunter’s clothing.  Why are there UV brighteners in those clothes?

When all clothing was made in the US, there was no problem.  UV brighteners were not added to hunting clothes.  Most textiles are made in China now, and they did not know to keep UV brighteners out of hunting fabrics and clothes.

The solution is obvious: Only buy hunting clothing without UV brighteners! And that’s the problem — even companies that promise they have added no brighteners — parts of the garment (pockets, lapels, etc.), may have been treated before sale to the clothing manufacturer.

What Can You Do?

1)  Use your “old” hunting clothes – that say “Made in the US.”  Not too great a solution because:  As the camo pattern fades, you are less protected from a turkey (or deer’s) eyesight.

2) Use the product touted to “remove” the UV brighteners from hunting clothes.  Most folks say this works, although it is an expensive alternative.

3) Listen to what else the biologists say about (specifically) turkey’s eyesight.

What Biologists Say

Turkeys and deer see differently than we do and they do see the UV brighteners. It makes the hunter look like a bright blue blob.

Biologists have proven that turkeys are not startled by bright colors — ONLY COLORS THAT MOVE!

They’ve placed bright objects in front of these big birds. In one test, they put bright orange hats on turkey decoys. Turkeys strolled amongst them with no concern — unless the orange hats moved!

Biologists theorize that bright colors abound in nature. Turkeys are used to random brights and darks in their habitat. They are only troubled by movement — not the colors.

Next Time: More on this Issue!

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This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Turkey Hunting: Tips on Nabbing a Silent Gobbler!

If you recall, in Turkey Hunting: Outsmarting Loners & Small Gobbler Groups, I mentioned how much easier it was to snare the young, talkative gobblers than the silent loners.

Today is “Better Advice” Day!

Instead of telling you how hard they are to catch, it would be more useful to make some suggestions about how to handle “the quiet ones.”

Experienced hunters know that toms can be silenced by the threat of a storm or when a cold front rolls into an area. Thus, just because you don’t hear turkeys, doesn’t mean that all turkeys have vamoosed!

Most of the wild turkeys harvested each year are 2 year old “chatterers.” Perhaps those that survive that first season learn to subdue their gobbling.

Changing Your Technique

When selecting a set-up site, it is important to find an area that has less-rather-than-more underbrush. With too much cover, the silent toms can sneak up and spy on you long before you see them!

While scoping out a spot, find one that is fairly level.  Without a doubt, the tom will pop up where you don’t expect him.  If there’s a rise for him to come over and startle you — he will.

Settling In Position

You’ve found a likely spot,  gotten everything settled — now let things get quiet. After a few minutes, softly call to a tom – just a short series.

If all remains quiet, try again in 15 minutes, or so.  Toms are often slow to respond, so don’t rush things. Plan to sit there, calling softly every 15 minutes, or so — for the next hour.

Otherwise, stay absolutely silent and still.

What We Learned From Studying Turkeys and UV Brighteners

After the issue of UV Brighteners came up a few years ago,  considerable time and money was spent studying how turkeys and deer see.

The topic is way too complicated for a quick explanation, you can refer to the following articles for more info:

What we learned is that turkeys aren’t notified of your presence by the “blue blob” of your UV brightened  clothes, but by the UV brightened clothes MOVING!

From that we know that stillness and silence are critical in hunting turkeys.

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Survival Skills Turkeys Use to Stay Out of Your Oven

 

180px-meleagris_gallopavo_wild_turkey1

Turkey Survival Tricks 101 *

 

Turkeys have brains the size of a walnut. But don’t let that fool you — they use every trick they can to survive a meeting with a hunter.

Gobblers are Sociable

The group provides warnings of danger for its members.  The good news is that there are lots of  ‘false alarms.’

Ultimately, each gobbler is responsible for his own safety.  When an alarm sounds, everyone pauses and checks the nature of the danger.

If the bird does not see any danger, he returns to feeding.  The bad news is that turkeys lack a single gene of curiosity! If the noise concerns him, the gobbler leaves.

The Gobbler’s Senses

The sense of smell in a turkey is about the same as ours.  Their hearing is not much better than ours. However, their eyesight is another matter.

Because of the particular placement of their eyes, their peripheral vision is excellent.

Turkeys & UV-Brighteners on Clothes

Frankly, I hate to open this can of worms again.   Deer and turkeys see colors. They are adept at seeing the UV-Brighteners in hunter’s clothing.

If you want to learn the full story on UV-Brighteners, please refer to these articles:

Hunting News: Why You Just Might Not Get a Turkey or Deer this Year

A Few More Facts About Deer Hunting (actually covers deer and turkey issues)

Anyone Out There? Questions for My Reader(s)!

UV Brighteners: We’ve Got the News

Why I Don’t Care About UV Brighteners

In those articles, I’ve protested that  someone is making a wonderful income by preying on hunter’s fears.

(In the last article, I name names — there are companies that produce laundry products that do not add UV Brighteners to hunter’s clothing. They are available on your grocer’s shelves.)

Biologists have proven that turkeys are not startled by bright colors — ONLY COLORS THAT MOVE!

They’ve placed bright objects in front of these big birds.  In one test, they put bright orange hats on turkey decoys. Turkeys strolled amongst them with no concern — unless the orange hats moved!

Biologists theorize that bright colors abound in nature. Turkeys are used to random brights and darks in their habitat. They are only troubled by movement — not the colors.

There’s scads more to talk about, but UV-Brightener discussions wear me out.   😉

* Photo is from Wikipedia!

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There’s one resource that I’ve used extensively in this series: The Complete Book of Wild Turkey Hunting, by John  Trout, Jr.; 2000, The Lion’s Press.

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com