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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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