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.


Come back tomorrow for the final part of this article!


‘Woodland Splendor’  used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics

This blog is a companion to my website:

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.


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.


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

This blog is a companion to my website:


Human Scent and Deer Hunting

Motion and Scent are More Important than UV Brighteners! *

I believe that a hunter’s site of  “up wind” versus “downwind” is more important than the soap used!  Developing an understanding of the terrain, winds and wind thermals seem more important to me.

In fact, I’ve read that the number 1 rule of success during a deer hunt is scouting the land before-hand!  Having knowledge of deer trails, checking spore and knowing where water lies, are important to success.

Human Scent and Deer Hunting

Deer are much more sensitive to scent — and they can detect scent from greater distances. There are some products that promise to remove scent from the hunter.

I wonder if they work? Could it be that deer notice when there is no scent, as well as when there is too much human smell?

You might want to take note of some of the interesting suggestions hunters offer to handle human scent (See:  For the Hunter with Everything, Including UV Brighteners! and  More Tips to Hide Your Scent).

I think a hunter’s movement is another important consideration.


Only you can decide how important this issue is to you. Perhaps the UV brightener-killer is right for your needs. However, I read something from R. Henshaw (on a forum).

He suggested purchasing a large box of 20 Mule Team Borax. “Wash your hunting clothes in that, do not use fabric softeners, do not use dryer sheets. ”

I’ve decided that ‘it’s a plan.’ Before I try the high-priced solutions, I’m going to keep it simple.

Another idea I’m considering: Repair MDH’s (my deer husband’s) old hunting clothes, languishing in the back of a closet!

Until recently, when textile manufacturing moved to China, this was a non-issue, no problem. I’m also planning to check out thrift stores in our area for camo not bearing the tag, “Made in China.”

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

However, I think there is something close to ‘undue concern’ about the glowing hunting goods, to the exclusion of issues that just might matter more.

**For more info about the amount of borax to use, go to article, “Words of Wisdom & A Bit of Humor” and look at the bottom paragraphs.

Remember: Scent and movement are more important (they can be seen/smelled further away) than the color of your clothing or whether it has UV brighteners.


*’Early Snowfall’ used through the courtesy of Vantage Point Graphics


This blog is a companion to my website:

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)


* 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!


This blog is a companion to my website:

More Tips to Hide Your Scent

This just might be “pure genius in a bottle!”  Because of the hydrogen peroxide, I’d put this on par with Oxi-Clean — for a lot less money!

A Clever Brew for Hunting Clothes

Place 2 cups of water in an empty spray bottle. Add 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 cup of baking soda.

Stir in 1 oz. of unscented shampoo and place the top back on the spray bottle. Shake the bottle and then spray your hunting clothes down with the mixture.



Passing the 'Sniff' Test!


This will freshen up the clothing and take away any odor the hunting clothes have. This will keep animals from smelling you and give you a better chance of catching one.

Use this formula on hunting clothes that you’ve already washed with residue-free detergent.

–from Alicia Bodine, eHow (source of this recipe)

Why Use Baking Soda/Washing Soda for Hunting Clothes?

– Both products are natural and have been used as washing products for more than 100 years!

– There are no additives — they are pure products (there are no UV brighteners).

– They are economical.


More Tips on Masking/Eliminating Your Scent

Hunters use a variety of ways to mask their scent while hunting. Some buy every jim-crack and ge-haw available.  And that’s OK, if you have a gushing oil well in your back yard.

These additional tips are for hunters interested in having a good time, without over-spending….

– Unscented Arm & Hammer deodorant uses baking soda to absorb your scent  — for a lot less money than the fancy hunter’s brands.

– Shampooing before going out on a hunt?  Be sure to leave the tooti-fruiti smelling shampoos on the shelf and use an unscented brand.

– Some hunters are so serious about de-scenting themselves that they wash their bedding, towels and sleeping bags in unscented detergents.

– Other hunters don’t want house smells to contaminate their clothing/bedding/etc.  They leave these items outside – at all times.

– Instead of storing hunting clothes with pine boughs, etc., some hunters store theirs in sealed tubs or plastic bags with charcoal in the containers.  They state that they do not remove their clothing from the bags/sealed tubs until they are ready to hunt.

– One of the most unusual ideas: Avoid wearing your hunting boots and clothing in a cafe or to a gas station!


Disclaimer: I don’t sell any products I mention in this series. This is strictly educational information.


This blog is a companion to my website: