How Far Can Deer See In The Dark?

How Far Can Deer See In The Dark?
Photo by Ron Sinfelt

Q: During the early season, I hunt agricultural fields and food plots. There seems to be no good way to exit my stand without bumping deer. I was wondering if you have any idea as to how far deer can see in the dark? - Ryan Rothstein, Richmond, Minn.

A: I did a bunch of research on this myself once and learned some things about the physiology of their eyes. Deer have eyes ideally suited to low-light vision. I guess the light actually reflects off the back of the eye and it has the same effect as if they are sensing it twice. That is why their eyes are so reflective when they look into a car's headlights.

So, what does that mean regarding maximum visual range? I don't think anyone knows for sure. Personally, I think they can see you at 100 yards, or less, under most nighttime conditions. I have snuck past deer on black nights, but normally, that ends badly. Better to find other ways out of the field. Think creatively, have someone drive in to bump them, or maybe plant screens to sneak behind.




Recommended for You

Whitetail

How To Use Deer Decoys In The Rut

John Dudley

Timing and presentation are key to a successful decoy strategy.

Bows

Bow Review: Bowtech Realm SR6

Jon E. Silks

Bowtech's 2019 flagship has it all. Let us break it down for you!

Big Game

Elk Calling With the Experts

Tracy Breen

Learn how to lure wary bulls into bow range.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

South African Warthog

Mike Schoby and his wife Dory go on an action-packed South African hunt for plains game including the warthog.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

How-To

Shooting Your Bow With One Eye Versus Two

Bill Winke

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques.

ATA Show

Top New Arrows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

Check out our list of the best new hunting arrows from the 2019 ATA Show!

ATA Show

Best New Bow Sights for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

Check out our picks for the best new bow sights from the 2019 ATA Show!

See More Stories

More Whitetail

Whitetail

Best Treestand Spots for Big Bucks

Jason Snavely - September 06, 2018

Ohio bowhunter Adam Hays has killed 36 Pope and Young bucks and 10 Boone and Crockett-caliber

Whitetail

Quiz: How Good Is Your Deer Hunting Area?

Bill Winke

Answer this questions from Bill Winke to find out!

Whitetail

Tips For Taking Hill Country Bucks in the Rut

Alex Gyllstrom - November 10, 2017

Growing up in Southwest Michigan I didn't have much experience hunting hill country until I...

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×