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Hunter's Orange: Busted

Discussion in 'The Lodge' started by TheKing, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. Ever been busted due to hunter orange? I have on two occasions. Once in the treestand, once in a ground blind.
  2. fishingful

    fishingful Time to fish!

    mabey the odnr wants you to be safe and the hunter orange does that :confused: try wearing it the deer cant see you :eek: and i have never been busted for any thing wild life related

    did you posted this out of curiousity or to just stir things up :confused:

  3. I was aware that it could stir up some reaction. But I am really just trying to find out about the experiences of other hunters on this. I would not trade the safety value of hunter orange for a kill. I can see people at 1/2 mile through thick cover in low light. It is the right safety color. The problem is though, that it has been sold as neutral to the whitetail eyeball. I can tell you from my own experience, it is anything but neutral to them. It stands out like a giant ball of sunshine to them.
  4. I'm going to have to disagree with your,"giant ball of sunshine" comment. The hunting industries and my own experiences lead me to believe that they do not see orange as you believe.

  5. DaleM

    DaleM Original OGF Staff Member

    I have been wearing the orange since it first came out, I mean several years ago. I wear a solid orange insulated suite and have taken my deer every year. The guys I hunt with all kid me about being the biggest orange pumkin in the woods. I would guess you were busted by movement or smell rather than the orange. You might want to try the camo orange pattern. The State does allow that as well as the solid orange. For me there is no question about wearing it, the isn't an animal out there that is worth getting shot for.
  6. That would be the natural assumption....after all, alot has been written about their inability to see it. And deer hunting is spooky in that most all deer hunters sooner or later get to see how advanced their senses can be. The stories told about close encounters are sometimes unbelievable. Describing heart-thumping moments in close-contact as "intense" is like saying that winning the mega millions would be "OK". The intensity sort of skews the recollections, I know. But I swear I have seen them materialize at 10 yards without warning and then disappear with only a step or two in the right direction. My son said that it is the most exciting thing he has ever experienced. I know what he means.

    I am talking about bow hunting here. Semi-rural bow hunting. Not relaxed wilderness animals that have never encountered predators. But rather the ones that move when the school bus comes at 6:30 am, again when it drops the kids off at 3:30 pm, on Saturdays and Sundays when the hikers get off the trail, daily when the animals are fed, weekly at garbage pick-up time, and every now and then when the dogs get off the chain. Ones that know they are being hunted, ones that have seen their buddies get nailed. When 50 yards is not an option, and 20 yards is a good shot but even a twig will mess that up. Close enough that any mistake is certain failure. Unless you count getting that close a success. And I do.

    A few close-in experiences are common. Like getting scented and those darn twigs and just plain missing. But more are rare one of a kind events. I have been busted a few times for scent, twice for motion, once for a slight clothing rub, once for a slight safety harness rub as I lifted my bow, and twice for hunter's orange. One of the motion mistakes was my wife's...she spent the day with me in the doghouse. I have been inside 10 yards of two trophies from a ground blind without being detected, even after arrows sailed inches above their backs. That was dumb, but I never sighted in that close because I never thought it possible to get that close. It really does make a difference depending on what distance you "zero" on. So anyway, I rank myself above novice. My busiest season was about 140 hours in the "bow" set from the both tree and ground. I had a full time job, but I was in the woods more than at work. :eek:

    Here's what happenened in one circumstance. One of my blinds sits in a fence row of a 15 acre field with woods surrounding it on three sides. I have watched the does and their kids come out of the woods on the opposite side of the field for years. I have observed this same set of does for 5 years now. I ought to know their children by name because I have watched them fall for most every trick in the book as yearlings.
    They always come out from generally the same point. So far in five years, only the kids have come into bow range, but I still try it a time or two every year just to observe. I have chosen to avoid interupting their pattern, and so I stay on my side and wait for them to come my way. I have never given them a chance to scent me. As they come out of the woods, they have never been in alert mode. They have a routine trail that winds across the field and into the field behind my ground blind. It follows the edge of a corn crop, even on years when the crop is not there. They just come out grazing and move comfortably on their trail...except one time two years ago.

    I decided to try this set on the last night of gun season a couple of years ago. I was in the set for 2 hours prior, the wind in my face, evening sun, and six does (and a couple or three kids) came out of their bed at 200 yds from the usual spot on the opposite side of the field. Now there is a reason that they stared directly into my blind in alert mode and then turned back into their bed. They don't do it in bow (camo) season. I had the reticle on them up to the 150 yd point, waiting for them to relax and continue moving, but they kept one eye staring into my blind the whole time. By the time they got within 150, they were convinced that the unfamiliar blazing ball of fire in the fence row was a threat. They spent 5 minutes analyzing the blaze, and then decided to change their evening plan.

    We need to be safe above all else and I would not ever go into gun season without more than double the minimum orange. But I think that the semi-rural deer know it. Oh BTW, the disrupted camo orange did not make any difference. I guess I need to spend some time hunting in the real wilderness. These semi-rural areas have deer with controversial behaviour. :)
  7. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    I hunt in locations as you described, and I'm not sure, Im getting what your saying. To be busted only twice as you think its do to hunter oragne out of so mnay times out is nothing. The deer could have been more concerned about the large gun barrel they were looking down, a glare from the scope, etc.... Are you talking about a pop up bling that stays up year round or just part of the time? I know you mentioned a safety harness, but it sounded like you were in a blind. You you caught in the orange inside the blind or in a tree? As im sure you know if your blind is open even if you had on a completely black outfit the deer are able to see an outline ot shadow compared to no sahwdow/outline when the blind is empty.

    Now with all that being said, I've always wondered since the deer cant see it, why isnt there a hunter orange requirment in bow season?
  8. Watermellon,
    It's a ground blind that I set in late September and leave out till late winter/early spring. Except for last year, I just left it out the whole year. It's buried in the fence row with a shooting lane opened up in the brush. I was busted from this set only once out of approx 20 times and the only diff was a "blazing" hunter in the blind instead of the "stealth" hunter in the blind. Yes, it's possible that there was scope glint.....but not when they first came out....they were eyeing me before I raised the gun.

    P.S. My better half is a school teacher at the high school. Do you have kids at the high school?
  9. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    I also believe deer see hunter Orange.
  10. I don't think they see the orange at all. I've had 100's of deer come right by me without noticing me at all. I'd guess they picked up scent or movement. I've even been on my way in and heard deer coming during the firearm season. I just lean up against a tree and stay still - no problem. Move a muscle and your busted.

    Just my .02
  11. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

    You actually use a scope for a shotgun?
  12. First of all I never bowhunt with orange and I guess that the areas that I hunt do not present enough danger to warrant doing so.

    I think there are many factors to consider when spooking or alerting a deer and sight is one of them and in particular I guess you can question the color as well. I believe that yes the deer see the orange and they see any color in the woods. The key is that their eyes are not capable of distinguishing orange very well due to the design of their eyes. They are more adaptive to light sensitivity than color sensitivity. I think with solid orange came deer will see it when you put yourself out where your whole outline is present. But that is the case with any suit that you choose that is in one solid color. The camo pattern will do a "better" job of breaking up your outline. This again is not foolproof if you are not in a setting that will break up your outline. In summary I would say that camo orange is better than full orange but if you set up properly you can make solid orange work as well.

    I agree with what others said about your scenarios where you were attributing the alerting deer to the color. There are many other factors that could have caused it. Scope lens glare is one that came to my mind. Also glare of a shiny gun barrel. However, my first thought was that the setting that you mentioned sounds like a perfect setting for the deer to bed just inside the cover and watch the shole downwind side. They could have very well seen you walk in to your stand from their beds. I have seen bedded deer and know that they saw me but they remained bedded there for a long time because they simply were not threatened. These deer probably decided that it was safe enough for them to feed out in the edge of the field...and they were right.;)

    I have learned over the years to never underestimate the ability of a mature deer to protect itself. They bed in area that make sense to their survival and although we attribute much of their survival on their sense of smell, they also have incredible vision despite the fact that the color distinction is not very good.
  13. Lewzer,

    I know many people who hunt deer with a shotgun mounted with a scope. It is quite common.
  14. A couple of years back I shot a nice sized doe (2 or 3 years old) on a bright sunny day, wearing a solid orange vest and cap. I had just finished walking around a bit to warm up when I spotted her. I watched that doe in plain view, nothing between us, come off the hill side, down the trail, and go behind an area of 4' to 6' saplings. I could still easily see her through these saplings, but there was not an open shot. I assumed she could also see me. Still, I dropped to one knee and waited for her to emerge from behind the saplings and turn the corner on the trail. I shot her with the shotgun at about 5 yards. I still do not understand how she didn't see, considering the solid orange and the movement on my part.
  15. The orange is just another shade of color to the deer. They do not know that "orange=hunter" even if they do see the color. The fact that the color is different from your surroundings can make you stand out to oncoming deer. The purpose of the camo is to both break up a body outline and to more closely match the true colors and hues that the deer sees. Full camo will still do a better job of hiding you but orange will not necessarily give you away. Movement will most likely get you busted regardless of what you are wearing. As for you L'il Rob, you were just downright lucky.:D She evidently was very relaxed and not on alert and thus was not scanning ahead very well. She had no chance of becoming one of those large mature does that you have every now and then that just seem too smart to be in the woods with the rest of the deer.;)
  16. I'll take luck over getting skunked! And that happened on public land, the second day of gun season! My only guess is that she was bumped earlier and must have felt more at ease as she was heading toward the thick cover I was on the edge of. I had taken two very large does from that same area the previous two years. That was a sweet spot while it lasted. I had to give up going there because of idiots who were lost, blind, or something who would trounce through. I had hung a small tree stand in that area about 10' off the ground and twice in the matter of four hours, some guy came through, walked right under me (in orange) and never saw me. The first time he stopped and took a leak on a gut pile from my deer the day before, 60 yards from me. I asked him if he was lost the second time he came through, scaring him so much that he almost dropped his gun! As someone said recently in this or another post, no deer is worth dying for. That was the last time I hunted deer with a gun on public land.

    Sorry I got off the subject at hand!
  17. Maybe the question should be, "Can the hunters see orange?":rolleyes: I have also had similar scenarios where guys walked in on me when I had orange and they didn't see me until they were right on top of me. It made me wonder how they would ever see a deer.

    Like you I steer clear of public land on slug season. It ain't worth the risk to me.
  18. That time the guy did not even notice the orange forms part of my basis for my claim. He didn't look up because he didn't expect you to be there. But if he had, you would have been greeted with apologies, I am sure. It might have been me, I was just looking for snakes. :eek:

    And since the deers don't have any predators from above, they do not check the trees for hungry orange dudes....and so the condition of stealth is not necessarily due to cloaking and biological factors, but rather it might be due to behaviour.
  19. worminator

    worminator I'll be bach

    Ok, here we go. True story time. My first time ever to bow hunt. I had an old recurve Bear about 50 to 55 lb I don't remember. I didn't know anything and now I know very little so I've learned some since then. Anyway a buddy from work says lets go bow hunting with some freinds down in S.E. Ohio. Sure, sounds like a party to me. Musta been in the 70's if you know what I mean. So I get every bit of my gun hunting gear and take it along. I mean orange pants, coat, hat and gloves. Man I was a site. We met at this cabin down in Washington county and the guys who owned it were all decked out in camo and even painted their faces. They about busted a gut when they saw me. I didn't care I was kinda along for the ride. Remember I had never bow hunted and sure as heck I'd never been in this part of Ohio. Well we went out and my buddy and I found a nice place where the deer have been running and crossing a small creek. We set up on opposite sides and waited. It wasn't long before we heard some snorting and chasing real close. I stepped out behind the tree I was standing at and WHOOSH a doe Darn near ran me down. I pulled back and just nicked her low in the stomach. Far from a kill shot. It was more of a self defense shot than anything. We saw about five deer that day and even managed a little nap in the sun. When we got back our camo to the tee buddies didn't see a thing. MAN were they pissed. Now I was busting a gut all in my bright orange suit. I really don't think the deer see colors. But they sure can pick up the slightest movement. It don't matter what you wear, just don't move and don't go out there stinking like fried chicken. That's what I've learnt in 25 years.