Solid colors vs camouflage: What is better for deer hunting?

Solid Colors vs. Camo: Which is Better for Deer Hunting?

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Deer hunters like to get into the solid colors vs camo debate, but is there really a debate? You can argue your preference, but there is no debate about what works best for deer vision and how deer see us.

I am a retired U.S. Army Green Beret. Concealment used to be a critical aspect of almost everything I did. Did I have to wear it all the time on every mission? No, I had other options. But why would I try to find a reason not to?

That’s the question you should ask yourself when debating what you should wear. When I hunt, I try to optimize everything. I do not focus on what I can get away with, I focus on what will give me the extra seconds needed to make my move and take the shot.

In this post, we’ll discuss the contrast of solid colors vs camo and how deer see them differently. By the end of this post, you’ll better understand why solid colors may not be the best choice for deer hunting and how to choose the right camouflage to beat deer vision.

READ: Best Camo for Deer Hunting: What the Science Says

The Science of Deer Vision and Camouflage

As discussed in previous blog posts, deer have highly advanced visual systems that detect subtle movements and shapes in their surroundings. This makes them highly effective at detecting potential predators, including bow hunters. Movement is what a deer will see before anything.

Deer are not completely colorblind as a lot of people believe. They can see certain colors very well, including blues and yellows, and are especially sensitive to blue-spectrum light. They also have excellent low-light vision and can see even when light levels are low, such as at dawn and dusk.

Research has shown that camo patterns designed to blend in with the hunting environment’s colors and patterns are more effective than solid colors. This is because these patterns help disrupt the hunter’s outline and make them less visible to deer by creating visual confusion.

Solid colors can’t do that.

There are a lot of debates about solid colors vs. camo, but the reality is that the way a deer sees is what you should focus on versus the latest trends and fads in hunting.

READ: Deer Vision 101: How Deer See Color, Light, and Movement

Deep Cover Camo by Forloh for close range camouflage. This is an example of disruption style camouflage. Use this when comparing solid colors vs camo for deer hunting.
Advanced macro and micro dispersion disruption-style camo from Forloh.

Solid Colors vs Camo for Deer Hunting: Why Solids Are Not the Best Option

When you wear a solid color, you create a block of color that stands out in the environment, making it easier for a deer to spot you. In contrast, camouflage patterns work by breaking up your outline, allowing you to blend in with the natural environment.

Deer notice contrasts in their environment. Interrupting that environment with a big block of color makes you more susceptible to being seen. Can you get away with it? Absolutely. But it will make you stand out and amplify every move you make.

Climbing with the Skeletor Sticks
This wasn’t a hunt, but as an example, you can see the obvious contrast in what I am wearing versus the background of the woods behind me,

When it comes to deer vision, solid colors do not mimic the natural shades and patterns that deer are used to seeing in their environment. Deer are used to seeing specific colors and patterns in their natural everyday travels and solid colors are not normally a part of that.

When you move in solid-colored clothing, the contrast between you and your background is more pronounced. This makes it easier for deer to detect the movement and increases the likelihood of spooking them. In contrast, camouflage clothing helps to break up your outline and makes movement less noticeable.

Solid colors can still be useful in certain hunting situations, such as when hunting from a blind, where you are concealed from view, when wearing solid black might be the best option. This is the exception, not the rule.

The main question you should ask yourself is why you want to wear solid colors vs camouflage. I always give myself every chance to succeed by doing all the little things right. Wearing camouflage that allows me to blend in with the environment and is optimized to beat deer vision does exactly that.

Asio Gear Camo
Asio Gear’s RAPTOR Camouflage

Advantages of Camouflage for Bow Hunting

Using camouflage clothing and accessories can give bow hunters a significant advantage when it comes to staying concealed from deer. Here are some of the key benefits of using camouflage for hunting:

READ: Best Camo for Deer Hunting: What the Science Says

  1. Breaks up your outline: One of the primary advantages of camouflage is its ability to break up your outline, making it more difficult for deer to spot you. By disrupting your shape, camouflage can help you blend into your surroundings more effectively.
  2. Blends in with your environment: Camouflage patterns are designed to mimic the natural colors and textures of the surrounding environment, helping you blend in more effectively. This can be especially helpful in areas with dense foliage or other natural obstacles that can make it difficult for you to stay hidden.
  3. Minimizes the effects of movement: When you wear camouflage for deer hunting, movement can spook deer from far away. Deer vision-optimized camo aids in minimizing the effects of movement and allows you more freedom when hunting.
  4. Additional gear: In addition to camouflage clothing, you may also want to consider using other gear, such as face masks and gloves to cover contrasting exposed skin to camouflage yourself and minimize your exposure to deer.

Bow hunters can significantly increase their chances of staying concealed from deer by wearing deer vision-optimized camouflage clothing. It seems like common sense, but so many companies push their solid color clothing that it can make you second guess yourself sometimes.

Buck just inside the edge of a transition


The choice between solid colors and camouflage clothing is an important one for deer hunters. Based on the science of deer vision and the effectiveness of camouflage, it’s clear that using the right camo can greatly increase your chances of success. Camouflage clothing helps break up your outline and blend in with your surroundings, making it harder for deer to detect you.

Solid colors do not.

When you understand the importance of contrast, choosing the right camouflage pattern for your environment and season, and using additional gear like face masks and gloves you can become a more effective deer hunter.

In conclusion, the debate of solid colors vs camo for deer hunting may have been ongoing for years, but the science is clear. Deer vision processes are optimized to detect outlines and shapes, making solid colors a poor choice for hunters. So next time you head out for a hunt, choose the right camouflage pattern so you can stay concealed from the eyes of whitetail deer.

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