The Science Behind the Pink

Pink, Research -

The Science Behind the Pink

What can you hunt in Hotleaf besides flamingos?

Ungulates (And no, we do not actually hunt flamingos, but it would make a hilarious parody).

What are Ungulates?

Ungulates are hooved animals such as deer, elk, moose, etc.

How does pink actually work?

Ungulates are red-green color blind. That means that they do not perceive those colors in the range of 550-750 nm (certain greens, oranges, reds and pinks) in the visual light spectrum like humans do. Pink appears to ungulates in different shades of grey, each shade depending on the hue of the pink. Human eyes have more cone cells than ungulates do (we have three different types of cones, to be exact), which allows us to see all the colors. Ungulates have fewer cone cells in their eyes which is why they can’t see certain colors like we do. Ungulates lack the “red cone” which would allow them to see different shades of red, such as pink. This is why our camouflage is not just a fashion item but is also functional for hunting.

Can you hunt any animal while wearing pink?

No. Waterfowl, for example, have even “better” vision than humans do. Birds have four types of cone cells in their eyes, which allow them to see UV light. More importantly, they also have the ability to see colors and patterns much more vibrantly than humans and deer do, which would make Hotleaf camouflage very ineffective for hunting waterfowl.

Has Hotleaf Camouflage been tested?

Yes, a prototype was made and has been tested on public land in central Missouri. Hotleaf has been successful in harvesting deer. The deer did not detect the bow hunter’s presence and there were no use of a blind or other contributing factors except the use of scent control. More testing is scheduled to take place with a newer prototype when available.

Are there any scientific references to attest to the way ungulates perceive color?

Yes, there are two primary studies conducted that we base our camouflage from. One is from the University of Georgia and the other is from the University of Nebraska. We also reference an article from the University of Missouri that is titled “Photopigment basis for dichromatic color vision in the horse” that explains more into detail about the way an ungulate perceives color.




VerCauteren, Kurt C., and Michael J. Pipas. "A Review of Color Vision in White-tailed Deer." USDA National Wildlife Research Center - Staff Publications. Paper 284, Dec. 2003. Web.

Murphy, Brian. "What Do Deer See?" Quality Deer Management Association. QDMA, n.d. Web.

Carroll, Joseph, Christopher J. Murphy, Maureen Neitz, James N. Ver Hoeve, and Jay Neitz. "Photopigment Basis for Dichromatic Color Vision in the Horse." Photopigment Basis for Dichromatic Color Vision in the Horse. Journal of Vision, 3 Oct. 2001. Web.

Berger, Cynthia. "True Colors: How Birds See the World." True Colors: How Birds See the World. National Wildlife Federation, 19 July 2012. Web.

"Rods & Cones." Rods & Cones. Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Imaging Science, n.d. Web.

Black, Todd A. "Can I See You?" (n.d.): Mule Deer Foundation Magazine, May-June 2008. Web.

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