Many hunters know that adding UV brighteners to laundry detergent and/or hunting clothing actually makes hunters stand out more to deer, especially in low light conditions. But the reason that UV brighteners make it easy for deer to spot you isn’t what most people think.

“UV brighteners don’t make UV colors stand out more to deer — they take UV light and convert it to blue light, which is what deer are most sensitive to,” explained Bradley Cohen, Ph.D., a research scientist at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

“Some hunters still believe they can wash UV dyes out of clothing,” said Dan Gutting, vice-president of Atsko. “The dyes are embedded into fibers when the clothing’s made, so you can’t wash them out.”

To see if your hunting duds contain UV brighteners, shine a UV light with at least a 350 BLB designation over each garment. If UV brighteners are present, first wash each garment in a UV brightener-free detergent like Sportwash, and then apply a UV-covering spray like UV Killer.

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