You Can’t Hide If You’re Glowin’

by | Jul 1, 2022

I stood in disbelief as the three does kept feeding around me less than twenty yards away. That might not be so amazing had I been in a blind or a tree stand, but I was in the middle of an open weed field with absolutely no cover. I’d snuck up on them in the last moments of daylight heading back to my truck while hunting in S.E. Ohio. I watched them mill around for about a minute, trying to figure out what I was, but I knew one thing for sure…they did not see me as a human predator in blue. Had they seen me as a threat, tails would have been in the air and they would have vanished into the tree line like ghosts in the night. I had added something new to my hunting arsenal. Here’s how it happened.

The first day of the hunt he alarm went off at 5:00 AM in mid November 2007. I rolled out of bed, made a cup of coffee, and began to pull several camouflage suits out of a plastic tub on the porch of our hunting cabin. We weren’t preparing to go hunting this morning; we were preparing to shoot a video about UV Killer. Mike Jordan, a scientist from ATSKO was in camp with us this week. He’d brought with him several products from ATSKO for us to test in hopes of a glowing review from the writers gathered at Wade Nolan’s outdoor writer’s camp. A “glowing” review was exactly what was about to happen.

After washing your camo in Sport-Wash just spray it once with UV-Killer to permanently fix the UV issue. Keep washing it in Sport-Wash and you’ll never have to fix it again.

As the sun began to blush the horizon, Mike plugged in a huge black light called the Black Shadow. (Sounded like a special ops team to me). As the light was directed into a group of pines near the cabin, Wade’s son, Cory, bow in hand and dressed head to foot in camo, slowly stalked into the viewing window of the video camera. As the light crept across the tip of his arrow and made its way back across the bow and to his body, an amazing, yet eerie thing began to happen. He began to glow blue like he’d just walked out of a radioactive experiment! Each time he’d walk in front of the black light, he glowed, yet there was nothing around him in the woods anywhere that was glowing from the light and his camo looked perfectly normal in ambient morning light. The black light was telling a story. His camo was laced with UV-brighteners.

Although the pants hat and shirt all looked the same to our eyes a deer would see the UV-Brightening dyes in the shirt and glowing blue. It pays to eliminate the alarming Blue Glow with UV-Killer.

As we stopped to take a break, Mike asked me if I’d like to put my camo in front of the light to see if there was any UV “hot spots” on my hunting outfit. As I held each piece of camo about six feet in front of the light, they lit up like a candle in a dark room. I placed each piece of clothing on a hanger, shook up a spray bottle of UV Killer, and began to dowse the garment in front of the black light. With each spray of UV Killer, the UV reflective areas of the shirt began to blend in with everything around it, and the blue simply vanished. I spent the next twenty minutes spraying down every bit of camo I’d brought with me like a crazed painter creating a masterpiece.

This is what you and I see when we see this hunter. the camo is working and the pants, shirt and hat look the same.

(Portions of the following are an explanation by Kurt von Besser, President of ATSKO/SNO-SEAL Inc.)

OK, so what’s the science behind this new miracle product? First, you have to understand how a deer sees. Deer don’t see like you and me. Humans have three classes of cone photoreceptors, which are the basis of trichromatic (literally three-color) vision. In humans this three-receptor system offers excellent color vision. Humans can distinguish small differences in wavelength across the spectrum. In contrast, lab testing revealed only two classes of cone (color) photoreceptors in deer. Deer can have no better than dichromatic (two-color) vision. Thus, the color vision capacities of deer are, at best, limited compared to humans. Deer see only blue and yellow.

In darkness, deer see perfectly, but in black and white. They use rods to pick up light and they have 90% rods and only 10% cones. But with those 10% color cones deer are tens of thousands of times more sensitive to ultraviolet and blue wavelengths than humans. In daylight, deer see ultraviolet and blue light as blue, but thousands of times brighter than we see it because the sensitivity of their blue cones is not reduced by the presence of a UV filter. Instead of how you and I see colors, deer see blue and everything else is in shades of yellow. Deer actually see UV-blue brighter than we see blaze orange.

Ultraviolet brighteners gather energy from light over a wide range of wavelengths and reradiate that energy in a very powerful narrow band that corresponds almost exactly with the peak of sensitivity of the deer’s blue cones. This results in an unnaturally bright blue or white glow, brighter than the blue sky, or white snow. The black magic of UV-brighteners in our camo makes us look like glowing blue ghosts to a deer.

Those UV-brighteners in our camo got there one of two ways. Either it was in the base cloth before it was printed with the camo pattern in China or you washed your camo …even one time…in a detergent that had UV brighteners in it. Once the brighteners are in your camo no detergent in the world can remove the brightening dyes. Only UV-Killer can.

It’s important for hunters to know that almost all camouflage, blaze orange, light colored street clothes, and laundry detergents all contain UV brighteners. Even companies that claim that their camo has been inspected by quality control for UV dyes and brighteners aren’t always accurate as some pieces of material in the camo can be sewn in from a different batch of material that have already been dyed. We found this to be true as some camo shirts pockets and sleeves were still UV hot, even though the body of the shirt was UV dead. The only way to be sure is to take a small hand held black light with you when you are ready to purchase your hunting clothes and shine it on all areas of the garment. Or like me, treat all of your camo with UV-Killer. If you only wash your camo in Sport-Wash you’ll never need to treat it again with UV-Killer.

So, what’s the most important addition you can make to your hunting arsenal? If you walk into your local sporting goods store you’re probably going to hear it’s cut on contact broadheads, multiple camo patterns, carbon or silver lined clothing, arrow straightness, cover scents, fresh doe estrus, or the biggest hype of them all…bow speed. I have to admit that a good odor control system like N-O-DOR Oxidizer comes close because the only thing a deer can’t smell is nothing. So, back to the original question; “What’s the most important addition you can make to your hunting arsenal?” Well, from a whitetail’s perspective it’s UV Killer by ATSKO because…


Are you glowing?