Hog Hunting with a Red or Green Light

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Did you know that hogs do not have sweat glands? Okay, now you are wondering how that concerns you.

That information is vital for you as a hog hunter because it means they prefer moving around in the night when the temperature drops, and that’s when you go hunting. But wait, that presents a problem, lighting that does not spook them off. Here is everything you may need to know about the choice of light for hog hunting.

Simply put, the best light for hog hunting is red or green light. You can clearly see in that light while the hog won’t have a clue it is under the spotlight until you drop it to the ground.

Why Red or Green Light

There is a need to explore the science of vision to understand why red or green light is the best for hunting. Don’t worry; this is not one of those geeky posts with an avalanche of unnecessary science stuff. It’s the essential things to help take your hunting game to the next level.

You can see colors courtesy of cells in your eyes called cones. Now that as a human, you have three different types of cone cells, you can see all the three primary colors blue, green, and red plus a mix of these colors. It is what your doctor would describe as a trichromatic vision.

On the other hand, hogs only have two types of cone cells, which are termed as dichromatic vision. They use these two types to blend colors, which allow them a smaller spectrum of color than you do. They can visualize blue clearly while red and green elude them. They are colorblind to red and green.

They can, however, pick some blue-green. Strong green, yellow-green and red will go unnoticed by them. Interesting, right? That is how you will be able to shine your hunting light on them, and they will go on with their business as if nothing happened. That is unless you spook them off yourself or your untrained hunting dog scatters them off. You will probably need to have the right hunting dog with you.

Light Strength Needed

So by now, you know that you will need a red or green hunting light, but what strength do you need? There is a need to introduce another aspect, wavelength, to understand that feature of hunting lights. The determinant of the color of visible light is the wavelength and is measured in nanometers (nm). Blue has a short wavelength followed by green and then red on the far end.

Hogs can pick low wavelengths while finding it hard to perceive higher wavelengths. They start to go colorblind at a wavelength of 520nm to 540nm. That’s how they will easily pick blue and blue-green whose wavelengths fall below 470nm. The hogs will not pick strong green with a wavelength of 540nm and yellow-green with a wavelength of 560nm to 580nm. Red has an even higher wavelength at 620nm to 700nm.

Okay, those were a lot of numbers but useful because you will need a light with a wavelength above 540nm. It is simple; you want it to be invisible to the hog while still adequate for your vision. Expert hunters know how poor visibility can make you end up empty-handed or even worse get attacked by a ferocious hog. The bottom line is, have the strength of the light as one of the factors to consider while buying.

Red vs Green Hunting Lights

Perhaps the most popular debate among hunters when it comes to hunting lights is whether to buy the red or the green hunting light. It’s an age-old question, and the truth is, there are no absolutes when it comes to it. The opposing groups, when it comes to this debate, have their legitimate reasons for their stand. So, what light should you choose as a beginner?

Red Hunting Lights

Scientifically speaking, red light has a higher wavelength, and that means the hogs are more colorblind to it than they are to green. It also casts less apparent shadows in case the hog is facing away from you. Those who hunt regularly swear by this light, and technically speaking, it appears to be the direction towards which veterans in hunting will point you. However, it is not as popular and maybe more expensive than green lights.

Green Hunting Lights

Although green has a lower wavelength than red, it is still undetectable. Manufactured green lights usually have wavelengths beginning from 540nm. The upside to green is that the human eye is more sensitive to it than to red light. You will be able to see better under green light. You may have noticed that night vision equipment use green, right? Green hunting lights are the most popular among beginners.

Other Factors

Choosing the red or green light is not enough to guarantee you success during the hunt, there are other vital factors:

Sharp vision?

Hogs can see up to 100 yards and even though your light will be invisible, they might still see you coming even though their vision isn’t great.

A sharp sense of smell

They can pick up your scent from as far as 5-7miles

The intensity of light

The hogs will pick high intensity shining right in their eyes or abrupt change in intensity

That’s where a well-trained hunting dog comes in, to help you counter their capabilities. With time, you will also get better at night hunting.

Final Thoughts

Hog hunting at night is one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever get. However, it will only be worth it if you have the right hunting light. Red and green are the best options because the hogs cannot detect them while you can clearly see them.

You have your three cone types to thank for this advantage, unlike the hogs that only have two. You can freely make the choice on which light to go for because the debate on which is better between red and green is one that may never end. In my opinion, they are just equally good.

Don’t miss our complete guide for hog hunting here.

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