What Role Does Green Light Play While Hunting Wild Pigs?|
Article - February 15, 2016 By LarsonElectronics.com
What Role Does Green Light Play While Hunting Wild Pigs?
In nocturnal hunting and fishing sectors, green light is widely used to attract animals and marine life. The beam, which consists of wavelengths measuring approximately 510 nm, offers moderate penetration during nighttime conditions. Some animals, such as wild pigs, deer and other varmints, have a difficult time detecting green light.
To understand how this works, try shining an infrared LED in the dark. Because humans are blind to infrared wavelengths, you will not be able to see any traces of the beam (no shadows, lines or color shifts). But we know the infrared bands exists; and to prove this, you could try taking a photo of the beam with an infrared camera.
Color Perception and Visual Capabilities
Contrary to popular belief, wild hogs are not color blind. The creatures only have two types of color receptors (cone cells), also known as dichromatic vision. Thanks to evolution, placental mammals, including pigs, are dichromatic. Over time, the creatures lost the ability to detect long wavelengths. By comparison, human eyes are equipped with trichromatic vision, which allows us to see over 100 different gradations of color or over 1 million different colors. On the other hand, dichromatic hogs are only able to see 10,000 different color combinations.
In a 1997 study published by the Journal of Ethology, Japanese scientists tested a wild pig’s ability to distinguish colors in the visible light spectrum. The researchers exposed the creatures to red, green, blue and gray colors with similar levels of luminosity. During the first round of tests, the animals successfully detected blue and gray, but were unable to discriminate red from gray. In the second experiment, the wild hogs were able to perceive blue and purple from gray. However, they failed in recognizing green and yellow colors. The results of the study proves that the application of green light while hunting pigs is effective.
Best Practices and Recommendations
While hunting wild hogs, green light is used to illuminate the animal before shooting. It is best practice to scan the area briefly with the light; and when focusing on the creature, to hover the beam above the animal before pulling the trigger. Avoid shining the light directly at the hog. Some hunters claim that using green or red light spooks the creatures, making this technique very controversial (more on this later).
If you’re encountering this problem, try switching between the two colors. If most hunters on the field are using red lights, switch to green and vice versa. The reason for this (even if pigs can’t see the colors of the beam) is due to the distinct shadow profiles of the light. Using a color that the creatures in the area are not used to “seeing” will keep them guessing. For hogs that spook easily, it might also be worth trying minimal brightness settings during projection. An extremely bright beam may cause other critters and bugs to react vigilantly to the light, which pigs could perceive as a sign of threat.
Green or Red Light? (Spooking)
Despite having irrefutable evidence that wide hogs are unable to see green light, many nocturnal hunters have reported spooking, when using this technique. There are numerous factors that can contribute to spooking, with most not being related to light color and brightness. Firstly, some individuals who reported spooking mentioned that the creatures react to the light, regardless of the color. In such cases, shining red, green or white light generates similar results. This suggests that the issue may not have anything to do with the actual color of the light being generated by the fixture.
Pigs have a very strong sense of smell. They are able to detect faint odors better than dogs; and because of this, some law enforcement groups rely on the animals to detect illegal substances during drug operations. This dominant characteristic asserts that the animals could easily sense hunters approach them from far distances. Pigs spend up to 75 percent of the day rooting and foraging with their nose pointed to the ground. Because hunters and wild hogs share the same ground on the field, it is likely that the animals are extremely sensitive to the presence of heavy-footed humans.
Types of Green Luminaries for Hunting
There are several types of green lights that are applicable to hunting wild hogs. The most common, and a great starting place for both beginners and veterans, are green spotlights. The tight beam, coupled with portable handheld grips, on the luminaries allow you to control the beam accurately during deployment. These features are essential, because, as mentioned earlier, you need to hover the light over the animal before committing to the shot.
Low voltage (12V/24V DC) options are useful for on-the-go power, such as car ports and portable power banks. You could also go for a rechargeable hunting spotlight if you need a hands-off solution to power. Lastly, to ensure functionality and reliability, try green hunting spotlights with IP waterproof ratings, dustproof features and shockproof capabilities.