What Colors Can Coyotes See? You May Be Surprised

by Derrick | Last Updated: March 12, 2021

Coyotes can see colors primarily in the blue/gray color spectrum.  This is different from humans who see many colors in a wide spectrum.  This is useful knowledge when people are looking to hunt coyotes, it helps to wear a color that doesn’t make you stand out based on the colors coyotes can see.

Why Should We Be Concerned With What Colors Coyotes Can See?

There are a number of reasons why we should be concerned with what colors coyotes can see.  This obviously relates to what we are doing.  For example, if we are hunting we want to wear clothing that would obscure our body from coyotes. 

Likewise if we are looking to repel coyotes we may want to display certain colors that may are on a human like figure that would make a coyote think twice about coming onto our property.

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Using the colors in a manner that plays for or against the colors coyotes naturally see can be a big advantage to humans.

Are Coyotes Color Blind?

Coyotes are not color blind, they see most colors in a grayscale and can see most shades of blue.  If a coyote was truly color blind they would see in color, but not the correct color.  Coyotes have two types of color receptors in the eyes, which humans have three types, this is what accounts for the difference in how coyotes see colors vs how humans see colors.

What Color Clothing When Hunting Coyotes and What Is the Best Coyote Hunting Clothing?

Personally I  camo that I wear for deer hunting, choosing a camo that is meant for the environment you will be in.  Obviously, avoid wearing clothing that is in the color bands that coyotes can see.  

An obvious clothing candidate you may want to avoid is blue jeans, which are a common piece of clothing, but also fit perfectly into the color spectrums coyotes can in fact see.

Remember, even though coyotes can see colors in the blue/gray color bands, other colors are not invisible to them.  They will see other colors in various shades of gray, for example, darker colors will translate into a darker gray, while lighter colors will be lighter gray colors.

Even when wearing non blue/gray colors coyotes may still see you.  Proper camouflage is still important to obscure your outline and give the appearance of a “human like” shape.  But remember more than anything coyotes really will see your movement.

Limiting movement can help you avoid being detected by a coyote, combined with proper concealment will do way more than over analyzing colors and other aspects of what colores coyotes can or cannot see.

Can Coyotes See Hunter Orange?

Hunter orange is required in many states when hunting.  Some states even require a certain percentage of your body to be covered in hunter orange or you can receive a citation.  With that said be sure to look up the laws and regulations about any hunter orange restrictions prior to starting hunting.

Coyotes cannot see hunter orange, I have been hunting deer wearing hunter orange and have had coyotes run within 15 feet of me without even noticing I was there.

If you do have concerns about solid pattern hunter orange you can often buy hunter orange camouflage, this will have orange as the primary color but have black patterns to help break up the outline.

Now that we have discussed hunting and how to help prevent coyotes from seeing you, let’s dive into what to do if we want to repel coyotes from our property.

What Colors Should We Use To Help Scare Away Coyotes?

You can use shades of blue color to scare away coyotes.  Overall though, color is a bad method to deter coyotes. The better way to deter coyotes is through the following process.  First remove any food sources that are left around your property, next ensure that any trash containers are secure and pets are closely monitored from dusk until morning at a minimum.

Lastly, you can use certain pest control lights that will produce different light colors that have shown to be moderately successful at deterring coyotes.

Can Coyotes See In The Dark?

Coyotes primarily are active from dusk until dawn, they spend most of their time active when it is dark out.  They also generally hunt more frequently when it is dark than when it is day light out.

Animals being able to see in the dark come down to a combination of factors, but there is no doubt that coyotes can see better in the dark than human because of the following factors:

The Ability To Perceive Light and Motion 

Animals depend on motion which causes a human or another animal that stands out allowing them to see it.  Light as in light on the object or lighting in the general areas also plays a huge role in an animal being able to see an object.

So if you are trying to conceal your position from a coyote you should work on limiting or concealing your motion, while also controlling the use of light as much as possible.

Field of View

Field of view is also important to how coyotes can see.  If you are moving through a wide open area it is more likely that a coyote can see you vs if you are walking through thick brush.  While thick brush may provide other challenges of sound as you move through it.  

  • depth perception
  • visual acuity
  • color vision
  • visual perspective

All of these factors will determine if a coyote can see something in the dark, with motion and field of view being some of the bigger factors.

Conclusion

Overall, colors are only one aspect of what coyotes can or cannot see.  If you are trying to scare away a coyote using the right colors can help you with that goal, while if you are trying to obscure yourself from being seen by a coyote then color selection also plays a role.  These simple tasks will ensure you are knowledgeable enough to get one over on these wiley creatures.