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JamesJM's picture
Joined: 01/12/2012
Posts: 49
Changing color of deer, ALL deer..

I hunt Blacktail almost exclusively.. so I'm posting this here.. but it applies to ALL deer.

What, exactly, determines 'color'.  Some years the deer are mostly 'tan', others 'red', sometimes 'blue'.  No year are all deer identical.... I'm talking 'predominately' colored.

I have hunted my entire life but have never been able to draw a correlation to 'color' and the environement.. but there MUST be one, no?

One would assume 'camo'.  BUT... In starkly 'tan' years I've seen 'red' deer, 'blue' deer.  In green years I've seen 'tan' deer.  I simply have NOT been able to determine, based on climatic conditions, what the predominant 'hue' will be in any given year.  

I'm sure this is an easy answer.. and someone will reply "DuH.. its....."... but I haven't figured it out. - JamesJM




Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
I'm in your boat, not a clue.

I'm in your boat, not a clue. But I have never seen a blue deer?

JamesJM's picture
Joined: 01/12/2012
Posts: 49
It's a hue

It's a hue, Don. It's definitely a bluish tint... but not actually blue.  Quite different from Tan, Red, Gray, Dark Brown, the other hues.

As for time of year.  That's true, it does change, but I'm using 'deer season' only.  What is true at the beginning of the season seems to hold true throughout the season and beyond.  IOW... if the deer are a red hue in the beginning of the season they'll stay that way until winter.  

Now to really throw a kink in this:  The last couple of years I'm seeing a 'mixture' of hues.  In the past a certain 'hue' was dominant, the last couple of years I've see 'red' mixed with 'tan' and other colors as well... but even so one particular hue will be dominant.

It's just something I've noticed for years, since the 50's actually, and never understand. - JamesJM

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4365
When you are seeing the

When you are seeing the different color phases of the deer is it during different times of the year or just one time?

I have seen mule deer with their winter coats that look almost blue due to the way that the light hits them.

HOGGETTER's picture
Location: CenCal
Joined: 11/05/2009
Posts: 767
When I hunt in Aug. the deer

When I hunt in Aug. the deer are red with their summer coat, its red and long haired.
In Sept their both red'ish tan and blue'ish grey, usually the red summer coat is falling off. When i shot my CA buck on 9-16 i wiped the old red hair off my buck just before i took the pics.

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