It’s a perfectly crisp and clear autumn morning when a white-tailed doe wanders into view beneath your deer stand. Despite a favorable wind, the doe stops dead in her tracks, staring cautiously in your direction, twitching an ear and flaring a nostril. You’re perfectly motionless. The deer stretches her neck and twists her head from side to side. After what seems like an eternity, she eventually turns her attention to the acorns scattered on the forest floor.
Why didn’t she run away? Her scrutiny supports the idea that she saw you, but instead of running for safety, she finally relaxed and started feeding.
It could’ve turned out another way, with some visual cue triggering a flight response and the deer high-tailing it in the opposite direction. With either outcome, the result may be attributed to processes of whitetail vision.