Just How Good are cattle's Night Vision?


Well-Known Member
Out last night at dark o'clock knocking over some rabbits in a small cattle paddock with the air rifle, when I went in over the gate to pick the half dozen I had pinged the whole herd of about twenty got up en masse and after about four or five steps I thought &%$£! and could see I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, needless to say I got out sharpish and the rabbits were left till the following morning for the farmers dog to pick up.



Well-Known Member
Their night-vision is quite sharp. From what you describe I imagine they were stirks/bullocks or maybe young heifers. These type of cattle are generally more 'flighty' than dairy, even during daytime. When I am shooting at night where cattle are present it is best to be sensible and skirt around them and keep a fence line close by if possible. I have been in one or two unnerving situations over the years when a herd of stirks became spooked while I had crossed their field. Twenty plus bullocks thundering helter-skelter around you.....in the dark, is not a 'good place to be' ! That said, best to stay calm and still and not run, 'make yourself big' and roar/shout if it appears they are about to run into you. To run would only exacerbate the situation and encourage them, you would then be in greater danger of being 'accidentally' run down !
You did right as you describe. The farmer would not be too impressed if you had pressed-on and said cattle then went on to take out the fence in their panic. Worse still if they ran you down ! A few rabbits aren't worth that !