The authors of the study point to heuristics and cognitive bias as the phenomena behind “mistaken for game” shootings in the study. Heuristics refers to the process by which our brain fills in missing information using prior experiences and memories. The more experienced you are, the better you become at filling in the blanks, which is why we can see game before novices can. It was an important ability for our ancestors, who did not need to see an entire saber-toothed tiger before deducing that running away was a good idea. Mix in cognitive bias – systematic errors in thinking, ie, if you expect to see something, that’s what you’re likely to see – and add some buck or turkey fever, and it’s easy to see a turkey where there is none. It’s even possible, say the authors, for your mind to filter out blaze orange if it doesn’t fit with the rest of the picture your mind forms.