By David E. Petzal
It’s just been announced that the Army is giving up on its Universal Camouflage Pattern, after pissing away $5 billion on uniforms, packs, and other gear that say “Here I am. Shoot me.”* This is one further reminder that even if something says “camo,” it may not conceal anything worth a damn. Last fall I bought a one-man blind to take to Maine with me. It was so small that if I farted inside it, there was not room for both me and the fart. The blind would blow away in any kind of a breeze, and worst of all, its popular Pellagra and Redbug camo pattern stood out like the proverbial turd in the proverbial punchbowl. I positioned it on a hillside, walked uphill to where the deer would cross, took a look at the wretched thing, and realized that if I hung a neon sign above it that said “FLEE!” and sprinkled a couple of pounds of wolf s*** around it, the effect would not be much worse than it already was. Fifty pounds or so of pine branches later, it was somewhat concealed, but not much.
I think that camo is largely a human conceit. Most animals, unlike people, are not visually oriented, and could care less what color your clothes are. When people wore red and black checkered wool suits they killed plenty of animals. African professional hunters, who work in close proximity to game all the time, wear whatever they damn please, and it makes no difference. European hunters, until recently, dressed entirely in dark green, and had no trouble getting game.