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July 17, 2012

Camouflage Follies

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.

Animals react mainly to movement and scent. They are expert readers of body language. They also see well enough to deduce that if you are wearing Kudzu and Spanish Moss camo, and there is no kudzu or Spanish moss around, you do not belong there. The only two camo patterns I’ve seen that work well in a variety of settings are Cabela’s Outfitter, and the patterns used by Sleeping Indian  and King of the Mountain.  Otherwise, I believe, it’s mostly shuck and jive.

*The apogee of “Here I am, shoot me” occurred in 1965, when we got into Vietnam in a big way. The standard Army work and combat uniform, which was called “fatigues,” was dark green, which invariably faded to the color of new leaves. In itself, it was OK, but the Army insisted on decorating the uniform like a Christmas tree. Above the right breast pocket was a black and white tape with your last name, in case you forgot who you were. Above the left breast pocket was “U.S. Army” in black and gold, so you wouldn’t think you were a Marine. On your sleeves were big gold chevrons, if you were an NCO, and on your collar, if you were an officer, were your branch insignia and rank, in gold or white metal. This was so the NVA would know who to shoot first.

On your left shoulder was your division patch in garish colors (mine was scarlet and white) and on your right shoulder was the patch of the division with which you had served in wartime. Above the U.S. Army tape were awards such as Airborne wings (white) and the Combat Infantry Badge (blue and white). In my own case I had a Drill Sergeant’s patch (green, black, and gold) on my right breast pocket. As a final touch, we had white t-shirts and brass belt buckles.

Eventually, after a suitable number of soldiers had been killed, the Army toned all this down or eliminated it altogether, but ever since, when I hear them talk about camouflage, I snicker.

“What did you shine your boots with, trainee? A Hershey bar?”

Comments (104)

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from Josh Giannino wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

scent control and controlled movements definatly bigger deal then camo for deer hunting, however coyotes,waterfowl, and turkeys relie on a good amount of seclusion.

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from Josh Giannino wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

rely*

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from tritonrider wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Great column Dave, but you KNOW you're gonna get killed on this one. It's impossible to take any animal without full "RealTek Tactical X-Treme Scentsucker" Camo. I know I see it all the time on the shows, most of the articles and all of the ads. Got to be true. I guess all those pics of deer my Grandfather took in his old plaid coat really didn't happen.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I wear camo when I can but during deer season I am required to at least wear a blaze orange vest. Generally I get a deer so that would make one wonder.

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from rock rat wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Camo looks dumb. It's like every other sport that people spend more effort dressing up and buying gear than doing.

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from dracphelan wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I agree completely with this. All good camo does is break up the human shaped outline.
BTW, trainees no longer shine their boots because the boots are suede and nylon.

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from RipperIII wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I could not agree more.
My camo now exist based upon comfort and utility.
I do however like the "predator" camo pattern regardless of it's efficacy.
I hunt from the ground more often than not, and several times have had deer with in mere feet of me, this turkey season I had a grey fox lope to with in 4 feet of me when he got a whiff of my thermacell he took off.
Movement bust more hunters than anything else.

As to your point on body language,...I whole heartedly agree.
I once climbed down from a tree stand at last light, walked out of the brush and into a field headed for my truck, as I came around a slight bend there stood a doe looking at me(I had used a doe bleat a few minutes earlier).
I said to her "good evening" and kept on walking to with in 10 yards of her, she ran off about 20 yards where upon I said "don't worry, I'm not gonna shoot ya" and she allowed me to again close the distance to about 10 yards where she again moved to her comfort zone.
we played this game of tag for about 100yds and as i exited the field she simply stood and watched.
Countless times I've walked past deer standing by watching me as I walked normally to where ever I was going, but start to tip toe, or slow your pace or crouch and they blow out immediately.
Seems like one time I read an article about a guide out west, an old timer, who always walked normally, casually toward his prey because he felt animals could perceive body language...I agree.

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from Amflyer wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Where I hunt dem dere deers, true camo would be Charolais and old tractor tires. Maybe I should try it.

As for scent modification; I guess we won't go there. Let's just say it's hard to rub old tractor tire all over your hunting coat?

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from jcarlin wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

An Indian scout I am not, so I'll wear camo. I don't remember what bass pro when asked why he kept pulling all the weed off his lures said "Becuase I've never seen a fish with grass stuck to it", but as I've never seen a tree wearing a white T-shirt, I'll mimic as best I can.

I don't need to be invisible, but it helps to be less visible. Our brains are great at keying in on things that are deemed to be threats. Ever notice how if you look into the next vehicle over there is always someone looking right back at you. Our brains key in on the shape of a face looking at us. Even if that person wasn't facing you directly when you began to turn, the shape of a face full at them caused them to turn as well. Deer are keyed into people and canines. Break up my outline please.

I agree fully with the body language aspect. In martial arts theres a concept called "appropriate speed". Essentially if I make a threatening move, you immediately prepare to defend against that move. If I make a nonchalant move, even if it happens to put me within arms reach and therefore within your comfort zone, you're less likely to oppose my infringement into your comfort zone. Poor choice on your part.

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from jcarlin wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Frankly, having lived in suburban and urban areas where in bow season you're often sharing the woods with rec users, I've found camo to be highly effective. The average dog-walker or god-forbid recreational horsewoman who sees an archer in the woods in my part of the world, even on public land open to hunting, runs to get someone and complain, and then comes back with them. I've had dogwalkers with dogs pass withing 10' of me sitting with my back to and tucked into some brush and not even draw a glance or sniff. I'm convinced that camo works and scent discipline sure helps. (Though I've never brought myself to invest in carbon suits)

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Most camo is too dark and appears as a dark blob at a distance. Cabela's Outfitter (I'm a big fan), Mossy Oak Duck Blind (not too dark), Columbia's Gallatin, and Predator Grey are all good patterns for breaking up one's outline, assuming you sit very near still. If you have to wear an orange vest and hat, most anything will do, just don't wear blue unless you want to stick out like neon.

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from Steward wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

My budget for hunting supplies is small. Last season a wore a t-shirt and blue jeans with a medium-green colored coat. I hunkered down behind fallen trees, and had deer walk right past me. I'll buy some nice camo when I can, but in the meantime, not having it is not preventing me from shooting deer.

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from Puffy wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Just great, all the high-end camo is officially out. Now what the crap am I gonna wear to walmart?

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from tsernewanda wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Definitely agree with you WA Mtnhunter. This turkey season was really cold and I had to wear my deer hunting parka in Mossy Oak Break-Up which is quite dark. Camo might not matter much when big game hunting but it does with turkeys. I was sitting stock still at the edge of a field and had 2 Toms clearly skirt me. When they left, I layed my coat againts the rock I was sitting and walked to where they had been standing. The coat looked like a black blob on anotherwise green and yellow background. I don't think this will be a major issue with deer but I'm pretty sure I'd be better hidden with something that is not necessarily camo but that has a shade that corresponds to the environment. This is the first hunting parka I bought and I did so mostly to get something warm and relatively quiet but next time I'll definitely take the shade of the camo into consideration.

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from Harold wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I believe Dave is pretty much on the money here. Except for archery hunting I wear very little camo with one exception: my face. I've found that pronghorn and other ungulates can spot a human face easily. When I crawl over hill in a stalk, the animals will often hold if I'm wearing a mask, but if barefaced they usually skedaddle. With a face mask on they still see since they see some movement, but they can't ID me and often stand and stare trying to make out what I am. This usually gives me time for a shot. I do however wear green/brown pants since I've read that ungulates can see blue. My normal deer/elk stalking attire is usually green or red plaid wool coats. Over this is my blaze orange which from what I can tell, animals have a heard time picking out.

Birds are another matter. For instance, on a clear sunlit morning we've never been able to decoy geese into our spread even though the geese started out wanting to come in. They hold up, circle out of range then go somewhere else. However on a cloudy rainy/snowy day we've had geese come in and land even though we were standing up straight 30 yards away. I truly believe that animals see the world much differently than we do.

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from jjas wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

20 years ago a friend of mine started wearing skyline camo. It was basically light gray w/tree branch type designs through it. The locals in Iowa gave him a serious ration of crap...even called him "city slicker". That went on until he started killing bigger deer than they were.

Why did it work were the "name brand" camos didn't. It was an open pattern and didn't blob. Just like the old red/black plaid coats Mr. Petzal mentioned.

When the leaves fall, I use either predator, vertigo or an older pattern called River Ghost. All are very open and it helps you get by with a bit more movement in the stand (as I can't sit still very lomg).

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from jjas wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

*where not were....

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from RipperIII wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

open patterns are more effective.
For you guys who've never hunted in the deep south, the hunting here is thick and green for most of the season, and yet a deer which is primarily a solid block of gray or tan depending on the stage of the season can simply vanish in plain sight by becoming motionless...never ceases to amaze me just how often that happens.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

A camo outer garment needs to be part of a layered system that keeps you warm and dry all day. Doing jumping jacks or walking back to the truck to get warm doesn't do much for hunting success. What will work well to break up your outline on the forest floor might not work so well in open brush in the mountains or in a treestand.

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from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Camo and/or natural colors..of some sort...gotta have for waterfowl and turkey. Birds certainly see color. Otherwise, camo for big game is indeed silly.

Camo appears more of a personal ID statement for the general public rather than an effective hunting tool.

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from Steve in Virginia wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I think Dave is right -- deer will spot you because you moved at the wrong time, or because they smell you. I do like the Outfitter camo as a good, all-purpose pattern, but more often than not I end up wearing a pair of Carhart pants and whatever hunting jacket happens to be on hand, and as long as I practice basic woodsmanship skills, I seem to do ok.

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from MICHMAN wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I enjoy camouflage and it does help me to blend into various environments. I also enjoy "brushing in" stands to eliminate the human outline. Is it absolutely necessary? "No." But, I am glad that it is available.

As far as the scent tech clothing. It also "helps." But, once again there are many who take the whole concept way too far. I have witnessed "Pro-staff" members go on and on about scent technology and their "personal scent elimination procedures" that they are absolutely taking all of the fun out of hunting. More than once I have seen these experts give seminars and then walk off stage wearing more hair product or smell good then most fashion conscious ladies.

Many of these company's hire pretty ladies or a specific rock and roller to endorse their product as they hunt with a pony tail hanging half way down their back. Isn't hair suppose to be a major scent carrying agent?

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from Safado wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I don't wear cammo, I just wear green and brown and an orange hat or vest where required. I avoid blue. I have never seen an African PH wear cammo. Until recently I had never seen Jim Shockey wear cammo either (until he picked up a cammo sponsor). I'm waiting for Happy to chime in on this one.

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from RES1956 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Camo is highly overrated; the ability to be still is not.
I have killed a bunch of south Alabama longbeards in a pair of dark brown work pants and an old WWII pattern camo shirt cause that's all we had back then. I really don't think the pattern matters much to critters, unless it's moving,,,

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Dave, must confess I have found no confined area large enough for me and my flatulence. At least we are lucky our past time, or way of life depending on the hunter, does not require wearing the getups golfers seem to find necessary.

Safado, as soon as I finish a meeting do have some comments, most repetitive

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

HappyMyles: At SCI this year there was a Texas manufacturer selling blinds that were big enough and strong enough to accommodate a decent-sized goat roping. I think one of those might do.

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from Dann wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

When I hunt, I like clothes that are designed with room where it needs to be, re-enforced stiching where required and some cargo pockets for extra stuff.

As it turns out, the folks that make clothes like that for hunters, use camo cloth. Go figure! Might as well chose a pattern I like.

In my case, its Natural Gear and it makes no bit of difference to the deer. I still wear an orange vest and hat and I still shoot deer at 20 yds. Wind and movement, wind and movement. Say it!

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

There are good camo patterns and better ones. I won't buy Realtree or Mossy Oak because, as mentioned, they are too dark and too much green for the kind of goose hunting I do. I find the pattern in Mossy Oak Duck Blind is too small, too tight, and all going in too much the same direction. Might be okay for hunting in a patch of tulies (though I doubt it) but I tend to avoid those hunting environments because too hard on the dogs and often too many birds lost. I prefer Max-4. Seems to have the right mix of colors and right proportioned size in the pattern for the kind of terrain I hunt in. I have no doubt that a digital pattern in similar colors would work just as well. But that would require a special order tailor to get the quality garment I want to keep me dry and warm. And, let's face it, the digital pattern, whatever the color, is comparitively speaking butt ugly. If I go down to Walmart wearing my hunting coat (and I do all the time in the winter), I'd rather not look like I just got out of a paintball fight.

Incidentally, staying still is much over-rated for goose hunting. Remember, the geese are moving very rapidly through the air. Movement on the ground that is smooth and even will not be very noticable to them because everything on the ground appears to be moving from their perspective anyway. Because the geese are flying smoothly (and boy they are smooth in flight!) the moving perspective on the ground also appears smooth to them. So if you jerk your head up, they'll see it, but if you lift or turn it slowly, they likely won't notice. I have been out setting up deeks only to turn and see an early bunch coming in for a look. Kept hunkered over, strode smoothly to cover, and most of the time they still float right in. The geese also don't seem to notice my black labs as long as they're not wearing shiny choke collars (just one of many reasons I hate those damn things) or an ID tag flopping from it. My dogs all have ID tags riveted flat to their collars. I highly recommend it to everyone. Buy them at the big name pet store chains and info is imprinted right there. Or there's several online places that carry them. Anyway, I've had geese circle and come back in when the dogs are retrieving ones I knocked down. For whatever reason I don't know, the geese just don't seem to be spooky of those big dark dogs. Now, my little black and bright white Brittany, she's another matter. Have to keep her well stashed and covered (and she doesn't like it either!). The geese also frequently spot my large class ring if I don't keep it down and out of sight. And for years I was cheated simply by a shiny large zipper handle on my old OD green hunting coat. Finally took care of that with some electricians tape. Eyeglasses have been the bane of hunters probably since they were invented. If you have to wear them (and I can't wear contacts), just remember to keep your head pointed down and look upwards through the tops of the lenses. Sunlight will reflect downward off the lenses and not back at the birds. Can't tell you how many turkey hunting dudes I have seen on TV who have blown that rule! I have never used face paint or those face screen thingys and I do fine. I'm sure if I was turkey hunting it would be a different story. The gobblers are often moving but very slowly and hesitating all the time to look around while their environmental perspective is fixed. Any movement is bound to be much more observable to them.

I really can't understand why it would be necessary to wear camo in a ground blind (but everyone on TV does!) or even in a tree stand. Same thing with goose hunters who shoot out of a layout blind. What difference would it make if they were wearing an Elvis costume in those fabric sardine cans? None! Gad, they already shot their wad buying the $$$$ camo layout blinds, what's the point blowing a whole bunch more money on fancy camo coats, pants, AND BOOTS. Pfffffft!

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Uh Dave; I don;t know and am guessing and may be I have read too many Tom Clancy novels but I am thinking the recent Army camo patterns are probably not to confuse people, it is to confuse sophisticated searching software that latches on to an image that can be enhanced to be a face or a body part and automatically count the number of good guys in a single area. ,And you know what that brings? Steel rain. If they are giving up, there is probably a reason. C'mon Even your phone camera can pick out images and set the right focus to get you a perfect picture. Imagine what some smart scientist types who really wanted to use that tool could do.

As for deer; Anything to break up the pattern about the same color as the background has worked for me. I never saw anything in a forest that was the same color or texture through out either. Pants or coat BLAZING SOLID ORANGE has to stand out for the same reason as the wrong camo. A giant odd shaped (moving and smelly) rock or stump that wasn't there yesterday and has no moss or growth on it has got to stand out. It just doesn't belong.

Now if I could just get in the habit of always approaching down wind.....

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Recently, a friend retired after 40 years as a predator control officer, during that time he tried all kinds of camo and did not find them to give him any special advantage. His suggestions did include sit still with good background; walk slowly and never sillouette; stay warm so you do not get antsy or shake; wear flat colored rough wool clothing which does not reflect light as much as polyester materials.

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from Gtbigsky wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I dont buy into cammo having to exactly match your surroundings. I think putting your stands so you wont get skylined and stalking below ridge lines in open county is a proven recipe for success. The most important thing is SCENT CONTROL and HUNTING THE WIND

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from RJ Arena wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I could never understand the extent someone would go to with camo and then put on the mandatory orange vest. I wear green wool in the cold season because that is what I have had for years, and I don't buy into that scent block cr@p stuff either, if you are upwind of your prey all the charcoal in the world will not hide Human stink.

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from troll53 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Have been using camoblaze for the last 20+ years. As long as I sit perfectly still, deer and turkey walk right by me like I wasn't even there.

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from PbHead wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I got here late today and you guys pretty much covered it but here are my observations;
I find the hero and trophy photos of the last generation of hunters displayed at Cabela's, Bass Pro, etc amusing because none of the hunters are wearing camo. They appear to be wearing their old work clothes.
Wool works.
I can't believe this topic went this far and no one mentioned a ghillie suit. They work.
If you think all camo is a waste, you need to hunt more waterfowl and turkeys.

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from larson014 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

i agree with ripperIII, if you saw a lion casually walking you would probably be less scared of it than if it was in a crouched stalking phase...

what i wish was for more non camo hunting clothes to become available, cause i think there is a market for them

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from davycrockettfv wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

As previously mentioned, I wear camo in large part to stay hidden from the general public (and yes, when I go to Wal-Mart). I've never had camo successfully hide me from an animal (spot and stalk method), but I've been successful in regular clothes by playing the wind, moving slow, and keeping my outline as broken up as possible. I buy the cheap stuff at Wal-mart because it's durable enough, and I won't cry if/when I tear a hole in it.

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from Longhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

For years I have hunted with a Filson gray and black check wool coat. The deer would walk right by me if I stood still which I believe is the point. No matter what you wear camo or not it's your ability to sit still which makes the difference if your seen or not. I don't think that most herbivores eyes are designed for seeing in minute detail however, they are perfectly designed to see movement. Birds can see color and their vision is more acute so I think camo is more useful when it comes to waterfowl and turkey hunting.

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

most of the camo patterns we see, even those for hunting, seem to be designed to fool human eyes at close range.

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from Hornd wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Some of the advancements are legit some are fruitless. In my Things like LED flashlights, Gore-tex, and Therma-cells are legit. The $1X10^6 question is discerning which ones.
Some outdoorsmen live thru their gear instead of getting out. I tye flies to fire myself up for fishing or shoot clays in anticipate of dove season. On the other hand is my father who fights his equipment more than he does fish. There is good affordable long lasting gear out there, but you have to search it out. This same topic came up in Flytalk months ago about high $ fly rods, and are they necessary.

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from Hornd wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Never buy a junk knife, boots (waders), tent or spinning reel. The rest you can most likely be mitigated.

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from Longbeard wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Drill Sgt. Petzal - so much explained with 3 little words! LOL

My 2 cents: Camo works for birds and can help a bit with big game, but breaking up your silhouette is more important, while being still is MOST important. Always wear a face mask. Don't look game in the eye. Scent control works and every little bit helps, including carbon suits - I have personally experienced it too many times to ignore it.

But how the Big Green could make such a HUGE mistake and take so long to fix it is yet another tragedy in the long history of military screw-ups that cost soldiers' lives.

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Who's been feeding brother Dave the gunpowder.

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

to "Happy Myles".
You have a very smart hunter for a friend.

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

By the way, Dave.
Camo is like a fishing lure.
It dosen't have to fool the deer, nor the fish, just the man buying it.

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Jasper Maskelyne and the "magic gang" performed some amazing feats of "camouflage" and optical illusion against Rommel's forces in the North African campaign of WW2, including "moving" Alexandria and hiding the Suez Canal during a night bombing raid by the Luftwaffe. They were also credited with creating dummy tanks, fake tank tracks, fake field guns, etc. that fooled the Germans into overestimating British numbers, or into incorrectly guessing the direction of British attacks. Those feats of trickery were possible in the days before GPS, target designators, thermal imagers, high resolution radar, spy cameras, etc. when enemy pilots and scouts relied only on their eyes or on early cameras that did not have today's resolution.

I think the same applies for individual camo in modern warfare. With flying drones, thermal imagers, sound and motion detectors, it's impossible to hide. Even against enemies that do not have these advanced tools and rely only on their eyes, as many have already mentioned, all those lovely camo patterns that look so convincing up close blend together and become dark blobs from afar. A distant human, especially when moving, looks the same, whether wearing camo or not. In the desert, camouflage won't eliminate your shadows, you still need to dig a hole, hunker down and stay still.

I think the fact that the armies of the major powers each have their own preferred color, pattern, shade, etc. of "universal" camouflage means camouflage is mostly just whim. If Germans think their camouflage works, and Koreans think their camouflage works, and the two are completely different, then it's possible one works and the other doesn't, or neither works.

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from jgrmn@hotmail.com wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

On target article Dave,finally someone points out the obvious. Some years ago on a guided Western hunt with a big time Outfitter, I noticed that us paying hunters all wore camo while the guides [who really knew their stuff] just wore jeans,flannel shirts and cowboy hats. They found game every day. After that I realized my old checkered black/red or green wool jackets etc. were fine for hunting big game.

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from berkmach wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I bought a camo shell jacket years ago and have always felt a little silly about it. A pile of elk, a truckload of antelope and a carload of deer later, I can say that if you want to shoot game, pay attention to the wind. With a little stealth and the wind in your FACE, you can nearly get a halter on an elk. same w/ mule deer, not so much for whitetails or antelope. Your clothes don't matter. Your stalking skills do. The wind is an absolute, it is the deal breaker or maker. Once you get this down pat, you will start seeing success. The whole camo industry is still a good thing, it promotes and supports our hobby along with all the stuff we "need" at Cabela's and the other retailers.

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from Paul Wilke wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Gillie suits, I put one together about 3 years ago for Halloween. Sitting in plain sight, holding a bunch of flowers, in twilight I seemed to be completely invisible. Scared the #$@& out of a lot of kids and parents just by saying hello. Had a great time!
Later standing in waist high brush I phoned a neighbor, in line of sight and asked him to look out the window and see if he could see me. No luck until I moved.
Movement is the tell.

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from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I like to wear a ronald mcdonald suit when hunting. The shoes are a bit hard to drag deer in as they are 2 feet long, but I hunt brushed in so I cant tell weather the deer like my clown outfit or are scared by it. On a slightly more serious note, we gun hunt in oklahoma annually and a crazy buddy of mine wants to hunt necked, just boots, orange vest and hat. He wants a pic of it from the backside. He and I have found the same thing, if they scent you, its over, if they see you sitting still they look at us, but dont usually bolt if we arent standing up.

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from tom warner wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Yes, King of the Mountain camo pattern is probably the best, although a couple of the open Raven Wear patterns are pretty good also. Way back in the early 50's I began wearing surplus military camo for deer hunting long before anyone else was, and I did think that it seemed to make quite a difference in my ability to get up on feeding or bedded animals while sneak hunting. Little did I imagine then that even toilet paper would someday be made in camo. Anyway, camo will never substitute for brains.

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from focusfront wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Happy Myles and some others gave what seems like the right advice. Movement nails you.

You can't hide from whitetail deer; they know you are there. What you don't want them to know is that you are a human. Only when they figure out that I am not a pile of rubbish off the back of some redneck's pickup truck do they run off.

That may be where camo comes in. Anything that makes you look like anything other than a man makes the deer less wary.

I used camo for years. But I set mine down one day, and now I can't find it.

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from focusfront wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

As to human camo, I don't know. There are so many different types of terrain that it would be hard to believe any one camo pattern would work for all of them. Our senses generally stink compared to animals', but our color vision works just fine. We can distinguish something like twelve million colors. So it isn't enough that the pattern is right; the color has to be, too. Unless the military plans on giving the troops a wardrobe, the best we'll probably be able to come up with is something that doesn't stand out too much. And in a world of greens and browns, gray camo stands out.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Just don't buy camo gloves, binoculars, rangefinders, or GPS units. If you set them down or drop them, they are tough to find. Fooling the human eye is not too hard. Tricked you into buying it didn't they?

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from Zermoid wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

There's no such thing as "Universal Camo".
What hides you nicely in the fall stands out like a sore thumb when there's snow on the ground!

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from ishawooa wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Many of us understand the problems associated with utilizing camo in the vast reaches of the west when hunting. Usually from a distance you resemble a green, gray, or brown blob due to the small patterns of coloration. The brands Petzal mentioned most likely are the best choices as well as Carhardt's brown as long as someone does not mistake you for a cow elk wearing an orange vest.
I once asked a local outfitter which camo pattern he prefered. He answered with a grin that he used different patterns for each article of clothing simultaneously so he would somewhat blend in where ever he was hunting.
My dad was in the 37th Buckeye division in WW II. The insignia on his shoulder very closely resembled a "rising sun". The boys in that division mostly removed the patch shortly after the first landfall which was occupation of Guadalcanal after some friendly fire took out a few guys.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Many African countries still do not allow hunters the use of camo. Apparently it is reserved for use by the army, and "the other side". This regulation is becoming more relaxed in some areas. In fact, some South African PH's wear a camo shirt like a badge of office, sort of like the battered, double brimmed hat and safari jacket in olden days Nairobi.
Some Americans (not Europeans) bring camo along these days A few years ago. toward the end of a lengthy safari we decided to conduct a camo experiment. We had some camp help walk out 200 yards or so with various apparel, different varieties of camo, plain clothes of a few different colors, and so forth. Camo that did not coordinate with the background stood out where as plain clothes of pure cotton or any wool types hard, soft, or coarse finish worked quite well (we had no reds or oranges). The most obvious contrast was anything polyester, camo or otherwise which shined like bright sun on a tin roof. Anything of pure cotton or wool did not.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

One thing that I notice is that most good hunting clothing is made from camo pattern material with the possible exception of Filson and a few other wool clothiers. Wool trousers may be the most common exception.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I have nothing against camo as long as the wearer does not believe it makes him invisible and not subject to common sense rules of stalking.

In hot climates I use pure Egyptian cotton in warm climates; hard wool finish in cooler climates; in cold climates rough wool finish. The colors vary from tan, brown, sage, or green, depending on area and background.

Have many comrades who swear by camo and are just as successful as I without. I am not a turkey hunter so have no experience there where I understand it is required or you are drummed out of the corp..

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from Nyflyangler wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I used to kid my family members about the standard RA attire. Nothing clues the Brits in faster that someone going to seriously ruin their day than a bunch of guys in camo and ski masks.

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from GPBound wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

David E...O ye of (fill in the blank here). There it is again...the 'goat' reference. Henceforth you shall be known as "The GNU nuts" ...just a thought ;)

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from AlaskaBob wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

A couple of you folks hit it on the head. Predator original green and grey are the ticket open pattern depth of color and those ugly black lightning bolts do the job in any wooded situation. I even mix the green and the grey. I challenged a friend to come find me in a wood patch back in PA some years ago and he was less than 15 years away before he saw my boot sole. In my opinion it's the best camo you'll never see and it makes a big difference.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I should add have had good success using white knee length coats made of net while working across snow fields sheep hunting in Central Asia and Canada. Also, WAM's comment on Filsons reminds me their gray, wool trousers in both hard and coarse wool material have worked well for me in cold snowy weather.

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Pretty much agree with everything DP said. I own more camo now than I ever did before, but only because there is so much of it around now that you can always find anything you're looking for dirt-cheap on clearance. Fact is though that I don't think I was ever at any disadvantage hunting any kind of mammal back when I was wearing checkered shirts. As far as that goes, on a couple of occasions I've had deer stare straight at me from a distance of about 10 feet on an open sendero while I was wearing florescent orange, only to eventually drop their heads and feed slowly out of sight. I was frozen at the time and avoiding eye contact. Had I moved they might have trampled me to death.
Turkeys are a different matter. I don't think there is such a thing as being too camouflaged turkey hunting. For me, that means picking out the right pattern camo and even using a ghillie top.
The civilian equivalent of DP's army follies are the camo caps that include a big company emblem on the front, usually with a blob of white. You might as well be wearing a moving neon sign.
Some one else mentioned scent control. As far as I'm concerned the only scent control is keeping the wind in your face. I don't care if you take a bath in pure essence of skunk. Any deer that gets a whiff of you is simply going to think to himself, "I think I smell a hint of skunk on that reeking human." I simply do not buy those commercial coverups; literally or figuratively.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Happy Myles,

Now snow is another matter altogether. Only a snow pattern or solid coverup will help in snow. In the open country of WA, MT, and Colorado snow camo is paramount, at least for a parka unless you want to sit still in a brush pile. All other camo sticks out like a sore thumb in snowy conditions. I still have a pair of old Woolrich herringbone charcoal pants that are great for cold weather hunting. Most of the mil-surplus stuff is generally too short legged for me.

Cheers

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from nehunter92 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Whether or not you can use camo to effectivley conceal yourself depends on the type of prey, time of year, extra natural cover, and your own mental discipline. With deer, evrything depnds upon your movement (or lack thereof). I recall now an incident that happened to me while I was scouting for tureys near the foot of the white mountains last spring. I had gone out early to listen for gobblers in order to better know their roosting areas. I wen to the back side of the small mountain that our hunting camp is situated upon and sat down against a tree with some scrub and dead grass in front of me. Though I was wearing a camo raincoat and boots, my pants were simple blue jeans. After about 30 minutes I heard a rustle behind me. I turned my head slowly and there was a medium size doe staring right at me. It proceeded to browse along the ground for awhile and after about 15 minutes, her head came up, looked right at me, gave a snort, and trotted off. I thought that that was the end of that encounter, but 3 minutes later she came back...with a friend. Both does were browsing the area all around me, walking in circles, and would occasionaly run off only to reappear minutes later. This went on for nearly two hours, until they eventually took off for good. What to make of this? I have had this happen to several in season deer as well, who survived through the merit of presenting bad shot angles, or being female. I am convinced these deer do actually see me, but because I refrain from all movement, they assume that I am nothing more than a scrub pile. How they are not scenting me is anyone's guess, maybe I'm just lucky with the wind. I have also had similar results with several turkeys as well, both in and out of season. The key is not to move. If you can stick with that, than I beleive that it does not matter if the critters see you or not, just WHAT they see you as. I also beleive that 80% of concealment has to do witn utuilizing the sorounding cover as opposed to your particular camo pattern. I hunt on the ground, and always make sure to use a nearby bush or low hanging branch to hide in. That being said, I do cover myself head to toe in camo with whatever I hunt, and when sitting still waiting for deer i do not wear my orange vest (but I do have it on the ground next to me In case I see another hunter, and always wear it while on the move), and I always cover my face. As a result of this, all of my encounters with deer have been close. I'm talking no more than 35 yards away. During one turkey season I was even within touching distance at one point. I took my first deer last season from 30 yards in the middle of regular firarms season, when the pressure is heavy. It nearly crashed into me as it ran after I placed the shot, and I actually felt it as it brushed my leg.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

WAM, as you know, I hunted big game in Montana, Idaho, and Canada almost exclusively in snow conditions - I'm primarily a tracker. I never wore any snow camo and did fine without it. However, the flame-orange crap that was required found its way into the bottom of my daypack as soon as I was away from the valley floors and up into the mountains. Mind you, I always wore a red jacket and cap. I was always convinced that shedding the orange was the key to my success (over sixty deer, thirteen elk, and six moose).

Some of the thinking behind the mandatory hunter-orange requirements was that it is easier for recovery missions to find a hunter's body if it's glowing in the dark. My thoughts on that is if (or when?) I do expire out there, I'd rather they didn't find me. I share my wife/son's grave marker and the Undertaker can throw me behind it if I die in bed, but if I die in the bush I'd rather my remains stay there. If they do find me, I may not be wearing camo. But I sure as hell will not be wearing that orange crap!

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from Robert Bishop wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I read most of these comments and their like rearends every has one if noty their hurting.As for camo if you try to match the back ground,and hide your outline,watch the wind and not fart or smell like a horse one might get ashot at a deer,if you could hit one.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

OHH, We'll just scoop up a bear turd and ship it home.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Dave,
You nailed it; Movement and scent, especially movement.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

As a side note when I was drafted in early '71 the fatigues we were issued were solid olive drab and starched, severely. I learned to love "breaking starch" in the morning. In the pine trees of North Carolina a training squad of us stood out no more then any of this fancy stuff.

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from WaltfromPhilly wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Camo is less of a scam than scent control clothing!!

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I know a hunter who wears a camo watchband on his wristwatch. Can't be too careful.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Not a surprize, but really, other then actual combat how does one "test" camo for combat other then thru COMBAT?

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I want to add my 2 cents to the scent wars. Yet again

What do humans smell like to deer? Unless they are urbanized deer, I am a think'en we smell like: Morning coffee, the cigar at the poker table last night, beer you spilled on your coat celebrating your pals deer, gasoline we pumped this AM at the 7-11, that diesel tractor of farmer Brown, Tide, bacon grease, camp fire smoke, urine and a hundred other man made and natural scents.

I keep my hunting and street clothes separate, at home or in camp; NEVER COOK or start or be around a camp fire in them, change immediately, wash them in scentless detergent ALONE twice, don't eat spicy foods when I hunt. Avoid coffee.

Now I am not anywhere as good as much of the guys on this blog when it comes to hunting (maybe a tad over average and that is not saying much); But I have had deer on well hunted public land, in the in rifle season when they should be running for their lives, walk to with in physical striking distance of me and I am sitting on a trail almost in the open, notice me and they never panic just stroll away. An 8 point a few years ago walked up right behind me and almost knocked me over, until I knocked him over.

So my question to the group is WHAT HUMAN SCENT GIVES US AWAY? The natural or the manmade? My theory is the manmade. Sweat and urine are natural scents. Cigarettes and coffee not so much.

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I agree with most that it is all about movement. If you are very still you can wear just about anything you want. Then again I also have to admit I see more animals in the woods when I cover all of my bare skin.

I never really wore any camo at all until I started turkey hunting and now I never sit in a treestand without a camo facemask on. It seems to make a difference, and if nothing else it keeps me warmer.

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from Safado wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

For years my hunting clothes have been green wool pants and a green army surplus jacket over a down vest. I don't own cameo or scent control products. I've never needed it. But I also down hunt turkey. Stay still and downwind.

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from focusfront wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

RockySquirrel:

I got a moistness in my eye reading your list of deer camp smells. Been too long.

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from sarg wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Last year I bought a new Cammo phone pouch. when I got home I had lost my phone, after tracing my exact path several times still could not find it. wish I could remember the exact pattern. By the way , a freind found my phone while mowing hay, grasses had changed color.

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from sarg wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I noticed the archer on the cover of the August "FIELD and STREAM" magazine is wearing three different cammo patterns .... What's up Dave?

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from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I was going to start selling my ronald mcdonald line of hunting apparel if someone showed interest here but no one has come to thier senses yet :)

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from mcrumrine wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I switched from my old red/black checkerd wool to camo recently simply for comfort. Wool that was just right in WA is way too hot to hunt in TX. That being said I'm also cheap so I get the Cabela's silent weave as it it quiet enough to still hunt in and cheap enough when I rip it (haven't yet in 3 years) I won't be upset. MAX-1 is my pattern of choice simply because I think it looks like the cedar, mesquite, and grass where I hunt. I don't know if the deer think it lookws like that or not, as long as I keep getting them in my sights I don't care.

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from hutter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Dosn't matter my wife always finds me!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

ejpaul1

There are several potential customers on this site. Keep plugging it!

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from joejv4 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I started out hunting in red/black plaid wool jacket with old blue jeans - I don't think I had seen even camo beyond the army's "woodland" pattern, only available at surplus stores. I got a buck every year and a couple doe when I managed to get a permit for one.

A few years later, blaze orange made its debut, and became popular in my neck of the woods because a lot of knuckleheads from big cities were in the woods shooting at sounds and movement. Blaze orange gave you better odds of not being shot at.

I got away from hunting for almost 25 years, too busy with kids and work and other commitments. A few years ago, My brother-in-law decided to get me back into hunting. I had no hunting clothes, and no hunting boots.

I went with camo mostly because that's what is available in stores for hunting clothes, but also for a reason that nobody has mentioned yet... because they don't show all the dirt and grime that you always get on you in the woods> I can sit on a rotten stump with out looking like I crapped my pants, can walk through burdocks and the only change is I now look a little fuzzier, can basically get filthy-dirty, and with camo, you just look like you're wearing camo. I can't count the number of pairs of levis I ruined with stains, ot how hard it was to get all the crud out of my wool hunting coat back when I started out hunting. With camo, anything I get on them blends right in.

Four years of hunting in camo, and the only deer I've taken was with my truck on my way to work one Monday morning after an unsuccessful weekend of hunting in my camo. According to a co-worker who drove by as I dragged that deer out (had the sheriff euthanize and tag it for me when they did the accident report, I looked pretty funny field dressing a deer in office clothes!!!!

So right now, I'm definitely not sold on camo for deer hunting. Birds (goose, duck & turkey), on the other hand, I have seen the difference in the other direction. camo has actually improved my bag.

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from shane256 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I can't remember the number of deer my family and I have gotten while wearing blue jeans and a sweatshirt or flannel shirt.

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from Carl Huber wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I have only one Camo story. I worked for NY Tel.. Due to an ice storm upstate; we sent relief troops. One of our workers of color was sent on a rural trouble. He arrived, rang the bell, no answer. So he put up his ladder to get direction on his trouble. Mind you this is just when Militias were all the news. Up on his ladder. Out of the brush comes 5 armed guys in Camo. DID YOU SEE US was the question. I rang the bell and no one answered as his nervous reply. NO NO we are Turkey hunters and we just want to know how good our hide was. LOL

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

ejpaul1; Ronald McDonald you say? Got a vest in the BOZO the clown line?

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

For still hunting I don't think the blaze orange crap is going to make much difference ... if you stay still. Everyone seems to concur. But for tracking that stuff is the kiss of death. Hmmmm. That didn't come out quite the way I meant it! I mean it's going to kill your efforts. Back in the days before wolves, the elk in my Montana stomping grounds would almost always stand and look if they heard me coming ... unless I was a glowing flame walking through the brush. No question what that is! Often this was the case even after I'd kicked them up once. Their sociability was also their vulnerability. The key was of course not to give them scent and try to be as quiet as possible when tracking. A little noise was not critical. But when I moved to Canada I couldn't believe how hard it was to use the same tactics on the moose here. If they heard ANYTHING on their track, they were off to the next county. No stop and look or even stop to eat. They'd snack on the run. What could possibly be the difference? Well, out here there are wolves and quite a few of them. Moose are also solitary animals. So if they heard something it was likely ALWAYS in their best interest to get the heck out of there ASAP. So out here being quiet AND wearing non-luminous colors are all important. Movement is not so critical because moose just don't see that well. I understand that since the proliferation of wolves the elk out West have gotten like that now. The ones that haven't been eaten don't hang around to wait and see what's coming.

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from blackjac wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

I've bear/moose hunted a half dozen times out of country. Our outfitter has a dedicated following from Europe, Germany to be specific. There is usually 6-8 hunters at each hunt, last moose hunt included 4 from the USA and three from different parts of Germany. I took note and recalled from other hunts, ALL the Europeans wore dark green, very close to the green wool hunting clothing sold by Filston, which I also wear. I came away with the impression green wool was the standard dress they either preferred or was the norm. Getting a hunting permit in Germany can take years based on the government requirements....you earn it!, unlike the USA (thank God). I'm still wearing gov't surplus green/black/tan camo.in moderate weather for 50 years and no-never while shopping!! As with many posts above, sit still, move only your eyes and only your trigger finger.
Wearing the red vest is required when walking to your post in Canada. It can be removed when you're on post and worn again when leaving the "bush".
Great discussions-in my opinion, most USA camo are market driven.

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from country road wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

I think it's a shame that Predator camo isn't easier to find, and my favorite pattern for turkey hunting was the old Trebark which is no longer available. Mossy Oak's Forest Floor was great for pants while sitting on the ground for gobblers as it blends right in with the leaves and ground litter, but they quit making it, too, probably because everybody wants tree stand camo. Oh, well---

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Blackjack, what you quoted is NOT the regulation across Canada. Not sure where you were hunting but hope it wasn't Ontario Here you cannot legally remove your glo-orange clothing at any time when your in the bush during rifle hunting season. No matter if you're hunting birds or big game. I'm not sure, but I think hunters MAY remove the orange once they are in the tree stand. Seems to me I remember seeing a local show and that was the case. I don't hunt out of trees and few folks around here do except for baiting bears.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

'country road'

Predator Fall Gray is a great pattern for breaking up one's outline for big game hunting, but not for waterfowl around here. Wish I could find a waterproof parka in that pattern since my jacket is not waterproof.

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from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Hi...

I'm not a turkey hunter, but when I hunt ducks, I want to blend in with my surroundings...and stay still...!!

When I'm otherwise afield, no camo for me...I WANT to be seen...by the other hunters...!!

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from rcmich wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

I find wearing a face mask/headnet and avoiding direct eye contact to be more effective than the camo I am wearing. Deer will scan an area and look right past you if you cover your face and don't look-em-in-the-eye.

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from blackjac wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Ontario Honker-I stand corrected! yes, we were bear hunting in Ontario. As mentioned we were told to wear the red vest until you reached your post, then you could remove it and upon leaving wear it out of the bush. Most every post was a "tree stand", basically a 2' x 3' platform, 12' above ground and approx. 25 yards from the bait pile. I refused the stand, it looked unsafe to me and no way was I going to stand there upright for five hours at my age plus there was safety harness to boot. We went to another area that had a ground blind and a seat-great-bait was 50 yards away, slightly uphill. I had some camo netting in my pack to further complete the "blind". After setting up, I removed the vest and hung it above me on on a overhanging tree branch. In conclusion, you're correct, I should have worn it at all times. After a two hour wait a big black bear came to the bait-one shot and he was history. Candidly speaking, I'm under impressed with hunting over bait but the bush is so thick its the only way to bear hunt that area. The guide instructed all of us to remain on stand until dark at which time they will come to your stand and lead you out of the bush. They all said NOT to leave your stand if the shot bear runs into the bush. After checking out the bear, wearing my vest, I walked out to the road being I had a few more hours of daylight. At full dark they picked me up and they went in to get the bear.

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Just to follow RockySquirrel's lead back into the "scent wars," I'm not sure if there is any scientific explanation for why deer (or any other game animal) would instinctually flee from human scent, but I would suspect it is a combination of biology and learned behavior. Learned behavior isn't worth spending much time on, since it's just a Pavlovian response to particular scents associated with unpleasant (from the animal's stand point) actions. But biology goes straight to human beings' roles as carnivores.
Vegetarians may not like it, but humans are predators. Ishi, the Yahi Indian befriended by Pope & Young, would never eat meat or fish before a hunt. I don't know whether that helped him or not, but it makes some sense, if you consider that carnivores carry a distinctive scent based on diet. Deer in rural and even suburban environments smell gasoline and smoke and diesel fumes and God knows what other environmental substances all the time and play little attention to it, but they still run off if they smell a human close by.
Smoking may be bad for a lot of other reasons and the moving smoke or a moving hand with a cigar or cigarette in it could give you away, but I doubt that the smell of tobacco alarms them very much. At least I've never seen much evidence of it. But let them get a whiff of you in their bedrooms and you get a wheeze and a crashing departure. I think they just recognize "predator." I also think that's the reason you're dead meat when you lock eyes with a deer. Only predators have their eyes on the front of their heads, and the second you make eye contact with a prey animal the jig is up.
All that is not to say that you should avoid bathing and actually reek when you head out to hunt, but I still think the only sure scent suppressant is keeping the breeze in your face or at least to your side.

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from woodsdog wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Ok I'll get into this too. Never been in the military, however, I come from a long line who have served. I've also always been interested in military history and the like. I especially enjoy Major John Plaster's articles in the American Rifleman and his Sniper book/manual. I own a copy just for the fieldcraft and woodmanship tips. Anyway, I agree with DEP. I wear hunter orange vest and either the cabela's outfitter camo or my dad's old woolrich red and black plaid with green wool german army pants. I'm warm, and the dam deer never see you unless your fidgeting like a kid on his first date. Anyway, most of the camo crap is a bunch of hype. Just like the scent eliminating clothing. The dog experiments proof this! However, that doesn't mean I don't like the look of camo. I intrinsically like the collors and believe that if you mix and match different patterns, that works pretty darn well too. But these guys with the latest and greatest you see on the TV shows, they might as well be billboards in tree stands in my mind. It just rubs me the wrong way like I'm constantly watching a commercial or something. What happened to the good old hunting videos and shows where you just wore what was quiet and kept you warm. I do think the multicam stuff is interesting though. I guess I'm on the fence but I really don't worry about camo much.

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from bigz24bigbass wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Camo is friggin' awesome!

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from olderthandirt wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Tritonrider hit it right on the head. You just have to have the "RealTek Tactical X-Treme Scentsucker" outfit from top to bottom. Underwear too. Especially when you are going to be hunting from a blind. Cuz you know those whitetails have X-ray vision and can see right through that sucker and spot you if you are not in camo everything!

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from scottrods wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Deer can see browns anyway. It's scientifically proven they can't see Orange and Red - so we only wear trad camo as some lay over from the Military and human perception.

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from Big Bob W wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

Let me share a story from a fall turkey hunt in the Mogollon Rim county of Arizona some years ago. My "camo" consisted of a pair of Olive Drab fatigue pants with the big bellow pockets, a black mock turtleneck shirt, black (unpolished)boots (10 in. uppers) and a British Army issue khaki balmoral style bonnet with regimental badge and red hackle removed. Wearing this I managed to maneuver around a couple of Phoenix flatlanders that were blasting away at squirrels I think and get behind them and within 10 yards. While they were reloading I announced myself and as my Scots bretheren would say, the laddies pi$$ed their kilts. Good camouflage is slow, careful movement through the woods and using the three relevant senses to become max aware of what is in your area.

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from .280Man wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

I have always been a believer in camo to break up your outline. However my closest deer encounter happened on a rainy day wearing solid black rain pants and a solid green rain top. I was set up with a tree to my back watching a 3 or 4 year old buck walking towards me. As he got to 75 yards I slowly moved my brown-gloved hands over my face with fingers spread to watch. At 11 yards he stopped to look at me (wind in my face was steady). He stood there looking off and on at me and chewing cud for 10 full minutes, long enough for my arms to get tired from just covering my face. He slowly walked off and ended one of the most facinating experiences of my 20 year hunting career. I still buy and wear camo, of course.

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from FlyFish59 wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

Oh well, another one of Mr. Rumsfeld's follies comes to roost. I've no doubt that he thought it was simply not efficient and cost-effective to have different camo patterns for uniforms. What a logistical problem, to make sure that a soldier deploying into combat had an appropriate uniform for the actual theater of war. Much more efficient to have just pattern. I wonder if the Multi-Cam pattern or whatever the Army chooses to replace it will still conceal a soldier who moves around too much or puts himself on the skyline. I bet it wouldn't fool Sgt. York. I just bought my first synthetic and camouflage-patterned shotgun. I hope I don't lose it.

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from Red Salas wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

Its real simple. If you like camo use it. If you dont, then dont use it.

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from tritonrider wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Great column Dave, but you KNOW you're gonna get killed on this one. It's impossible to take any animal without full "RealTek Tactical X-Treme Scentsucker" Camo. I know I see it all the time on the shows, most of the articles and all of the ads. Got to be true. I guess all those pics of deer my Grandfather took in his old plaid coat really didn't happen.

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from RipperIII wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I could not agree more.
My camo now exist based upon comfort and utility.
I do however like the "predator" camo pattern regardless of it's efficacy.
I hunt from the ground more often than not, and several times have had deer with in mere feet of me, this turkey season I had a grey fox lope to with in 4 feet of me when he got a whiff of my thermacell he took off.
Movement bust more hunters than anything else.

As to your point on body language,...I whole heartedly agree.
I once climbed down from a tree stand at last light, walked out of the brush and into a field headed for my truck, as I came around a slight bend there stood a doe looking at me(I had used a doe bleat a few minutes earlier).
I said to her "good evening" and kept on walking to with in 10 yards of her, she ran off about 20 yards where upon I said "don't worry, I'm not gonna shoot ya" and she allowed me to again close the distance to about 10 yards where she again moved to her comfort zone.
we played this game of tag for about 100yds and as i exited the field she simply stood and watched.
Countless times I've walked past deer standing by watching me as I walked normally to where ever I was going, but start to tip toe, or slow your pace or crouch and they blow out immediately.
Seems like one time I read an article about a guide out west, an old timer, who always walked normally, casually toward his prey because he felt animals could perceive body language...I agree.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Many African countries still do not allow hunters the use of camo. Apparently it is reserved for use by the army, and "the other side". This regulation is becoming more relaxed in some areas. In fact, some South African PH's wear a camo shirt like a badge of office, sort of like the battered, double brimmed hat and safari jacket in olden days Nairobi.
Some Americans (not Europeans) bring camo along these days A few years ago. toward the end of a lengthy safari we decided to conduct a camo experiment. We had some camp help walk out 200 yards or so with various apparel, different varieties of camo, plain clothes of a few different colors, and so forth. Camo that did not coordinate with the background stood out where as plain clothes of pure cotton or any wool types hard, soft, or coarse finish worked quite well (we had no reds or oranges). The most obvious contrast was anything polyester, camo or otherwise which shined like bright sun on a tin roof. Anything of pure cotton or wool did not.

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from jcarlin wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Frankly, having lived in suburban and urban areas where in bow season you're often sharing the woods with rec users, I've found camo to be highly effective. The average dog-walker or god-forbid recreational horsewoman who sees an archer in the woods in my part of the world, even on public land open to hunting, runs to get someone and complain, and then comes back with them. I've had dogwalkers with dogs pass withing 10' of me sitting with my back to and tucked into some brush and not even draw a glance or sniff. I'm convinced that camo works and scent discipline sure helps. (Though I've never brought myself to invest in carbon suits)

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Recently, a friend retired after 40 years as a predator control officer, during that time he tried all kinds of camo and did not find them to give him any special advantage. His suggestions did include sit still with good background; walk slowly and never sillouette; stay warm so you do not get antsy or shake; wear flat colored rough wool clothing which does not reflect light as much as polyester materials.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I have nothing against camo as long as the wearer does not believe it makes him invisible and not subject to common sense rules of stalking.

In hot climates I use pure Egyptian cotton in warm climates; hard wool finish in cooler climates; in cold climates rough wool finish. The colors vary from tan, brown, sage, or green, depending on area and background.

Have many comrades who swear by camo and are just as successful as I without. I am not a turkey hunter so have no experience there where I understand it is required or you are drummed out of the corp..

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Most camo is too dark and appears as a dark blob at a distance. Cabela's Outfitter (I'm a big fan), Mossy Oak Duck Blind (not too dark), Columbia's Gallatin, and Predator Grey are all good patterns for breaking up one's outline, assuming you sit very near still. If you have to wear an orange vest and hat, most anything will do, just don't wear blue unless you want to stick out like neon.

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from Steward wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

My budget for hunting supplies is small. Last season a wore a t-shirt and blue jeans with a medium-green colored coat. I hunkered down behind fallen trees, and had deer walk right past me. I'll buy some nice camo when I can, but in the meantime, not having it is not preventing me from shooting deer.

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from Puffy wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Just great, all the high-end camo is officially out. Now what the crap am I gonna wear to walmart?

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from Amflyer wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Where I hunt dem dere deers, true camo would be Charolais and old tractor tires. Maybe I should try it.

As for scent modification; I guess we won't go there. Let's just say it's hard to rub old tractor tire all over your hunting coat?

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from Harold wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I believe Dave is pretty much on the money here. Except for archery hunting I wear very little camo with one exception: my face. I've found that pronghorn and other ungulates can spot a human face easily. When I crawl over hill in a stalk, the animals will often hold if I'm wearing a mask, but if barefaced they usually skedaddle. With a face mask on they still see since they see some movement, but they can't ID me and often stand and stare trying to make out what I am. This usually gives me time for a shot. I do however wear green/brown pants since I've read that ungulates can see blue. My normal deer/elk stalking attire is usually green or red plaid wool coats. Over this is my blaze orange which from what I can tell, animals have a heard time picking out.

Birds are another matter. For instance, on a clear sunlit morning we've never been able to decoy geese into our spread even though the geese started out wanting to come in. They hold up, circle out of range then go somewhere else. However on a cloudy rainy/snowy day we've had geese come in and land even though we were standing up straight 30 yards away. I truly believe that animals see the world much differently than we do.

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from RipperIII wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

open patterns are more effective.
For you guys who've never hunted in the deep south, the hunting here is thick and green for most of the season, and yet a deer which is primarily a solid block of gray or tan depending on the stage of the season can simply vanish in plain sight by becoming motionless...never ceases to amaze me just how often that happens.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

A camo outer garment needs to be part of a layered system that keeps you warm and dry all day. Doing jumping jacks or walking back to the truck to get warm doesn't do much for hunting success. What will work well to break up your outline on the forest floor might not work so well in open brush in the mountains or in a treestand.

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from PbHead wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I got here late today and you guys pretty much covered it but here are my observations;
I find the hero and trophy photos of the last generation of hunters displayed at Cabela's, Bass Pro, etc amusing because none of the hunters are wearing camo. They appear to be wearing their old work clothes.
Wool works.
I can't believe this topic went this far and no one mentioned a ghillie suit. They work.
If you think all camo is a waste, you need to hunt more waterfowl and turkeys.

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

By the way, Dave.
Camo is like a fishing lure.
It dosen't have to fool the deer, nor the fish, just the man buying it.

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from Paul Wilke wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Gillie suits, I put one together about 3 years ago for Halloween. Sitting in plain sight, holding a bunch of flowers, in twilight I seemed to be completely invisible. Scared the #$@& out of a lot of kids and parents just by saying hello. Had a great time!
Later standing in waist high brush I phoned a neighbor, in line of sight and asked him to look out the window and see if he could see me. No luck until I moved.
Movement is the tell.

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from focusfront wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Happy Myles and some others gave what seems like the right advice. Movement nails you.

You can't hide from whitetail deer; they know you are there. What you don't want them to know is that you are a human. Only when they figure out that I am not a pile of rubbish off the back of some redneck's pickup truck do they run off.

That may be where camo comes in. Anything that makes you look like anything other than a man makes the deer less wary.

I used camo for years. But I set mine down one day, and now I can't find it.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Just don't buy camo gloves, binoculars, rangefinders, or GPS units. If you set them down or drop them, they are tough to find. Fooling the human eye is not too hard. Tricked you into buying it didn't they?

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from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I agree with most that it is all about movement. If you are very still you can wear just about anything you want. Then again I also have to admit I see more animals in the woods when I cover all of my bare skin.

I never really wore any camo at all until I started turkey hunting and now I never sit in a treestand without a camo facemask on. It seems to make a difference, and if nothing else it keeps me warmer.

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from Carl Huber wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I have only one Camo story. I worked for NY Tel.. Due to an ice storm upstate; we sent relief troops. One of our workers of color was sent on a rural trouble. He arrived, rang the bell, no answer. So he put up his ladder to get direction on his trouble. Mind you this is just when Militias were all the news. Up on his ladder. Out of the brush comes 5 armed guys in Camo. DID YOU SEE US was the question. I rang the bell and no one answered as his nervous reply. NO NO we are Turkey hunters and we just want to know how good our hide was. LOL

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from Josh Giannino wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

scent control and controlled movements definatly bigger deal then camo for deer hunting, however coyotes,waterfowl, and turkeys relie on a good amount of seclusion.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I wear camo when I can but during deer season I am required to at least wear a blaze orange vest. Generally I get a deer so that would make one wonder.

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from rock rat wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Camo looks dumb. It's like every other sport that people spend more effort dressing up and buying gear than doing.

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from jcarlin wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

An Indian scout I am not, so I'll wear camo. I don't remember what bass pro when asked why he kept pulling all the weed off his lures said "Becuase I've never seen a fish with grass stuck to it", but as I've never seen a tree wearing a white T-shirt, I'll mimic as best I can.

I don't need to be invisible, but it helps to be less visible. Our brains are great at keying in on things that are deemed to be threats. Ever notice how if you look into the next vehicle over there is always someone looking right back at you. Our brains key in on the shape of a face looking at us. Even if that person wasn't facing you directly when you began to turn, the shape of a face full at them caused them to turn as well. Deer are keyed into people and canines. Break up my outline please.

I agree fully with the body language aspect. In martial arts theres a concept called "appropriate speed". Essentially if I make a threatening move, you immediately prepare to defend against that move. If I make a nonchalant move, even if it happens to put me within arms reach and therefore within your comfort zone, you're less likely to oppose my infringement into your comfort zone. Poor choice on your part.

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from tsernewanda wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Definitely agree with you WA Mtnhunter. This turkey season was really cold and I had to wear my deer hunting parka in Mossy Oak Break-Up which is quite dark. Camo might not matter much when big game hunting but it does with turkeys. I was sitting stock still at the edge of a field and had 2 Toms clearly skirt me. When they left, I layed my coat againts the rock I was sitting and walked to where they had been standing. The coat looked like a black blob on anotherwise green and yellow background. I don't think this will be a major issue with deer but I'm pretty sure I'd be better hidden with something that is not necessarily camo but that has a shade that corresponds to the environment. This is the first hunting parka I bought and I did so mostly to get something warm and relatively quiet but next time I'll definitely take the shade of the camo into consideration.

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from MICHMAN wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I enjoy camouflage and it does help me to blend into various environments. I also enjoy "brushing in" stands to eliminate the human outline. Is it absolutely necessary? "No." But, I am glad that it is available.

As far as the scent tech clothing. It also "helps." But, once again there are many who take the whole concept way too far. I have witnessed "Pro-staff" members go on and on about scent technology and their "personal scent elimination procedures" that they are absolutely taking all of the fun out of hunting. More than once I have seen these experts give seminars and then walk off stage wearing more hair product or smell good then most fashion conscious ladies.

Many of these company's hire pretty ladies or a specific rock and roller to endorse their product as they hunt with a pony tail hanging half way down their back. Isn't hair suppose to be a major scent carrying agent?

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from RES1956 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Camo is highly overrated; the ability to be still is not.
I have killed a bunch of south Alabama longbeards in a pair of dark brown work pants and an old WWII pattern camo shirt cause that's all we had back then. I really don't think the pattern matters much to critters, unless it's moving,,,

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

There are good camo patterns and better ones. I won't buy Realtree or Mossy Oak because, as mentioned, they are too dark and too much green for the kind of goose hunting I do. I find the pattern in Mossy Oak Duck Blind is too small, too tight, and all going in too much the same direction. Might be okay for hunting in a patch of tulies (though I doubt it) but I tend to avoid those hunting environments because too hard on the dogs and often too many birds lost. I prefer Max-4. Seems to have the right mix of colors and right proportioned size in the pattern for the kind of terrain I hunt in. I have no doubt that a digital pattern in similar colors would work just as well. But that would require a special order tailor to get the quality garment I want to keep me dry and warm. And, let's face it, the digital pattern, whatever the color, is comparitively speaking butt ugly. If I go down to Walmart wearing my hunting coat (and I do all the time in the winter), I'd rather not look like I just got out of a paintball fight.

Incidentally, staying still is much over-rated for goose hunting. Remember, the geese are moving very rapidly through the air. Movement on the ground that is smooth and even will not be very noticable to them because everything on the ground appears to be moving from their perspective anyway. Because the geese are flying smoothly (and boy they are smooth in flight!) the moving perspective on the ground also appears smooth to them. So if you jerk your head up, they'll see it, but if you lift or turn it slowly, they likely won't notice. I have been out setting up deeks only to turn and see an early bunch coming in for a look. Kept hunkered over, strode smoothly to cover, and most of the time they still float right in. The geese also don't seem to notice my black labs as long as they're not wearing shiny choke collars (just one of many reasons I hate those damn things) or an ID tag flopping from it. My dogs all have ID tags riveted flat to their collars. I highly recommend it to everyone. Buy them at the big name pet store chains and info is imprinted right there. Or there's several online places that carry them. Anyway, I've had geese circle and come back in when the dogs are retrieving ones I knocked down. For whatever reason I don't know, the geese just don't seem to be spooky of those big dark dogs. Now, my little black and bright white Brittany, she's another matter. Have to keep her well stashed and covered (and she doesn't like it either!). The geese also frequently spot my large class ring if I don't keep it down and out of sight. And for years I was cheated simply by a shiny large zipper handle on my old OD green hunting coat. Finally took care of that with some electricians tape. Eyeglasses have been the bane of hunters probably since they were invented. If you have to wear them (and I can't wear contacts), just remember to keep your head pointed down and look upwards through the tops of the lenses. Sunlight will reflect downward off the lenses and not back at the birds. Can't tell you how many turkey hunting dudes I have seen on TV who have blown that rule! I have never used face paint or those face screen thingys and I do fine. I'm sure if I was turkey hunting it would be a different story. The gobblers are often moving but very slowly and hesitating all the time to look around while their environmental perspective is fixed. Any movement is bound to be much more observable to them.

I really can't understand why it would be necessary to wear camo in a ground blind (but everyone on TV does!) or even in a tree stand. Same thing with goose hunters who shoot out of a layout blind. What difference would it make if they were wearing an Elvis costume in those fabric sardine cans? None! Gad, they already shot their wad buying the $$$$ camo layout blinds, what's the point blowing a whole bunch more money on fancy camo coats, pants, AND BOOTS. Pfffffft!

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from Longhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

For years I have hunted with a Filson gray and black check wool coat. The deer would walk right by me if I stood still which I believe is the point. No matter what you wear camo or not it's your ability to sit still which makes the difference if your seen or not. I don't think that most herbivores eyes are designed for seeing in minute detail however, they are perfectly designed to see movement. Birds can see color and their vision is more acute so I think camo is more useful when it comes to waterfowl and turkey hunting.

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

most of the camo patterns we see, even those for hunting, seem to be designed to fool human eyes at close range.

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from Hornd wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Never buy a junk knife, boots (waders), tent or spinning reel. The rest you can most likely be mitigated.

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from O Garcia wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Jasper Maskelyne and the "magic gang" performed some amazing feats of "camouflage" and optical illusion against Rommel's forces in the North African campaign of WW2, including "moving" Alexandria and hiding the Suez Canal during a night bombing raid by the Luftwaffe. They were also credited with creating dummy tanks, fake tank tracks, fake field guns, etc. that fooled the Germans into overestimating British numbers, or into incorrectly guessing the direction of British attacks. Those feats of trickery were possible in the days before GPS, target designators, thermal imagers, high resolution radar, spy cameras, etc. when enemy pilots and scouts relied only on their eyes or on early cameras that did not have today's resolution.

I think the same applies for individual camo in modern warfare. With flying drones, thermal imagers, sound and motion detectors, it's impossible to hide. Even against enemies that do not have these advanced tools and rely only on their eyes, as many have already mentioned, all those lovely camo patterns that look so convincing up close blend together and become dark blobs from afar. A distant human, especially when moving, looks the same, whether wearing camo or not. In the desert, camouflage won't eliminate your shadows, you still need to dig a hole, hunker down and stay still.

I think the fact that the armies of the major powers each have their own preferred color, pattern, shade, etc. of "universal" camouflage means camouflage is mostly just whim. If Germans think their camouflage works, and Koreans think their camouflage works, and the two are completely different, then it's possible one works and the other doesn't, or neither works.

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from berkmach wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I bought a camo shell jacket years ago and have always felt a little silly about it. A pile of elk, a truckload of antelope and a carload of deer later, I can say that if you want to shoot game, pay attention to the wind. With a little stealth and the wind in your FACE, you can nearly get a halter on an elk. same w/ mule deer, not so much for whitetails or antelope. Your clothes don't matter. Your stalking skills do. The wind is an absolute, it is the deal breaker or maker. Once you get this down pat, you will start seeing success. The whole camo industry is still a good thing, it promotes and supports our hobby along with all the stuff we "need" at Cabela's and the other retailers.

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from Zermoid wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

There's no such thing as "Universal Camo".
What hides you nicely in the fall stands out like a sore thumb when there's snow on the ground!

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from ishawooa wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Many of us understand the problems associated with utilizing camo in the vast reaches of the west when hunting. Usually from a distance you resemble a green, gray, or brown blob due to the small patterns of coloration. The brands Petzal mentioned most likely are the best choices as well as Carhardt's brown as long as someone does not mistake you for a cow elk wearing an orange vest.
I once asked a local outfitter which camo pattern he prefered. He answered with a grin that he used different patterns for each article of clothing simultaneously so he would somewhat blend in where ever he was hunting.
My dad was in the 37th Buckeye division in WW II. The insignia on his shoulder very closely resembled a "rising sun". The boys in that division mostly removed the patch shortly after the first landfall which was occupation of Guadalcanal after some friendly fire took out a few guys.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I should add have had good success using white knee length coats made of net while working across snow fields sheep hunting in Central Asia and Canada. Also, WAM's comment on Filsons reminds me their gray, wool trousers in both hard and coarse wool material have worked well for me in cold snowy weather.

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from nehunter92 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Whether or not you can use camo to effectivley conceal yourself depends on the type of prey, time of year, extra natural cover, and your own mental discipline. With deer, evrything depnds upon your movement (or lack thereof). I recall now an incident that happened to me while I was scouting for tureys near the foot of the white mountains last spring. I had gone out early to listen for gobblers in order to better know their roosting areas. I wen to the back side of the small mountain that our hunting camp is situated upon and sat down against a tree with some scrub and dead grass in front of me. Though I was wearing a camo raincoat and boots, my pants were simple blue jeans. After about 30 minutes I heard a rustle behind me. I turned my head slowly and there was a medium size doe staring right at me. It proceeded to browse along the ground for awhile and after about 15 minutes, her head came up, looked right at me, gave a snort, and trotted off. I thought that that was the end of that encounter, but 3 minutes later she came back...with a friend. Both does were browsing the area all around me, walking in circles, and would occasionaly run off only to reappear minutes later. This went on for nearly two hours, until they eventually took off for good. What to make of this? I have had this happen to several in season deer as well, who survived through the merit of presenting bad shot angles, or being female. I am convinced these deer do actually see me, but because I refrain from all movement, they assume that I am nothing more than a scrub pile. How they are not scenting me is anyone's guess, maybe I'm just lucky with the wind. I have also had similar results with several turkeys as well, both in and out of season. The key is not to move. If you can stick with that, than I beleive that it does not matter if the critters see you or not, just WHAT they see you as. I also beleive that 80% of concealment has to do witn utuilizing the sorounding cover as opposed to your particular camo pattern. I hunt on the ground, and always make sure to use a nearby bush or low hanging branch to hide in. That being said, I do cover myself head to toe in camo with whatever I hunt, and when sitting still waiting for deer i do not wear my orange vest (but I do have it on the ground next to me In case I see another hunter, and always wear it while on the move), and I always cover my face. As a result of this, all of my encounters with deer have been close. I'm talking no more than 35 yards away. During one turkey season I was even within touching distance at one point. I took my first deer last season from 30 yards in the middle of regular firarms season, when the pressure is heavy. It nearly crashed into me as it ran after I placed the shot, and I actually felt it as it brushed my leg.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

WAM, as you know, I hunted big game in Montana, Idaho, and Canada almost exclusively in snow conditions - I'm primarily a tracker. I never wore any snow camo and did fine without it. However, the flame-orange crap that was required found its way into the bottom of my daypack as soon as I was away from the valley floors and up into the mountains. Mind you, I always wore a red jacket and cap. I was always convinced that shedding the orange was the key to my success (over sixty deer, thirteen elk, and six moose).

Some of the thinking behind the mandatory hunter-orange requirements was that it is easier for recovery missions to find a hunter's body if it's glowing in the dark. My thoughts on that is if (or when?) I do expire out there, I'd rather they didn't find me. I share my wife/son's grave marker and the Undertaker can throw me behind it if I die in bed, but if I die in the bush I'd rather my remains stay there. If they do find me, I may not be wearing camo. But I sure as hell will not be wearing that orange crap!

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from Robert Bishop wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I read most of these comments and their like rearends every has one if noty their hurting.As for camo if you try to match the back ground,and hide your outline,watch the wind and not fart or smell like a horse one might get ashot at a deer,if you could hit one.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Dave,
You nailed it; Movement and scent, especially movement.

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from WaltfromPhilly wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Camo is less of a scam than scent control clothing!!

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I want to add my 2 cents to the scent wars. Yet again

What do humans smell like to deer? Unless they are urbanized deer, I am a think'en we smell like: Morning coffee, the cigar at the poker table last night, beer you spilled on your coat celebrating your pals deer, gasoline we pumped this AM at the 7-11, that diesel tractor of farmer Brown, Tide, bacon grease, camp fire smoke, urine and a hundred other man made and natural scents.

I keep my hunting and street clothes separate, at home or in camp; NEVER COOK or start or be around a camp fire in them, change immediately, wash them in scentless detergent ALONE twice, don't eat spicy foods when I hunt. Avoid coffee.

Now I am not anywhere as good as much of the guys on this blog when it comes to hunting (maybe a tad over average and that is not saying much); But I have had deer on well hunted public land, in the in rifle season when they should be running for their lives, walk to with in physical striking distance of me and I am sitting on a trail almost in the open, notice me and they never panic just stroll away. An 8 point a few years ago walked up right behind me and almost knocked me over, until I knocked him over.

So my question to the group is WHAT HUMAN SCENT GIVES US AWAY? The natural or the manmade? My theory is the manmade. Sweat and urine are natural scents. Cigarettes and coffee not so much.

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from focusfront wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

RockySquirrel:

I got a moistness in my eye reading your list of deer camp smells. Been too long.

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from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I was going to start selling my ronald mcdonald line of hunting apparel if someone showed interest here but no one has come to thier senses yet :)

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from hutter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Dosn't matter my wife always finds me!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

ejpaul1

There are several potential customers on this site. Keep plugging it!

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from joejv4 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I started out hunting in red/black plaid wool jacket with old blue jeans - I don't think I had seen even camo beyond the army's "woodland" pattern, only available at surplus stores. I got a buck every year and a couple doe when I managed to get a permit for one.

A few years later, blaze orange made its debut, and became popular in my neck of the woods because a lot of knuckleheads from big cities were in the woods shooting at sounds and movement. Blaze orange gave you better odds of not being shot at.

I got away from hunting for almost 25 years, too busy with kids and work and other commitments. A few years ago, My brother-in-law decided to get me back into hunting. I had no hunting clothes, and no hunting boots.

I went with camo mostly because that's what is available in stores for hunting clothes, but also for a reason that nobody has mentioned yet... because they don't show all the dirt and grime that you always get on you in the woods> I can sit on a rotten stump with out looking like I crapped my pants, can walk through burdocks and the only change is I now look a little fuzzier, can basically get filthy-dirty, and with camo, you just look like you're wearing camo. I can't count the number of pairs of levis I ruined with stains, ot how hard it was to get all the crud out of my wool hunting coat back when I started out hunting. With camo, anything I get on them blends right in.

Four years of hunting in camo, and the only deer I've taken was with my truck on my way to work one Monday morning after an unsuccessful weekend of hunting in my camo. According to a co-worker who drove by as I dragged that deer out (had the sheriff euthanize and tag it for me when they did the accident report, I looked pretty funny field dressing a deer in office clothes!!!!

So right now, I'm definitely not sold on camo for deer hunting. Birds (goose, duck & turkey), on the other hand, I have seen the difference in the other direction. camo has actually improved my bag.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

For still hunting I don't think the blaze orange crap is going to make much difference ... if you stay still. Everyone seems to concur. But for tracking that stuff is the kiss of death. Hmmmm. That didn't come out quite the way I meant it! I mean it's going to kill your efforts. Back in the days before wolves, the elk in my Montana stomping grounds would almost always stand and look if they heard me coming ... unless I was a glowing flame walking through the brush. No question what that is! Often this was the case even after I'd kicked them up once. Their sociability was also their vulnerability. The key was of course not to give them scent and try to be as quiet as possible when tracking. A little noise was not critical. But when I moved to Canada I couldn't believe how hard it was to use the same tactics on the moose here. If they heard ANYTHING on their track, they were off to the next county. No stop and look or even stop to eat. They'd snack on the run. What could possibly be the difference? Well, out here there are wolves and quite a few of them. Moose are also solitary animals. So if they heard something it was likely ALWAYS in their best interest to get the heck out of there ASAP. So out here being quiet AND wearing non-luminous colors are all important. Movement is not so critical because moose just don't see that well. I understand that since the proliferation of wolves the elk out West have gotten like that now. The ones that haven't been eaten don't hang around to wait and see what's coming.

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from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Hi...

I'm not a turkey hunter, but when I hunt ducks, I want to blend in with my surroundings...and stay still...!!

When I'm otherwise afield, no camo for me...I WANT to be seen...by the other hunters...!!

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from Josh Giannino wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

rely*

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from dracphelan wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I agree completely with this. All good camo does is break up the human shaped outline.
BTW, trainees no longer shine their boots because the boots are suede and nylon.

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from jjas wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

20 years ago a friend of mine started wearing skyline camo. It was basically light gray w/tree branch type designs through it. The locals in Iowa gave him a serious ration of crap...even called him "city slicker". That went on until he started killing bigger deer than they were.

Why did it work were the "name brand" camos didn't. It was an open pattern and didn't blob. Just like the old red/black plaid coats Mr. Petzal mentioned.

When the leaves fall, I use either predator, vertigo or an older pattern called River Ghost. All are very open and it helps you get by with a bit more movement in the stand (as I can't sit still very lomg).

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from jjas wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

*where not were....

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from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Camo and/or natural colors..of some sort...gotta have for waterfowl and turkey. Birds certainly see color. Otherwise, camo for big game is indeed silly.

Camo appears more of a personal ID statement for the general public rather than an effective hunting tool.

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from Steve in Virginia wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I think Dave is right -- deer will spot you because you moved at the wrong time, or because they smell you. I do like the Outfitter camo as a good, all-purpose pattern, but more often than not I end up wearing a pair of Carhart pants and whatever hunting jacket happens to be on hand, and as long as I practice basic woodsmanship skills, I seem to do ok.

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from Safado wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I don't wear cammo, I just wear green and brown and an orange hat or vest where required. I avoid blue. I have never seen an African PH wear cammo. Until recently I had never seen Jim Shockey wear cammo either (until he picked up a cammo sponsor). I'm waiting for Happy to chime in on this one.

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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Dave, must confess I have found no confined area large enough for me and my flatulence. At least we are lucky our past time, or way of life depending on the hunter, does not require wearing the getups golfers seem to find necessary.

Safado, as soon as I finish a meeting do have some comments, most repetitive

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from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

HappyMyles: At SCI this year there was a Texas manufacturer selling blinds that were big enough and strong enough to accommodate a decent-sized goat roping. I think one of those might do.

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from Dann wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

When I hunt, I like clothes that are designed with room where it needs to be, re-enforced stiching where required and some cargo pockets for extra stuff.

As it turns out, the folks that make clothes like that for hunters, use camo cloth. Go figure! Might as well chose a pattern I like.

In my case, its Natural Gear and it makes no bit of difference to the deer. I still wear an orange vest and hat and I still shoot deer at 20 yds. Wind and movement, wind and movement. Say it!

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Uh Dave; I don;t know and am guessing and may be I have read too many Tom Clancy novels but I am thinking the recent Army camo patterns are probably not to confuse people, it is to confuse sophisticated searching software that latches on to an image that can be enhanced to be a face or a body part and automatically count the number of good guys in a single area. ,And you know what that brings? Steel rain. If they are giving up, there is probably a reason. C'mon Even your phone camera can pick out images and set the right focus to get you a perfect picture. Imagine what some smart scientist types who really wanted to use that tool could do.

As for deer; Anything to break up the pattern about the same color as the background has worked for me. I never saw anything in a forest that was the same color or texture through out either. Pants or coat BLAZING SOLID ORANGE has to stand out for the same reason as the wrong camo. A giant odd shaped (moving and smelly) rock or stump that wasn't there yesterday and has no moss or growth on it has got to stand out. It just doesn't belong.

Now if I could just get in the habit of always approaching down wind.....

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from Gtbigsky wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I dont buy into cammo having to exactly match your surroundings. I think putting your stands so you wont get skylined and stalking below ridge lines in open county is a proven recipe for success. The most important thing is SCENT CONTROL and HUNTING THE WIND

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from RJ Arena wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I could never understand the extent someone would go to with camo and then put on the mandatory orange vest. I wear green wool in the cold season because that is what I have had for years, and I don't buy into that scent block cr@p stuff either, if you are upwind of your prey all the charcoal in the world will not hide Human stink.

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from troll53 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Have been using camoblaze for the last 20+ years. As long as I sit perfectly still, deer and turkey walk right by me like I wasn't even there.

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from larson014 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

i agree with ripperIII, if you saw a lion casually walking you would probably be less scared of it than if it was in a crouched stalking phase...

what i wish was for more non camo hunting clothes to become available, cause i think there is a market for them

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from davycrockettfv wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

As previously mentioned, I wear camo in large part to stay hidden from the general public (and yes, when I go to Wal-Mart). I've never had camo successfully hide me from an animal (spot and stalk method), but I've been successful in regular clothes by playing the wind, moving slow, and keeping my outline as broken up as possible. I buy the cheap stuff at Wal-mart because it's durable enough, and I won't cry if/when I tear a hole in it.

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from Hornd wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Some of the advancements are legit some are fruitless. In my Things like LED flashlights, Gore-tex, and Therma-cells are legit. The $1X10^6 question is discerning which ones.
Some outdoorsmen live thru their gear instead of getting out. I tye flies to fire myself up for fishing or shoot clays in anticipate of dove season. On the other hand is my father who fights his equipment more than he does fish. There is good affordable long lasting gear out there, but you have to search it out. This same topic came up in Flytalk months ago about high $ fly rods, and are they necessary.

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from Longbeard wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Drill Sgt. Petzal - so much explained with 3 little words! LOL

My 2 cents: Camo works for birds and can help a bit with big game, but breaking up your silhouette is more important, while being still is MOST important. Always wear a face mask. Don't look game in the eye. Scent control works and every little bit helps, including carbon suits - I have personally experienced it too many times to ignore it.

But how the Big Green could make such a HUGE mistake and take so long to fix it is yet another tragedy in the long history of military screw-ups that cost soldiers' lives.

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Who's been feeding brother Dave the gunpowder.

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from dale freeman wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

to "Happy Myles".
You have a very smart hunter for a friend.

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from jgrmn@hotmail.com wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

On target article Dave,finally someone points out the obvious. Some years ago on a guided Western hunt with a big time Outfitter, I noticed that us paying hunters all wore camo while the guides [who really knew their stuff] just wore jeans,flannel shirts and cowboy hats. They found game every day. After that I realized my old checkered black/red or green wool jackets etc. were fine for hunting big game.

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from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I like to wear a ronald mcdonald suit when hunting. The shoes are a bit hard to drag deer in as they are 2 feet long, but I hunt brushed in so I cant tell weather the deer like my clown outfit or are scared by it. On a slightly more serious note, we gun hunt in oklahoma annually and a crazy buddy of mine wants to hunt necked, just boots, orange vest and hat. He wants a pic of it from the backside. He and I have found the same thing, if they scent you, its over, if they see you sitting still they look at us, but dont usually bolt if we arent standing up.

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from tom warner wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Yes, King of the Mountain camo pattern is probably the best, although a couple of the open Raven Wear patterns are pretty good also. Way back in the early 50's I began wearing surplus military camo for deer hunting long before anyone else was, and I did think that it seemed to make quite a difference in my ability to get up on feeding or bedded animals while sneak hunting. Little did I imagine then that even toilet paper would someday be made in camo. Anyway, camo will never substitute for brains.

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from focusfront wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

As to human camo, I don't know. There are so many different types of terrain that it would be hard to believe any one camo pattern would work for all of them. Our senses generally stink compared to animals', but our color vision works just fine. We can distinguish something like twelve million colors. So it isn't enough that the pattern is right; the color has to be, too. Unless the military plans on giving the troops a wardrobe, the best we'll probably be able to come up with is something that doesn't stand out too much. And in a world of greens and browns, gray camo stands out.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

One thing that I notice is that most good hunting clothing is made from camo pattern material with the possible exception of Filson and a few other wool clothiers. Wool trousers may be the most common exception.

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from Nyflyangler wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I used to kid my family members about the standard RA attire. Nothing clues the Brits in faster that someone going to seriously ruin their day than a bunch of guys in camo and ski masks.

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from GPBound wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

David E...O ye of (fill in the blank here). There it is again...the 'goat' reference. Henceforth you shall be known as "The GNU nuts" ...just a thought ;)

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from AlaskaBob wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

A couple of you folks hit it on the head. Predator original green and grey are the ticket open pattern depth of color and those ugly black lightning bolts do the job in any wooded situation. I even mix the green and the grey. I challenged a friend to come find me in a wood patch back in PA some years ago and he was less than 15 years away before he saw my boot sole. In my opinion it's the best camo you'll never see and it makes a big difference.

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Pretty much agree with everything DP said. I own more camo now than I ever did before, but only because there is so much of it around now that you can always find anything you're looking for dirt-cheap on clearance. Fact is though that I don't think I was ever at any disadvantage hunting any kind of mammal back when I was wearing checkered shirts. As far as that goes, on a couple of occasions I've had deer stare straight at me from a distance of about 10 feet on an open sendero while I was wearing florescent orange, only to eventually drop their heads and feed slowly out of sight. I was frozen at the time and avoiding eye contact. Had I moved they might have trampled me to death.
Turkeys are a different matter. I don't think there is such a thing as being too camouflaged turkey hunting. For me, that means picking out the right pattern camo and even using a ghillie top.
The civilian equivalent of DP's army follies are the camo caps that include a big company emblem on the front, usually with a blob of white. You might as well be wearing a moving neon sign.
Some one else mentioned scent control. As far as I'm concerned the only scent control is keeping the wind in your face. I don't care if you take a bath in pure essence of skunk. Any deer that gets a whiff of you is simply going to think to himself, "I think I smell a hint of skunk on that reeking human." I simply do not buy those commercial coverups; literally or figuratively.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Happy Myles,

Now snow is another matter altogether. Only a snow pattern or solid coverup will help in snow. In the open country of WA, MT, and Colorado snow camo is paramount, at least for a parka unless you want to sit still in a brush pile. All other camo sticks out like a sore thumb in snowy conditions. I still have a pair of old Woolrich herringbone charcoal pants that are great for cold weather hunting. Most of the mil-surplus stuff is generally too short legged for me.

Cheers

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

OHH, We'll just scoop up a bear turd and ship it home.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

As a side note when I was drafted in early '71 the fatigues we were issued were solid olive drab and starched, severely. I learned to love "breaking starch" in the morning. In the pine trees of North Carolina a training squad of us stood out no more then any of this fancy stuff.

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from 99explorer wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I know a hunter who wears a camo watchband on his wristwatch. Can't be too careful.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Not a surprize, but really, other then actual combat how does one "test" camo for combat other then thru COMBAT?

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from Safado wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

For years my hunting clothes have been green wool pants and a green army surplus jacket over a down vest. I don't own cameo or scent control products. I've never needed it. But I also down hunt turkey. Stay still and downwind.

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from sarg wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

Last year I bought a new Cammo phone pouch. when I got home I had lost my phone, after tracing my exact path several times still could not find it. wish I could remember the exact pattern. By the way , a freind found my phone while mowing hay, grasses had changed color.

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from sarg wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I noticed the archer on the cover of the August "FIELD and STREAM" magazine is wearing three different cammo patterns .... What's up Dave?

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from mcrumrine wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I switched from my old red/black checkerd wool to camo recently simply for comfort. Wool that was just right in WA is way too hot to hunt in TX. That being said I'm also cheap so I get the Cabela's silent weave as it it quiet enough to still hunt in and cheap enough when I rip it (haven't yet in 3 years) I won't be upset. MAX-1 is my pattern of choice simply because I think it looks like the cedar, mesquite, and grass where I hunt. I don't know if the deer think it lookws like that or not, as long as I keep getting them in my sights I don't care.

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from shane256 wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I can't remember the number of deer my family and I have gotten while wearing blue jeans and a sweatshirt or flannel shirt.

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

ejpaul1; Ronald McDonald you say? Got a vest in the BOZO the clown line?

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from blackjac wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

I've bear/moose hunted a half dozen times out of country. Our outfitter has a dedicated following from Europe, Germany to be specific. There is usually 6-8 hunters at each hunt, last moose hunt included 4 from the USA and three from different parts of Germany. I took note and recalled from other hunts, ALL the Europeans wore dark green, very close to the green wool hunting clothing sold by Filston, which I also wear. I came away with the impression green wool was the standard dress they either preferred or was the norm. Getting a hunting permit in Germany can take years based on the government requirements....you earn it!, unlike the USA (thank God). I'm still wearing gov't surplus green/black/tan camo.in moderate weather for 50 years and no-never while shopping!! As with many posts above, sit still, move only your eyes and only your trigger finger.
Wearing the red vest is required when walking to your post in Canada. It can be removed when you're on post and worn again when leaving the "bush".
Great discussions-in my opinion, most USA camo are market driven.

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from country road wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

I think it's a shame that Predator camo isn't easier to find, and my favorite pattern for turkey hunting was the old Trebark which is no longer available. Mossy Oak's Forest Floor was great for pants while sitting on the ground for gobblers as it blends right in with the leaves and ground litter, but they quit making it, too, probably because everybody wants tree stand camo. Oh, well---

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Blackjack, what you quoted is NOT the regulation across Canada. Not sure where you were hunting but hope it wasn't Ontario Here you cannot legally remove your glo-orange clothing at any time when your in the bush during rifle hunting season. No matter if you're hunting birds or big game. I'm not sure, but I think hunters MAY remove the orange once they are in the tree stand. Seems to me I remember seeing a local show and that was the case. I don't hunt out of trees and few folks around here do except for baiting bears.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

'country road'

Predator Fall Gray is a great pattern for breaking up one's outline for big game hunting, but not for waterfowl around here. Wish I could find a waterproof parka in that pattern since my jacket is not waterproof.

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from rcmich wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

I find wearing a face mask/headnet and avoiding direct eye contact to be more effective than the camo I am wearing. Deer will scan an area and look right past you if you cover your face and don't look-em-in-the-eye.

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from blackjac wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Ontario Honker-I stand corrected! yes, we were bear hunting in Ontario. As mentioned we were told to wear the red vest until you reached your post, then you could remove it and upon leaving wear it out of the bush. Most every post was a "tree stand", basically a 2' x 3' platform, 12' above ground and approx. 25 yards from the bait pile. I refused the stand, it looked unsafe to me and no way was I going to stand there upright for five hours at my age plus there was safety harness to boot. We went to another area that had a ground blind and a seat-great-bait was 50 yards away, slightly uphill. I had some camo netting in my pack to further complete the "blind". After setting up, I removed the vest and hung it above me on on a overhanging tree branch. In conclusion, you're correct, I should have worn it at all times. After a two hour wait a big black bear came to the bait-one shot and he was history. Candidly speaking, I'm under impressed with hunting over bait but the bush is so thick its the only way to bear hunt that area. The guide instructed all of us to remain on stand until dark at which time they will come to your stand and lead you out of the bush. They all said NOT to leave your stand if the shot bear runs into the bush. After checking out the bear, wearing my vest, I walked out to the road being I had a few more hours of daylight. At full dark they picked me up and they went in to get the bear.

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from MReeder wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Just to follow RockySquirrel's lead back into the "scent wars," I'm not sure if there is any scientific explanation for why deer (or any other game animal) would instinctually flee from human scent, but I would suspect it is a combination of biology and learned behavior. Learned behavior isn't worth spending much time on, since it's just a Pavlovian response to particular scents associated with unpleasant (from the animal's stand point) actions. But biology goes straight to human beings' roles as carnivores.
Vegetarians may not like it, but humans are predators. Ishi, the Yahi Indian befriended by Pope & Young, would never eat meat or fish before a hunt. I don't know whether that helped him or not, but it makes some sense, if you consider that carnivores carry a distinctive scent based on diet. Deer in rural and even suburban environments smell gasoline and smoke and diesel fumes and God knows what other environmental substances all the time and play little attention to it, but they still run off if they smell a human close by.
Smoking may be bad for a lot of other reasons and the moving smoke or a moving hand with a cigar or cigarette in it could give you away, but I doubt that the smell of tobacco alarms them very much. At least I've never seen much evidence of it. But let them get a whiff of you in their bedrooms and you get a wheeze and a crashing departure. I think they just recognize "predator." I also think that's the reason you're dead meat when you lock eyes with a deer. Only predators have their eyes on the front of their heads, and the second you make eye contact with a prey animal the jig is up.
All that is not to say that you should avoid bathing and actually reek when you head out to hunt, but I still think the only sure scent suppressant is keeping the breeze in your face or at least to your side.

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from woodsdog wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Ok I'll get into this too. Never been in the military, however, I come from a long line who have served. I've also always been interested in military history and the like. I especially enjoy Major John Plaster's articles in the American Rifleman and his Sniper book/manual. I own a copy just for the fieldcraft and woodmanship tips. Anyway, I agree with DEP. I wear hunter orange vest and either the cabela's outfitter camo or my dad's old woolrich red and black plaid with green wool german army pants. I'm warm, and the dam deer never see you unless your fidgeting like a kid on his first date. Anyway, most of the camo crap is a bunch of hype. Just like the scent eliminating clothing. The dog experiments proof this! However, that doesn't mean I don't like the look of camo. I intrinsically like the collors and believe that if you mix and match different patterns, that works pretty darn well too. But these guys with the latest and greatest you see on the TV shows, they might as well be billboards in tree stands in my mind. It just rubs me the wrong way like I'm constantly watching a commercial or something. What happened to the good old hunting videos and shows where you just wore what was quiet and kept you warm. I do think the multicam stuff is interesting though. I guess I'm on the fence but I really don't worry about camo much.

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from bigz24bigbass wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Camo is friggin' awesome!

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from olderthandirt wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Tritonrider hit it right on the head. You just have to have the "RealTek Tactical X-Treme Scentsucker" outfit from top to bottom. Underwear too. Especially when you are going to be hunting from a blind. Cuz you know those whitetails have X-ray vision and can see right through that sucker and spot you if you are not in camo everything!

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from scottrods wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Deer can see browns anyway. It's scientifically proven they can't see Orange and Red - so we only wear trad camo as some lay over from the Military and human perception.

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from Big Bob W wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

Let me share a story from a fall turkey hunt in the Mogollon Rim county of Arizona some years ago. My "camo" consisted of a pair of Olive Drab fatigue pants with the big bellow pockets, a black mock turtleneck shirt, black (unpolished)boots (10 in. uppers) and a British Army issue khaki balmoral style bonnet with regimental badge and red hackle removed. Wearing this I managed to maneuver around a couple of Phoenix flatlanders that were blasting away at squirrels I think and get behind them and within 10 yards. While they were reloading I announced myself and as my Scots bretheren would say, the laddies pi$$ed their kilts. Good camouflage is slow, careful movement through the woods and using the three relevant senses to become max aware of what is in your area.

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from .280Man wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

I have always been a believer in camo to break up your outline. However my closest deer encounter happened on a rainy day wearing solid black rain pants and a solid green rain top. I was set up with a tree to my back watching a 3 or 4 year old buck walking towards me. As he got to 75 yards I slowly moved my brown-gloved hands over my face with fingers spread to watch. At 11 yards he stopped to look at me (wind in my face was steady). He stood there looking off and on at me and chewing cud for 10 full minutes, long enough for my arms to get tired from just covering my face. He slowly walked off and ended one of the most facinating experiences of my 20 year hunting career. I still buy and wear camo, of course.

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from FlyFish59 wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

Oh well, another one of Mr. Rumsfeld's follies comes to roost. I've no doubt that he thought it was simply not efficient and cost-effective to have different camo patterns for uniforms. What a logistical problem, to make sure that a soldier deploying into combat had an appropriate uniform for the actual theater of war. Much more efficient to have just pattern. I wonder if the Multi-Cam pattern or whatever the Army chooses to replace it will still conceal a soldier who moves around too much or puts himself on the skyline. I bet it wouldn't fool Sgt. York. I just bought my first synthetic and camouflage-patterned shotgun. I hope I don't lose it.

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from Red Salas wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

Its real simple. If you like camo use it. If you dont, then dont use it.

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