One of the most overhyped and over-marketed areas in big-game hunting is camouflage. This story from the NYT science blog certainly isn’t going to help much.

…there’s a new type of digital camouflage specifically designed to fool deer’s vision. Called Optifade, it’s being unveiled today by W.L. Gore, the inventor of Gore-Tex”.

“…the new digital camouflage consists of a micropattern made up of tiny squares that are supposed to match the overall texture of the landscape — the “spatial frequency” or “busyness” of the forest or scrubland as seen through the deer’s eyes. It also has a macropattern of large geometric shapes that are supposed to break up the outline of the body so that even if a deer sees a hunter moving, it doesn’t register in the deer’s brain as a human shape.”

It’s an interesting development, but I found the Times readers’ comments on the story much more fascinating. Apparently some are upset because this new wunderflage makes us “invisible” and that’s just not fair.

From the comments section…

“Do hunters really need any more technological advantages over the deer then they already have? To call deer hunting a “sport” is absurd; considering all the hardware available to hunters, the deer never stand a chance…” — comment from “AZ”

It just goes to show how little anti-hunters know about the animals they profess to love. The belief that human technology will always prevail over a deer’s senses is the mark of someone who has obviously never spent any time in the woods.

You can spend as much money on as many gimmicks and gadgets and look as ridiculous as you want and it won’t make a damn bit of difference to the animal you’re hunting. The first set of “real” camouflage I ever purchased (that hadn’t already been discarded by the military) made me look like one of the ents from “Lord of the Rings,” but it didn’t me get any closer to deer than my old surplus duds. If you rely on technological doo-dads instead of respecting an animal enough to actually learn a little bit about it, then a bunch of fuzzy dots on your clothes aren’t going to give you any advantage at all.