Wearing camouflage on your hunt might not be necessary, but it can greatly help you get the most out of your hunting trip. Some animals, like turkeys and ducks, have excellent sight and are easy spooked. By wearing the best hunting camo , we are able to blend into the surroundings to prevent scaring them away.
Additionally, some animals are more prone to picking up specific colors. For example, deer are more likely to notice the color blue than other colors. Hunters dressed in this color will stand out like a sore thumb, scaring away any unsuspecting game. For this reason, deer hunters are encouraged to wear camo, or neutral colors like brown and gray, in order to blend into their surroundings.
Is Camouflage Necessary?
There is an ongoing debate between two different schools of thought within hunting: those for camo and those against it . Many people argue that the leafy and forested patterns do little to hide them from animals. Moreover, a number of these same people argue that the usage of even the best hunting camo is not functional at all, but rather a stylistic component that comes with being a hunter.
People from the anti-camo camp often make the argument that hunters outside of North America seldom wear camouflage. With that said, many hunters swear by good camo for its benefits. It is known to break up one’s outline, help people blend into the environment, and give hunters an advantage when moving closer to a target. For this reason, camouflage is especially favored among archers.
When Using Your Hunting Camo
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re on the pro-camouflage team. One of the first things that you will learn as you research hunting camo is that many hunters are committed to their brand. Some people swear by Mossy Oak, others by Realtree, Sitka, and Kuiu . Before you choose a team, if you do so at all, experiment and see which brands work best for you. Some of it is simply about style and comfort, so don’t be afraid to test different companies until you find one that you like.
Once you have made your decision on which camo you want, take some time to learn how to wear it properly. In order to optimize your hunting camo, you will need to do more than simply wear it on your trip. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your camouflage:
1. Make sure that you fit the color scheme
If it’s possible, scope out your hunting grounds prior to the day of your trip. This will allow you to see what colors are dominant. Try going around the time that you will be beginning your hunt, so you can see exactly how the shadows will look. This will give you a better idea about which type of camouflage to wear on your hunt.
2. Be mindful of the temperature.
Dress in a way that is comfortable. Shivering or overheating on your hunt is a guaranteed way to draw unnecessary attention to yourself, which can severely inhibit your chances of shooting nearby game. Consider wearing your camo in layers, so that you can add or remove clothing throughout the day and stay comfortable.
3. Mask your scent.
Taking measures to reduce or remove your scent is a perfect way to improve the effectiveness of your camo. Try washing yourself in odorless shampoo and soap (we recommend Hunters Specialties Scent-Away-Soap and Shampoo ) , rubbing baking soda into your clothes, and making the switch to rubber hunting boots . All three of these things will mask your scent, making it much more difficult for nearby animals to detect you.
4. Don’t be perfect with your face paint.
When you’re painting your face, remember that you’re applying camouflage, not makeup. Smear your different colors of paint across your face wildly. Perfectly symmetrical face pain will not only look unnatural, but will also cause you to stand out.
Welcome to the Diverse World of Camo Patterns
There are many different types of camouflage, and learning which one is perfect for your trip can help add an extra layer of stealth on your hunt. Here are some common patterns you can choose from:
Consider using mimicry camouflage designed different regions of the United States. For example, earth tones work great in places where the landscape is dry, while a mixture of light and dark patterns are perfect for hunters in snowy forests. Try the following types of camouflage based on where you’re hunting:
Choose a camo that helps you blend into the forests, especially if you’re hunting from a tree stand . A suit that is shaded with a mix of lights and darks is perfect for this environment.
This region is wooded and full of vegetation. You want something that will help you blend into the surrounding branches, limbs, and brush.
THE EAST COAST
You will be hunting in a number of diverse terrains, possibly during the same hunting trip. You want an all-purpose camouflage that works with many different environments.
Choose an earthy camo that helps you blend into rocks, desert, and dry brush, while also protecting you from direct sunlight.
Choosing Camo Based on Your Game
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, animals see differently depending on their species. For this reason, some camouflage works better than others, depending on what you’re hunting. A good rule of thumb in the United States is to follow these suggestions:
- Dress in a way that helps you blend into light-colored grass when hunting duck
- Wear shaded, green patterns on your turkey hunt, and be sure to conceal your face and hands
- Choose a camo that helps you blend into the surrounding leaves and branches when hunting deer; you don’t want to make an obvious silhouette
Unlike deer, ducks and turkeys have impeccable eyesight and color perception. When hunting these two animals, you will want to dress in a way that best mimics your hunting location.
You can even choose what camo you want to wear based on the season. Try lush greens for early-season hunting, neutral tones for hunting in the fall, and a mixture of grays and white for winter hunts. This way, you will never stick out during your trip.
The Science of it All
Animals are observant and clever. If you hunt waterfowl or turkeys without blending properly into your surroundings, it won’t take them long to notice that something is wrong. Even deer are able to notice some changes in color.
While deer have a difficult time picking up red and orange, they are much more sensitive to blue light, even more so than humans. This sensitivity also translates into better visibility around sunrise and sunset, which accounts for their ability to see well in low light. Because of this, experts have designed camouflage especially for deer which exploit their red and orange colorblindness, while reducing the chances of blue light.
The point is simple: good camouflage is more than just patterns. Proper camo has been researched, designed, and tested, and is created in such a way to exploit the sight of various animals.
Are You Ready to Buy Some Camo?
When looking for excellent camouflage, steer clear of trying to determine the best hunting camo brand . Instead, try a number of different companies until you find one that works for you. There are many different brands that make camo, both designer and generic, so what company you buy will be partially determined by your budget.
Here are some of the most popular companies:
While they’re far from cheap, Sitka has a reputation for making some of the best hunting camo clothing on the market. Their products are comfortable and effective, and are known to last a long time. Their Jetstream Jacket is an excellent, Gore-Tex hunting jacket designed to protect you from the wind while helping you blend into your surroundings.
The amount of shading and detail that has been put into this jacket makes it a perfect addition to your camo collection. Additionally, it comes in a variety of different colors and patterns, including woodland, moss, and dirt. It’s made from quiet, water-resistant material that helps you blend into a variety of surroundings.
Comfortable and affordable, Realtree is a popular brand that many consider to make the best hunting camo for the money . Realtree products are reasonably priced and easy to find at most hunting and outdoors stores. Their material is made for comfort and effectiveness, so you don’t have to worry about being spotted while wearing your Realtree gear.
If you’re looking to buy layers of clothes, so that you are adequately prepared for temperature fluctuations during your hunt, Realtree is an excellent choice. Consider their Explorer Mock Top , shirt made from a stretchy and breathable fabric designed to protect your body against heat loss.
Here is another affordable brand who makes some of the best all around camo for the money spent. Mossy Oak has a variety of unique and realistic camo patterns for every type of hunt. Their fabric is known to be quiet, durable, and comfortable. While the patterns aren’t as detailed as other, more high-end brands, they manage to get the job done just fine.
If you’re looking for a good pair of hunting pants to wear on your hunt, consider the Raintree Cargo Hunting Camouflage 6-Pocket Pant . You can choose between two different patterns, Obsession and Infinity. Whether you’re trying to blend in with grays and browns, or hide in a bright, autumn setting, these pants can help you avoid detection. If you’re going on a duck or turkey hunt, consider wearing them with a Full Spandex Face Mask .
First Lite makes high-quality hunting camouflage that’s durable and able to withstand the elements. They have a number of patterns and color schemes that help you blend into many different settings. With that said, their clothing is as expensive as it is effective.
When you buy First Lite camouflage, you are purchasing something that has been carefully designed to maximize your hunting experience. Every pattern has been made with such detail, so that you are able to fool nearby animals. Furthermore, the material is designed to be quiet and provide warmth at all times.
The Sanctuary Jacket is the perfect camouflage for those cold, winter hunts. It’s designed with a breathable fabric that helps you stay warm without overheating. It comes in three different patterns: fusion, ASAT, and Realtree Xtra. All three of these designed to be multi-purposed, so you shouldn’t have any issue wearing this jacket in different types of hunting grounds.
There’s a Type of Camo for You
Regardless of what your preferences are, there is a type of camouflage on the market that can meet your needs and stay blended for any occasion. When looking to spend money on camouflage, don’t only look at a brand name and decide what the best hunting camo is, read the description of the clothing as well. Most brands explain which animals, setting, or seasons their camo works best in, so that you are able to use it properly.
Other factors to look for when buying hunting camo are fabric, durability, and comfort. These are three areas that you don’t want to cut corners on. As I’ve mentioned, there are affordable hunting camo brands that produce quality material.
You don’t want to wear something that is noisy and stiff. Making a swooshing sound when you walk is an excellent way to alert nearby animals. You also don’t want to buy camo that will fade after a couple of washes, as the purpose of your camo is to blend into the surrounding and look as realistic as possible. Furthermore, hunting in uncomfortable clothing can be a nightmare. It’s hard to sit still when you’re fidgeting with itchy material, or constantly wiping the sweat off of your brow.
Remember that good camouflage is an investment, and it’s not something that should be purchased on a whim. Also, always read the instruction label before washing your hunting clothes. Throwing in a brightening agent or using the wrong fabric softener could cause irreversible damage to your camouflage.