Hunters have fallen for fashion. This became obvious to me again just today. I went to my local hunting-goods-store to get my annual fishing license there where two or three other others in the store too. One of them was in the process of trying a new camouflage jacket, while he was looking at it the other hunter said; " You're not seriously thinking of buying this junk are you?" Hunter number one replied. "Why what's wrong with that one, don't you like it? Looks cool. No?" Upon which the second guy says. "You must be out of yer mind man, that aint cool, you buy this shit and everybody will laugh at you. This is last years camouflage, look over here that is where the new stuff is, fool."
Yep, camouflage has become a fashion item and if you want to be cool and look sharp in camp then you have to keep up with the Johnson's. Camouflage has come a long way from its humble beginnings where the only hunter camouflage available used to be surplus army drab. Today there more than one hundred camo patterns available. What ever takes a hunters fancy - fashion sense - there are patterns from tree bark to corn stalks to rocks and every other shade, shape and colour in between.
But do they work?
Most camouflage patterns do a reasonable job of breaking up the human outline, provided the hunter stays motionless, is well covered behind vegetation or if the animal is still far away. But if a hunter moves - and he has to in order to raise his weapon - or if the animal comes closer, the game is over. Most camouflage is to dark. Most animals have very different vision than we humans do, for starters most animals only can see black and white, a little bit like you and me looking at a black and white photograph. With a vision like this most camouflage looks to deer like a big black blob and deer know that black blobs do not grow on trees over night, so if they see one they get a tad suspicious about it.
The best camouflage will not only break up a hunters outline but let him get away with movement too and it will work equally well at short and long ranges, it also will work regardless of the time of year and the environments you hunt in. But does such camouflage exist? Yes it does, I'm happy to say. A good camouflage is not dark it has a light back ground colour such a light brown or beige, it's a chameleon colour will pick up and reflect the surrounding colours. This base colour should be overlaid with elliptical shapes in brown and black, a little bit like tiger strips, to effectively break up the human silhouette.
This is exactly what ASAT and Predator have done with their camouflage pattern. Before they designed their camo patterns they studied nature and how animals see and then they designed the right pattern according to their research and not according to consumer taste. Some years back I conducted my own independent camo research and since then I exclusively wear ASAT and Predator Camouflage and if you are serious about hunting you should too (you can read the full research by clicking on the link at the bottom of this posting). If you look at animals and how they camouflage themselves you do not see them wearing sticks, leafs and grasses on their fur. Animals camouflage consists in shades of brown and beige. Anybody that has hunted long enough knows how well a deer or elk can completely vanish in plain sight of humans, even at short distances, just by stepping a little behind some branches or grass. Now that, I call camouflage!
If you are serious about hunting and want to improve game sightings you owe it to yourself to wear good camouflage, especially if you are a bowhunter and need the game to come close to you. Do yourself a favour and come out of the dark, see the light and leave the fashion behind you.
Read my full camouflage research article.
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