I do all of my hunting, while on the ground using whatever cover is available as much as I can, to hide myself. As a fat guy, I honestly hide better on the ground by blending into the landscape than skylighting myself up a tree. I think that for some folks, treestands or other elevated platforms can be a distinct advantage, but let’s face it, even camo’d and in the treetops, my big behind isn’t really fooling much. At times, I could almost hear the deer discussing it…. “Hey Ned, that a hunter up there?”
“Naw, too big, I think it’s a giant squirrel’s nest.”
“Yeah, then why is it eating a corndog?”
Back in the day, we didn’t have a lot of camo clothing options. Growing up in the seventies, we usually wore blue jeans and military surplus, woodland camo t-shirts or jackets. Camo’s purpose is to blend hunters with their surroundings, giving us an edge on their prey. However, there weren’t camo patterns available for every type of terrain and habitat in the early days like there are today. With minimal search effort, we can now acquire camo to suit just about any terrain.
Most all of y’all know that bulky camo encumbers and restricts movement. Often, walking or moving in this type of clothing requires more effort and really brings on the perspiration. So, choose your camo from companies that design their hunting clothing around athletic cuts that maximize your range of motion. We need to be able to walk, move, and draw our bows or raise our firearms with ease. Most restrictions occur at the hips, knees, elbows, and shoulders, so when first trying it on, pay attention to these pressure points.
Camouflage is really a system with many working parts. The best hunting apparel manufacturers offer tops and bottoms for all types of weather, and believe me, investing in a pair for all three stages of the season is worth it if you want to be the most effective predator possible. And don’t forget that your face and hands are big standouts in the woods; face masks, gloves, or grease paints are highly advised.
Blending in goes deeper yet…. My grandfather, who never wore camouflage, was one of the most successful hunters I’ve ever met. He used to say, “the best way to hide, was to sit downwind in the shadows and move with the woods.” Basically, what he taught me is to time my movements to match the speed of movement in the surrounding foliage. On windy days you can get away with more, but on light breezy days, if you have to move, time your movements accordingly and if there’s no wind, remain perfectly still. Don’t let yourself stand out by contrasting with the movement of your cover or all of the pains taken to blend in via color and pattern will be wasted.
As always, if you have any questions or comments on this week’s column, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] God bless and good hunting!