Hide in Plain Sight? The Importance of Good Camouflage with Sitka Gear
Adam Scepaniak 11.16.20
We all enjoy having good clothing for hunting. Whether it is for the comfort of staying warm, warding off the elements with rain gear, or having superb camouflage to blend in with our natural environment. It is interesting though because while many of us like having some of the latest and greatest clothing in our wardrobe not many people talk about the actual camouflage we are wearing. Good camouflage – superb camouflage – can make or break a hunting moment. There are several things to consider when it comes to your camo though and how picky you will want to be.
Good Camouflage: Movement vs. Motionless
When we are hunting many of us from an early age are taught to be as quiet as possible and move as little as possible when we are in a treestand, blind, box stand, or sitting next to a tree. Deer and most wild game have a heightened state of awareness and much better senses than we do. So, from that perspective we are at a disadvantage. In order to tilt the odds in our favor we need to specifically select the best camouflage possible. It helps us during both times when we are moving and are motionless. Here is how…
If there are whitetail deer in front of you while you are in a treestand, but the wind is swirling around you they will likely be on high alert. Unable to pin-point you, they might not run away, but they will be incredibly tense and potentially watching for any perceptible movement. If you have good camouflage on, like some of the Sitka Gear I selected to hunt during the winter, they could potentially stare straight at you and never even see you. That is the importance of good camo.
In a different scenario, you could be hunting a field edge in a treestand again. You are exposed. There is a potential to always be seen. You spy a fantastic buck coming your way and begin to wonder if he is in range?… So, you reach into your pocket slowly (but you are moving) to grab your rangefinder. This dandy of a buck was looking in your general direction this whole time you are moving, but since your camouflage matched the woods and outside environment so well he never sees you. So, as you can see even during moments when deer are close and you are motionless, or deer are far away and you are moving, good camo is imperative.
Good Camouflage: Stalking vs. Waiting
There are many styles of hunting that we can adopt to pursue big-game and fill our freezers with. My favorite is hunting from a treestand as described above, but others prefer to be more mobile and stalk their game. When you are playing the waiting game like I do in stands situated over trails and grazing areas you encounter the scenarios outlined above. Either game is near you and you need to be motionless, or it is far away and you can sometimes get away with a little bit of movement.
If you are stalking though you will need some superb camouflage because you are on their level and making a concerted effort to move towards them. If you are stalking to your game and they are facing you, you will need nerves of steel. To be motionless in the face of anxiety and nervousness… and then move… again… and again. It is a painstaking game that can be a high risk of getting busted yet a higher risk of reward for game that you otherwise could have never had an opportunity to bag.
It is more difficult to stalk something because again you are on the same plane as the game you are chasing, there is the potential to crunch a twig or a leaf, and your camouflage better be lights-out; otherwise, you will get busted immediately. When you are picking out your camouflage it can be often helpful to snap a photo with your cellphone of the scenery you will be hunting, and have it handy while you are actively shopping for clothing. Not all camo patterns, colors, and styles are the same.
Good Camouflage: Blinds/Box-Stands vs Open Treestands
Some people might argue… hunters have been successfully harvesting game for hundreds of years, why the big deal on camo? It doesn’t matter!… While this is a pretty large generalization it is true to a certain extent. Depending on your hunting setup, you might not need camouflage at all! When would this be applicable?… If you happen to hunt primarily out of a blind or an enclosed box-stand, then yes, camouflage is less important, but your clothing still matters. You will want to wear solid dark colors like black, brown, grey, and/or green. Something that is non-reflective and natural to the woods or terrain you are hunting. You can still wear your normal camo, but if you opt to not wear any camo then you should go for neutral, Earth-tone colors.
So, there you have it! Camouflage might be a pop-culture pattern we see working out at the gym, at family reunions, and in everyday life, but when it comes to hunting it serves a valuable purpose. When chosen correctly it can make you vanish in plain sight which is pretty magical when you are staring down a 10-Point buck. Sitka Gear provided AllOutdoor with the Sitka Stratus Jacket and Pant in their GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Elevated II camouflage that was highlighted here. With a little bit of snow I can all, but disappear when hunting in Minnesota. Do you have any colossal success stories or tragic failures from hunting related to your camouflage clothing? As always let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.