We were having a conversation about hunting clothes around the dinner table at my folks house last Sunday. You know how that goes…”Yeah, I remember when…” Well, all of us did remember when hunting clothes were not nearly what we wear these days. I was almost 16 before I got a pair of camouflage pants. Army pants. My hunting coat was the same coat that I wore to school. Boots? Same ones I worked in. Underwear? A pair of bluejeans under the army pants. Three pairs of socks that assured my feet would be frozen from lack of movement by the time the sun made it all the way up. Yet, we killed a lot of deer.
The primary factors of wind and scent and movement played the biggest role then, and they still do today. One of the primary reasons why I entered the bowhuntin buddie community was because of the challenge. The chase seemed more fair. I liked the up-close and personal encounters that I had with Whitetail Deer and Elk. I found that the very things that enticed me to the bowhunt also called for more precise hunting techniques. I also found that camo could make a difference. Do you recall a time when Whitetail deer did not seem to look into trees? I sure do! Now, if a buck stands around long enough he is almost guaranteed to look up at you. And a doe…well, they seem to always have one eye focused on the trees. In other words, deer have been educated/conditioned to know that human predators hide in trees.
So, I have found that camo makes a difference. It does not take the place of using the wind, scent masking, and staying still. However, it will help conceal movement and help hide the hunter. The most obvious choice of camo depends on the type of terrain and colors. I also think about two or three other things.
First, the comfort factor is important. If you are going to be in a tree for several hours at a time, sometimes even all day, you will need clothes that are comfortable. Clothes that are designed to help keep you warm or cool; that do not limit or inhibit movement at critical times. Not all camo clothes are created equal when it comes to comfort. May I suggest you try on the camo before you walk out of the store with it.
Second, the durability factor is important. Who wants to buy new camo every year? Once again, some camo is more durable than others. I realize that sometimes the same camo can be on different kinds of fabric, so you just have to find the camo that you like in the fabric that is most durable. Some camo designs also have their own fabrics, and that can make a huge difference in comfort, not to mention price.
Third, that brings me to an important topic that can be considered. Price. Not every bowhunter’s pocket has the same amount of cash. I have found that I seem to get what I pay for. Yes, the best does usually cost the most, whether we are talking about cars or clothes. It is usually a good thing to “invest” in a camo that fits the best, feels the best, wears the longest, and does the best job for you. It is usually not a deal breaker, but camo will make a difference in certain situations. See you are the camp.