View Full Version : Camo? Bah!!! Humbug!!!

August 28, 2004, 09:47 PM
I have set in plain view, in street clothes, 20 ft from grazing deer for 15 minutes before they decided to move on. I was watching two does, hoping they would draw a buck. No luck, but that moment combined with other accoiunts I've read convinced me that camo gear is just a big sales gimmick. I still have camo gear only because the warmest gear is camo. Anybody else have thoughts on camo? :D

Arizona Fusilier
August 29, 2004, 12:16 AM
Was it deer season? If not, they knew to ignore you no matter what you wearing ;)

I've recreated similar "encounters" like the one you describe, but not in hunting season! :o I have slew of camo, mainly because I collect it, but partly for hunting.

No, it hasn't brought me much luck. But I don't think my luck will change switching to a tweed jacket and knickers, either. :D

August 29, 2004, 04:00 PM
My brother had it happen to him on the first day of hunting season. (Result: deer stroganoff for the rest of the year, and a 1/2 mile haul)

Here's a tip for staying still: bring a good book. It happened to my bro while he was engrossed in "master and commander" he was on his knees hunched over, and he didn't hear the deer walk up on him. THen he thought he heard something, and turned around. Deer jumped, and bolted. About 20 yds away, jon took a shot from his 20 ga. THe deer dropped instantly. And i was sitting down, heard the bang, then this long, slow CLICKA CLICK! as he shucked a cartridge on the ground. Grabbed my radio, and ran over. It was an awsome day (although i was bummed because I had a deer walk to within 50 yds of me, (i didn't think my 12 ga could reach) and the deer ran off eventually.

but anyway, back on topic, i think a tree helps you somewhat, because it destroys your outline. My deer saw me when i stepped away from the tree. (dumb, dumb, I won't do that again)

August 29, 2004, 05:07 PM
Most animals are color blind so actual colors don't really matter. As long as you keep still, they won't see you. What I find really stupid is guys wearing camo and their bright hunter orange vest.

August 29, 2004, 08:52 PM
Animals are not color BLIND, they are color LIMITED.

Most only see shades of gray - MANY shades of gray (many more than humans can see). This is actually better for seeing movement, for improved depth preception and low-light vision.

Some animals can see MUTED colors (turkeys for example).

Camo is useful in that it breaks up the outline of the hunter. Even though deer cannot see colors the different shades of the camo make it very hard for them to "see" the mass of the hunter. As for blaze orange camo, it is required by law in most states from most hunting seasons (not required for turkey [in some states] because they can see it).

Ohio Annie
August 30, 2004, 11:29 AM
Deer don't care what you are wearing as long as you are behaving in a non-threatening way. :cool: If you are camouflaged and odor(:barf: )-camouflaged you can get nearer to them if they can't see you. If they see you and think you are acting threatening they will run no matter what colors you are wearing.

I forget the name of it but there is a book on deer behavior and biology which contains a page showing the spectrum of colors that deer can see. Blaze orange looks like a deep yellow to them. They can see farther into the blue than we can, which explains why it's more important to not use laundry brighteners than to wear camouflage.

Happy deer watching/hunting/picture-taking everybody

Te Anau
August 30, 2004, 12:32 PM
My Grandpa was the best hunter I ever knew and he didnt own a single item in camo and never used scent free this and that.Todays carbon suit-camo junkie hunters are taking the fun and challenge out of hunting if you ask me.

September 1, 2004, 11:29 PM
My older relatives are always saying just that. "You don't need that crap! We used to hunt in plaid jackets with welder's pants to keep the burrs off!" They have acceded to the times by wearing their old G.I. field parkas, but only for convenience. Myself, I have one set of camo, in Shadow Grass. It's mainly for waterfowling, but I figure anything that breaks up my profile works. So far it's my shooting and not my appearance that keeps that trophy off my wall.

September 6, 2004, 03:20 PM
For whitetails I strongly believe that its not the camo or the pattern but the UV light reflected by the material. I see many more deer when wearing old faded clothes, camo or otherwise, that haven't been washed in standard detergents. The brighteners in standard detergents have "stuff" in them that enhances color that makes the material shine to whitetails. I try and avoid washing my outer garments, but when I do I typically wash them in plain water or in some kind of detergent that prevents (reduces) UV reflection.

September 6, 2004, 03:42 PM
A deer will smell or hear you before they see you-if you are standing/sitting completely still. I'm not even a hunter and I know that.

September 6, 2004, 10:11 PM
I use camo patterns bout every time I go into the field.

One thing I did notice, the doves come alot closer when I wear the pattern I have on in this picture. No, I'm not the guy with the yellow on. Don hasnt learned the art of camo yet. Most of them birds are mine. ;)


Arizona Fusilier
September 6, 2004, 11:55 PM
What's that there four-legged critter in the picture? Sure don't look like no dove!

By the way, what is that camo pattern your wearing? I'm always on the lookout for something that works in Arizona.

September 9, 2004, 03:38 AM
You wear a white shirt with a red X on it for dove hunting? :)

September 9, 2004, 09:25 PM
Them 4 legged critters are 2 cottontails and 1 jackrabbit.

The pattern is Seclusion Open Country by Cabela's. Works great in areas where the foliage isnt too thick.


September 10, 2004, 10:57 AM
I wear bright orange only when I am walking to and from, but I wear it over my camoflauge.

I don't wear camoflauge to hide myself from deer. I sit still for them. Instead, I wear camoflauge to hide myself from nature's little alarms that can see better than deer.

As long as you stay down-wind and quiet, deer are easy to get close to, or to let them get close to you, depending on how you are hunting.

I know I am not the only one who has killed deer wearing a t-shirt and jeans.

September 8, 2005, 09:02 AM
The key point here is sitting. Motion, you would become very visible and as far as UV brighteners in the twilight hours, you would glow as a neon light. Camo breaks up the human outline with or with out movement. The idea is to produce no solid outline of the human. Brighteners are in all dyes manufactured today. In the mornings and evenings is when animals are most likely to see uv glowing which is unnatural. During the day animals are less likely to sse you because of the wavelenght of the sunlight being reflected at that time. camo sporting color ranges of natural colors of browns greens and reds are just as bright as any other colors due to the brighteners. Use the spray it works. I use and you will see a big difference in how other animals react including birds squirrels and deer.

September 8, 2005, 10:59 AM
In his book titled The Earth Is Enough the late author Harry Middleton describes a man who, after debating the merits of camouflage with a local latest-trend "expert," successfully hunts for and kills a " huge old gobbler" while wearing a Santa Claus suit. He explained the man's rationale for this act as follows:

"Later that afternoon at the cafe the story was told, and he explained his antics as only an attempt to demonstrate that turkeys were spooked more by motion than fashion. 'As long as you're still and quiet, you could wear kilts, for chrissakes,' Emerson said with great conviction. It wasn't that he was against the wedding of turkey hunting and technology or even the notion, however curious to him, of hunters wanting to be invisible, if that's what they wanted to be; rather, it was just his belief that some of the old knowledge about woodsmanship was as good and reliable as the new. Emerson also made it clear that he felt no man should go into the woods holding more aces than whatever creature he might be after. In Emerson's own ethic, each time a man went into the woods he had the chance to return with some grain of solace as well as food."

To which I say Amen.

Good luck, and good shooting!

September 8, 2005, 02:58 PM
I thought the reason to wear camo was not to be seen by other humans? ;) Nothing wrecks my bowhunting plans worse than another hunter seeing me and walks in for a happy chat.... I am not that social when it comes to hunting/woods time. Any other time I am a real communicator and listener too..... I don't like human contact in the woods for a few reasons. The biggest reason is I don't know who or what the other human is doing or thinking.....that alone makes me uncomfortable. Every so often you hear of a hunter being killed by someone out in the woods. I sorta act like when I go out to hunt I am in a personal survival game. Sounds odd and off note but I steer clear of any human contact if at all possible. It's the few days a year in which I can be as unsocial and unpersonable as I wish. about 360 of the rest of the days I have no problem with people and enjoy constant contact and one on one....... When someone tramps through my little slice of peace and calm I know the chances of success in that spot are much lower in percentage. Another human with another set of odors and once you start speaking the idea of being still to view nature are off. When my son and I hunt we hardly speak. We can talk to each other with our eyes, sign language. If we speak at all, it's after one of us has moved real slow to the other's ear and whispers. It works well for us.....we almost always see abundant wildlife and often get a shot off as well.
I think camo is nice to use but I find it to be nothing short of a marketable product that is very limited if not used with hunting skills in place. The best US military sniper camo is worthless if his movement(s) are seen....... but if he uses his camo with stealth he is very hard to find and or ever see.

My main camo is that of the issued type........ Woodland BDU's, a boonie hat and sometimes a camo face mask or paint....... I have went face exposed and had about the same luck as face covered. That is with deer hunting here in Michigan.

September 8, 2005, 06:14 PM
It's funny that this thread came up - I just received the new Cabellas catalog yesterday and about puked over how they have gone beserk on camoflauge....

Deer hunters are more fashion conscious than Joan Rivers and Paris Hilton combined. Camo is the fashion choice for hunters. Hunters that wear camo, actually wear it to impress other hunters, because deer don't care what you wear. The will notice movement, but if you stand still in the middle of a field they are likely to ignore you, all other things being equal. I have done it several times, in jeans and khaki colored shirt. Wearing, God forbid, tennis shoes... :eek: and not the cool gore-tex water proof super insulated scent trapping boots.....

Buying camo is a consumate American consumer's act after being mind-trained by the advertising psychologists.........Look at the catalogs, they have camoflauge everything from tents, to cooking pots, to cameras, to sleeping bags, to gun stocks, to binoculars, to underwear for crying out loud....

And it SELLS!! Big Time it sells!!

As PT Barnum said.....There is a camoflauged sucker born every minute.....

September 8, 2005, 07:54 PM
The one I like is on TV the big game hunters are out in all there Camo and the guide just has regular cloths on.I myself think it has become a big joke I have stood in a field with bright orange head to toe and had deer walk with in 20 feet. How did they hunt years ago with out all this junk :barf:

September 8, 2005, 07:55 PM
Yeah, I wear some camo now, but believe me, I killed as many deer in the old days, wearing jeans and a wool shirt, as I have when wearing camo stuff.
Camo sure looks good though :)

September 8, 2005, 10:18 PM
Wish I could give credit for this quote but I can't recall where I read it.

If you move they will see you even if you're wearing camo; if you don't move they won't see you even if you're not.

September 9, 2005, 12:20 AM
Yep - things are getting a little out of hand (real product):

...mind you, I do believe that dear relations with a deer are illegal in 34 states. :eek:

September 9, 2005, 03:45 PM
Emerson also made it clear that he felt no man should go into the woods holding more aces than whatever creature he might be after. In Emerson's own ethic, each time a man went into the woods he had the chance to return with some grain of solace as well as food."

Amen +1

That is as well said as I have ever heard.

September 9, 2005, 03:54 PM
And dont forget to camo your truck, your four wheeler, and the camping trailer you sleep in while you are on your hunting trip. :rolleyes:
You never know them deer might have a scout out for you on the road in. If they see you coming they will clear out of the area for days!!
I used to use camo to hunt, until al my old BDU's from my service days finally wore out. Now it is just an old pair of jeans, snake boots and a t-shirt with a jacket if needed. (good ole mild SGa winters) Cant really see as how the change of attire has hurt any.
However I have a friend that I introduced to deer hunting a couple of years ago. He will not even go scouting with me unless he is in full camo gear. Kind of funny to me, but he is a good friend so I don't laugh about it (Not when anyone can see or hear me anyway :) )
I guess it is a personal choice.

September 9, 2005, 05:20 PM
I'll confess: I wear camo and the orange vest on top (w/orange cap). I received the camo as a Christmas gift. I like the camo for two reasons: waterproof and it "breathes". I have a knack for getting caught in wonderful "Nebraska" weather (rain, sleet, snow, etc.) when I hunt, and the camo really helps keep me dry and comfortable. Lots of pockets for stuff, too. I wear the orange on top because it is the law, and because I don't want to get shot by another hunter. And more pockets in the vest.

Plus, it is kind of like a uniform to me. I don't have to worry about getting it dirty and stuff like that.

OK. Everyone can pile on now..... :)

September 9, 2005, 05:35 PM
I received the camo as a Christmas gift.

Free is always good. :D

September 9, 2005, 06:44 PM
Well heck....

I have a ton o free camo wear courtesy of over 28 years of service and the taxpayers...lol

Long Path
September 9, 2005, 08:39 PM
I have set in plain view...
For sitting, Camauflage is often unnecessary, if you can sit still.

When you start moving, the camauflage can really make a difference in hiding your movement.

mtn. man
September 10, 2005, 11:55 AM
Got a closet full and dont use any of it. Mostly because the most sucessful hunters i know are two old geezers who never use camo and poke fun at anyone who does.
The older i get i kinda understand their observations and the intertainment value of younger folks.
I dont deer hunt anymore and last year i let some young folks hunt on my land. Two hunted the small overgrown ridge on the north side all season with no luck full camo even on their face.
Two hunted the moutain in heavy timber with full camo tree stands face makeup and hand held radio's
no luck either.
Each morning i watched from my deck and counted a couple of spikes one six point and one really big one [for TN] over the course of several days along with several does.
They never saw them from the tops of the ridges or mtns but they got lots of exercize carrying all that equipment up there.

September 10, 2005, 02:59 PM
How long have deer been around? What about all animals that are hunted? How long has camo been produced and sold to the hunting public? I'll bet it's a commercial money making business. Ages before we started hunting, man was killing animals without camo. Hmmm.

September 10, 2005, 04:46 PM
The late Howard Hill said..." a guy ought to look like a gentleman when out hunting and not some wild looking creature..." It is an advertising gimmick to cater to those who like dressing & playing commando when hunting...I rather look like and behave like a "sportsman", not a para-military man with his greasepaint.....ready to capture the enemy....Howard Hill could hunt circles around most hunters today...so could most of his contemporaries...and take that grenade out of your mouth!

September 10, 2005, 11:08 PM
I was re-reading (for the umpteenth time) the late Gene Hill's Shotgunner's Notebook, and came across his pithy (and relevant) observation on how some hunters appear to the public, and about camouflage:

"I have long wished that hunters--all of us--would give a little more thought to our public image.

"Next time you walk into a diner during the shooting season and you see your counterpart wearing his plastic orange cap, a coat stiff with old blood stains, and sporting a belt knife that would be more at home on a sugar plantation, think about how this looks to the people who don't hunt. If you were a farmer, who do you want hunting on your land? What sort of spokesman do you want when the locals start complaining about shotgun patterns on all the road signs, and the newspapers carry the traditional story about the pet dog or cow or even horse that was gunned down?

"We all talk about 'ethics.' But the simple effort of putting our best face to the public seems to have been overlooked. I somewhat resent having to wear a license the size of a wanted poster, and I have mixed feelings about being draped in hunter orange; an incarcerated felon looks like a banker by comparison. I'm ashamed that our elected officials don't trust us not to steal game or shoot each other--but whose fault is it?

"Looking better won't solve the problem--but it won't hurt you or our image. And after you've thought about it for a long time, tell me why a person out for an afternoon in a bird cover has to wear more camouflage than a combat infantryman. Maybe it's time we all grew up before it's too late."

Well said, Gene. Well said!

Good luck, and good shooting.

September 10, 2005, 11:37 PM
Looking at the new Fall season Cabelas... Wow.

If I wore some of the stuff they have for sale in there, I would honestly feel like an idiot. Somehow I don't think I'll be needing a camoed piss bottle and portable camping rectal thermometer anytime soon.

If you wore all that stuff you would be so camoed you couldn't tell your ass from a hole in the ground.

September 11, 2005, 11:36 PM
Kinda reminds me of how fishing lures are designed to attract fishermen :D

September 12, 2005, 01:36 PM
About camo a artical in Ontario Out of Doors showed that as long as you wernt reflecting alot of UV light (someone else here mentioned it :)) and you break up your outline it didnt really matter what colors etc you were wearing as long as it wasnt blue. It claimed deer notice blue better then other colors and it will get them spoked. He claimed that deer wernt color blind completly and saw things in shades of yellow for the most part.

Its the September Issue 2005 and was written by Russ Swedlyk.

By judging the pictures he edited to give about the same coloring as what deer would see I see no reason that colors would effect the effectivness of any color combination (With the exeption of wearing blue) that doesnt make you look like one big soild color to the deer.

How true that is I am unsure. But I hope this input helps :)


September 13, 2005, 05:50 PM
shotgun.jpgI got the ugliest benelli in the world. I love ugly guns!

September 14, 2005, 09:28 AM
I figured I'd slather myself in mud and dress up in my loin cloth like my native american relatives... but on the other hand I think I will stick to wearing Jeans, a natural colored (brown, gray, black) sweatshirt for those fall hunts and maybe a hat.

Father used to wear a wool coat (red checkered) and wool pants (red checkered as well). Seemed to work fine for all the deer he killed.

I laugh as well and kinda cringe at the Cabelas catalog cause you KNOW as sure -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- that someone out there is buying ALL the latest and greatest gear... it's usually the bow hunters :D. They seem to enjoy new technology after all they do buy $200 sights for their how many year old sport?

September 14, 2005, 04:14 PM
...If you can afford it, go ahead. I'll be sinking my money into the firearms and ammo before I spend a penny on camo clothes, though (and we all know how addicting/$$$ consuming that can be.....)

September 14, 2005, 06:19 PM
Kingudaroad: that's not an ugly gun! Looks fine to me.

But I'd always be afraid of setting it next to a tree, walking a few steps away, and then I can't find that darn camo'd gun for the life of me.... :D

September 14, 2005, 07:03 PM
Same thing with Camo walkie talkies and other camo equipment...

September 17, 2005, 08:09 AM
Don't know about the "expensive" camo stuff. For years have taken old coveralls and used "Ritz" dye to get the right shade of color. Then a can of spray paint to finish up.

The properly dyed coveralls give me the option of moving about without drawing unnecessary attention..

Jack O'Conner
September 24, 2005, 08:29 AM
My (late) father always said that animals were fooled by a large plaid pattern. For many decades he wore a woolen red and black plaid hunting coat. He had it dry cleaned every year and it's now mine and still in good shape. Couldn't even guess how many deer and elk have been toppled when this coat was worn.

Camo is a great marketing strategy to sell more stuff. True Bark and Real Tree appear solid grey from only 75 yards away. Yet consider that our armed forces in WW1, WW2, Korea, and Viet Nam wore olive drab fatigue uniforms. It worked for most situations. An olive drab field jacket with liner is still a good hunting coat for those cold November hunts.

Buy whatever you want but don't assume camo stuff = success.

September 24, 2005, 12:09 PM
I, too, have been sitting in the open on a flat rock and eating a sandwich when two yearling fawns and their mother came into the clearing. They got so close to me that I could have poked them with my gun barrel.

It was during the hunting season.

This has happened several times in my 40+ years of hunting.

I was not wearing camo.

I think it's because I was not moving.

Does are a lot less skittish than bucks and not nearly as wary.

As was mentioned above... I didn't appear to be a threat.

The deer family keys on movement and shapes... camo breaks up your outline and tends to hide small movements.

The deer's eyes are tuned to night vision and the color receptors in their eyes are the least of their senses.

They are not color blind, but their eyes are to color, what our eyes are to darkness.

I wear camo now... but if I stink, or I move, or I make noise... the deer is outa there. :eek:

Just like the very best rifles, camoflage is meant only to assist the hunter...

not to kill, gut and butcher the quarry. :D

Art Eatman
September 24, 2005, 04:01 PM
Camo's justified for bird hunting. Birds see colors. Game mammals see everything in shades of gray.

:), Art

roy reali
September 24, 2005, 07:47 PM
Cougars and wolves do not seem to have trouble securing game not wearing the latest camo stuff.

September 24, 2005, 08:02 PM
Camo is justified for any occasion.

roy reali
September 24, 2005, 08:15 PM
Espically a Cabela's sale! :D

October 8, 2005, 01:29 PM
I would argue that camo can help, but isn't the be-all end-all. My father-in-law (not to mention several friends) has shot deer while wearing jeans and a t-shirt, with a thermos of coffee at his feet. Of course the deer was 200yrds away...

I myself have stalked within slapping distance (literally; if it were gun season I could have taken the deer out with the buttstock of my rifle) while wearing full camo (face paint, gloves, etc). Of course I was hunting turkey at the time....

So it really depends if you're trying to sneak into a hot deer area before setting up a stand, or sitting a good distance (hopefully downwind) watching a trail. With either situation you just want to move slowly as not to attract attention.

October 10, 2005, 05:02 PM
The effectiveness of camo is grossly overrated especially on big game. Most of it has too small a pattern with too many colors resulting in a blending of pattern and color at a very short distance which can vary depending on the lighting conditions. Ever notice how most advertizements for camo are done under full light conditions. This allows for optimum efficiency of the given pattern. Unfortunatly as hunters we are luck if we hunt under optimum light conditions 5% of the time.This also makes camoing of small items such as gloves, facemasks, boots and etc. pretty much worthless. It is just as effective to wear varying shades of clothing. Pants one color, shirt/coat another, hat another yet and so on. Beyond 20-25 feet camo is going to look similar anyway. This weekend while stillhunting with my only camo a worn coat I had 2 bucks walk within 10 yards. One saw me and discounted my presence until he winded me and even then was not spooked. The other never saw me dispite the fact I was slowly standing up when I spotted him at 15 yards. I also tailed a small 3x3 that only got suspicious after about 45 minutes into the game and just wandered off.