Camouflage Effectiveness

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All-Purpose Patterns

Mathews Lost Camo
Lighter colored hunting camouflage patterns are coming back into fashion. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

Do you really need a new set of camouflage clothing every time you hunt a different area? In the first place, few bowhunters hunt several different kinds of areas with distinct background tones. For example, tree trunks in Kansas are very similar to tree trunks in Georgia. It is when you get on the ground that overall tone becomes a big issue. Fortunately, many of today's better hunting camouflage patterns will work well under a wide range of hunting situations.

For example, open patterns like Realtree AP, Realtree APG, Mossy Oak Treestand, ASAT Camo and Predator Camo (among a host of others) are at home whether you're sitting in a late season tree stand or slipping through the timber along the edge of a mountain stream.

The average bowhunter would be well served if he owns two hunting camo patterns: one a dark all-purpose pattern for hunting big timber with predominantly gray, brown and black coloration and a second outfit that features a light colored all-purpose pattern for all other situations.

The Ultimate Hunting Camo Test

Open patterns with large areas of lighter tones are popular as all-purpose patterns because they blend into a wide variety of settings. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

This tip comes from video and television personality Ralph Cianciarulo. He hunts with a camera over his shoulder at all times so it is not surprising that his tip would involve camo as seen through the lens. “We take for granted that our camo patterns are really effective and that we are well hidden in our tree stands,” Ralph said. “Rather than assuming you’re getting the job done, have someone film you with a video camera from several angles as they walk around your tree stand. Start from farther away and move closer just like a buck approaching your tree stand. You may even attempt to bring your bow up to full draw just to see how noticeable the motion is and whether or not your equipment glares in the sunlight. To view the scene the way a deer does play it back through your television with the screen set to monochrome (black and white).” This is also a great way to see if you are sky-lined in your tree stand.

The Growth in demand for leaf-cut Clothing

Realtree AP
The right hunting camo pattern will help you to virtually disappear while hunting. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

Leaf-cut camo is appearing in more and more bowhunters closets because it produces a 3-D effect that completely hides a hunter’s outline. There are some fabulous claims from hunters who are using the garments. Animals seem to have a really hard time distinguishing anything dangerous in the rustling blob of leaves that is a hunter wearing leaf-cut gear.

The outer material used to make leaf-cut clothing has been etched to produce cuts that hang loosely and flap in the wind to give the garment a three-dimensional appearance. The clothing's "leaves" flutter and rustle in the wind just like real leaves.

Choosing the right hunting camo for your hunting area is a bigger job than merely going to the corner sporting goods store. Granted, today’s all-purpose hunting camouflage patterns from the most popular hunting camo brands will cover 90% of your concealment needs, but that other 10% is important too. The specialty companies and those making three-dimensional garments have a valuable role to fill in helping bowhunters blend better into a wider range of settings. Don’t overlook the importance of blending into every setting where you hunt.

  • Advantage CamoAdvantage Camo
  • ASAT Camo ASAT Camo
  • Enigma Camo Enigma Camo
  • Gray Wolf Woolens Camo Gray Wolf Woolens Camo
  • King's Camo Kings Outdoor World Camo
  • Mathews Lost Camo Mathews Lost Camo
  • Mossy Oak Camo Mossy Oak Camo
  • Mothwing Camo Mothwing Camo
  • Optifade Camo Optifade Camo
  • Outfitter Tuff Camo Outfitter Tuff Camo
  • Predator Camo Predator Camo
  • Realtree Camo Realtree Camo
  • Ultimate Camo Ultimate Camo

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