Home Forums Campfire Forum Is camo necessary?

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    • wideangle
      Member
      Post count: 35

      Some well known camo clothing lines are VERY expensive.

      Is it really needed to get close to elk or do we just have to have the wind right and limit our movement?

      What do you whitetail hunters think?

    • T Downing
      Member
      Post count: 233

      I am no whitetail hunter but I have extensive experience bowhunting elk. So…Is camo necessary to kill an elk? No..It is not. I have shot bull elk with virtually no camo on. No facepaint, no camo clothing, no headnet, nada….That said, I still wear camo when I hunt elk and especially the elusive turkey. Wear your camo if you want or don’t, movement is the key, or lack there of. T

    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      T has got it right, camo is not required. That being said I wouldn’t go hunting in a white t-shirt and blue jeans neither. I pretty much just stick to plaid shirts now, with earth tone carpenter slacks. Both can be picked up at used clothing stores cheap, or regular stores a little less cheaply. Either way they are less expensive that the majority of camo equipped clothing found in outdoor stores.

      And also as T said above, minimal movement. That is more important than the type of clothing eyerytime.

    • JodyS
      Post count: 114

      I agree. Camo is not necessary at all. Being still, and quiet, is the key in my opinion. With proper respect of the wind/air movement of course.

      While I cannot speak to elk hunting, as a lifelong resident fo the Mid-South, I can share some whitetail experiences.

      I have been in camo from head to toe and been spotted by a whitetail, due to my movement. On the other hand, I went scouting one afternoon two years ago in a grey T-shirt and black athletic (windsuit) pants. I hunkered down on a black milk crate (a great scouting companion or a good seat for a hillbilly ground blind) against a tree and in the shade, about ten minutes later I had deer move along a trail about 15 yards in front of me. They never flinched or looked at me twice as they fed along.

      Jody

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      I cannot say I have great experience, but just a thought on strict logic…

      People were taking game before camo was created. Many moons ago our ancestors could sneak up on animals wearing a loin cloth and face paint. These days many hunters have trouble sneaking up on animals wearing full camo. So is camo necessary? Probably not, if your stalking skills are up to par. But it could help a bit if they aren’t. Just remember sight is only one of the senses animals use to survive. Hearing and smell are just as (if not even more) important. Also, don’t forget that natural cover works both ways, so learning to use it to your advantage also decreases the need for camo.

      Lastly, I just want to point out some observations on the whole camo craze. Look at just about any catalogue out there and you’ll see that just about everything comes in the latest camo pattern. Example: camo undies / base layers. Really????? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose since you will be covering it up anyway? I mean how bad of a hunter do you have to be to need your underwear to be camouflaged? How about truck seat covers??? The deer/elk will never see you, especially if your seats match your clothing. It will appear to them that a truck is driving itself. They will be so amazed, they will come over to investigate, and then… Seriously? 😕 But, camo is big business, so people are buying.

      Hope this helped.

      Alex

    • Brennan Herr
      Member
      Post count: 403

      I use a ghilie hood with a 3d leafy asat suit…needed, probably not. Does it help, I think so. I find it really helps to break up my outline at close yards and helps me get away with more getting a shot. Best thing it is good for is people. I hunt in public areas in PA. There are people everywhere and the deer are so very aware.

    • JTop
      Post count: 8

      Read this article. The hawaiian shirt part is pretty interesting. Also, as a photographer I try to think in black and white. Red usually turns out as black on black and white film. I always wondered why someone would choose black and red for a hunting jacket.

      http://whitetail.com/camo1.html

    • rwbowman
      Post count: 119

      Very nice addition JTop! that’s a really good read and rather enlightening as well.

    • Amoose
      Post count: 80

      I have seen many different patterns, even know a guy that has shot several deer in blue jeans and a white T shirt, the deer around here are afraid of camo, but will come to the sound of a chain saw.

      They have learned what a “predator” look and sounds (or doesn’t, if they are being sneaky) like.

      I try to match colors, because I have known a few colorblind people, and different shades of the same color, are different than different colors, and “color blind” does not mean “Black and white” it merely means that they do not see color like we do.

      I beleive that camo is more effective in the psycological point, that if the hunter has the confidence, it makes all the difference.

      If he is worried about his clothing, he is not “hunting” at full capacity.

      It is like a “Lucky Hat”, not important, but could be the little touch that makes the difference.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      “Necessary?” No.

      Helpful? Yes, in my opinion, if it’s the right pattern. But if you’re going to buy some camo, don’t bother with the cheap and popular, picture-perfect “blend-in” type patterns. Invest in good high-contrast break-up patterns like ASAT, Predator, VIAS.

    • Ripforce
      Post count: 225

      I have found that a block plaid wool pattern works better than my Rivers West Advantage AP pattern that I have!For years I gun hunted in Red/Black or Green/Black plaids had deer walk right on up to me, this last season my camo matched my terrain right to a tee,had deer on more than one occasion zero in on me! This season I have a Asbell Evening Stand brown plaid that I am going to wear when the weather gets colder! I am not sold on Camo patterns! I hunt out of ground blinds so being not seen is imperative!

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      I have to agree with T. Downing. The only reason I wear camo for anything aside from turkeys sans a ground blind is because the warmest and most comfortable hunting clothes I can find (that are reasonably priced, anyway) happen to come in camo. And since I don’t pay much, if any, attention to individual camo patterns, it’s rare when I go into the woods without two or three different patterns between various articles of clothing.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      When “expensive” camo is referred to, it’s usually not the pattern itself that results in higher cost – it’s higher quality construction and better-performing fabrics.

      While I don’t have a great deal of disposable income, I also don’t have qualms at all about paying for good quality hunting clothing. It’s more than just the benefit of camo – it’s equipment that I truly depend on when I’m miles from a road in any and all weather conditions, just like my pack and everything in it. It needs to not just help me blend in – it needs to breathe, insulate, block rain and wind, and maybe even save me on a night out. Most cheap hunting clothing from the big box stores is most definitely a case of getting what you pay for. And if you only hunt in mild, dry conditions, maybe you can get away with that. But if you hunt in anything else, buying good quality stuff pays for itself. And if it comes with a good, break-up pattern (not that MOBU stuff), it’s icing on the cake, as far as I’m concerned.

    • gigglemonk
      Post count: 146

      Camo is to hunting as seat belts are to driving. They are there for the unexpected surprises. With all our stalking practice, wind awareness, behavior education, calls, spotting and scouting, stand selection etc, even when these are top notch, we get surprises.

      The best seat belts won’t make you a better driver and the best camo wont make you a better hunter.

    • lee
      Post count: 50

      I once stalked and killed a rio grande turkey while wearing a white t-shirt, tan shorts and running shoes. Appropriate clothes are nice though.

    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1072

      we have all done some pretty exotic things – once!, by luck! or

      odd circumstance – —

      A change of Parameters !?- for this thread——

      What type of Camo or clothing -would you wear – if after that “REALLY” SPECIAL Game Animal! The one you have wanted all your life – “The Dream hunt”*

      for myself –if just out for a afternoon/morning bow frolic,earth tone clothes usually suffice. However, I have gone all the way to Face Paint – Ghillie suit, when after game that is hard to draw [once every 4,5+yrs in some cases]It would seem for me that having as much good, camo matching the terrain as I can, gives me more confidence when after a more difficult/coveted game animal —

      Scout

      * A term I find aggravating in it’s commonality today–

    • vajd
      Post count: 29

      I would have loved to have camo boxers that hot October day, I had stripped of my shirt, and felt better so I slipped of my pants but the boxers were white. So I took them off also.

      Well about thrity minutes later I see movement and here comes a game warden!! I be he still tells the story the the crazy naked guy with a long bow up in a tree!

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      LOL!!!

      😆

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Vajd, I would have paid to see the look on his face.

      I just hope you started dancing and singing when he saw you.

      Mark.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      vajd wrote: I would have loved to have camo boxers that hot October day, I had stripped of my shirt, and felt better so I slipped of my pants but the boxers were white. So I took them off also.

      Well about thrity minutes later I see movement and here comes a game warden!! I be he still tells the story the the crazy naked guy with a long bow up in a tree!

      I guess that answers the initial question!!

    • gfredasbell
      Member
      Post count: 15

      I don’t think the commercially available patterned camo is necessary either, but I do believe wholeheartedly in “blending in.” I typicaly wear plaid and checks and flat, non-reflective colors…which will be wool or a soft cotton. I like something with a little texture to diffuse the reflective light. I’ll buy camo pants because it’s hard to find the kind of pants I want (cargo pockets)in anything else, but I have found a couple pairs of moleskin trousers,which is wonderfully soft, tough and comfortable, but they don’t have cargo pockets. I mostly wear a lightweight wool on my upper body. Honestly, I really do not like the feel or the comfort of some of the new camos…besides the fact that they’re ridiculously priced…and they are cut like modern outerspace clothing like they used to show aliens wearing on the moon.Body suits…Yuck! But I don’t go in the woods without face paint, because that seems to be the first thing I see on a fella in the woods…a shiny face. gfa

    • Don Thomas
      Member
      Post count: 334

      Simple answer: No. I agree with Jason. I still wear some because quiet hunting clothing tends to come in camp, but I really couldn’t care less about it unless I’m hunting turkeys. The old style plaid hunting shirts work just fine. Filson still makes them I believe. That’s where i got my last shirts. Don

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      The key word in the title of this thread’s question is “necessary.” And the ONLY answer to that is NO!

      I’m with G. Fred on the cargo pockets–to me, pants without cargo pockets ain’t hunting pants. And we don’t like them for style, but because everything you can put in a pocket is something you don’t have to put in a pack, and it’s handy as can be. Same for hunting shirts– they MUST have two button-down chest pockets, one for binocs, the other for calls.

      This thread keeps reminding me of a chapter in a great, perhaps the greatest, book about fly fishing in the South. Of course I can’t recall its title or the author, but it was about a young boy who went to live with two “old maid” uncle brothers who lived to hunt and fish. There was an obnoxious braggart turkey hunter neighbor everyone was fed up with, so they spread a rumor that the best turkey camo was a Santa suit. Sure enough, next thing you know the fool was hunting turkey in a Santa suit. The power of advertising. 😛

    • WICanner
      Post count: 136

      Haven’t read anything about fabric texture. Stuff that is fuzzy seems to draw me in. Anything to blur their vision a bit, I think is helpful. But that doesn’t have to involve camo, although it probably explains the digitized patterns coming out. I think it is what makes the various plaids work. When looking at a new pattern, I like to back up about 10-20 yards to have a look at it. So many of todays photographic patterns turn into green and brown blobs.

    • Terry Lightle
      Post count: 24

      I also wear plaids.material they are made of depends on how cold it is.Camo is made to put your money in somebody elses billfold

    • Lee Vivian
      Post count: 22

      i guess “camo” is a matter of semantics to me….any clothing worn to blend in is camo…whether plaid, earth tones, or today’s commercial stuff….I tend to distinguish between commercial camo…designed solely for that purpose, as compared to plaid, etc. I tend to wear plaid, with olive or brown cargo pants…..which I can get relatively inexpensive at Target or Wally World…..I do like the large cargo pockets on commercial camo, and sometimes wear my ASAT camo pants for that reason….

      Is is necessary…NO….I have had hunters walk by me while in a blowdown…never seeing me….I shot a doe at 12 yards, on the ground….with plaid shirt and olive pants….she stared at me in the open for ten minutes without spooking….”

      No matter what you wear…I think movement is the biggest giveaway which causes deer to run…that and scent…stay till, play the wind….and blend in…..

      Lee Vivian

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      JTop, nice link. Interesting read. Like the photos. thanks, dwc

    • wideangle
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 35

      The book is The Earth is Enough, Harry Middleton, 1989.

      David Petersen wrote: The key word in the title of this thread’s question is “necessary.” And the ONLY answer to that is NO!

      I’m with G. Fred on the cargo pockets–to me, pants without cargo pockets ain’t hunting pants. And we don’t like them for style, but because everything you can put in a pocket is something you don’t have to put in a pack, and it’s handy as can be. Same for hunting shirts– they MUST have two button-down chest pockets, one for binocs, the other for calls.

      This thread keeps reminding me of a chapter in a great, perhaps the greatest, book about fly fishing in the South. Of course I can’t recall its title or the author, but it was about a young boy who went to live with two “old maid” uncle brothers who lived to hunt and fish. There was an obnoxious braggart turkey hunter neighbor everyone was fed up with, so they spread a rumor that the best turkey camo was a Santa suit. Sure enough, next thing you know the fool was hunting turkey in a Santa suit. The power of advertising. 😛

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      That’s it, Joseph! Thank you. Great book and darned shame he never got around to writing its equal before dying young. Thinking of Southern writers named Harry, reminds me of another great, Harry Cruz (was it Harry? I know Cruz is right), the South’s answer to Hunter Thompson.

    • jeffmtnman
      Post count: 4

      JTop wrote: Read this article. The hawaiian shirt part is pretty interesting. Also, as a photographer I try to think in black and white. Red usually turns out as black on black and white film. I always wondered why someone would choose black and red for a hunting jacket.

      http://whitetail.com/camo1.html

      Are you the author of this article ?

    • arsurveyor
      Member
      Post count: 1

      Camo is not necessary, but stay away from solid colors, and do not wash with detergent that has UV brightners. However I usually always wear camo becuase i own so much of it.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Pretty cool pic. Fred’s jacket actually looks a lot like Kuiu’s VIAS pattern:

    • JodyS
      Post count: 114

      I have little to add to the good comments. In regard to lack of movement being paramount, I recall a video on predator hunting that I watched years ago. Gerry Blair, one of the “fathers” of predator hunting, demonstrated the importance of being still and diminished the role of camo by setting up on, calling in, and killing several coyotes in AZ while wearing….a bright red Santa Claus suit!

    • ChumpMcgee
      Member
      Post count: 252

      Sorry if I am repeating anyone here I only read a few of the responses. My opinion is you can where what ever you want as long as the wind is in your favor and you sit still. I have also always questioned camo, basically all what camo does is break up your silhouette. I think you can increase your chances by wearing camo or other clothing that is not a solid color. I am looking into getting s GFA pullover sweatshirt. They have a over sized hood which will shade your face and the colors on the are settle yet blend together. Look at what the old timers use to where, basically what ever they felt like wearing that day…Elmer Fud and his plade red shirt 🙂

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