Camo isn’t the magic weapon, but it helps

I’ve spent quite a bit of time on this blog talking about camo and camo patterns, but does camo really matter when you’re hunting? I don’t think it’s the most important thing, but it can help.

The whole purpose of camouflage clothing is to break up your outline. Game animals know that humans are probably their most dangerous predators, and they have a very healthy respect for the shapes we come in.

They also know our scents and our sounds, and they react to these as they do to the forms they see. Camo can’t do much for scent or sound, though there are materials camo clothing can come in that can help a little bit for both. But the main thing camo is meant to do is to break up our outlines.

For that reason, some of the camo patterns that came out in the 80s and 90s just aren’t very effective for hunting. There isn’t enough contrast between the light colors and the dark colors in the pattern to effectively break up our outlines. To the human eye, those patterns might blend pretty well with certain environments, but we see colors differently than game animals do, and what the animal sees is a human-shaped blob of Louisiana bayou or Georgia forest.

There are better camo patterns available now that do a much better job of breaking up our form. KUIU’s three choices – Verde, Valo and Vias – are all excellent. And while Vias is made for talus slopes, Verde is created for evergreen forests, and Valo is designed for the sagebrush plains, all of them break up the human outline and can work in any environment. The same is true for Killik, Sitka and UnderArmour’s Ridge Reaper patterns. They might not be the exact color of the brush you’re hiding behind, but to a deer or elk, you don’t look like a predator. You don’t look like anything.

You still need to move carefully, sit still when needed, avoid making noises, and pay attention to the wind direction. Even the most perfect camo doesn’t make you a ghost. It only helps make you a little harder to recognize as a threat.