There’s a fine line behind camouflage and safety, and today’s technology makes it distinctive.
When it comes to hunting, the art of camouflage is a requirement for a successful trip. Thanks to modern technology, there are hundreds of camouflage patterns, types of applications, and different ways to conceal yourself. Couple that with scent blockers and various sound-limiting devices and you can blend into almost any outdoor background.
While we mask ourselves with clothing and blinds, it’s vital to look at how we can better use camouflage, and what we need to do to protect ourselves in case we’re too well hidden from other hunters.
Animals use their coloring and markings as a way to camouflage themselves from predators. By adopting their methods of concealment, we can better hide ourselves while on a hunt. Here are types of camo and examples of how animals use them:
- Concealing coloration: Arctic animals use concealing coloration to blend in with the snow, while forest animals are based in earth-tones.
- Disruptive coloration: A zebra uses disruptive coloration so its predator can’t judge where one ends and one begins.
- Disguise and mimicry: Disguise and mimicry are used mainly by insects to protect them from larger prey.
In order to know how to use these to your advantage, it’s important to know how animals see. Deer, for instance, have have one less cone than humans. This causes them to perceive the wavelengths for colors like red and orange differently. Because of this, wearing orange protective clothing doesn’t stand out to deer the same way it does for people.
Their vision is also focused differently. Compared to a human, a deer’s sight is 20/200, meaning they can see at 20 meters what a human can see at 200. Also, they have a visual streak across their eyes that lets them focus on horizontal movement, where their predators attack from.
Additionally, their night vision is better and they may have the ability to see the ultraviolet spectrum. This causes a lot of the dyes and brighteners in modern laundry detergent and clothing to stand out more.
On the other hand, waterfowl have an extra cone, which lets them see ultraviolet radiation and perceive reds, greens, yellows, and blues more boldly. Because of their ability to see UV rays, waterfowl are more sensitive to light.
This means any surface without a natural reflection will stand out more, including your weapon (typically the barrel) and exposed skin (especially the face). Their retinas also have a higher concentration of blood vessels that make them more sensitive to motion.
Safety is always a top priority when hunting, which is why blaze orange accessories are often seen on hunters’ clothing and gear. The bright color is easy for humans to spot, but as mentioned, not as easy for deer.
Orange equipment and clothing should not only provide safety, but it should be practical at the same time.
Ground blinds are a great way to stay concealed while on the hunt, so placing a large orange panel on the side would be counterproductive. It’ll block your vision and make you stand out more than is necessary. Take the necessary precautions to ensure you’re using blinds in a safe and known environment, and there’s zero chance another hunter will stumble upon it.
The Right Combination
Having the proper amount of safety equipment mixed in with your camouflage will ensure you’re not mistaken for an animal. It’ll also brings awareness to your location, stopping other hunters from firing in your direction if they confuse your blind for real vegetation.
Thanks to our knowledge of animal sight, we can create the best patterns to hide and stay safe on the hunt.