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Old 12-01-2009, 07:00 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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(Why) do hunters wear camouflage?

I'm watching the beginning of the most recent episode of House. There are two men hunting. They are wearing camouflauge, and over that, they're wearing bright orange vests.

The orange vests are to help make sure they don't shoot each other, I take it.

But since they have to wear the orange vests, I wonder why they bother with the camouflage at all.
  #2  
Old 12-01-2009, 07:06 AM
cedman cedman is offline
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They dress that way to hide their appearance from the prey, (deer, I assume) who cannot see the bright orange vest.

Last edited by cedman; 12-01-2009 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:07 AM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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Deer are supposed to be color blind, and the orange is just another shade of gray to them. It's common areound here to see orange clothing with olive drab leaf patterns printed on them.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:25 AM
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As an aside, I've never heard of hunting Turkey by walking through the woods. In Missouri at least, it's all still hunting. That's sitting very still in full camouflage, including a head net, and waiting for one to come within range. Calling is done to attract the turkeys.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:34 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Originally Posted by VunderBob View Post
Deer are supposed to be color blind, and the orange is just another shade of gray to them. It's common areound here to see orange clothing with olive drab leaf patterns printed on them.
That would make more sense to me if the orange vest were a kind of orange camo, rather than a big monochrome patch.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:19 AM
pan1 pan1 is offline
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That would make more sense to me if the orange vest were a kind of orange camo, rather than a big monochrome patch.
And when the hunters can afford to they will likely upgrade their vests to Orange Camo, but the plain orange overlay vests are cheap and with hunting it's always safety first.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:29 AM
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Interesting discussion but if the deer can't make out the orange then why bother with camos? Couldn't you wear a purple zoot suit and be just as invisible to deer as in camos with a blaze orange vest?
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:33 AM
Uosdwis R. Dewoh Uosdwis R. Dewoh is offline
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Military clothing is also comfortable and specifically designed for moving about in the forest. You can also get some for cheap from military surplus stores.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:52 AM
JFLuvly JFLuvly is offline
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Wearing the camo under the orange vest breaks up the outlune of the human body. If you wore all orange your full silhouette would stand out against the background, breaking up the arms and legs with camo helps hide you.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
Interesting discussion but if the deer can't make out the orange then why bother with camos? Couldn't you wear a purple zoot suit and be just as invisible to deer as in camos with a blaze orange vest?
The Partular shade of orange is chosen because it stands out the most to the human eye. A bright purple would have to be more pink than purple to get the same visibility and manly hunters do not wear pink.
  #11  
Old 12-01-2009, 08:59 AM
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The camo pattern is important, especially as an outline. It can be drab camo outline, or orange camo outline.

You could argue that a drab camo outfit with a orange camo pattern vest might be even better than a solid square... but that might mitigate safety a tiny amount.

Thus, orange center... camo pattern outline = Nice compromise.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:25 AM
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I'm a hunter, and I've always been skeptical of camouflage clothing. I am of the opinion that game animals do not care about the color and pattern of my clothing. I honestly think it's more of a fashion statement. The hunting magazines try and convince hunters that they must be camouflaged with the latest-n-greatest Mossy Oak pattern (or whatever), and people believe it. I also believe some people hunt as a way of engaging in fantasy role-playing, and dressing up as a military sniper (or whatever) is part of the fantasy.

When it comes to hunting and not being seen, there are only three things that matter IMO: movement, noise, and smell. The most significant are the first two; the less you move, and the less noise you make, the more invisible you will be. I’m neutral on the importance of body odor. I think it can certainly work against you in some circumstances, but not nearly to the extent that the magazines claim. (I think ScentLok clothing is a joke.)

Just my two cents.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:30 AM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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In my state, deer hunters are required by law to wear a certain amount of "hunter orange" while hunting. I don't deer hunt, so I'm not up on the specifics, but I think it is so many square inches of uninterrupted orange.
  #14  
Old 12-01-2009, 09:58 AM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Interesting discussion but if the deer can't make out the orange then why bother with camos? Couldn't you wear a purple zoot suit and be just as invisible to deer as in camos with a blaze orange vest?
As mentioned above deer are colorblind, however, colorblindness can range from monochromacy (see only in shades of gray) to dichromacy (see all colors but a few). The former is rare in animals, to my knowledge, only cetaceans, seals, and owl monkeys are monochromats. Dichromacy is uncommon but not rare in humans, and is such a subtle impairment in humans that many are unaware that their perception is not "normal."

Deer are dichromats, and as such can see most colors. The theory is that they supposedly have difficulty distinguishing blaze orange from another color, and thus it appears greenish to them.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:35 AM
kopek kopek is offline
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Wearing the camo under the orange vest breaks up the outlune of the human body. If you wore all orange your full silhouette would stand out against the background, breaking up the arms and legs with camo helps hide you.

What JF said. Deer see orange as a sort of gray but wearing a full body-suit of orange makes you stand out like a neon sign to them. All of a sudden there is this giant solid block of gray that looks totally out of place in the forest. And deer aren't rocket scientists but they know what belongs in the forest and what doesn't. Any solid color will do the same. Patterns, be it camo or the old Woolrich "red and black" breaks up that effect. Some friends and I did some experiments taking b&w pictures of ourselves on stand and moving and the difference between some orange (required in PA) in combination with other things and all ANY color was pretty great.

(PS - trout fishermen will sometimes wear patterns and camo for the same reason)


Turkey - another story. By law in PA you may wear full camo because turkey can see very well in color. By law you also are not to stalk turkey sounds or fire at anything you are unsure of. But people do and turkey hunters shoot each other too often. So moving into my stand I wear orange over my cammies. And when I get to stand, I tack the vest (about 6 feet off the ground) on the reverse of the tree I'm sitting at the base of to give people approaching from my blind side an indication I'm there. Yeah -- I'm also warning turkeys coming from my blind side. But the non-feathered ones are enough of a problem that I can live with that. Literally.
  #16  
Old 12-01-2009, 11:26 AM
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I'm a hunter, and I've always been skeptical of camouflage clothing. I am of the opinion that game animals do not care about the color and pattern of my clothing.
Then why do so many predators have camouflaged pelts? I doubt that a tiger or leopard cares about the fashion statement it's making.
  #17  
Old 12-01-2009, 11:40 AM
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Then why do so many predators have camouflaged pelts? I doubt that a tiger or leopard cares about the fashion statement it's making.
Predators have to get much closer to their prey, moving all the while, than someone with a high powered rifle does.
  #18  
Old 12-01-2009, 11:45 AM
Henjin Henjin is offline
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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
I'm a hunter, and I've always been skeptical of camouflage clothing. I am of the opinion that game animals do not care about the color and pattern of my clothing. I honestly think it's more of a fashion statement. The hunting magazines try and convince hunters that they must be camouflaged with the latest-n-greatest Mossy Oak pattern (or whatever), and people believe it. I also believe some people hunt as a way of engaging in fantasy role-playing, and dressing up as a military sniper (or whatever) is part of the fantasy.

I'm happy to see he was able to parlay his fame as Heroes' Hiro Nakamura into a product endorsement,, but it does seem a little off the wall... I suppose you do what you have to to pay the bills...
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:57 PM
Anachronism Anachronism is offline
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I am not a hunter but I believe some types of hunting are done without the safety orange (like bow hunting). If a someone needs camo for one type of hunting and safety orange for another an orange vest is much cheaper than a second set of clothes and also less inventory the store has to carry.
  #20  
Old 12-01-2009, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
I'm a hunter, and I've always been skeptical of camouflage clothing. I am of the opinion that game animals do not care about the color and pattern of my clothing. I honestly think it's more of a fashion statement.
Agreed. I hunted from a deer stand as a kid, wearing street clothes. As long as you didn't move, the deer didn't seem to particularly care what you were wearing. Camo hunting gear is a relatively recent phenomenon. When I was a wee lad and spent a lot of time around hunters, it was more the exception than the rule. Now the reverse seems to be true.

Last edited by Spoke; 12-01-2009 at 04:20 PM.
  #21  
Old 12-01-2009, 04:43 PM
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. I honestly think it's more of a fashion statement.
So.... are you saying I don't need to get the camouflaged Busch cans?
  #22  
Old 12-01-2009, 04:51 PM
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Why not just have a full body suit that is orange, red, and yella, arranged to be all camo-like?
  #23  
Old 12-01-2009, 04:55 PM
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Why not just have a full body suit that is orange, red, and yella, arranged to be all camo-like?
#10 in this pic is just that.
http://www.slygear.com/cgi-bin/image...oDisplay-3.jpg
  #24  
Old 12-01-2009, 05:43 PM
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What JF said. Deer see orange as a sort of gray
Is there actual proof of this? How does anyone except deer know what deer see?
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:07 PM
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Ooooh! Perfect for autumn!
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:16 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Is there actual proof of this? How does anyone except deer know what deer see?
Because many animals can be trained to indicate when two colors appear different to them. If they make no response, then they appear the same.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:46 PM
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The big question is: why do people buy camoflage-patterned wallets? That's the last thing I want to blend into the background.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:37 PM
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I remember being in a Wyoming store and seeing thongs and teddies in camouflage.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:26 PM
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Is there actual proof of this? How does anyone except deer know what deer see?
We know that they have two kinds of color receptors, and we know the range of wavelengths each is sensitive to. This enables us to tell what kind of colors they are capable of seeing. As has been mentioned, experiments on color discrimination in animals have also been done.

Humans, unlike most mammals, have three kinds of color receptors, which gives us pretty good color vision. Turkeys, like most vertebrates other than mammals, have four color receptors, giving them much better color discrimination than us.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:55 PM
Švejk Švejk is offline
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Why do hunters wear camouflage?

So Dick Cheney doesn't see them

d&r
  #31  
Old 12-02-2009, 05:57 AM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
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Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
I'm watching the beginning of the most recent episode of House. There are two men hunting. They are wearing camouflauge, and over that, they're wearing bright orange vests.

The orange vests are to help make sure they don't shoot each other, I take it.

But since they have to wear the orange vests, I wonder why they bother with the camouflage at all.
You know, we airmen have been asking the same damn question for years.

(by way of explanation, read the top comic on this page)
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:14 AM
Martini Enfield Martini Enfield is offline
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It also depends what you're hunting, too. You don't need camouflage to hunt bunnies or foxes, for example. So yeah, I agree with Crafter Man.
  #33  
Old 12-02-2009, 06:27 AM
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Predators have to get much closer to their prey, moving all the while, than someone with a high powered rifle does.
Besides, "burning bright" orange with pure white highlights isn't exactly good tyger camo in a mangrove or forest, is it ?

ETA : I mean, seriously. This is me. I'm a tiger. I blend right in.

Last edited by Kobal2; 12-02-2009 at 06:31 AM.
  #34  
Old 12-02-2009, 07:07 AM
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I see a lot of camo in Walmart. These people must be invisible to themselves when looking in the mirror, because they would be better off in the forest with some of their outfits.

To sum up what has been said:

1-Best thing going is camo pattern, but brightly colored. Safety and stealthy.

2-Next best thing is drab camo pattern with orange/bright vest. Safety (less so) and stealthy (less so)

3-Trailing behind is no camo at all with orange/bright vest. Safe as 2, but not as stealthy.

Anecdotal evidence will show 1,2 and 3 as successful. Many deer have been killed under many different circumstances, and there are just too many variables that we cannot control for sans a major study.

If it were me, I would go w/ option 1.

Last edited by Philster; 12-02-2009 at 07:08 AM.
  #35  
Old 12-02-2009, 08:43 AM
kopek kopek is offline
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Is there actual proof of this? How does anyone except deer know what deer see?
Probably what some expert got past some review board; all I can say is that that's what is in my instructors manual. The old versions usually said "black and white" and somewhere along the course of my life the thought was "sepia browns" but now the rule of thumb is "grays". Whatever the case, one thing science and experience both seem to show is that deer are not as sensitive to color as something like a turkey is.
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:38 PM
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An expansive treatise on what deer see is at
http://www.muledeercountry.com/?p=905

Among other things, it says deer can't distinguish shades of red such as orange and pink. Also, their distance vision isn't better than that of humans.
  #37  
Old 12-02-2009, 08:24 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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I remember being in a Wyoming store and seeing thongs and teddies in camouflage.
Well, camo is useful, no matter what you're stalking!

Last edited by Polycarp; 12-02-2009 at 08:24 PM.
  #38  
Old 12-02-2009, 08:30 PM
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Camouflage condoms. She'll never see you coming!
  #39  
Old 12-02-2009, 08:43 PM
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Camouflage condoms. She'll never see you coming!
And people say romance is dead.
  #40  
Old 12-02-2009, 08:50 PM
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Camouflage condoms. She'll never see you coming!
Bad silenus! No Scotch!







  #41  
Old 12-02-2009, 09:00 PM
Susanann Susanann is offline
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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
I'm a hunter, and I've always been skeptical of camouflage clothing. I am of the opinion that game animals do not care about the color and pattern of my clothing. I honestly think it's more of a fashion statement. The hunting magazines try and convince hunters that they must be camouflaged with the latest-n-greatest Mossy Oak pattern (or whatever), and people believe it. I also believe some people hunt as a way of engaging in fantasy role-playing, and dressing up as a military sniper (or whatever) is part of the fantasy.

When it comes to hunting and not being seen, there are only three things that matter IMO: movement, noise, and smell. The most significant are the first two; the less you move, and the less noise you make, the more invisible you will be. I’m neutral on the importance of body odor. I think it can certainly work against you in some circumstances, but not nearly to the extent that the magazines claim. (I think ScentLok clothing is a joke.)

.
I agree with you esp for deer. In the old days, very few of us hunters, bow hunters, wore comoflage clothing. we just wore dark colors so as not to stand out. deer are color blind..

Camoflage does break up your outline and it helps, but it is not necessary because I was a successful deer bow hunter, shooting deer up close, before camoflage became so available to most people.

Deer have no memory and cannot tell what a human is if he makes no noise and does not move. I have had deer walk by me within 20 feet, without them knowing what I was. I walked up to deer simply by moving only when their head is down, and then the deer could not remember that the last time he looked I was 3 feet farther away.

There are all sorts of gimmicks that people try to sell you, I just saw a snowball maker at Dicks. I guess kids today can not make snowballs without a snowball maker anymore.

However, on the other hand, I find that ducks can tell I am a human from pretty far away, even if I am not moving. The only way to hunt ducks is to comoflage because other wise they will see you and know what you are even if you wear green and even if you do not move.

Last edited by Susanann; 12-02-2009 at 09:02 PM.
  #42  
Old 12-02-2009, 10:51 PM
kopek kopek is offline
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Camouflage condoms. She'll never see you coming!
Don't laugh (OK - go ahead and laugh) but the one thing I won't carry into the woods in deer season unless it's camo or olive drab ----- toilet paper. When a deer gets ready to run, the tail shoots up showing the white underside. Some yahoos who shoot at the slightest provocation see any flash of white in the brush and they set out to empty that pump action 06 as fast as they can. Since you are going to have to sooner or later if you hunt enough ------ it just seems like a bad time to be mistaken for game.

To the best of my knowledge it has only happened once in PA with serious result and a handfull of close calls in 30some years. But I know what my luck is like so ----------
  #43  
Old 12-03-2009, 10:28 AM
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First thing, all hunting/fishing accessories first have to catch hunters/fishermen.

Second, the dawning of your dedicated, camo gear puts you in the right frame of mind. It's like a suit that you'd wear for work, but more appropriate for hunting.

For me, it's not about the wearing of camo, but more that my hunting gear is dedicated to that, washed in scent free/scent reducing detergent, and stored in a plastic tub. It also has the pockets & features that I'm looking for. I did buy my blaze orange jacket with the breakup camo pattern, as I don't see how it can hurt to break up all that expanse of solid color... I needed a new one, that could be taken apart into layers, and mine was on sale, with appropriate pockets.

For some hunting, it's very important, for other hunting, not so much. But why have multiple types of clothing for all of the different hunting? (waterproofness/temperature requirements aside)
  #44  
Old 12-03-2009, 11:13 AM
JerseyFrank JerseyFrank is offline
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I remember being in a Wyoming store and seeing thongs and teddies in camouflage.
It's so they blend in with the bush.
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