Hunting Tip: Mix Your Camouflage Patterns

Sometimes your camouflage may need a tweak, depending on your surroundings. Don't be afraid to mix up your camo pattern.

Hunting Tip: Mix Your Camouflage Patterns

Depending on your surroundings, consider mixing camouflage patterns to help blend or disappear better when you're pursuing predators or big game. (Photo: Mark Kayser)

New camouflage patterns emerge on the market as regularly as bills arrive in your mailbox. Realistic patterns scripted from nature and digital patterns meant to dissolve in the reality around you dominate the market with companies like Mossy Oak, Realtree, Sitka, Kryptek overwhelming you, along with the large stores like Cabela’s launching their own patterns on labeled garments.

As a Mossy Oak fan, I have more than enough patterns to match every backdrop imaginable … or do I?

Timber, wetland, grass and western environments get the attention of most camouflage designers. Within each of these landscapes you find subtle changes, edges and niches that could require some freelance attire choices. It’s something I’ve been experimenting with for years and I think it has helped me disappear when one pattern simply won’t handle all of the disappearing demands asked of it.

Mix or Match?

The mix-and-match concept I’m suggesting came to me on a past elk hunt. My elk hunting typically consists of run-and-gun strategies. Those end with me hunkering quickly into or against some sort of vegetation. It’s not that my current attire won’t blend with the background, but oftentimes I’m kneeling in golden or light-colored grass with my back against cedars or ponderosa pines.

One day I had the bright idea of pulling on a pair of Mossy Oak Brush pattern pants and topping that with a jacket of Mossy Oak Break-Up Country. That day I arrowed a monster bull elk and I had to give credit to my camouflage ensemble. Just kidding!

But I did notice the two different patterns made my body disappear better since each half was a separate shade and pattern. Instead of one large camouflaged pattern, I suddenly transitioned my body into two separate entities with different patterns.

For Predators, Too

I’ve since incorporated it into my coyote hunting when it makes sense. In the middle of winter with a heavy snowpack my standard getup of all white is the top choice. The same is true if I’m hunting grasslands with a prone, sniper shooting position.

But Mother Nature is never perfect and when I take stands along edges that include bleached grass and coniferous backgrounds, the two-tone approach I adopted for some elk environments blends better. Some of the areas I’ve been calling this winter have been partly covered in snow, so the two-tone approach again makes sense. I don a white top and a Western pattern like Mossy Oak’s new Mesquite. In the sagebrush jungle my form melts away.

Just to be frank, you and I know it’s movement that will ultimately get you busted on a predator set. Even the best camouflage in the world won’t fix that unless you have a chameleon, “Predator” outfit.

Nevertheless, when you’re looking for an edge in your Copperfield disappearing act, consider a mix-and-match approach. It may just help you in environments that require a special touch.

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