What is hunting camouflage and why is it needed?
Camouflage clothing in one form or another is something that has been around for as long as humans have been. It has uses for concealment from threats, or from prey. Every military in the world also uses camouflage in one form or another for uniforms or for combat. In this article, we will focus on camouflage for the purposes of hunting, and how it might hide you from your prey (or in the case of blaze orange, how it might alert other hunters to your presence).back to menu ↑
What are the different types of hunting camouflage?
If you were to ask ten hunters how to categorize camouflage hunting clothes, you would likely be treated to ten different opinions. For the practical purposes of this article, we looked to group our recommendations by weather, whether warm or cold, and also by animal or hunting scenario. Understanding that there are a lot of female hunters making their way into the field, and that they have a very different body design than men (thank goodness!!!), we also have included recommendations for ladies’ hunting gear as well.
Please note that there is not specific hunting apparel for ladies in every category, and sometimes the apparel is more for looks than function, but we did want to at least offer suggestions where applicable.back to menu ↑
Upland Game Bird and Dove Hunting
Most people that hunt upland birds and/or dove and quail will generally be looking at a quality hunting vest over all else. That is not to say that they don’t wear camouflage clothing for this type of hunting, but the clothing selected is usually not specific for this type of hunting and can be found in the below recommendations based on the temperature during the hunt. This section focuses solely on the vests used for this type of hunting.back to menu ↑
A typical dove vest will have pockets to carry spare shells and sometimes even have a large opening on the back of the vest to put the birds after they have been harvested. Some vests will even have a pocket on the shoulder where a pad can be placed to lessen the felt recoil of the shotgun…something that can be truly appreciated by a smaller framed shooter…especially if they are using a 12 gauge!
What is the best dove vest?
Top pick: The Browning Trapper Creek Vest
The Browning Trapper Creek Vest is the perfect solution for someone who is looking for a lightweight dove vest. The mesh panels allow body heat to dissipate and won’t leave you feeling like you are in a sauna on a hot September afternoon. There are four large shell pockets on the front and a large mesh pocket in the back for storing your empties or your game. If you want to use this at the skeet or trap range, you will feel right at home with the two stretch loops to hold your next two rounds. There is also a pocket to hold the G2 recoil pad, which can be purchased separately. All in all, this is a comfortable and durable hunting vest.
What is the best women’s dove vest?
Top pick: The Browning Lady SPTR II Vest
The Browning Lady SPTR II Vest is not the truest of dove vests, but with its mesh design and flattering cut, it certainly fits the bill for the ladies who want to dove hunt, but do it with a feminine flair. The mesh panels keep you cool on those warmer hunting afternoons and the light pink and brown contrast together to create a functional, yet attractive vest. These is a pocket for a gel recoil pad should you wish to get one to help mitigate the kick of the shotgun. Again, while not the truest of dove vests, this one gets our nod for the styling as well as functionality…two things female hunters will be looking for!
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Quail / Pheasant / Grouse Vest
Typically when hunting upland birds, a dog will be used to flush the birds out from cover. These birds are not typically going to be found flying into your shooting field, but rather you will be stalking them and forcing them to fly to get a shot. As such, true camouflage is not typically necessary. Being that most often hunters for these types of birds will be hunting in groups, it is highly recommended (and in many states mandatory) for a hunter to wear a large amount of blaze orange to enhance visibility to other hunters. The below are vests that offer both ammunition storage AND excellent visibility to other hunters.
What is the best upland bird hunting vest?
The Gamehide Switchgrass Upland Field Bird Hunting Vest is an excellent choice for those stalking hunts where visibility to other hunters can be crucial. The vest features large blaze orange front panels and a blaze orange panel that covers virtually the entire back. There are two large front slash pockets as well as front shell holders that have a fabric flap to cover them to prevent any damage to your gun. The quilted shoulders provide an extra bit of comfort to keep felt recoil down a bit, especially given that you are likely to be using shells with a bit more powder for this type of hunting.
What is the best women’s upland bird hunting vest?
The Cabela’s Women’s OutfitHER Upland Vest Is Just the vest for the lady who wants to hunt upland birds while keeping a feminine cut to her clothing. The vest features plenty of blaze orange across the front and a good swath of it in the back as well. The vest also has quilted shooting pads integrated into the shoulders to help tame the kick of the shotgun, especially with the likelihood that higher brass loads are going to be used. The back has an expandable blood proof pocket to put game in and the front features both zippered pockets as well as shell holders with a fabric flap to cover them.
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Waterfowl hunting is rapidly growing in popularity thanks in part to the guys at Duck Commander and their antics. Being out hunting waterfowl is no game though…the conditions are wet and usually cold, so being properly prepared for the elements can make all the difference between and enjoyable hunt and a miserable experience. Most waterfowl hunting is going to occur in marshy locations, so typical camouflage patterns are going to be a reed pattern like a Max-4 or Max-5 or similar pattern.
What is the best waterfowl hunting clothing?
Top pick: The Stormr Men’s Stealth Jacket
The Stormr Men’s Stealth Jacket is a great jacket to hunt waterfowl if you want to stay both warm and dry…and who wouldn’t? The jacket features a neoprene core technology to really keep you toasty and dry and features the Realtree Max 4 camo pattern. The jacket also has abrasion resistant material in key wear spots and 2 large shell pockets along with call holders with magnetic closures. One cool feature is that the jacket has internal neoprene cuffs on the inner sleeves to ensure water doesn’t run down your arms. We found this jacket to fit a bit snug, so keep that in mind when ordering, especially if you think you might want to layer underneath it.
Top pick: The Drake Men’s LST 2.0 Insulated Bibs
The Drake Men’s LST 2.0 Insulated Bibs are a great addition to any waterfowl hunter’s arsenal. These bibs feature both a reinforced knee and seat to ensure you aren’t going to get a leak when sitting or kneeling in the field. They feature a Max 5 camo pattern, so they will blend right in to most waterfowl hunting situations. These bibs also have 180 grams of insulation, so staying warm shouldn’t be an issue either. One cool feature that we really liked was having the zippers go almost all the way up the side of each leg to allow you to take these off without having to remove your hunting shoes…certainly a handy feature if hunting from a permanent blind.
What is the best women’s waterfowl hunting clothing?
Best Women’s Jacket
Top pick: The Banded Gear Women’s Desoto Jacket
The Banded Gear Women’s Desoto Jacket is just what the ladies might be looking for if they are going to head out to the waterfowl blind. This is a jacket that definitely has some style, but still provides functionality to go with it. The jacket is wind proof and water resistant, so this isn’t the first choice if you plan to stay out in the elements. If you are however needing something to provide good camo and good weather protection to and from the blind, this is a great choice…especially if you want to add some feminine flair to the hunting scene!
Best Women’s Pants
The Banded Gear Women’s Desoto Insulated Pants are a perfect complement to the Desoto Jacket above. These pants feature a matching camo pattern to the Desoto jacket as well as a matching wind proof polyester stealth shell and a coral fleece inner liner. The legs are articulated to allow for a full range of movement and also feature lower side zips to allow easy access to hunting boots. These pants are also fitted to the body shape of a lady, rather than just being the traditional bulky straight leg common to most hunting pants. Like the jacket, these are not fully water proof, but the water resistant design should keep you dry to and from the blind.
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Spring Turkey Hunting
Spring turkey hunting is one of the most popular of hunting activities during the spring as it is also one of the only hunting activities available during the spring, unless you live where there are hogs or exotics. Turkeys are renowned for their eyesight, so a truly good camouflage pattern is essential to your spring success. Because of their excellent eyesight, it is often necessary to not just wear camo clothing, but to also cover your face and head in a mask as well as your hands with camo gloves. Turkeys do not have a sense of smell, so masking your scent isn’t necessary for this type of hunt.
What is the best Spring Turkey mask?
Top pick: The Mossy Oak Full Spandex Face Mask
The Mossy Oak Full Spandex Face Mask offers a high level of concealment for your head and face without adding a lot of bulk to your hunting pack. The spandex design is both breathable as well as comfortable, so this is certainly a mask you are likely to actually use. The form fitting design allows this to be worn under a cap in the event you want to add some breakup to your pattern. The eye hole is plenty big and won’t interfere if you want to wear sunglasses while you hunt. All in all, this is a great mask at a good price point to add to your turkey concealment.
What are the best Spring Turkey gloves?
Top pick: The Primos Stretch Fit Gloves
The Primos Stretch Fit Gloves offer a high level of concealment without losing your tactile senses. They are perfect for spring turkey season as they provide camo without adding a lot of heat or bulk to your hands. These are actually thin enough that you can draw a bow or crossbow without any worries as well as placing an arrow on the rail with confidence. Keep in mind that these are not waterproof, nor were they designed to be. These are simply gloves to offer concealment without the loss of tactile sensitivity.
What are the best women’s Spring Turkey gloves?
The Scent Blocker Sola Women’s Trinity Glove is a great mix of form and function. These gloves are primarily made from polyester with just enough spandex to offer a comfortable form fit. They also feature a honeycomb pattern made from silicon on the palms to assist with gripping things, especially when wet. The long 3” cuff means that there will be no skin exposed as you come to a full draw. A really cool aspect of these gloves in that the thumbs and forefingers have a material on them that allows for the use of a touch screen device…something really cool to help pass the time while you wait for that huge gobbler to come strolling up!
Turkey Hunting Vests
Looking more like a hybrid between a vest and a backpack, a turkey vest will also typically have a seat, which is something that sets a turkey vest apart from a regular vest or field pack. The seat typically hangs down from the pack behind the wearer such that when you arrive at your hunting location, you can just sit down and the seat pad is already in place. The seat is on the vest as much of spring turkey hunting is done while sitting on the ground behind some type of natural cover.
What is the best Spring Turkey hunting vest?
Top pick: The Tenzing TZ TP14 Turkey Hunting Vest
The Tenzing TZ TP14 Turkey Hunting Vest combines a lot of features into an easy to use vest. The vest features multiple front pockets for various calls and other turkey hunting accessories. The vest comes with a dual waist band strap to ensure there is a good snug fit for the walks out to your hunting site. One really cool feature of this vest is that when you have it on the ground, it actually makes more of a true ground chair than just a pad on the ground. There are two aluminum legs that deploy to allow you to actually lean back, and you can even retract them some to lean further back if the cover isn’t tall enough to hide you. It isn’t the most budget conscious item on our list, but it does have some really great features to add some serious comfort to your turkey time in the field.
What is the best women’s Spring Turkey hunting vest?
Top pick: The Cabela’s Women’s Tat’r Turkey Vest
The Cabela’s Women’s Tat’r Turkey Vest is the perfect size for most females to comfortably pack into the field. It has plenty of room to put calls and other gear while not becoming overly bulky for a smaller framed hunter. The vest is available in both Mossy Oak Obsession and the Zonz Woodlands pattern. The vest is certainly up for the job of spring turkey hunting with the thick padded cushion while also adding a bit of color for a feminine flair, but in places where the color will not affect the hunting. If you are looking for a vest designed for a smaller frame hunter but still up for the job, this may be just the vest for you.
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Warm Weather Bow hunting
Bow season starts in early autumn across much of the country. In many southern states it is still actually quite warm when the season kicks off. As such, this section is dedicated to those men and women who brave the heat with their bow in hand to get some early season action in. These clothing recommendations are going to be light weight and breathable while still working to neutralize odors.
What is the best warm weather bow hunting shirt?
The Scent Blocker NTS (Next to Skin) Long Sleeve Shirt is the perfect hunting shirt for warm weather bow season. The Microwick technology moves moisture away from the body to keep you feeling cool and dry and the soft polyester material allows you full range of movement without ever feeling bound up. The thumbholes ensure your sleeve stays down on your wrist, even as you come to full draw with your bow. The Scent Blocker technology does a good job of keeping human scents at bay allowing you to get up close and personal for that archery shot.
What is the best warm weather bow hunting pant?
Top pick: The Scent Blocker Recon Lite Pants
The Scent Blocker Recon Lite Pants are an excellent choice for warm weather archery hunting. The Scent Blocker technology does its job to keep your scent hidden while the pants themselves are light enough to not have you sweating, but sturdy enough to wear in the field. This pant can also be used as a base layer when the weather starts turning cooler, so you have additional wear time from it. The design of the ankle cuffs allows them to be tucked neatly into your boot or placed on the outside of your boot depending on your preference.
What is the best warm weather women’s bow hunting shirt?
The Scent Blocker Sola 1.5 Long Sleeve Shirt is an excellent choice for the female hunter who is looking to bag a deer during early bow season. The shirt is designed with a lady in mind, from the cut of the shirt all the way to the pink highlights; this one shows off function and fashion. The shirt is made from a polyester/spandex mix to allow for moisture wicking and freedom of movement. The sleeves also have thumbholes to ensure they stay where they are supposed to, even when drawing back a bow. The S3 technology works to control odor to give you the confidence to get your prey in up close and personal.
What is the best warm weather women’s bow hunting pant?
The Scent Blocker Sola Women’s Recon Pant is perfect for warm weather hunts and is a great complement to the Sola top we just spoke of. Again, these pants are cut for a lady and meant to fit a female’s different body shape from a man’s. They are made from a cotton and polyester blend that incorporates a ripstop fabric to make the pants both lightweight and durable. The pants also feature a reinforced seat as well as knees to allow for even greater durability. They also have two jean style pockets, two cargo pockets and a rear slash pocket. Keep in mind that these are meant to be warm weather pants and not meant to have a lot of layers under them. You might need to order a size up if that is your intent.
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Cold weather Bow Hunting
Just as in some states the weather is warm for early bow season, in many states the chill has already arrived. What sets the clothing recommended in this section apart from other general hunting clothing is the scent killing aspect of the clothes. For those general hunters who are 100 or more yards away from their prey, scent is not as big of an issue…but bow hunters are often within 30 or less yards of their prey, so scent control is crucial to their success.
What is the best cold weather bow hunting jacket?
Top pick: The Scent Lok Men’s Recon Thermal Jacket
The Scent Lok Men’s Recon Thermal Jacket is a great blend of warmth and mobility. The jacket has a polyester shell that is moisture resistant while allowing for a full range of motion. The sleeves feature zippers to improve your shooting clearance and the jacket even has an access opening for a safety harness. There is a fleece inner lining to improve the warmth of the jacket while not adding a lot of bulk. This jackets utilizes the carbon alloy technology, combining active carbon, treated carbon and zeolite to virtually eliminate all scent.
What is the best cold weather bow hunting pant?
Top pick: The Scent Lok Men’s Recon Thermal Pants
The Scent Lok Men’s Recon Thermal Pants are the perfect pant to add to the above listed jacket to make for a scent free bow hunting suit for cooler weather. They are made from polyester and allow for a good range of movement. We liked the fact that they come up a little higher in the back to keep your kidneys warm which will then keep your inner core warmer. They have long zipper openings on the legs to allow for easier bending or kneeling when dressing out your kill. Like the jacket, these pants feature the carbon alloy technology to keep your scent from your prey’s nose.
What is the best women’s cold weather bow hunting jacket?
The Scent Blocker Sola Women’s Protec HD Jacket offers a dense fleece design to eliminate penetration from even the worst of wind gusts. The jacket offers a full front zipper with an interior wind flap as well as a roll up hood visor and partial elastic sleeve cuffs. This is a jacket that is meant to keep you warm while not being so bulky it makes bow hunting impractical. We found it to have a cut that is just right for a lady, allowing a feminine look without being restricting. Trinity technology cuts down on human scent and the BodyLock at the exit points eliminates any remaining scent. This is a jacket that will truly allow you to wait for the perfect shot in comfort.
What is the best women’s cold weather bow hunting pant?
The Scent Blocker Sola Women’s WindTec Insulated Pant offers the perfect match to the above jacket. The polyester construction combined with 1000 gram Thinsulate insulation and partial elastic waist make for pant that is incredibly warm while not being restricting of movement. Like the jacket, the pants feature a dense layer of fleece to keep wind gusts out and body heat in. These pants are truly cut for a woman’s body and fit as they are supposed to. It is a nice touch that the expandable cargo pockets actually feature a pink liner that is only visible when the pockets fill up…nothing to help particularly with the hunt, but something to set them apart from the normal men’s gear.
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Warm General Hunting
There are parts of the country where even at the start of general hunting season the weather can still be quite mild. As this article is being written it is already after opening day in South Texas and the weather is still shorts and t-shirt weather outside. Getting geared up in heavy hunting clothing could make for an absolutely miserable hunt. As such, we offer the below options for enjoying your hunt on those days where heavy clothing just isn’t appropriate.
You will notice in the warm hunting/hog section below, we only make recommendations on camo shirts as most hunters wear heavy cordura jeans to pursue their quarry through the thorny brush where they often live. We have included links to the cordura jeans as well should you wish to learn more about them.
What is the best concealment suit for warm weather hunting?
Top pick: OUTERDO 3D Leafy Ghillie Suit
The best full body concealment suit for warm weather is the OUTERDO 3D Leafy Ghillie Suit which is designed to be worn over your lightweight clothing to offer total visual camouflage. This ghillie suit has good 3D leaves that do not tend to catch on branches like many other suits do. The suit comes as a pair of pants and a jacket and is pretty much one size fits all. We tested it on someone who was 6’ tall and about 220 pounds and it fit well, but didn’t give much room. If you are under that mark, this suit should work quite well for you. There are other more expensive suits out there, but we felt this one should get the nod due to the value for what you get.
What is the best general warm weather/hog hunting shirt?
The Russell Outdoors Men’s Treklite Long Sleeve Shirt is perfect for hunting in warmer weather where scent is not as much of an issue. The polyester construction keeps you mobile and also keeps you cool and dry, especially when combined with the vented back. For those days that it really warms up, there are also tabs on the sleeves such that you can roll the sleeves up and keep them in place. Please note that this shirt is not meant to keep you warm…it is a warm weather hunting shirt! Fit seems to be about par for normal sizing and the quality feels as if it will last for more than just one season.
What is the best women’s general warm weather/hog hunting shirt?
Top pick: The Women’s ¼ Zip Performance Shirt
The Women’s ¼ Zip Performance Shirt offers both the functionality of a good camouflage hunting shirt while bringing in a definite feminine flair. The shirt is made from polyester so it allows for plenty of movement while also wicking sweat away to keep you dry and cool. The stitching and zipper are done in a bright pink to make for a fun contrast and styling. The sleeves have thumbholes to keep them in place or can be rolled up if it gets really warm. We found the sizing to be a little on the small size, so keep that in mind when ordering.
What are cordura jeans?
Top pick: Wrangler Men’s ProGear Upland Jean
Cordura is a heavier weight material than just traditional denim and stands up to brush and stickers much better than denim or cotton alone. Many times cordura and canvas are used interchangeably, but they essentially are heavier versions of traditional materials for clothing or bags/gear. The cordura jeans can be really useful when hunting in thick brush…especially when that brush has lots of thorns. In our experience, the cordura will not stop all thorns, but it will stop a large percentage of them. Keep in mind that this material is NOT designed to stop a snake bite, so don’t purchase it with that in mind.
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Cold Weather General Hunting
For most of the country, by the time general hunting season comes around it is quite cold. In this section we offer our recommendations for hunting clothing that is designed to not only aid you in concealment, but to also protect you from the harsh elements you are likely to experience. This section will not only offer our best pick for a heavy jacket, but also for good insulated pants as well to ensure your entire body stays warm and comfortable. Keep in mind that these recommendations are specifically to keep you warm, not to conceal your scent!
What is the best general cold weather hunting jacket?
The Legendary Whitetails Canvas Cross Trail Camo Jacket is a great choice for a heavy duty hunting jacket that is also durable enough to be an everyday work jacket. The shell is a heavy duty sanded canvas with a polyester fill and polyester lining to help wick away sweat. This features a full 210 grams of insulation, so keep in mind it is going to be warm. The hood is a zip off design so it can be stored away and out of the way when not needed. The jacket is available in a number of different colors and patterns to fit just about anyone’s individual tastes. All in all, this would be a hard jacket to beat in terms of warmth, durability or value.
What is the best general cold weather hunting pant?
Top pick: The Yukon Gear Men’s Insulated Pants
The Yukon Gear Men’s Insulated Pants offer a lot of insulation while remaining both waterproof and breathable. They do so with a polyester tricot and 8000/800 WPD PU lamination. There is only one front and one rear pocket, but the inclusion of two side pockets makes up for any loss of storage. These pants are a little on the bulky side, but then again they are designed to be COLD weather gear, so that is something that is to be expected. We did like the way the ankles have some elastic and can grip a bit tighter around your boots to help keep snow out.
What is the best women’s general cold weather hunting jacket?
The Arctic Shield Women’s Performance Fit Jacket is a great way to stay warm in really cold environments. The Arctic Shield technology captures up to 90% of body heat to keep the wearer nice and toasty. The fit of this jacket is great for a lady as it looks like a ladies cut without restricting freedom of movement. The micro suede exterior does a good job of not getting stickers or branches hung up in it at all. This is a great jacket for the female hunter who wants to stay looking like a lady while also staying warm and toasty on a cold winter hunt.
What is the best women’s general cold weather hunting pant?
The Arctic Shield Women’s Performance Fit Bib gives an amazing amount of insulation while still maintaining some mobility. The bib is a great feature as it will not slide down in the back and expose any part of the body to cold when bending over. This is a great matching bib/pant to the above Arctic Shield jacket and also features the Arctic Shield technology to ensure the wearer keeps the body heat in and the cold out. These bibs feature large zippers on the side of each leg to allow for easy on/off even with hunting boots on. Like the jacket, the bib is constructed of a micro suede to keep burrs at bay while also remaining quiet.