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Camouflage and Concealment


The change in the season, as it often does, has brought about a reassessment. Specifically, my clothing.
For the past two years I have lived in two pairs of cheap DPM trousers that have now faded to the point of exuding a pale cream hue, the knees have worn thin, buttons on the pockets long lost and the disruptive pattern not even that disturbing. No wonder my hunting trips have been more challenging and less fruitful!
I didn't honestly expect trousers I work in to also remain effective in the field, certainly not for long. I do have work trousers, but not wishing to upset the washing cycle I often neglected to change in to them.
Even if the above were not the case, it is optimistic to expect predominantly green camouflage to provide concealment in autumn and winter. Whilst the knock off DPM's have been placed in the 're-purposing' bag, and proper heavy duty replacement ones purchased in their stead, still I am conscious that soon the shading canopy above me will disappear completely, and the woodland will be much lighter as a consequence. The basic principles of camouflage and concealment are as follows;
Shape, Shine, Shadow, Silhouette, Sudden movement, Surface, Spacings.

Adhere to these and you should succeed in bagging game. Even dressed in Jeans and a yellow t-shirt. Of course, wear the same colour as the predominant one around you, generally green or brown, and you should see improved results. Wear a disruptive pattern in those colours and you should fare better. The other end of the scale is a full blown hide. But lets stick to the context of clothing.
I decided to research camouflage patterns and available products that would better conceal me these next two seasons where foliage and cover are thin on the ground.
There are a multitude of patterns from a wide variety of manufacturers. The selection is greatly narrowed if you consider your landscape and the plant species that predominantly grow in it. Not only that, but I also had the seasons as a criteria.
Now consider this. Many patterns are sold that appeal to the hunters eye, but I don't wish to avoid detection from humans. So lets consider our prey. This is mostly rabbit, wood pigeon and squirrel.
Of the three, the wood pigeon certainly has the keenest sight, so movement (or lack of it) is key with them. Rabbits and squirrels, are a touch more forgiving, but they all have difficulty with depth perception.
As we know, the pigeon overcomes this to an extent by bobbing its head, the squirrel by moving its head up and down or side to side relative to the subject, and rabbits are just plain terrible. Why is any of this of any relevance? Well some of the most effective patterns have what is called a 3D effect to them whereby the pattern includes blurred background and sharp foreground, this all helps in confusing the senses of what is looking at you. The aim and result is that your shape is broken up almost by employing a 'magic eye' optical effect.
What about colour?
Well rabbits can differentiate only between green and blue, seeing shades of light and dark. Squirrels have 'dichromatic' vision comparable to a human with red-green colour blindness and wood pigeon can see the same spectrum as humans plus ultraviolet!
The latter two species make your choice rather important even if they have trouble gauging your distance.
Then of course, there is that very human factor. Price!

So I have chosen to go with the HSF Stealth Evolution Camo Jacket and Trousers (both just £29.95 each) from Stock and Tackle (www.stockandtackle.com)

I will be testing this outfit and posting a full review soon so watch this space...

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