Many deer hunters share the following frustrations: You're perched in your position, fully camouflaged and as silent as possible, stalking this magnificent mature buck. The deer suddenly turns around and stares straight at you for no explicable reason before turning around to flee. He's blown on you. You're left frustrated since the deer can't take surveys or give answers as to what you did poorly in terms of hiding.
Many deer hunters have also found themselves needing a better place on the ground while attempting to bring down worthy game. Perhaps that location provides greater access to its bedding area, crosses main trails, is upwind, is a vital browsing site, or any of the numerous other reasons we pick a hiding position. However, sometimes these perfect locations need the essential cover.
One of the best solutions to these problems is to wear a ghillie suit for hunting.
Ghillie Suit for Hunting
Ghillie suits are camouflaged apparel that let you blend thoroughly with your environment by using similar terrain characteristics. Using local environmental elements, these suits allow you to hide not only in the background environment but also in the foreground environment.
These suits are used by professional stalkers such as snipers, scouts, and wildlife photographers trying to get as close to their targets as possible without being spotted by them. Even the military employs these surreal camouflages because of their effectiveness at visually concealing their users' locations.
Of course, hunters are no exception. For the ghillie hunting suit, these are the most common patterns available:
How Does it Work
A ghillie suit for hunting is a cloth covered in loose strips of jute, burlap, 3D printed, or twine webbings. These strips are made to resemble natural elements such as leaves, twigs, sand, snow, and even rocks. Its webbing can also augment foliage from the surrounding area, which makes it blend in more naturally.
Why is it Effective?
The primary reason ghillie suits are so effective in hunting is that they allow the user to merge with the surroundings. To put it another way, the ghillie suit enables the hunter to influence and control the following:
- Line, outline, and edges
- Contrast and value
- Movement, rhythm, and flow
- Light and Reflection
- Positive and negative spaces
Being able to control the factors listed above places you squarely in the area of superb camouflaging. Let's look at how a hunting ghillie suit uses these aspects to disguise you from alert whitetail eyes and why they're essential when hunting. Understanding this will allow you to make the most of your hunting ghillie suit.
Hunting Deer with a Ghillie Suit
Deer hunters know all too well the intricate nature of the whitetail's senses. Deer have excellent eyesight that sees far and brings everything into focus. They have an average daytime sight, but superb nighttime sight. They also have a tiny blindside area and are great experts at detecting movement.
Ordinarily, getting a cautious animal like the white-tailed buck in the yard necessary to take a shot will not be easy, no matter the reason. They'd spot you in a heartbeat; therefore, the need for great camouflaging skills is essential if the buck is not to blow on you. How does the ghillie suit help you achieve this?
Line, Outline, and Edges:
A strong 2D outline or edge allows even the slightest movement to be clearly seen by any movement-detection expert, such as a whitetail. The ghillie hunting suit provides the hunter with an outline that integrates flawlessly with their surroundings, providing the wearer's shape with a 3-dimensional breakdown rather than the linear kind provided by conventional coats. The best ghillie suit will leave even an attentive buck utterly oblivious to your visual presence.
This functions in the same manner as outlines and edges do. The human body has different head and body shapes that are easily identified. Animals that are naturally suspicious of unfamiliar forms and items will be quickly alerted once the outline is discovered. Ghillie suits break up that familiar—or unfamiliar—shape, giving the person the appearance of a heap of the terrain. Heck, they might even fancy bedding beside you if you can also mask your scent.
This is the difference in lighting and darkness between yourself and your surroundings. Deers have weak color vision, but they can still recognize contrasts. If you generate too much contrast with your surroundings, you'll be detected for the slightest movement. A ghillie suit for hunting uses natural colors and patterns to blend in with the surroundings. Augmenting local flora into your outfit would also be ideal for increasing contrast.
As previously stated, a deer's color vision is not a threat as long as you stay within the spectrums that it cannot distinguish: red, orange, and green, the same hues that exist naturally in their environment. Ghillie hunting outfits utilize colors that match the hues used by nature to ensure that no alien color is noticed by the prey.
For example, the white tint of the snow ghillie suit would render you completely undetectable in snow-covered terrain. This characteristic makes the ghillie suit exceptionally adept in avoiding visual detection, regardless of the animal or environment being targeted.
The texture of an item is its perceived surface. Ghillie suits for hunting use textures found in nature, such as the soft texture of leaves, twigs, and so on. This texture is imparted both physically and through touch—you appear and feel similar to your surroundings. Manipulating texture to mimic your surroundings renders you unidentifiable to animals.
Movement, Rhythm, and Flow:
A ghillie suit for hunting is designed to mimic actual vegetation, even when moving. Because of how it was constructed, the suit will flow in the wind in the same manner as the surrounding foliage does. The whitetail will notice this movement, but it will perceive it as part of the environment all around it. This characteristic of the suit ensures that you do not disrupt the natural rhythm of the environment around you. The ghillie suit will make you appear as a seamless transition in flow and extension of the landscape rather than an inconsistent disruption in the rhythm of the terrain.
Lights and Reflections:
Despite their poor color reception, whitetails' eyes are precisely constructed to collect light, even to the smallest glimmer. Ghillie suits absorb light due to the material used, preventing you from emitting artificial reflections. Snow ghillie suits rely on this absorption characteristic to blend in with the surrounding snow. To hide the artificial sheen, the suits also have covers for your firearms, bows, and cameras.
Positive and Negative Space:
It is critical to be able to move between positive and negative spaces while camouflaging. On the hunting field, positive space refers to any object that has mass and occupies space, such as trees, rocks, shrubs, plants, and so on, while negative space would be the space between these objects. Hunters employ positive spaces to hide from prey, but they rarely use negative space since it exposes them.
You wouldn't have to build up branches or hide behind trees and rocks if you wore a ghillie suit while hunting. You may simply just become one. So, regardless of how much cover there is on the ground, the ghillie suit allows you to take advantage of both positive and negative space as you inch closer toward your target—or wait for them to get closer to you.