The basic need of
all turkey hunters is to stay hidden from a turkey's probing eye, yet remain in an exposed
position where it is possible to shoot effectively regardless of where the birds decides
to present itself. Camouflaging your clothing and gear
is the only way to do this. A hunter wearing complete camouflage who has the
discipline to sit Motionless will virtually disappear in the landscape, even from a
turkey. Staying motionless requires comfort. Using a Self-Inflating Sport Seat
makes it possible to remain comfortable and motionless for a long time.
Clothing and gear
that is not camouflaged will probably be noticed by a turkey.
A hunter in complete camouflage may get away with an ill-advised move, but one who is not
camouflaged will be constantly spooking turkeys.
Color and Quietness
of the fabric are the SECRETS to
selecting proper outer clothing. Try to match the color of your clothing to the
color of the surroundings. The experienced hunter has
several outfits to match the changing foliage. In early
spring, before leaf-out, use predominantly brown or gray colors. As the woods begin
turning green, change to a normal woodland color. When leaves have opened fully, a
pattern with a heavy green emphasis is best. When snow is on the ground, you should
be dressed in a white camouflage outfit. None of the
dozens of patterns on the market now have been proven superior.
Most of the camo clothing manufacturers have excellent patterns that will work when
matched to the terrain you will be hunting in. I understand the manufacturers' need
to come out with new patterns every year. I buy new camo when my old outfits
have faded or I have torn them up. But, I can still dig out my Vietnam jungle
fatigues and bag just as many turkeys as when I'm wearing the new patterns. Pick Your Poison.....it's the best advice I
can give on camo pattern selection.
The type of material
your clothing is made from is important in determining the quietness of the garment.
If the garment is not quiet, it won't be hanging in my closet. New cotton clothing
or cotton/nylon blends are very noisy when you move. You must be NOISELESS, not just quiet, when you make a
movement. The SECRET is to
select 100% cotton, brushed denim, wool, Saddle-Cloth, or fleece garments. I don't like fleece, however, because it won't stand up to the
pounding I would give it. Blended fabrics are made to withstand tears, like my
Vietnam Camo, but are not particularly quiet. These fabrics, and anything new,
should be washed several times to quiet down the material. If the colors fade, you
have made a purchase of poor-quality clothing.
3-D camo clothing is
becoming popular with some turkey hunters. Wear one of
those outfits around town and you'll look like the Monster From the Blue Lagoon driving
down the road in your camouflaged truck. You'll be known around the county as the
Camo Clown. These three-dimensional outfits, with pieces of cut cloth attached, are
very effective, but aren't required for consistent success. I have one, but rarely use it unless I want to scare little kids at
My favorite outfit
for turkey hunting, except for extremely hot days, is a 100% wool camo two-piece outfit. Nothing is quieter and warmer than wool and the best quality wool
garments are very water resistant as well. During rainy conditions, I wear a super
light weight water repellent rain suit under the wool. It is possible to stay
comfortable in wool from well below zero up to 70 degrees F. if you wear the proper long
underwear. In extreme cold, use heavy-weight polypropylene. It will not absorb
body moisture, thereby keeping your skin dry and warm. During moderate temperatures,
use silk or lightweight polypropylene to wick away moisture at a slower rate. For
warm temperatures, use 100% cotton underwear, which will hold body moisture next to your
skin and cool you. Wool is pricey...but worth every
penny when the chips are down out in the woods. A
good quality wool outfit will last at least 20 years....probably less expensive over that
period of time than the less expensive outfits that you will go through.
Like I said before, PICK YOUR POISON,
but make sure your clothing is quiet and blends in with the terrain.
God Bless America