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Guest Post - Black is the New Camo

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Guest Post - Black is the New Camo

This is a post from a seasoned hunter, John, on his experience using black as camo. He uses our black hat/masks found HERE for hunting.  

A few years ago on a licensed depredation hunt on a minnow farm for unwanted visitors, I was positioned across a pond facing my hunting partner a couple hundred yards off. He was perfectly camouflaged except for his face. His white beard and white hair made all the critters flare off.  I finally called him on my cell and said “stop moving your head.” After having to see his face bob around for several hours I realized that camo for the face and head was a more important piece of your hunting gear than I had recognized.  So I had had enough of just wearing a camo hat and just trying to look down when a critter would fly over.  I wanted to look full faced at my quarry and track it and still be hidden. I went on a campaign to buy every type and design of head covering made in order to see what would work for my needs.  I came up with a large pile of unacceptable head and face devices and junk. Some required a lot of work to place rubber band straps over my ears but they still did not work.  In my effort I came across QuikCamo products. As a 35 year manufacture of firearm products I had almost come to the conclusion I was going to have to make the product I needed.

I ordered from QuikCamo the basic camo caps with front face shields. They were wonderful. They was extremely high quality and were easy to use.  I have a master’s degree in science so I approached this in a more scientific manner. Was I to have a number of different masks for tan field, brown woods and another for green leaves. That is what it was looking like, so I researched color concealment studies. I found that black is a universal camo in that humans and animals don’t/can’t focus on totally black objects so they look to the side or above to find something else to focus on. So I hunted with black pants, black coat, black gloves and black face mask.

Now my story!  I was hunting a few months ago for deer with the prospect of predator hunting with my thermal optic for predators once it got dark. In AR, predators: coyotes, foxes, raccoons, possums, skunks, bobcats, etc. are wide open for hunting day or night, with suppressors, night vision, etc. The idea is to save the quail and turkey population.  I hunt under a black tarp that is meant to shield me from the sun. I had thrown out a can of sweet smelling cat food at the feeder for enticement along with the dry dog food my feeder dispenses out each night.  

I’m sitting there on a bench about 35 yards above my feeder. I hear leaves crunching. I look to the right of me and see deer legs.  I freeze. The deer are sniffing and pursuing something. I realize it is the empty can of sweet cat food they find interesting. I had the empty can in my gear next to me. The deer kept advancing. One deer kept running at me then backed off when there was no threat.  They would swing their heads to the side and out of view and then swing them back quickly to try to catch me moving. Eventually, this deer walked towards me while I was up under the black tarp.  He came into my tarp stand and was 24” from me and he started going through my gear with his nose. I could have grabbed him by the nose, but my mind was thinking “ I’m going to be one of those hunters on you tube that is going to be gored or kill by a deer.”  My rifle was facing forward on a bench and the deer was at my direct right.

As he backed out, I was thinking I needed him on my video but can’t do that and my only option was to shoot.  Was I going to be able to pull this off and shoot is what I kept asking myself. I’m not that interested into wrestling him down to the ground.  I would be the loser in that effort.

As he backed out and turned around and left, he was about 10 feet from me.  I thought, this is not going to work but I’ll try it anyway. I reached up to the rifle and cushioned the safety so it would not make noise.  But there was just a slight metallic click of very little volume but it was still abnormal. He leaped straight up like an African antelope and was gone.

My conclusion is that black camo made me invisible to that deer. He could not see me at 24” That is because with black there is nothing to focus on. If you have regular camo and there is a white streak in the pattern, moving your head will move that white streak and critters will see it. But all black is perfect. You can turn your head from side to side and it is still just all black. I also hunt at night for coyotes, etc. and before they come in their stop where they are shot, they scan the area. They ignore black totally.   

Ok, so I’ll now talk about the QuikCamo products.  There is a front mask model and a rear cap model. There are pros and cons, but all good. The rear mask cap lets you place the rear mask shield behind you to keep the sun off your neck plus you can use permethrin on it to keep mosquitos off your neck. You can flip the cap around when you get serious.   The black front mask model of the QuikCamo can let you block the sun out and be really stealth.  Each one of them serves a purpose. There is an additional advantage to either model. If you ride a 4 wheeler or side by side you can keep your face warm with the mask in front on either model to block the cold air.  In the end, critters simply don’t see the black. That is the best single universal camo.

John, Arkansas