Riege: Camouflage and hunting

Published 9:42 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The best camo pattern relies on the hunter to have stealth when hunting turkeys.


As I sat under the cottonwood, my heart was pounding from the hike and the anticipation of the opening day; I heard a small songbird break the silence of the woods. Within a few minutes, I heard a turkey gobble on the roost. I then picked up my box call and let go with a few soft tree yelps to let other gobblers know where “this hen” was. I put my decoy in the middle of the hayfield and sat back and started to hear the woods come alive. Then, I started to call. Before I could get out a second yelp, the old tom gobbled back from his roost and I heard him fly down, followed by at least four other gobblers at the same time.

Last year the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers held their Spring Mega Media Event in Branson, MO. It is also known as (Cast and Blast). This event teams up outdoor writers with corporate sponsors and local guides for turkey hunting and fishing. This year Ginny and I are scheduled to be in Lake Barkley, Kentucky Lake and Crittenden County in Western Kentucky.

The best camo pattern relies on the hunter to have stealth when hunting turkeys. -- Photo submitted by Mossy Oak

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This year we have been paired up with two excellent representatives. Ginny will be hunting with Shannon Rikard / srikard@nwtf.net from the National Wild Turkey Federation and I will be hunting with Mike Capps mcapps@howardcommunications.com Mike Capps is an account executive with Howard Communications, a public-relations firm in Missouri that represents companies including Browning and Winchester Firearms, Hunter Specialties, Mossy Oak Camouflage, Birchwood Casey Products and many other products.

One of the topics that will be discussed at our meetings as well as in the woods will be; How do you choose the correct type of camouflage when entering the “turkey woods?”

Today, camouflage is almost essential for hunting many types of animals. Camouflage will break up your outline and help you blend in with your surroundings. For example when a deer is standing still, they are nearly invisible with their perfectly camouflaged colors, but they are easily detected with significant movement. As a hunter, if you have both the camouflage and minimal movement, you will greatly increase your chances of not being detected by your prey and therefore will greatly improve your hunting success.

Choosing the correct type of camouflage is very important. It is best to try to match your camouflage as best as you can with your surroundings. When choosing camouflage it is also important to keep the climate where you will be hunting in mind. For example, if you are hunting in warm weather (I understand that in Western Kentucky this April 70’s are not uncommon) you might want to wear light weight clothing making sure that all your extremities are covered with camo. Don’t forget your hands as well. Your hands are the part of your body that is likely to be moving the most, so don’t leave them out in the open. Camouflaged gloves and a head net or facemask are essential.

Every hunter must have the right attire when they are in the woods. One important factor in choosing the characteristic of the clothing that a hunter should wear is the ability to mimic the environment so that they can fool the animals that they will hunt. This is how camouflage clothing will help every hunter.

Also, don’t overlook comfort. If you are sitting for a long period of time you need to be comfortable, so you don’t move. If you are comfortable you can concentrate on your activity and your focus will be on getting your turkey.

One last very important thing you will want to remember is of course your own safety. Many people recommend that you wear a bright orange hat or vest while you are moving so you won’t become the hunted on your hunting trip and accidentally get shot at by another hunter. Mossy Oak and Hunter Specialties have a bright orange flag and a bright orange backpack for transporting your turkey from the field.

During a recent online interview Mike Capps and Mossy Oak representative, Josey White (whom I hunted with last year in Branson) were quoted as saying that Obsession® is probably the best turkey hunting pattern today.

“Obsession® builds on the success of the elements used in Break-Up®, like ghost shadows and realistic limbs, to expand effectiveness when the woods are taking on spring colors. These elements include a digitally enhanced, lighter background and the addition of carefully selected leaves and spring-tones.”

What happened to the opening day Tom mentioned previously? He never knew I was there until a load of No. 5 shot put “the smack down on him.” This is “not a passion. It’s an obsession.”