This question was tossed at me over a cup of coffee recently: “What is the best kind of camouflage to use with snow on the ground?”
The immediate answer by most people might just be white camouflage. While white is good, it really depends on your terrain and the environment in which you will be spending most of your time. Camouflage as a topic has been the subject of much trial and error, plus lots of science.
Hunters have been using camouflage of some sort for as long as there have been hunters. Early on, hunters wore the skins of the game they killed. The idea was that if you were after a musk ox, you wore the skin of a musk ox and tried to look like a musk ox.
Wearing local vegetation was probably the next step. Look like a bush and you can get closer to animals. By World War II, the Germans were putting lots of time and effort into the science of camouflage. Much of what we know as camouflage today has its roots in these studies.
The main purpose of camouflage is to break up the outline of the human form and look like something else in the environment. If you are in the desert, you want to look like sand and rocks. If you are in the canyons south of Maxwell and Brady, you would do pretty well looking like a cedar tree. Your camouflage has to blend with your background.
With the vision of both humans and animals, the eye and brain work together to interpret the visible environment. The eye takes a “picture” of the environment and the brain sorts out the images it gets from the optic nerve.
The brain is then tasked with identifying and separating every object in a given scene. The separation is accomplished in many ways using different portions of the brain. The brain sorts these images by shape, outline, texture, size, movement and color to begin making a decision on what is being seen. If you look like your background, you are harder to pick out. If you have a sharp contrast with your background, the easier you are to spot.
Comedian George Carlin once had a monologue about camo clothing used by terrorists. He noticed that these guys ran around barren Middle Eastern landscapes wearing a lot of U.S. Army-issue woodland camo patterns, yet there were no trees or real vegetation anywhere in sight. “If you wanted to hide in the streets of Beirut,” Carlin recounted. “Wouldn’t it be better if you wore something that looked like bullet riddled blocks on a building, the grill of a shot up Mercedes or a burned out truck?” He had a point.
Getting back to the original question, snow can be one of the best environments to get yourself lost in. Snow has some unique qualities that make it easy to blend in with, namely a fairly uniform texture, color and brightness.
Snow also alters its surroundings. It masks a lot of contrasting shapes and vegetation and creates many rounded humps. But what about an area with partial snow cover? Would you wear something part white, part some other color?
The U.S. Army experimented with a basic white camo pattern that had splotches of green, like the needles on a pine tree, randomly placed on the garment. If you were in a pine forest you looked good, but out on an open snowfield, the appearance of green grass was quite obvious. The Marine Corps developed a snow camo pattern, called Disruptive Overwhite. It is basically a white background with gray digitized shapes on the fabric. It really blends in with the snow on the ground, especially if there has been any disturbance of the surface.
There are a number of manufacturers that make snow camo patterns these days. You can easily invest a couple hundred dollars to get a complete winter-weight set of camo clothes, or you can spend under $10 and get a Tyvek coverall. I have used Tyvek for years as my snow camo to hunt deer, turkey and coyotes. It works great!
Tyvek is very light weight, but provides a great barrier against the wind and is water resistant. If you are lying in a snow bank calling coyotes, this can be an important trait.
Tyvek may not be as good at the Marine Corps Disruptive Overwhite snow camouflage pattern, but it works pretty well.
If you want to hunt effectively in the snow, white is the color to have. It can make the difference between being successful and going home empty handed.
Expo and game feed
Looking for something fun to do when it’s cold and snowy outside? Check out what’s going on at the Maxwell Baptist Church on Feb. 3. It is the 13th Annual Maxwell Outdoor Expo and wild game feed.
Vendors and exhibits will be on hand from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will be youth activities, seminars on long range shooting, dog training, fly tying, Nebraska’s fishing outlook with Daryl Bauer, wild game cooking and game calling with world champion caller, Brodie Swisher.
Outdoor activities associated with this event include an upland bird hunt, a five-stand blue rock shoot and a 3-D archery course. You must pre-register for the upland game hunt. Four groups of four hunters will get a guided hunt behind well-trained dogs. Don’t procrastinate — this event fills up fast.
Door prizes will be drawn throughout the event with a grand prize of a $500 Cabela’s gift card at the end of the evening. The dinner is at 6 p.m. For more information, call Russ Tobey at 308-530-2229.
Source : http://www.nptelegraph.com/lifestyle/local_column/what-kind-of-camouflage-do-you-use-with-snow/article_c12c1056-f8ab-11e7-8d98-d72bfa6c58d3.html