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I have discovered that most hunters believe their "camouflage" is ready for the field. They could not be more wrong. Most big game and predator hunters are aware of scent control but a vast majority of them forget UV brighteners that have been added to their camouflage or soaps. These brightners can enhance UV from the yellow and brown spectrum to the blue or violet spectrum in clothing and even in shampoo . These brighteners are used in other things like food, paper, soda etc., but that is another issue all together.


The one color you want to avoid at all costs is BLUE and any UV light. Deer can also see browns, greens and red. Believe it or not, red is probably the hardest color for them to see. It is very important for you to choose camouflage that is "broken-up" vs. a "blend" of greens and browns. When camouflage is blended, you look like a big stump vs. something that they are not quite sure of. Therefore, choose camouflage that has a good break-up of the correct colors of the environment you are trying to "disappear" in. It might be noted that UV light is reflected by white and any camouflage gear with white including backpacks should be avoided 99% of the time.


There is a simple test that will help you check your hunting clothing, backpacks, blinds and gear. I am old enough to remember when everyone from 12-24 had a "black light" in the bedroom. Well guess what, why do you think those crazy posters of Jimmy Hendrix glowed so brightly? You can buy an aluminum garage light for about $5 and a simple "black light" bulb for about $3 at any hardware store. Go to a dark room, turn on your black light and pass it over what you want to test.

If it is "glowing", you have a problem. Most companies want their product to "get your attention", therefore, they will add brighteners to set the color and make it look great to their potential buyers. I recently purchased camouflage from a very large company that produces camouflage in the U.S.A and, to my surprise, it was made in Pakistan. When I tested it, it glowed like the sun in places and it would have made me glow like a blue light bulb in the field. I have found that the thread looks red 60% of time when using a black light. That is not a problem but thought I would share that.


I find there is a need for at least three various colors of camouflage in this area. My favorite colors are "Max-1","Prairie Ghost" and "Natural Gear". They all have the their own little niche. A great way to test your gear is with a friend when you are scouting. Take your shirts with you and have your friend take a picture of you kneeling near a rock, a group of trees or just in the open. A picture can be worth a 1000 words. I have had other bowhunters pass within 5 yards of me and never knew I was there. If I had to choose one, it would probably be "Max-1" for our area. I also use a leafy "bug" suit. It works great on the coast for bugs but also breaks-up your silhouette. Here is another tip. Buy several camouflage handkerchiefs and cut or tear them into 1-1.5 inch strips. Tie these strips to your packs, clothing, hat and other gear so your do not create a "silhouette".


After you have tested your gear, it is time time to wash your gear. That includes most everything you wear. There are multiple options for washing your gear to remove the scent from your gear. Soaps from "Wildlife Research", "Hunter's Specialty", "Primos", "Atsko" and even baking soda with a none scent soap will work. My favorite wash is now "Wildlife Reasearch's Scent Killer Gold". It seems to work for several days of hard hunting. They do sell "special dryer" sheets but I do not use them. I always hang my camouflage, packs and gear outside or in the garage to dry. That is one thing less I need to buy and to be honest, my wife uses all kinds of "smell good soaps and dryer sheets". I also use the double rinse cycle just to be sure.


There is only one product I know that will accomplish this at the present time. It is called "U-V Killer by Sno-Seal". It usually comes in a package with the U-V Killer and includes "Sport-Wash made by ATSKO". You must first wash and dry your camouflage clothing. Shake the bottle and I do mean shake the bottle to mix the solution. Spray down your camouflage and gear. Let it dry completely. I personally would do this over dirt or grass because it will leave a "stain" on the concrete that you will not be able to see until you hose that area.

It will wear off but does look a little weird when wet. Re-test your gear with the black light. You should not see anything that looks like this picture.


I usually dry my gear on hangers. That is the perfect time for spraying down your gear with a scent killer spray. As I mentioned before, I now use ""Wildlife Research Scent Killer Gold". There are a lot of great products out there but this seems to last longer in the field that most of the others. I store my gear in scent free bags or containers. They can be the commercial ones or simply wash and treat an old sleeping bag cover, cloth duffle bag etc. when you wash your other gear. Store in your shop or garage. Mine are stored in closets I made in my garage specifically for my camouflage and gear. When you enter the field, spray yourself down one more time and do not forget your hat and your boots.

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