Jul
21

Clothing

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It all depends on where you are hunting.  I prefer Real Tree Max-4 or Mossy Oak Break Up as they fit in a variety of terrains, with the exception of South Texas, where Brush Country is king.  The general rule is to go with more greenish camo early in the season, when there are more green leaves on the trees and a more brownish camo later in the season when the leaves have fallen off the trees.

Deer are red-green color blind like some humans.  Their color vision is limited to the short [blue] and middle [green] wavelength colors.  As a result, deer likely can distinguish blue from red, but not green from red, or orange from red.  So deer hunters up north, who are forced to wear hunter orange, appear to be green to deer.  Pigs can differentiate colors, but not as well as humans.

Waterfowl don’t see color the way we do.  They see reds, greens, yellows, and blues more vibrantly – thanks to their retinas – plus an extra set of cones allows them to see ultraviolet radiation.  This gives them exceptional light sensitivity.  As a result, shine and glare are the waterfowl hunter’s enemy.  For ducks, a lot of guys prefer Real Tree Max-5, as it has canes in it, which are often located on shorelines.  However, they aren’t on the shorelines where I hunt usually, so I get by with my one-camo-fits-all Real Tree Max-4 or Mossy Oak Break Up.

You can see the different styles in the below picture. Four of the guys are wearing Max-5.  I think that I’m wearing Mossy Oak Break Up, as is Earl immediately to the right of the ducks.  I’m just happy to find camo on sale that fits me.  I don’t pay much attention to the pattern.  You’ll often see me wearing a different pattern top than bottom for this reason.  Some guys, on the other hand, want everything to match.  But I kill deer, hogs, and ducks just as dead as they do – I just don’t look as coordinated.

What clothing do you recommend for both deer and hog hunting, particularly since we’re in Texas and I’m not sure cold-weather gear will be as needed.  I want to purchase enough to get started.  Also if you have any recommendations regarding clothing that could serve both for bird (e.g., dove, duck) hunting and hunting big game.
No, we don’t have a specific checklist for clothing.  However, we have a generic Trip Check List.  The weather in Texas can vary wildly, often on the same day.  And it can get quite cold (as I recall the coldest duck hunt that I went on it was 14 degrees air temp, and we were standing in the water).  The key is to dress in layers.  In that way, if you get too hot you can always take a layer off.
Depending on how cold it is, wind, rain, etc.  I might start with a base layer of medium weight thermal underwear.  Then a layer of fleece (sometimes two layers for my upper half), then bibs, and a heavy coat.
I usually buy hunting clothes at the end of or after deer season when Academy drops the price 30%.  I have a lot of their Game Winner brand.  They keep me warm enough.  I could spend a lot more (my son has a $200 coat for duck hunting), but if I’m going to spend $200 I’d rather buy a gun.  I’ve not been cold deer hunting since 1987 when I owned cheap boots.
The three biggies are your head, hands, and feet.  If they get cold you’re done.  You’ll at least get fidgety and have a terrible experience.  As with jackets, I have a variety of gloves, caps, face masks, boots, and socks.
Rubber boots are the best for deer and hog hunting, as they leave no scent.  I own Muck Edgewater’s (insulated ones).
I like gloves that are fingerless, with mittens that cover the fingers if they get cold.  If it’s too cold for that I’ll wear ones where the trigger finger is thinner so I can feel the trigger well.
I like to have facemasks with holes for my nostrils and mouth.
Wool socks are good, but they can make you sweat.  I like a liner sock (base layer)to ward off sweat.  I particularly like liner and wool sock combos (in one), such as the Cabela’s Ingenius socks, but they’re discontinued and hard to find.  I also like Randy Sun waterproof ski socks.  They keep me warm and dry quickly if they get wet.  I do not recommend Worn (formerly called Wetsox), as they make my feet sweat.  It does no good if they’re waterproof on the outside if your feet get wet from sweat.
Cold weather hog hunting requires the same clothing as deer.  Warm weather requires a lot thinner camo.  I’ll often wear my dove hunting wear while warm weather deer or hog hunting.
Scent-free hunting clothing is an unnecessary option in my opinion.  It’s a lot more expensive.  Instead, I’ll buy Scent Away spray and spray myself liberally right before I head to the stand.
Dove hunting is done in 90 – 100+ degree weather – think lightweight, thin, and comfortable.  Camo is fine, but so is khaki.
Duck and deer require basically the same clothes, with the exception of waders for duck hunting.  I own three pairs of waders.  One is for warm days (breathable), another is for cool days (3mm neoprene), and the new ones are for cold days (5mm neoprene).  If you’re only getting one pair get them stout in the chest so you can wear a heavy coat under them and 3mm or 3.5mm neoprene.  Buy the boots the size of your shoes.  Again, Christmas or after Christmas sales at Academy are the way to go.  Also, fleece pants with stirrups are nice for ducks as they keep the pants from riding up.
I see deals all the time on Facebook Marketplace.  I’ve bought several things there.  Most have been good purchases, with a couple of exceptions (I didn’t check to ensure they had the gazebo and bed hardware).  I haven’t bought any clothes there, but I don’t need any (and in fact have way too much).
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Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

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Bible Verse of the Day

He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.