Do I Need Camouflage to Hunt?

If you’re not so experienced in the field of hunting, then you’ve probably asked yourself this question: do I need camouflage to hunt?

Have you ever stepped in a hunting goods store and was surprised by the number of camouflage-printed things that greeted you? Or perhaps; have you ever seen a hunter in full camouflage gear and thought to yourself: do I really need all that to be able to conceal myself fully in the field?


Well, this article may tell you some, if not all, of the answers that you’ve been looking for. But first, let’s define what camouflage is and how it is applied to the sport of hunting.

What is Camouflage?

Do I Need Camouflage to Hunt?

A hunter wearing camouflage - Photo credit:

Camouflage, when defined as a noun, is a print or pattern that is used to conceal the wearer from the prey or enemy. It is a combination of certain colors and patterns, and its design will mostly depend on the environment it is meant to be worn in.

You’ve most likely already seen a standard camouflage print. The mixture of greens, brown, and black allows hunters to blend in with the natural flora of the forest or jungle. Variations in the pattern and colors of camouflage prints exist because of different environments, such as desert/safari and rainforest.

Camouflage is used by both hunters and military personnel because it conceals them from the enemy, or in the hunter’s case: it conceals them from the prey. Concealment means low detection from the animals which can prove incredibly useful if the animals you’re hunting have a keen sense of sight.

Do I Need Camouflage to Hunt?

Do I Need Camouflage to Hunt?

A hunter with camouflage and orange visibility hat - Photo credit:

Getting back to our question before, do we really need camouflage to hunt? Can’t we just wear normal clothes like our flannel and the best hunting boots?

Well, if you have experienced hunting in regular-colored clothes before and still killed something, then you have probably answered your own question. If you haven’t tried hunting without camouflage on, then let me tell you that you don’t really need camouflage to hunt.

Yes, you read that right. Hunters don’t necessarily need camouflage to hunt. However, camouflage can help you remain undetected during hunting, but that isn’t the sole factor—nor the most important—in remaining hidden from your prey.

So what do you need camouflage for? Well, let’s take a look at how an animal sees things from its own visual perspective. Let us use the deer, one of the most common game, to illustrate our point.

Do I Need Camouflage to Hunt Deer?

Do I Need Camouflage to Hunt?

The deer has eyes at the sides of its head - Photo credit:

 According to several studies, deer can detect colors that are near the violet end of the color spectrum. Thus, deer can see blue clearly as well as ultraviolet light. On the other hand, deer cannot sense green, red, or orange. This is where the camouflage print can prove itself useful.

So as you can see, the camouflage does have its uses, so you can go ahead and buy yourself camouflage-printed hunting gear if you plan on hunting deer. Other animals can also be partially colorblind like the deer species and have affinities to particular colors. It only takes some research on which colors they see so you can plan your outfit accordingly.

Back to the deer. Let’s say you’re going to hunt deer and wear camouflage for the trip so it won’t detect you. There’s still no guarantee that the camouflage will conceal you completely because deer still have great senses of smell and hearing. Thus, you need to complement the camouflage with other strategies to remain undetectable such as removing scent and remaining silent.

Deer can still detect your presence if you move around too quickly or if you smell like a human, so the camouflage will be totally useless if you don’t take other precautions. We’ll discuss these other strategies to remain undetected later in this article.

How to Use Camouflage Properly

Do I Need Camouflage to Hunt?

Woodland type of camouflage - Photo credit:

So now that you know the answer to the question: do I need camouflage to hunt, we’re going to talk about how to use camouflage properly. If you’ve decided that you want to try using camouflage-printed gear to become stealthier, then this section is for you.

Camouflage can conceal you from the animal’s eyesight. You need to wear camouflage properly such that there are no other clothes visible that is of the color blue. As I’ve said before, deer can detect UV light so it may be best to stray from fabric cleaners that enhance the UV bouncing off the clothes as well.

Moreover, you should still be wary of your movements. Deer can be highly perceptive to movement especially that their eyes are on the sides of their head so they have a wide vision. However, if you’re doing things properly, the deer can be looking directly at you but still isn’t spooked. You can do this by mastering your stealth skills and remaining as still as possible.

Make Sure to De-Scent Your Clothes

Do I Need Camouflage to Hunt?

Sprays to conceal your scent - Photo credit:

Camouflage will become totally useless if you don’t put effort in removing the scent from your clothes. As stated before, deer have a keen sense of smell. A deer can detect your human scent from half a mile away, so if you’ve used your favorite scented shampoo in the morning of your hunt, then you probably won’t have any luck with finding deer.

Human scent can be removed from clothes by using detergents, soaps, and shampoos that have been created for this purpose. Moreover, you can use commercially available products that are meant to mask the smell of human scent; sort of like a hunter’s perfume.

The Different Types of Camouflage

Do I Need Camouflage to Hunt?

A hunter blends perfectly with his surroundings - Photo credit:

There are several types of camouflage print that can be used for hunting purposes. These are the woodland, jungle, and desert/safari prints.

The woodland camouflage print is composed of dark greens, browns, and blacks. This type of camouflage would help conceal you in the woods as you would blend in with the trees and brushes. The second type of camouflage, the jungle print, is meant for rainforests and jungles. They are composed of greens, black, and brown that are brighter than the woodland print.

The jungle camouflage print will allow you to hunt in rainforests. In these types of areas, flora is brighter and more colorful than in the woods, so the camouflage is brighter.

Safari and desert prints are composed of a variation of sandy brown and light green. If you’re going to hunt in very dry areas where the land is mostly composed of sand with not a lot of trees, this type of camouflage can help you blend in with the environment.

When Buying Camouflage Gear

Do I Need Camouflage to Hunt?

Buy ‘quiet’ camouflage clothes - Photo credit:

When buying camouflage gear, do not just pick up the first camouflage outfit that you find. Not all camouflage items are of the same quality, some are cheaply made while others are higher quality but more expensive.

I would recommend buying camouflage clothes that are made of good quality fabric. The fabric shouldn’t make so much noise while you’re moving; remember that most animals have a good sense of hearing. If you buy camo pants that make a sound every time you take a step, then you’re probably going to spook the deer before you get to a good shooting spot.

Aside from camo clothes, you can also buy different hunting gear with a camouflage print such as the best hunting backpack.


Do I need camouflage to hunt? The answer depends on you. Yes, a camouflage can help you stay hidden from prey if you also employ different stealth strategies along with it. But using camouflage is not necessary for you to be a successful hunter.

So did we answer your question? Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot and more with this article. Let us know if you have any comments or questions so post them down below. Also, don’t forget to share this with your hunter friends as well. Thanks for reading!

Sheldon Martin

Sheldon Martin is the founder of Captain Hunter. is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment, and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously. Never think that you are alone in the woods again. Our goal is to share what we know with who needs it most.

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