Hunting with Ghillie SuitsIf you are a hunter like me, you want your hunts to be more productive and successful. One of the most important things when stalking prey is effective concealment that allows you to remain hidden from your prey. Animals such as deer are incredibly smart and if spooked in the least will run at the first sense of danger. There are two basic types of hunting, the spot and stalk method and hunting from a concealed blind or tree stand. Either type of hunting is going to require good camouflage to conceal yourself and your gear from the prey you are hunting.
Let's address the spot and stalk method of hunting for the purposes of this article. If you want to give yourself an extra edge during these types of hunts, you'll want to invest in a good ghillie suit. You can achieve the perfect stalk with a well made ghillie suit. Many hunters opt to custom make one from an old military coverall or from a set of military BDU's. If you don't have the time or the desire, there are many well made ghillie suit kits and ready to wear ghillie suits. With these suits, you are effectively
reducing your visibility to game, allowing you to get closer than ever before. Particularly during archery season, you greatly increase the chances that your prey will come within closer range. Obviously, this gets you closer to the game and closer to the hunt! Although most Ghillie suits will work fine in general hunting situations, one of the most effective Ghillie suits for hunting is the Bushrag ghillie suit. The Bushrag is a Ghillie suit comes with 7 different colors of jute/burlap, head and body netting, directions and fire retardant. The Bushrag Ghillie suit is mainly designed for an upright stalk, however you can adjust this kit for a military style Ghilliesuit to accommodate crawling type stalks.
Another of the main types of Bushrag suits is the Chameleon Ghillie suit. This style of suit is slightly more expensive than other models of Ghillie suit, however, it is one of the premier choices for fast paced combat or spot and stalk hunting. This style of suit is designed such that it allows the wearer to relocate quickly and without notice. This is especially important when you are using the spot and stalk method of hunting. Often, when using this method, you are spotting your prey with a spotting scope and then moving quickly and quietly to intercept your prey and get a shooting angle. The Chameleon Ghillie Suitís high level of camouflage and concealment ability is accomplished by using over 700 synthetic colored leaves. When compared to other jute twine suits, this suit provides superior concealment in leafy woods or during fall where the ground is littered with leaves.
One last thing to consider is concealment of your face and hands. While the ghillie suit is going to conceal your body quite well, you are still going to need to conceal your face and hands using military style paint sticks or camouflage compacts. The first thing you need to do is to make sure you have the right type of camouflage face paint. To begin with it has to be waterproof. If not, you will be re-applying it after every time it rains or after a good sweat brought on from stalking your prey. Second, you need to make sure you have the right colors. I personally don't like to use black unless you are applying for an urban environment as part of a SWAT team! Black does not occur naturally in the wild. The two colors I recommend using are brown and green. Most camouflage face paint compacts however come with black, brown and green and mirror (helpful when you are trying to put stuff all over your face in the woods).
Firstly you need to eliminate the natural shine of your face. To do this, apply a thin layer of brown all over you face, neck (don't forget the back of your neck) and your ears. Don't forget your eyelids. Rub some into your eyebrows and the beginning of your hairline too. When done properly you will have completely eliminated the natural shine of your face.
Now, we need to alter the shape of your face using the camo paint. The most distinguishable features on your face that don't occur in the woods are your mouth, your eyes and your nose. You need to break these shapes up, so avoid circles around your eyes, a line down your nose, or a line along your mouth, as this will accentuate features not common in the woods. Additionally, you just might end up looking like a panda bear. Draw lines with your fingers in the different greens and a few in brown. You need to cut down your eyes vertically or diagonally, drag lines across the nose horizontally or diagonally and down the mouth vertically or horizontally. This will break up the shape of your face. Add a few on each of your ears, and a some going diagonally across your neck. Three or four on each cheek should be sufficient. Make sure all the stripes you make are small and aid in your concealment. The last thing you want is massive tiger stripes. Some people use stripes as I recommend, but there are folks who prefer a series of blobs, fashioned much like woodland camouflage BDU's. There is some research on the internet that says to use in stripes in coniferous forests and the woodland camouflage pattern in deciduous forests.
Whether you are hunting deer or hunting bad guys, if you follow these guidelines and concepts, you will be able to achieve the perfect stalk. Just remember though, the perfect stalk is a combination of excellent concealment and stealthy movement. When you have mastered these two concepts, your freezer should be full of game year in and year out!