I bought the Fanatic years ago, but only because of how nice a suit it is. I've hated the camo since day one. I think this winter I will spray paint mine. I hunt almost exclusively poplar forest and I swear this is the worst camo made for this. My brother and I were joking about it and he simply replied "science of nothing all right." LOL So funny. It's like they did all this research and came up with "this is how it should look." Then after that camo being out for a few years common sense hit and was like "OK we better add a lot of white to it." If the algorithm was so perfect after all the research why change it a couple years later with the Elevated II camo? If I was sitting in a heavy oak flat it might be OK, but then so would literally anything. Coupled with the fact that deer see blue hues 20x better than we do I am always astonished how my suit looks blue to me. The suit is just so technically awesome I keep it, plus the fact that I mortgaged the house for it back when it cost 30% of what it does today ;). Awesome gear, but I think I am finally going to man up and spray paint it over the winter. I think the whites in my suit have really faded over time and now I am just a black blob. In the thin poplar forests I am literally not moving and deer will be 40 yards away and pick me off. I am setting up even lower to try and get further from the skyline problem. Next sit I'll only be like 10 feet high. Man oh man if only Sitka had been able to put predator fall grey over top of their jackets...
Now....do you want to talk about the Kuiu giraffe pattern?
The key to cold weather hunting is being able to stay on stand and draw without being seen or heard. The layering system works great. Even if the Camo did not work the functionality is tops in the whitie world for me.
All Sitka, all the time!
I should add that I'm not so sure spray paint is the way to go if you're looking to change the pattern. But there are fabric paints that might work for you.
If I don't move, there is virtually no limit to what I can wear. I've had 15 muley does walk by myself and a client at 15-20 yards when he had a solid blaze orange coat and hat and neither of us had facepaint on. We were completely exposed with nothing in front or behind us. I've killed deer spot and stalk wearing levis.
On the Haul Road, we used to refer to a lot of the guys as MIB's. Men In Black. The bou would pick them up at crazy distances and loop around.
I dress in layers of Merino wool and down clothing. The wool controls moisture, the down keeps you warm. Although puffy the down doesn't feel bulky or restrictive. I use a heavy down vest then either a down jacket or thicker down coat. On the outside I use a thin fleece layer. I buy cheap fleece winter camo for tree standing. The jacket should have a hood. I buy the double or triple extra large, on sale, at the season end from Canadian Tire, Walmart, Cabelas or wherever.
You can add a light windproof layer over the down to. The key is to be warm and flexible. A hand muff with chemical warmers is a must for me. I can wear light gloves and not worry about getting heavy mitts off before the shot.
I have some high end clothing to for mountain and spot and stalk hunting, but tree standing is a whole different game. The right tools for the job, gets the job done better and is more enjoyable.
Greatest marketing dupe in history is the "money back guarantee", usually the return process is a PITA and most people just take it on the chin.
I've got a buddy who has a suit and I can see him from a good distance away. Looks like a dark blob while on the ground or in a tree.
Seriously, I think whoever came up with those colors should be kicked in the groin.
That said, its funny, I thought the exact same thing you did with respect to the "blue hue/colors" used in it. I found it odd that given the "research" they would use any shade of blue in their clothing.
If they did, it would likely be the best camo ever made.... I've been dreaming of Sitka or Firstlite doing this for a long time! Maybe some day we'll get lucky. Firstlite is available in ASAT which is the next best thing to some of the Predator patterns IMO...
To the guys that are invisible when they don’t move maybe you have the luxury of being where the trees are thicker than 6” or maybe you’re really really skinny ;)
Don’t get me wrong I’ve killed in it, but I definitely notice a difference in the effectiveness of the camo. Problem with wearing something overtop is then I lose access to the hand muff which is crucial when it actually gets cold. As others have said it’s awesome stuff as far as keeping you warm which is why I wear it. When it’s real cold I put my Kuiu superdown over my base layers and under the Fanatic.
I took photos of the two KUIU patterns the other day and converted them to B&W. One photo is the green pattern and the other is a combo of green/ large pattern. I found it interesting how the two patterns look when worn together. Very distinctive broken up outline pattern.
I used a lot of the tree camos over the years, and deer would come up, stop and look at me, sometimes get nervous, but eventually go on. I convinced myself my camo was working.
Then I tried Predator. Deer quit looking up at me. I rarely got picked off on the ground unless I was moving. Turkeys ignored me. I felt invisible much of the time. That is when I realized my camo was actually working! Instead of being spotted then eventually ignored, I feel like camo should keep you from being spotted in the first place!
I have also used ASAT with decent results, although not quite as good as Predator. I rattled in a P&Y buck this year sitting in a lone, skinny tree in a ladder stand I hated because it put me too far out from the tree, I couldn't lean against the tree. He knew exactly where the sounds came from, even looked up at me several times but never "locked on". Unfortunately he came in on the wrong side for a shot, which turned out to be a blessing because I shot a bigger buck 20 minutes later :-)
Would love to try Sitka, but hated the original pattern and am not much of a fan of the current pattern either.
Simply ask yourself this. What color are all the warm blooded animals that depend on camouflage to hunt or hide? They all have the same colors, i.e. tan background with splotches of dark brown, black and white. Yet, they can vanish in a solid green habitat, dark timber or even snow. Were I to have to buy new camo, today, given it was good quality and fit well, I would look at only two things-color and pattern design. If the colors are right, (by my estimation,) the only thing I would look at is simply, "will it blob out at a distance?" The vast majority of today's camo, to an animal, is nothing but a dark blob at 50-yards. Looks great to a human, though. And...there are only two patterns that I would even consider.
That said, truth is, it doesn't matter a whole lot. If you move, they see you. If you don't move, no matter what you are wearing, usually, they don't see you. I have been wearing ASAT since 1983, I was on the original field testing team. Fortunately, I have a lifetime supply and unless some company pays me to wear something else, that is all I wear. Does it work? I have no idea. I know it doesn't work if you are trying to hide from a human. Seems to do okay with animals.
More WRT the original post. Camo isn’t rocket science they just want you to think it is. The closest I’ve ever come to a deer was when I was wearing a blaze orange vest over a solid black down parka during a 4th season rifle hunt. Two mule deer actually bumped into as they walked past me. Go figure.
1. Create noise. 2. Stink 3. Shine 4. MOVE
If you follow this you will get close to game regardless of what you're wearing. Camo is more for the hunter's mindset than anything else. If you THINK you're invisible, then you ACT invisible.
That said, I've been switching to solid colors so I can wear them while hiking too. I'm 2/3 on my hunts this year while wearing solid colors, including an 8 point whitetail at 20 yards, so I don't think it matters that much. What Woods Walker said is right on.
t-Roy... I thought the same thing! lol
Being in the treetops I think is the one time where camo really becomes important. The guys that say they don't need camo I would like to see whether you are hunting on the ground or in the trees, and how sparce the canopy is where you are. As I mention, the times I was getting picked off I was 100% motionless and they see you. But in the thin trees it's like trying to hide on your lawn. I did sit twice, moving my stand lower to approx 10-12 feet off the ground with positive results. I had a better backdrop there.
Only problem with Predator fleeces, is they simply are not warm enough for the Canadian cold in mid-late November. Never mind when there is some wind. I have some Kuiu product as well which I love, but once again, they don't make stuff for late November Canada sitting type clothing.