Contributors to this thread:
Mask, paint, beard, or nothing. What do you use to hide your face while whitetail hunting?
All of the above. Prefer my leafy mask but can't use it in cold temps because of fogging the eye glasses. After the first frost a beard starts.
While bow hunting I have a couple of those Scentlock face mask/ball cap combos. While gun hunting I don’t really take the time to worry about it.
I use a facemask and have a couple of practice sessions before each season with the mask on.
Usually keep some snacks in it.
More to the topic.....I suspect many here had stare downs with a deer that has picked them off. In my experience....looking at the deer eye to eye seems to tip them off something ain't right up there in that tree....especially when you have to blink. I haven't proven it yet but I seem to have better luck not tipping off the deer by not getting into an eye-to- eye stare down. If I have my camo-covered head looking off to the side watching the deer out of the corner of my eye, the deer seem to relax quicker. It's not fool-proof but I think there is something to avoiding eye to eye contact.
JL been told all my life don't look um in the eyes ! anything your hunting its a predator pray thing
Mask. I'm currently using a Kuiu merino neck gaiter, with a hole cut in for my mouth, because I can't stand having my mouth covered, and I chew
I'm not cool enough for paint. And I find it to be a pain to get off my face. Something about using my wife's makeup remover wipes just doesn't seem right to me :)
And I agree with JL, if having a stare down, I never look at the animal. I will avert my eyes and look at the ground. Same thing if a deer is nervous. I will not look directly at it, whether it's looking at me or not. It's just a habit I got into years ago. But I believe there is a little something to it. I can always feel it when I enter a room and all the attractive women stare at me. . . . . :)
Nothing unless it's cold and I have a balaclava on.
Paint when bow hunting and mask when gun hunting.
Scruffy hunting season beard and a face mask.
I just use my bow. As soon as any deer get close enough to see my face I just put my bow between me/them. Between the limb/cam/quiver hood/arrows/ there's more than enough to hide behind. I always pick up my bow when a deer approaches anyway. I use a spare arm (strap from my belt w/a little "pocket" deal that supports my lower cam) to hold the weight so I can be steady like that for a long time. The spare arm also works great to steady the bow so I can rest my binos on the top cam to glass.
If I'm going to be in a treestand with my face illuminated by the sun, I put on facepaint. I used to put it on all the time, but this year I got a little lazy and didn't paint much.
I hunt with a beard but my daughter doesn’t. I don’t like my anchor with a face mask. I hunted that way for years but haven’t noticed a difference since I’ve been going without. Movement and wind kills you, sit in the shadows if you can.
I use to use black paint. But then I realized that when I run for POTUS one day. I could have a blackface controversy that could derail my chances of being elected. I mostly don't do anything but sometimes will use a net.
By the time bow season rolls around I've got two neck gaitors on for the cold anyways. Early season nothing but theres so many leaves on the trees. Necessity looks after the situation.
I use a neck gaiter pulled up over my nose. I also squint so they can't see my eyes. That and asat camo and I hardly ever get picked off
Beard, but also use a mask for Spring turkey.
Face mask or balaclava. And never, never, ever make eye contact.
Cold in my hood, so generally a mask. Paint in the early season. Totally agree with the "predator vibe" bit on eye contact!
HECS face mask and underwear
Scruffy beard and baclava....gave up the paint and mask years ago. The humidity in your breath creates moisture and icicles in the extreme cold....I hate that clammy feeling.
The vast majority of the time, nothing. When spot/stalk elk, paint.
Mask, even in warm weather ... I have a netted leafy mask I wear when warmer out, another leafy mask with a Scent Lok liner in it, I trim the leafs so they dont interfere with the string and I have 2 different fleece masks, a heavy and lighter weight one ... I also wear a neck gaiter with them as I dont like drafts ... the lighter ones also keep the mosquitos and eye gnats out of my ears in early season ... never a problems shooting with any of 'em .. cant stand face paint ...
I use face masks as well, or beard...no make-up for me.
For those that made comments on the eye contact I want you to try something...just close one eye instead of looking away or squinting. I know it sounds crazy, but I spend a lot of time hunting and for instance I had two young bucks literally within 10' of me on the ground last night. I close one eye and they look at me but almost never "freak". Not sure why, maybe they aren't used to a cyclops predator, but it works.
Mask, if nothing else, just to make me feel like I'm hiding. If in a tree in the cold, just my winter hat. And I do the one eye closed as needed.
I’ve tried winking at them with mixed results. Usually works better on the does.
I’m a mask guy and, like Busta, I’ll use my bow to shield my face as well. Also squint my eyes. I like the Quaker Boy Bandito type mesh masks the best.
The eye contact thing for sure. Rule 1. All critters look for the eyes. Just like humans. I squint if at close quarters or otherwise avert my eyes. Sometimes you get caught looking...like in a bar.... I used to try shooting with my eyes closed with only moderate success. I use face paint. On Sunny days the black below the eyes really helps like ball players wear. Just don't care for masks. Uh, t-roy, pretty shiny coffee cup, just sayin.
face but as my beard has become completely grey - white deer sometimes give me the stare down
Mask and squint as deer approach and put bow in front of my face
Mask and squint as deer approach and put bow in front of my face
when it's below 60 a light mask, when it's below 40 a fleece mask. Above 60 - nothing. Mask always comes down below my lips for the shot, I do not feel comfortable having it between me and my kisser button and corner of mouth.
As far as the beard goes...at 67, mine ain't grey...it's snow camo.
Like others on here have mentioned about the bow. I ALWAYS keep my bow in front of me. I know you cant hide behind it, but I think it breaks up the face pretty good
When I learned to not make eye contact, I found bear stopped climbing up to see what strange creature was sitting in one of their trees. It took several close encounters to finally realize this. When it comes to deer a mask and I never make eye contact but not for the same reason.
If your doing this to your face to go hunting then let me be the one to tell you you look like an idiot and you really must not have any friends. Because friends would tell you you look like an idiot.
Nothing if in a treestand or popup blind. A little paint if hunting on the ground.
burned cork. and i dont do the idiot tv hero designs.
AndyJ got to watch a glamorous bowhunting couple park in front of a nice restaurant in Walden CO and touch up their face paint in the truck mirrors before going in to eat. The guy kept his release on during the meal and struggled to eat with it flopping around. That's a dedicated bowhunter!
Scrappy when I was elk hunting this year I bumped into a guy with face paint like that and a bandanna around his head. I would refer to him as Rambo. Had he not been bigger than me I would have snapped a picture. Lol. He also blew one of those flutes that’s a dead give away it’s a person. Let’s just say there could have been a few times he got in a pissing match with a nasty sounding bull that would always go the other way. Lol
Agree with Scrappy. If you actually take time to put a pattern on your face, I think you're kind of weird. I put it on in the stand with no mirror so I just do a smear job and hope I'm doing a good enough job.
Here's a typical face paint job for me. The good old days with the Vectrix XL.
X2 with 12yards, total smear job face paint for me since the early 80's. My wife always gets a laugh admiring my work when I get in from the woods.
Paint is fun when you don't have to go to church after the hunt.
Why would I hide this face...
Why would I hide this face...
Why would you show it is a better question;-)
All I can say is those women you referred to must have been visually challenged;-)
Have not shaved in 32 years, use paint around eyes, nose, etc. Not much paint needed. Never make eye contact. Use the bow in front of face also.
Actually, Habitat, I put that picture in about 30 xmas cards I sent to friends for the fun of it a couple years ago. I did not get one comment back other than from my daughters! That was funny in itself. The girls basically said,'Dad, what were you thinking?!'
I do have a beard now but has nothing to do with hunting. Never had much problem without anything for unless it's turkeys and then I use a mask.
Ouch!! Been a rough week for you, Chuck! ;-)
Paint,the more wrinkles i get the more little tree branches i have on my face...
The rare times that I whitetail hunt, nothing.
When I was young I killed lots of deer with a recurve while I was wearing blue jeans and a green and black wool shirt. Then I went to camo and face paint. The last ten years I have used no face paint and still kill plenty of deer. Being still is the key for me. I recently shot a buck that was 16 feet away and I was on the ground. I do wear camo since I have so much of it and it fits a lot better than jeans. Turkeys are a lot sharper than deer but I took this picture a couple weeks ago.
BTW, my wife doesn't hunt but she takes pictures of deer and says just keep the wind in your favor and don't move at all when they are looking your way. She has taken plenty of deer pictures, in bow range, and she is just wearing her normal clothes. She takes the pictures in our garden when the deer are busy eating our kale and not in hunting season when they get more spooky.
I loved the old Spand-O-Flage - cut your own eyeholes. Wish they still sold 'em.
Paint seems to be used by a lot of Hardos
I’ve never used paint. I use a loose mesh head net occasionally. Not sure how I decide when to use it. I anchor under my ear and need something loose so I can anchor right.
DanaC, they still make Spandoflage. Google is your friend, Amazon is your source
Face Net,100deg.+temps.and Misquitos in Az. Aug. Deer hunt.
'Beards' work ok when you're younger but for those of us who are 'more salt than pepper' it's just a dam' white flag.
During gun season here I have to wear a blaze hat and I *HATE* those. Yeah, deer don't see orange but they dam' sure see movement. Even when you're 'sitting still' you're moving your head to scan your area. Your head/face and hands need to be camo'd. Can't emphasize that enough. (And it's an area I blow off too many times.)
I was recently on a gun hunt down south, rifle season from elevated blinds. Saw too many deer pop out a hundred yards away and stare right at me. Picked me right up and pinned me to the spot. No, we weren't the first to hunt those stands this season.
Would face camo have helped? The young guy who used war paint every day shot two decent bucks. 'Nuff said.
Slight beard or nothing.If cold and windy,maybe a piece of moleskin or leukotape to protect my previously frozen nose and direct my breath away from my glasses.
paint while elk hunting, otherwise nothing
Face paint when it is warm, face mask when it is cold.
there's more to it than just face paint or not or beard or not. the sun beying the determining factor. I'm on the coast in VA & my favorite place to hunt is a ladder stand against a cedar tree on the edge of the salt marsh the sun rises directly behind the stand between my son & myself we've killed probably 100 deer in the 17 years we've hunted it no face paint. the sun lights up the deer & were in the shadows
another. deer just don't see ya. now that would be the opposite if we hunted there in the afternoon which we dont
the only buck iv killed this season shot at 11:00 am the deer cross the marsh to get to a bedding area behind the stand usually deer don't even start showing up till 9:00 am the nearest crops are a mile away & the deer always have corn or beans in their stomach.
full moon flood tide knee high rubber boots a must. & if you put a bad hit on a deer you best put on a pair of waders
At -10, it’s not so much about hiding...
Nothing unless it's cold and I'm wearing a balaclava.
I wear a mesh face mask in warmer weather. During cooler/cold weather I usually wear a combination of a light weight merino hoody which fits close and a hat which does a fair job of concealing my face. Add a balaclava if its real cold.
I try to blend into the snow, like I did in the above post. Sometimes it works better than others.
Like others I don't like to cover my face with a mask, I to use paint but getting it off could be a pain, so I went to "mud" at the bottom of my stand I poor some water on the dirt and use a finger to cover my face it dulls it out when done it brushes away with your hand, and good to go get breakfast, its free and earth scent. and can be found everywhere .
Use a very light pullover stretchy mask and wool hat on head when it's cold. I pull mask down before I draw and shoot. Shawn