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Hunting Camo Concepts

By July 13, 2016Hunting Insight

“Defy the Eye”

A new spin on an old style:

Camo patterns have evolved tremendously over the past 30 years. In the late 1970’s, photo realism was created and for the first time, the hunter could mimic his actual surroundings. It was revolutionary and turned the camo industry upside-down. Within a few years, there were multiple camo clothing manufacturers racing to create the most lifelike and realistic pattern. In the camo industry, complexity is not king. There are hundreds of patterns available to the modern hunter but many do not necessarily perform the one task that is demanded of them, breaking up the human outline. The vast majority of patterns are designed to directly appeal to the hunter’s eye rather than break the silhouette of the hunter.

Ungulates, or hoofed animals, do not operate on the same set of visual keys that predators do. Most ungulates focus on shape as opposed to color to differentiate between potential predator and a nonthreatening being.  We need to recognize that as we move further from a given object, the detail is removed and we tend to distinguish an object’s characteristics by shape rather than minute detail. To apply this concept to a scenario in your daily life, think of a car that is parked in the median a hundred yards in front of you on the highway. As you approach, your natural instinct is to tap the breaks in case it is a state trooper. Your brain recognized the object as a potential threat and you reacted to protect your well being. An ungulates eyes work by the same set of laws. If there is a perceived danger, the senses are heightened and survival becomes the priority. in short, eliminate the human outline to eliminate the threat to prey.

ungulate vision

As previously stated, the design is more important to the color. As you already know, ungulates do not see color like we do. As humans, we see in a trichromatic color scheme. That means that we have a wider range of colors that our brain can differentiate and distinguish. Ungulates, on the other hand, see in a dichromatic format. This means that they are highly in tune with blues, grays, and yellows but are unable to see red tones. Basically, ungulates are red/green colorblind and see shades of grays when these colors are presented.

Predators have evolved over millions of years to elude the eyes of their prey as well. Some of the worlds most deadly predators utilize the same concept of macro diffusion to maximize their efficiency as killers and elude prey.


The most important characteristic is creating contrast and depth. The pattern has to fracture the human outline at both long and close range. We created our pattern by starting with the most versatile earth tones we could find and combining them in a format that created deep contrast. Lastly, we added a branch overlay with drop-shadow to add depth to the design.

Mike Zaudke

Author Mike Zaudke

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