photo

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photo by Sheri Dixon

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Camo Confusion

I grew up in Wisconsin and migrated to East Texas almost 20 years ago. Even though most of my relations are of the fishing persuasion and not the hunting persuasion, I am not a stranger to the Hunting Culture.

I understand the concept of 'camo'. I can see (or can't see, because that's the point, isn't it?) the benefit of 'breaking up your silhouette' so the deer/turkey/hog/bear/antelope/pheasant/ducks/whatever can't see you right quick.

You're looking for a, "Hey, Vern! What's that moving shadowy broken-up-silhouette over yonder? Looks like maybe a hun..." *BANG* moment of confused consternation from your prey. Just long enough to squeeze the trigger and bring home dinner.

Speaking of Trigger, up north I had a friend with three chestnut horses (also known as sorrel to those quarter horse people). Every hunting season she'd get out the blaze orange spray paint and write H O R S E in big orange letters on both sides of her babies...just to make sure.

Sort of anti-camo, that blaze orange. If I remember correct, hunters are all to wear just a bit o'the orange on their persons so other hunters don't, yanno- shoot 'em dead for thinking they might just be camo-wearing wildlife. Because, "Hey! Somthin's movin' in them there bushes- I'm gonna shoot it!" is totally OK. It just takes so loooooong to be sure that what you're shooting at is your target. Because the beer back at the lease shack won't drink itself, yanno.

Actually, 100% of the hunters I know would never do that. But there are some who would...hence the bit o'the orange.

And here's where I get confused.

Because you wear the orange to stand out, and the camo to blend in.

So how come every damn thing at Gander Mountain is done up in camo?

Regular camo, mountain camo, desert camo, winter wonderland white camo, even freaking pink camo (for sissy woods, I guess).

And not just pants and shirts, boots and hoods, gloves and mittens.

We're talkin' underdrawers and bathing suits, jammies and dinnerware, actual life-sized trucks and dog collars.

I can see (or not, because again...the point) being proud of being a hunter. But there are some items I have a problem with being camo.

Wallets, flashlights and vehicles.

First of all...why?

Are you so damn lazy you're not even getting out of the truck to shoot something? You wanna just park it and shoot from the open window while listening to Hannity?

And how about when you're sitting in your deer stand, and suddenly from over the crest of the little hill there, a huge trophy buck regally minces his way in your direction.

What's the first thing you do?

SHINE THE FLASHLIGHT IN HIS EYES AND PULL OUT YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE?

No. The flashlight and wallet will remain in your ALREADY CAMO PANTS POCKET until you either shoot the deer or he bounds away flashing that pretty white tail.

And here's what I don't understand. I've spent years hiking and living in the woods. Most of my life and I'm pretty old.

If I'm out in the woods and been hiking around a pathless maze of Mother Nature's living room, I'm gonna want all the help I can get to find my ride out of there quickly and with a minimum of cussing and panic. I want to see the truck.

If I'm out in the woods and I drop my flashlight and/or my wallet, the LAST thing I want is for the damn things to blend in and not be seen. I WANT to find my flashlight and wallet if I drop them. I want to find them quickly and with a minimum of cussing and panic. Those babies should be bright, glow in the dark orange.

And speaking of babies.

There are racks and racks of...camo baby clothes.

Think about that.

If there's one thing I want to find quickly and with a minimum of panic and cussing even MORE than my truck and my flashlight and wallet

IT'S MY BABY WHO'S CRAWLED OFF INTO THE FOREST.

You know what I saw at Tractor Supply tonight?

Blaze orange toilet paper.

So when you're taking a shit in the woods and go to wipe your ass, another hunter doesn't think it's a pretty white tail twitching in the bushes and literally shoot your ass.

So trucks and flashlights and wallets and babies need to be invisible.

Bare shitting asses must flash bright orange like a glorious Halloween pumpkin.

Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather see trucks, flashlights, wallets and babies.

Guess it's a Hunter Thing.

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