Winter is upon us. Along with the holidays, the football playoffs, and excuses to eat a lot and gain extra weight, winter is also one of my favorite times to hunt. However when hunting in the winter, traditional camouflage patterns that were great in the spring and fall do not work well. Thankfully some brilliant person years ago invented snow camouflage. Snow camouflage comes in all shapes and sizes for a variety of uses. Here is how I recommend choosing and using snow camouflage.
The first decision to make when considering investing in snow camouflage is to ask yourself what will I use it for? I personally use my snow camouflage for late season deer hunting, winter coyote hunting, late season goose hunting, and ice fishing. I also keep extra sets on hand to satisfy the Doomsday Prepper within me, just in case my family ever needs to be camouflaged in the winter. I’m going to break down each scenario where I use camo and what I look for in the gear I purchase.
I am an absolute scent control freak so when I am deer hunting as the snow flies I want snow camouflage with scent controlling capabilities. I’m also a loyal ScentBlocker user for several reasons. The first thing I like about ScentBlocker is they are a faith-based, American owned, family oriented company. The second thing I like about them is their scent control science is phenomenal. The ScentBlocker Switchback is the perfect gear for late fall and early winter hunting. As the name suggests, it is reversible with a camouflage pattern or a snow pattern depending on the need. The Switchback is insulated, offers all of ScentBlocker’s technologies, and I really think this is a solid investment.
That being said we also know that Mother Nature can throw some curve-balls now and then and really get the cold machine cranking up. In these situations when it is bitter cold, I prefer to wear the ScentBlocker Northern Extreme gear. I feel like the Michelin Man waddling out to my stand when I’m wearing this gear, but I’ve honestly never hunted and anything more toasty warm in my life. When my walk to the stand is a long one, I pack my Northern extreme gear, and dress near the stand so I don’t get sweaty. Both the Switchback and Northern Extreme are solid scent control insulated snow camouflage options.
When I predator hunt, I pretty much use the same gear that I use when I deer hunt for the same reasons. Predators also live and die by their nose. I prefer the lighter Switchback gear because of the fact that when I predator hunt, I’m up running and gunning often not getting too cold and generally not sitting very long. The Northern Extreme gear is fantastic for hunting predators over bait wear a long sit is anticipated, but I prefer to liven things up by chasing them around and calling therefore I use the lighter gear. My buddy Scott Shultz loves to huddle up in his Northern extreme gear and night hunt coyotes in his home state of frigid Minnesota. Not my style, but it works for him.
Thankfully ducks and geese can not smell us humans, or I honestly think I probably would never have shot one… ever. That being said, they depend on their eyes and ears for a survival. I can handle the calling, but I need some snow camo to help me blend into the fields or shorelines after the weather turns nasty. When late-season waterfowl hunting it is also really important to get some sort of gear that is water resistant, because inevitably, laying in the snow or slogging around through the muck will cause someone to get wet. ScentBlocker also makes a really nice snow cover suit for situations like these. I’ll also wear insulated gear like the Switchback or Northern Extreme if it’s really cold too. If someone is only hunting late-season waterfowl, and don’t need to worry about scent control, a simple cover suit is a less expensive investment. I do also know one guy who shot a turkey once in snow camo. He had our early season in Michigan and yes, there was still snow on the ground on opening day. A cover suit would come in handy for those situations as well.
As this article progresses, some may start to think that I’m either crazy or smart. There is a fine line between the two, and to be honest I think I fall within both categories. Either way, I love ice fishing in snow camouflage. I like to go out on the cold ice, find fish and catch them. I don’t like it when other people show up later than me, see me from a long way away, and come and sit by me. Like I said, I know it sounds silly, but I think wearing snow camouflage while ice fishing helps my secret spots remain a secret. If the lake is big enough, people won’t notice me as easily as someone wearing a bright red or bright blue coat. Once again, I’ll just wear the snow gear that I already own because there is no need for me to go out and buy brand new snow gear for a situation like ice fishing.
I take a lot of pride in and sleep better at night knowing that my family is more prepared for emergencies as each day passes. I’m constantly trying to upgrade our “preps,” learn new skills, and invest in better gear. Not only do I think investing in high-quality, warm outdoor gear is a good idea for my family, I also think having snow camouflage on hand may just come in handy at some point. I don’t need to go into a lot of detail here, but one may never know when they’ll need to be able to hide out in the snow. Enough said.
I wrote this article from my point of view, explaining how I choose and use snow camouflage. One of the great things about 1800gear.com is that they have an incredible selection of just about anything any outdoor sportsman needs. Along with ScentBlocker, there are other brands and types of snow camouflage available, and I would encourage you the reader to follow this process.
First decide why you need to snow camouflage and when you’re going to be using it. Next, assess your needs and make a choice accordingly. Some western hunters may want lightweight, rugged snow camouflage gear that will allow them to climb up and down mountaintops while chasing elk, sheep, moose, and mule deer. Wide open antelope hunting may also require certain styles of snow camouflage. I focus most of my outdoor activities in my home state of Michigan, in the Midwest region, where I don’t have to climb over any mountains or crawl down any gorges so my needs are different than someone else that is reading this who lives in Colorado, Wyoming, or Montana. Regardless of where you live, or will be hunting, the process is the same.
To purchase snow camouflage you need to first assess your needs, and then second find appropriate gear that will suit those needs. Also think about other activities that can justify the purchase. For me, those extra activities are ice fishing and emergency preparedness help get the purchase approved by my financial gatekeeper – my wife. It’s always easier to convince your significant other that you need to buy something when it has more than one use. When you are ready to make the investment in snow camo, simply go to 1800gear.com, and type in “snow camo” in their search bar. The results will be impressive, and there are all sorts of options for the snow camouflage pattern.