What Camo to wear for Hog Hunting?
For those of you who hunt feral pigs from a ground blind, the type of clothing you choose to wear is a moot point since the game will not be seeing you at all. For those of you who hunt them from a tree stand, the type of camouflage and the particular camouflage pattern you choose is a little more important. But, for those you who choose to Spot & Stalk your pigs on the ground, in their own environment, the proper type and pattern of camouflage is absolutely critical.
So, first let’s examine what type of camouflage clothing is appropriate for tree stand hunters and then, we will examine what type of camouflage clothing is appropriate for still hunters. Thus, because tree stand hunters are often more exposed than ground hunters, they need camouflage clothing that breaks up their outline and blends with both the foreground and the background. Therefore, when hunting feral pigs from a tree stand, I tend to prefer camouflage clothing with either three dimensional, leaf shaped, pieces of cloth sewn to the outside or a Ghillie suite. Now, the reason that I prefer this type of three dimensional clothing for tree stand hunting is that I am occasionally forced to set up in open woods where I have very little cover and I feel like the three dimensional camouflage does a better job of breaking up my outline in such open woods. In addition, when I am sitting in a tree stand twenty feet above the ground, I don’t have to worry nearly so much about the noise my clothing makes when the fabric rubs against itself. Therefore, I can afford to wear clothing that is more bulky than I can when I am spot-and-stalking. Last, when I am sitting in a tree, I have noticed that the ambient light level is often a bit higher at that level than it is on the ground where there is more shadow. Thus, I prefer to use lighter colored camouflage patterns when hunting from a tree stand so that I blend in a little better.
On the other hand, when I am Still Hunting with a bow or a handgun, then I prefer an entirely different set of camouflage clothing. For this type of hunting, I prefer a fabric that is ultra quiet and thus, I have a strong preference for a low nap, fleece, fabric such as Cabela’s Silent Suede and Silent Weave fabrics (although there are several others available that are similar and work just as well). If you are not familiar with these fabrics, they are made from polyester fleece but they have a very smooth surface that is reminiscent of denim. Thus, they are very quite fabrics and, since they lack the sewn on, three dimensional leaves present on leaf suites or the loose strings of a Ghillie Suite, they are perfect for moving through heavy cover when searching for pigs. In addition, since I am often hunting in heavy cover and/or deep shadows when Still Hunting in thick cover, I prefer a dark camouflage pattern such as Mossy Oak New Break-Up.
In addition, obviously you must wear different clothing for warm weather hunting versus cold weather hunting. Thus, for warm weather hunting, I prefer Savannah weight Scent Lok clothing. However, I have an overweight friend who prefers to hunt in his 3-D mesh bug suite with nothing on underneath but his underwear! Now, while that is a little extreme for me, it seems to work for him because he is very careful to use products that eliminate his human odor and he knows how to approach his prey from downwind. On the other hand, I have also spent days sitting in a tree stand with the ambient temperature below zero and the wind gusting to thirty miles an hour or so. Therefore, you obviously need very warm clothing to stay warm and comfortable under those conditions. Consequently, parkas and pants with Scent Lok linings and Dacron or Polyester insulation are very nice to have. So, my point here is that most states consider feral pigs to be an invasive species and thus, there is no closed season on them and therefore, you can pursue them year round. But, in order to do so, you will need the appropriate clothing for both the type of hunting you do and the season in which you are hunting.
Last, I would like to mention clothing with an activated charcoal lining. While I am aware that some hunters feel like this is either an unnecessary step or doesn’t work at all, I am afraid that my experience has taught me differently and thus, I consider a Scent Lok lining to be essential equipment when using the Spot & Stalk method for hunting feral pigs. The reason that I am so adamant about this is that between the Hunters Specialties Scent-A-Way Shower Kit that I use to clean up immediately before I head out for the day combined with the Scent Lok lining in my shirt, pants, gloves, facemask, and hat, I have literally been able to stalk to within five yards of pigs in heavy cover without them even being aware that I was there. In fact, I once had group of piglets run straight at me down a narrow trail and into a clearing where they began feeding and one of them came so close to my feet that I could have kicked him like a football! Yet, they had no idea that I was standing there as they passed to either side of me so, apparently they assumed that I was just another tree. Therefore, since pigs have one of the most sensitive noses in the animal kingdom, I consider that to be a pretty good testament to the power of Scent Lok linings.
Consequently, when hunting feral pigs, not only is it is important to have the right type of camouflage clothing for the type of hunting you do, it is important to have the right weight clothing for the season in which you are hunting. Furthermore, I personally consider an activated charcoal lining to be of paramount importance in all of my hunting clothing because when I am hunting feral pigs, I am perusing one of the smartest animals in the animal kingdom with one of the keenest olfactory senses in existence on his home ground and thus, I feel like I need every advantage I can get.