Choosing the Right Hunting Camo Pattern

a hunter wearing realtree camo in the woods

Choosing the right camouflage pattern when hunting is incredibly important so that you remain undetected by your prey and optimize your chance of success outdoors. If you’re a new hunter looking to upgrade your hunting clothing collection, be sure to start with understanding the different types of camo patterns, factors to consider when choosing the right pattern, and some of the most popular camo patterns within the hunting industry.

Types of Camo Patterns

When looking at pieces of hunting clothing side by side, you’ll notice different types of camo patterns. Each type is designed to help you stay concealed depending on where you’re hunting, what you’re hunting, and your hunting position. Some hunters opt for wearing camo patterns that closely resemble the natural background of their environment, aiming to blend in seamlessly. On the other hand, certain hunters prefer camo patterns with abstract designs, which help to disrupt their silhouette and make it more difficult for animals to distinguish them from the surroundings.

Choosing the Right Camo Pattern

When selecting the right camo pattern for your hunt, you’ll also want to consider the environment, season, and hunting position. 

a hunter wearing the right camo pattern for environment

Hunting Environment

Where will you be hunting the most?  The boundary waters, the Bighorn Mountains, thick Alaskan marshes, or the New Mexico desert? Once you have determined where you’re hunting, you can envision the terrain of that environment to narrow down what camo pattern suits you best. 

Hunting Season

The time of the year you’re hunting will influence the type of camo pattern to wear. For example, will the leaves have dropped yet? Is it early season and you need to match the green foliage? Is it late December and you need to stay concealed in snowy conditions? Since each of these seasons have very distinct backdrops, it’s important to consider seasonality when choosing your camo pattern. 

Hunting Position

How do you plan on hunting? From a treestand, ground blind, or a more active spot and stalk approach? 

  • If you’re hunting from a treestand, you’ll want to blend into the tree branches, leaves, and shadows. Since the animal’s point of view is looking up from the ground, it’s a good idea to wear a camo pattern that also blends into the sky too. Keeping this in mind will make sure that you stay unseen when in an elevated position. 

  • There are a few different types of ground blinds, so figuring out what type of camo to wear depends if you’re hunting from a live structure or an enclosed blind. For those hunting from a live structure blind, you’ll want to blend into the environment around your blind to seamlessly blend in with the structure. For those hunting from an enclosed ground blind, you’ll actually want to wear black to blend into the interior structure.

Popular Hunting Camo Patterns

There are plenty of different options when choosing a camo pattern, and each type is designed by specific brands. It’s important to know that camo patterns are very versatile and can be used in different situations. To help guide beginners, our Hunting Clothing Experts share some of the most popular camo patterns used by hunters as well as how hunters often use this type of camo pattern.

SITKA Elevated II

a hunter walking through the snow wearing stika elevated ii

SITKA Elevated II camo is specifically designed for hunters who prefer to blend into their surroundings in elevated positions, such as treestands or elevated blinds. By utilizing the dark tones of late-season timber and the light colors of the background sky, this camo mimics what an animal would see when looking up at you from the ground. The abstract camo pattern featured in SITKA Elevated II is designed to effectively break up the hunter's silhouette, providing ultimate camouflage. This pattern is particularly effective during late fall and winter seasons when trees shed their leaves, exposing more bare branches. Although a diverse and popular camo pattern, it truly shines during late-season northern whitetail hunts.

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a waterfowl hunter wearing sitka marsh camo pattern

SITKA Marsh camo is specifically designed for waterfowl hunters to use in marsh or wetland environments with reeds, cattails, or marsh grasses. The shades of brown and tan mimic the natural colors found in marshes, while the abstract pattern with details and textures breaks up the hunter’s silhouette so you blend into the surrounding vegetation. This camo pattern performs best in autumn and winter during the waterfowl hunting season.

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SITKA Open Country

a hunter wearing sitka open country camo pattern out scouting

SITKA Open Country camo is specifically designed for those who hunt open and rocky terrains like mountains, high desert areas, and alpine environments. Featuring an abstract pattern with neutral tones, including shades of gray, tan, and light brown, combined with subtle hints of green and black, this camo pattern breaks up the hunter’s silhouette blending into open areas, rocky slopes, and sparse vegetation. This design ensures versatility in a variety of hunting scenarios during transitional seasons like spring and fall. With the natural pattern, this camo is great for big game hunting such as deer, elk, antelope, and sheep.

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SITKA Subalpine

a hunter wearing sitka subalpine camo when scouting

SITKA Subalpine camo is effective in mountainous regions with dense vegetation like forests and rocky terrains. The abstract design paired with various shades of greens, browns, and grays breaks up the hunter’s silhouette and mimics the colors in subalpine environments for the ultimate camouflage. This camo can be used in a few different hunting scenarios including during late summer or early fall hunts in higher elevation areas when hunting elk, mule deer, or mountain goats. You can also wear the SITKA Subalpine camo when hunting whitetail in the early season.

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Realtree Edge

a hunter wearing reatree edge camo while scouting

Realtree Edge camo is a highly versatile camouflage pattern designed to be used in the forest when pursuing deer, turkey, or other game. Blending earthy browns, greens, and grays, this camo pattern is effective during the transition periods of early fall and late spring when the foliage is changing color or just starting to grow back.

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Mossy Oak Bottomland

a hunter in a tree wearing mossy oak bottomland

Whether you want to blend into an oak tree for hunting whitetail in November or need a go-to pattern for early spring turkey hunting, Mossy Oak Bottomland camo is a classic option for a wide variety of hunts. The earthy tones of dark browns and muted greens and intricate patterns blend seamlessly within wooded areas. Using the natural lines of the environment with a more abstract pattern, this camo blends together both worlds to provide reliable concealment. 

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Realtree Excape

a bowhunter wearing realtree excape on a hunt

Realtree Excape camo is a versatile and effective camouflage pattern, especially in wooded areas and rocky open country. Combining a realistic depiction of rock structures and mid-season vegetation with a more abstract design, this camo not only mimics the natural elements but also deconstructs the hunter’s silhouette. One ideal way to use Realtree Excape camo is during big game hunting, especially when targeting game such as deer or elk.

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Realtree Max-7

a hunter wearing realtree max 7 camo in the marsh

Realtree Max-7 camo is a versatile camouflage pattern that’s specifically designed for marshlands. Its design incorporates a combination of natural elements creating a realistic and effective camouflage for the environment. Whether you’re hunting upland birds, turkey, or waterfowl, Realtree Max-7 camo will help you remain concealed. 

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SCHEELS Outfitters V2 & West River

two hunters out wearing scheels outfitters camo patterns

The SCHEELS Outfitters V2 & West River camo patterns were designed to offer total concealment in a range of different hunting environments regardless of your targeted species. Both these SCHEELS Outfitters camo patterns use a unique blend of a natural mimicking pattern along with abstract shapes to not only break up your figure but also to seamlessly blend into a number of environments. Whether you're an avid hunter or just getting started, these camo patterns provide versatility and concealment in a range of different conditions making them your next go-to. 

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a hunter standing on a mountain wearing solids when hunting

When long-range hunting out west, some hunters choose to wear hunt solids as part of their layering system. This is because large game like elk and mule deer rely more on their other senses than sight so concealment isn’t as much of a priority. Plus, hunt solids are more versatile and at times more affordable so you’re able to wear them for more than just hunting. 

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Choosing the right camo pattern is a critical decision that greatly impacts your hunting success. By understanding that there are different types of camo patterns, considering the hunting environment, season, and hunting position, and exploring popular camo patterns in the market, you can make an informed choice. Remember, blending in with your surroundings and remaining undetected is key to a successful hunting experience. If you have additional questions about what type of camo you should choose, stop into your local SCHEELS to speak with a Hunting Clothing Expert.