Are You Blending In or Standing Out?

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A serious hunter’s wardrobe can be filled with quite a diverse selection of clothing. From super thin, camouflage mesh bug suits to keep the mosquitoes off of you, all the way to super insulated blaze orange parkas to keep out the cold. Because deer season alone covers such a stretch of time from early fall to later winter in some places, it can be very important to be dressed correctly for the season to stay the most comfortable. There may be slight differences in the clothing a hunter would wear depending on the conditions outside, but none as drastic as the difference between camouflage and blaze orange. Unlike most types of hunting clothing which is designed to conceal you and any of your movement in the woods, blaze orange is designed for the opposite, making sure everyone else out there knows where you are. Typically, around here, firearms deer season is when many break out their blaze orange every year and some states even require that hunters wear blaze orange during certain open seasons. Regardless of whether or not it is the law I don’t think many would argue against wearing it.

Many different companies produce specific camouflage patterns that claim to blend you into your surroundings wherever you are hunting and can be an important part of the hunt when going out after ducks, turkeys and deer with archery equipment. Although there is some significance, it is even more important to remember to sit still and be as quiet as possible. Right now, when most are out hunting deer with a rifle or shotgun, camouflage probably won’t hurt your chances, but I would say it isn’t necessary. Personally, I wear no camouflage at all; just warm ordinary clothes and my blaze orange vest. Standing out to other hunters is much more important to me than simply blending in so nothing can see me.

In hunting, both camouflage and blaze orange have their place, but once again, I can’t help finding a lesson in the world of hunting for everyday life. Maybe we can replace our camo and stand out a little bit more. Ever since we were little we were told to speak up and stand up for what we believe in. “Blending in,” social camouflage, is often the opposite of the moral courage it takes to lead a useful and meaningful life.

Whether physically or mentally, my hunting experience reminds me to keep that blaze orange on, to exercise my courage and my duty as an American, to stand out and speak up. But at this time of year, when we especially remember to give thanks for all that we have, please join me in thanks to those who regularly are wearing their camouflage overseas for you and me.