What Do People Wear to Hunt?

Camron Stover

Embarking on a hunting expedition involves more than just skill and strategy; it requires the right attire to ensure both success and safety in the field. In this detailed guide, we’ll explore the proper dress code, from outer layers to base layers, and the essential hunting gear, for individuals of all experience levels. Whether you’re a first-time hunter or a seasoned master of the hunt, understanding what to wear is crucial for a good time in the great outdoors.

1. Outer Layer:

Why It Matters:

An outer layer is your first line of defense against the elements, including rain, wind, and show.  As beneficial as your outer layer is, it can also be a hindrance during the hunt as many waterproof outer layers are also noisy.  Finding a good outer layer that reduces noise, while keeping you warm and dry can be difficult.  One of my favorite windproof outer layers is the KUIU Proximity Jackey and Pants.  These will keep you warm but are not waterproof.  Instead, pick up some lightweight, packable rain gear to slip on over top of your outer layer.  Camouflage isn’t as important when hunting in a ground blind, as a black coat blends in with the dark walls of the ground blind better than camouflage.  Don’t try to get all of your warmth from an outer layer.  Instead, dress in layers, which will allow you to better regulate your body temperature as conditions change.

is the KUIU Proximity Hooded Insulated Jacket worth buying

2. Blaze Orange – A Must for Hunting with Firearms:

Why It Matters:

Blaze orange is a legal requirement in many areas during firearms seasons.  Hunter orange, or blaze orange, increases visibility and safety by distinguishing hunters from their environment, making sure they don’t get shot.  Typically, hunters can pick up an inexpensive blaze orange vest and headwear to meet the blaze orange requirements in their area, allowing them to utilize their traditional hunting clothing (camouflage) throughout the season, saving money by not having to purchase an expensive blaze orange jacket.   For more information on why hunters wear blaze orange, check out this blog post.

do you have to wear orange when hunting

3. Camouflage Clothing – Earth Tones and Natural Elements:

Why It Matters:

Camouflage helps hunters blend into their surroundings, providing concealment and decreasing the likelihood of game animals seeing them in them while hunting.  There are more camo patterns on the market than I can count and there’s no single one that works better than the other.  However, not all clothing options are the same as some cheaper brands utilize UV brighteners to make their clothes look more appealing to the human eye but this can be a hindrance in the field as deer can see the UV brighteners better than our human eyes can see.  These UV brighteners, found in some clothing and laundry detergent make you look like a neon sign in the woods.  If you really want to conceal yourself while hunting, get yourself a ghillie suit.

best jacket for elk hunting

4. Hunting Boots – Field Boots and Tall Boots:

Why It Matters:

Hunting boots are one of the most important pieces of hunting gear that you’ll invest in and you need to ensure that you’re buying a boot designed for the style of hunting that you’re doing.  If you’re walking through the mud and muck all of the time consider using a slip-on rubber or neoprene boot such as Muck or LaCrosse Alphaburly boots. If you’re doing a lot of walking a lightweight hiking boot might be just the trick for all-day comfort.  For mountain hunters chasing elk and mule deer, skip the cheap and moderately priced boots and check out Crispi and Kenetrek boots.  The added foot and ankle protection, combined with the highest quality materials makes for an excellent boot for hiking in the most rigorous terrain. High boots that are snake-bite resistant should be worn in areas where contact with snakes would be common.

best place to buy crispi boots

5. Base Layers

Why It Matters:

The most versatile piece of your hunting attire is what you’re wearing next to your skin.  Base layers come in different materials for various times of the year depending on the weather conditions.  Your next-to-skin layer should be capable of wicking moisture away from the body, keeping you warmer in cold temperatures and cooler in warm temperatures.  Merino wool makes for an excellent base layer.

kuiu peloton 97 zip off bottom review

6. Casual Apparel Blue Jeans and a Plaid Shirt

Why It Matters:

Can you wear regular, everyday clothes to hunt in?  Back in the day, most hunters just wore blue jeans and plaid, so if this is your first time hunting, don’t stress over your clothing just yet, just make sure you’re warm, comfortable, and quiet.  Unfortunately, deer can see blue and yellow better than most colors but the plaid, regardless of color would suffice for camouflage in a pinch because it’s not a solid color and the lines in the shirt would help break up your silhouette.  Many traditional hunters elect to wear plaid rather than camo.  However, you won’t see it as a recommendation, only as a challenge.

deer hunting t shirt

What Clothing Do Hunters Wear?

1. Time of Year and Weather Conditions:

  • Adjust attire based on the time of year and expected weather conditions. Consider additional insulation layers such as puffy pants for colder weather and rain gear for inclement weather.  Dressing in layers allows you to shed or add clothing as needed when the temperatures change.  Camouflage patterns can also be changed to better blend in with the environment.  For instance, turkey hunting camo is completely different than waterfowl camo, and for good reason!

2. Group or Party Hunting:

  • When hunting as a group, doing deer drives, or running dogs, it’s a good idea to wear blaze orange whether or not it’s a legal requirement or not.  Use the common sense approach and choose to be seen.  You don’t want to end up like Dick Cheney (the former Vice President of the United States who shot his hunting partner during a quail hunt).  Hunting with a pack of hounds, whether for bears, pheasants, or rabbits can get hectic sometimes, so the additional protection and greater visibility.

3. Female Hunters:

  • In years past, female hunters struggled to find good-fitting clothing due to a lack of options on the market.  However, times have changed and the female hunter now has plenty of options to choose from that are specifically designed to fit a woman’s body shape.

4. Youth Hunters:

  • Kids grow like weeds, so it’s hard to justify spending a fortune on a new hunting outfit every year, but don’t buy hunting clothing that’s way too big thinking they’ll grow into it.  You wouldn’t want to wear clothes two sizes too big either, so be mindful when introducing kids to hunting as their comfort level will dictate whether or not they’ll enjoy the process.  The most important thing about taking kids hunting is whether or not they had a good time.  A successful hunt isn’t defined by filling a tag, it’s about having fun and laying a good foundation for future hunting experiences together.
best time to buy kuiu

Conclusion

Understanding what hunting clothing you need to get started hunting is not only a legal requirement for some hunting seasons but also a viable skill to keep you concealed from the animals that you’re hunting. Having the proper attire in the field is the key to success, just try to keep your hunting gear in good condition so you can get the most out of your gear for an extended amount of time.  The clothing that you wear on the opening day of archery season in September will differ from the clothing that you wear in late October, but if you’re smart, you’ll build a clothing system that allows you to adapt to the changing weather conditions.  Throw in the occasional bad weather day and you’ll need an entire assortment of clothing for the ever-changing weather conditions.  Regardless of where you hunt in North America, HuntingGearDeals.com can help you save money on hunting gear all year long.  We scour the web each day to showcase discounted products, sales, and coupon codes, helping you get the best bang for your buck.

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AUTHOR BIO

Hi, I’m Camron the owner of Hunting Gear Deals. I’m an avid bowhunter with a knack for finding good deals on hunting gear and love to help you save money on hunting gear.  I’m also the owner of the popular Bucks, Bulls, & Bears email newsletter that’s built to educate and entertain hunters.  If you haven’t subscribed, you’re missing out!  Last but not least, I’m proud to say that I work for Whitetail Properties as a Land Specialist in Ohio.  If you’re in the market for hunting property, shoot me an email and I’d love to help you find your dream property.  

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