Ep. 111 - The Camouflage ConundrumJoin Travis Bader and Paul Ballard as they transport you to a captivating spring turkey hunt around the campfire. In this episode, they expertly answer your burning questions about camouflage for hunting. Unveil the well-guarded secrets of successful hunting as Travis and Paul delve into topics such as blending seamlessly with nature, controlling scent, and mastering silent movements. Whether you're an experienced hunter or an aspiring enthusiast, this immersive adventure into the wild promises to be both educational and entertaining. Prepare to deepen your understanding of camouflage techniques while enjoying a compelling blend of knowledge and entertainment.
Camouflage Ballard Silvercore Podcast 111
[00:00:00] Travis Bader: I'm Travis Bader, and this is the Silvercore podcast. Silvercore has been providing its members with the skills and knowledge necessary to be confident and proficient in the outdoors for over 20 years. And we make it easier for people to deepen their connection to the natural world. If you enjoy the positive and educational content.
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[00:00:52] Travis Bader: So how should we start this one?
[00:00:53] Paul Ballard: I don't know.
[00:00:54] Travis Bader: I'm scared. Maybe we just start just like that.
[00:00:57] Paul Ballard: Yes, I, I'm scared because it's dark and, and now you're forcing me to do podcasts in the dark. Typically we've worked in the studio, but I think, uh, you know, Travis, I'm, I'm happy to be here in what truly is the great outdoors of the southern part of the province of British Columbia on a turkey hunt.
[00:01:18] Paul Ballard: And we're about to talk.
[00:01:21] Travis Bader: Camouflage. The Camo Jam, the, what was the title for this one? The
[00:01:24] Paul Ballard: Camouflage Conundrum. The Camouflage Conundrum. The Camouflage Commitment. So. All about camo, but
[00:01:31] Travis Bader: maybe not. We've been getting people asking, saying we'd like to have some more on scene podcasts. Now I've done a couple in the past.
[00:01:37] Travis Bader: Uh, first one was on a jet boat just outside of a, a, uh, a ghost town on the Skeena River. That was a pretty cool one. Uh, You and I did one at the, uh, Fuddleduck Lodge there. Yes. And now we're out on a turkey hunt. This is my first turkey hunt. And so I'm learning a lot about
[00:01:55] Paul Ballard: this. Well, I'm not exactly the best teacher because I've hunted turkey before, but I'm by no means, you know, the penultimate turkey hunter, but we're doing our thing.
[00:02:06] Travis Bader: So we were talking a little bit about camouflage and this is something that's come up in the past and you know, Guy Kramer, we had him on the podcast before he. Developed camouflage for armies all over the world, hundreds of different armies, different types of camouflage and the inventor of the invisible cloak.
[00:02:23] Travis Bader: And one of the things that I was hoping to talk about there was sort of the specifics of camouflage. Cause he'd come at it with a very scientific perspective and the conversation went in a different direction. It was awesome conversation. But I thought maybe we can delve a little bit into the specifics of camouflage.
[00:02:41] Travis Bader: Do we need this super expensive stuff that comes
[00:02:44] Paul Ballard: out every single year? That's really it in the end, because we like to reach out to, you know, the, the viewers of the Silvercore podcast, you know, and they've got questions like, man, this stuff's expensive and do I need to spend the money on it? And so on and so forth.
[00:03:00] Paul Ballard: But let's start from the beginning. What is camouflage all about? It's meant to alter the appearance of, of someone, something to make it blend into an environment so that it's not obvious to, probably in our case, an animal, a bird, uh, that we might be pursuing, uh, in the military, it might hmm.
[00:03:30] Paul Ballard: We typically look at the most important things, is shape, shine, shadow, and silhouette. And another part of camouflage, of course, is going to be movement and, and, and that, but let's start, you know, with shape.
[00:03:47] Travis Bader: See, I always learned it as the four S's and an M or the five S's and an M. And some people in different areas will have a little bit different.
[00:03:54] Travis Bader: And it is,
[00:03:55] Paul Ballard: and forgive me if, if I, in any way, You know, change up what somebody has learned from military doctrine or something of that, but let's talk about shape. What's going to draw attention to you in the wild? Well, we first of all, got to look at, as far as shape goes, nothing is 90 degrees, nothing is absolutely flat, absolutely square, absolutely horizontal, or absolutely vertical.
[00:04:19] Paul Ballard: And, and all's we need to do is interrupt any one of those vertical planes, horizontal planes, uh, or the combination of the two would become unusual. Now, plaids may, um, you know, be one of those things where we're saying that we've got a, a 90 degree set of planes. We've got, you know, vertical, horizontal on a plaid, but wrap it around a human body and it changes significantly.
[00:04:48] Paul Ballard: Plaid,
[00:04:48] Travis Bader: the original disbursement pattern material.
[00:04:51] Paul Ballard: Right. You know, and the, the Hellanders, they'll tell you that, but I, as you know, I'm, I'm purposely wearing this plaid shirt in a camouflage vest to say, Hey, what the heck's the difference between the two?
[00:05:06] Travis Bader: Yeah. And if you didn't point that out, I don't know if the viewers, hopefully it shows up on I don't know how, how well,
[00:05:11] Paul Ballard: but that's my, my, my goal here is to talk about that.
[00:05:15] Travis Bader: So. I don't think people would actually look at that and see it as out of place. Yeah.
[00:05:19] Paul Ballard: And, and the two things combined are helping to break up my shape, my vertical planes, my horizontal planes and so on. So then we said.
[00:05:31] Travis Bader: Well, in shape as well, you know, that's one of the things when I'm out looking for an animal, that'll catch my eye in a heartbeat.
[00:05:37] Travis Bader: And quite often I'll see a tree or a log that's horizontal and my eye, your mind just picks up on that right away. Cause that's odd. Is that you're seeing or is it a tree or what? So we have a lot of vertical lines, those horizontal lines stick out
[00:05:53] Paul Ballard: right away to me. Yeah. It's pretty clear that, you know, a deer's back is, is, is one of those things.
[00:05:59] Paul Ballard: And then, you know, here we are, you know, uh, ostensibly turkey hunting today, but, you know, when you talk about shape, a turkey that has its feathers all together and is standing, has this sort of. Almost bottle shape, you know, uh, it's, it's bulbous at the bottom tapering up to its neck that looks totally out of place in nature as well.
[00:06:22] Paul Ballard: When, when that animal's moving around, well, it's just not out of place, but it's something that will draw your eyes. Shadow, you gotta always be aware of shadow. Shadow is probably not the biggest thing, but on a bright sunny day, which we abhor as hunters, we prefer that, that grayed out day where we're not looking at, you know, brilliance on, you know, into our eyes, onto the horizon or, or whatever.
[00:06:46] Paul Ballard: But again, casting a shadow, um. Can also draw attention to yourself, silhouette standing on the top of a hill.
[00:06:56] Travis Bader: You can have all the best camouflage in the world on,
[00:06:59] Paul Ballard: and you're silhouetted. If you're silhouetting to the sky, so good. You get up into a tree stand and you pick a tree that is, you know. Tall and skinny and nothing behind you.
[00:07:10] Paul Ballard: Now, all of a sudden your, your, your body shape, your silhouette is going to, you know, make an unusual appearance on the trunk of the tree. So of course, if you're going to use a climbing tree stand or another, uh, ladder type tree stand, what's behind you? Are you putting yourself up appropriately high so that, you know, the foliage of the tree behind is going to break that.
[00:07:33] Paul Ballard: That silhouette
[00:07:33] Travis Bader: up before you move on from the, the shadow one, cause you know, casting a shadow is obviously something that we have to be conscious of. But the other part of that, that I've used very effectively in the past is shadows. So if you're going to be well camouflaged up beside a tree. Or well camouflaged up just in front of the tree where the shadow is and anything like, if you think of a camera and the aperture looking out, it'll adjust your eye will adjust to the bright part in behind you.
[00:08:00] Travis Bader: And that shadow, you become almost basically invisible.
[00:08:04] Paul Ballard: Yeah. The shadow man or. This man was, yeah. Where is this man in the, and, and very true. Like, you know, you think that, Oh, I'm going to back clean up to this, this tree. Whereas two steps forward of it. And, and that is really counterintuitive to what you would think of is to be in front of something as opposed to being, being behind it.
[00:08:24] Paul Ballard: Uh, so shadow, silhouette, um, shine. Right.
[00:08:29] Travis Bader: Shine, sheen.
[00:08:30] Paul Ballard: Yes. The watch, the ring. The sunglasses, you know, miles away. You can be seeing the white patch on, on, on your hat. But the biggest one is your face. And, and a lot of people really, you know, take it for granted. They're pull their ball cap down, but having a face veil, very, very important to, you know, if you're going to consider hiding yourself.
[00:08:55] Paul Ballard: Uh, from anybody to see you is one of these mesh type face veils, which will just take that, that shine away a day. Like we were going through today, which went through sunshine and rain and everything else. Pouring rain. Pouring rain. Oh my God. Soak to the bone. Hail actually as well. But you get your face on a hillside.
[00:09:17] Paul Ballard: Looking into the sun and all you got to do is get your partner to go, you know, on the other side and look back and they will attest to how much that shows. And the color that shows is kind of almost a pinky orangey red is, is what the, the normal face. And it really doesn't matter. It, you know, we're going to be inclusive here.
[00:09:38] Paul Ballard: It's not just a Caucasian face. It's, it's anybody. You know, the shine, the oils in your face. So, you know, using a little bit of a face veil, or maybe the application of a bit of a camouflage makeup is going to help to break that shine down. Sure. You know, and a lot of people take for granted too, you know, what the heck, you know, are you wearing that big, uh, Rolex Seamaster or something like that, that's going to shine back.
[00:10:06] Paul Ballard: I got a, I got a Brittany dog that is crazy for shadows and shapes and shine, and he will follow the reflection off of my phone, my watch or anything else. Well, if he's doing that, then certainly any of the other animals that we're trying to disguise ourselves from are going to see that too. What do you think
[00:10:23] Travis Bader: about, let's say your firearm?
[00:10:25] Travis Bader: A, uh, stainless barrel. And
[00:10:27] Paul Ballard: that, you know, one of the things I truly believe, take the time to buy a little bit of that camo wrap tape and throw it on there. Blue steel, you know, a nice, you know, we were talking about Brownings today, Browning and their, their famous glossy stocks and highly polished blue steel.
[00:10:46] Paul Ballard: That's going to reflect light. Um, We look at, uh, you know, different types of firearms are marketed, uh, for different situations, like snow goose shotguns are always going to be a white camo that's on there, but you know, if you're hunting them in the snow and stuff, that. Goes all the way back to our shape concern of that straight vertical, you know, or horizontal, or maybe an angled line that's going to stick out because it's so straight and it's so, you know, dimensionally different than a branch or, uh, you know, the, the stalk of a, of a large plant or anything like that.
[00:11:26] Paul Ballard: So, you know, yeah. Put a little bit of camo wrap on there. Be very careful not to obscure your sights in any way. If you would be using a shotgun, you don't want to put it so that it, you know, as you bring the, you know, the, the vented rib up or anything like that, it's going to cause you problems there, but yeah, breaking up that long shape is a good idea.
[00:11:47] Paul Ballard: You can buy all kinds of, you know, wash off paint as well, uh, that you can put onto your firearm that, that is not going to hurt it and very easy to remove in the end. We look at a lot of what's being marketed now, camouflage stocks, um, Cerakote and, and the other, you know, coatings that can go on there to cutaway, shine, shape, and, you know, and indeed, you know, what might be silhouette as well.
[00:12:15] Paul Ballard: Yeah. That's a, it's a huge consideration. Yeah.
[00:12:19] Travis Bader: So I guess we have an M now,
[00:12:22] Paul Ballard: movement. Yeah, yeah, a lot of people don't really appreciate is, you know, you got to stay still or keep your movements behind a blind or behind the tree, you know, um, really is, as you get into this hunting thing or you're experiencing it, you start to know how much movement you can get away with and, and the type of movement that you can get away with.
[00:12:47] Paul Ballard: Slow, steady, measured moves tend not to draw attention. I've spent lots of time and few things are spookier in a whitetail doe when she's trying to look after her fawn and she locks onto you. And, and that's the time to practice to see how far you can push her before she flags. Usually it'll be the, the, the, the fawn that'll flag first, but how far can you go with her, you know, in, in your movements, but those slow bringing the rifle to bear and, and something to practice as well, uh, that you don't panic when you all of a sudden spot that game that's out there, snap the rifle or shotgun up to your shoulder, and that could potentially spook the, the game that's out there.
[00:13:32] Travis Bader: I've always lived under the doctrine that your number one best camouflage that you can have with you is. Be still, be still, just be still, uh, over top of anything else that you have, because if you're going to see an animal, if you think about it, the first thing that usually gives it away is you see movement out of the corner of your eye and it catches you and instinctively in the back of our head, we just catch this, animals do that.
[00:13:55] Travis Bader: So
[00:13:56] Paul Ballard: we're, you know, let's be upfront. We're talking about. A visual, uh, thing here. Well, there's two more S's
[00:14:02] Travis Bader: that we can put in. Oh yeah.
[00:14:03] Paul Ballard: But, but let's, let's not forget the most important things, honestly, with dealing with animals is scent and sound. That's the two more S's I'm talking about. Like your scent is the biggest giveaway of all.
[00:14:15] Paul Ballard: And, and I feel that. Not enough people pay enough attention to what's the prevailing wind, what's it doing with, you know, my scent at the moment. I can have the finest, you know, blind camouflage, I'm hidden, I'm not moving, and everything else. But if the wind is coming from my back and blowing it straight at, you know, my intended prey...
[00:14:37] Paul Ballard: Um, there's a problem and I, and I, I, I said this before in other podcasts, I've watched deer walk into a scent line and it's like they walked into a brick wall. You know, they're, they're, they're kind of aware they're, they're looking at something, they're not sure and bam. They stop and it's momentary and then they boot, you know, from that, from that, from that smell.
[00:15:00] Paul Ballard: So scent, you know, kind of outside of the camouflage thing, but very, very important, you know, you, you want to hide yourself to get out there, to be a better hunter, you know, take the time to, you know, have a good wash with. Unscented products, you know, make sure that, uh, your clothing is properly washed with an unscented product.
[00:15:22] Paul Ballard: We go back to, there's one other one that we're going to get to, and it's going to be color here in a sec, but the ultraviolet killer in, and a lot of these. You know, they call them sport wash and other names. Very important, you know, to, to kill the, uh, ultraviolet reflection, uh, of, uh,
[00:15:39] Travis Bader: Yeah, your normal detergent will have
[00:15:40] Paul Ballard: a bit of a UV.
[00:15:41] Paul Ballard: Right. Yeah. Everybody wants new gain for the scent. Cause it smells good. To us. What's that? To us. To us. Yeah. As humans, it smells good. And then it also, we want to brighten those colors so that, you know, when you've. Paid good money for that, you know, that Hawaiian shirt or whatever that, you know, nice rayon, uh, flowers and bananas and pineapples, it should stand up right.
[00:16:04] Paul Ballard: And, and that's what you're looking at. And surprisingly people spend big money on camouflage clothing and the sizing and the brighteners are in that clothing when you buy it and they don't take the time to go home and wash it in a UV killer where. Even quality camouflage is going to reflect, you know, the, the UV.
[00:16:26] Paul Ballard: Is it the UV spectrum of light? I'm not sure. Yeah, I guess that's what it is. But you know, you're, you're, you've, you've really got to take the time to, to do everything you can because animals are different than us. Now we can say unequivocally that the birds see every color that we see. Why are birds brilliantly colored?
[00:16:50] Paul Ballard: Well, that's so they can attract mates. That's so that they can come together. And, and I would say, uh, essential to, you know, good bird hunting and particularly waterfowl hunting and turkey hunting is that you are as invisible to that animal as, as can possibly be. So breaking up your shape, not reflecting the light, uh, making sure that the colors of your clothing are appropriate, uh, nothing that, that, that animal is going to be able to see.
[00:17:22] Travis Bader: So I know your thoughts on this because we've talked about it before, but I figured it's worth just having it for posterity here. Um, for scent, both you and I will carry a little. Talk powder dispenser aware of where your wind, we see where the wind is going. Some people say, well, I don't need that. I've got a lighter later.
[00:17:42] Travis Bader: I just flicked the lighter and I can see which way the wind is blowing.
[00:17:46] Paul Ballard: You have a mechanical sound to the click of a Bic lighter. Now I, I still use it. I still, every once in a while, before I go in, you know, to start still hunting into an area, I might click my Bic lighter, but I'm very conscious of the fact that that.
[00:18:04] Paul Ballard: Mechanical, that metallic clack of that lighter can, can give myself away to, to a deer. Right. Um, it's way better. You get in, you, and that is the trick with those talc puffers. You know, you want to make sure it's shooking up well, because there's the movement, there's the, you know, the, the activity that's going to draw attention to you.
[00:18:26] Paul Ballard: So, but they're excellent. You know, you give a little bit of puff to the wind. You see where it's going. If you're not worried about movement or anything else. Or, you know, sound is the lighter, but movement, you can pick a little bit of dust up off the ground and throw that as well, some, some pine needles, but it's, it's worth, you know, the, the three or 4 that it costs to get a little, uh, wind
[00:18:49] Travis Bader: detector.
[00:18:50] Travis Bader: One thing that I've found interesting when we talk about the sound portion of it is you usually get one free pass, not always, but usually if I make a sound. The animal up, alert, ears are going, trying to figure out where this is coming from. And I better be quiet and not move. Be very still, but I find usually one free pass.
[00:19:13] Travis Bader: And then the second one, bang, located, gone in the other direction.
[00:19:18] Paul Ballard: What I like to do in a circumstance, like we're going through in the last couple of days and days coming up, we're turkey hunting. The white tail are everywhere in the woods right now, and we've seen that. We've probably seen 50, 60, I don't know, since we've been here.
[00:19:38] Paul Ballard: And this is the time. to test what works, what doesn't. So, you know, work the, the, the pump on your shotgun or work the bolt on your rifle, you know, click your safety on and off. I've listened to people. Uh, we were talking about a person there recently, MM, who used to always talk about, you know, the rifle he would pick, he was dead against certain types of safety because he thought they were too.
[00:20:06] Paul Ballard: Too noisy, but this is the time to see what you can get away with. If there's no turkeys and just whitetail stand in there looking at you, you know, test them out. Give it a click, see what happens. Yeah. Okay. You know, that's it. It's all about learning. It's about seeing what you can get, get away with. Also, you know, we go back to where's your scent.
[00:20:29] Paul Ballard: Also, if the wind is in your face, the sound is not going to travel necessarily in that direction. It may travel that way. So all these things to be aware of. So
[00:20:39] Travis Bader: one other trick that I'll use, and this is from like kiteboarding, it's 101 what they teach you, is you just turn your head until you can hear the sound.
[00:20:48] Travis Bader: The, or feel the wind in both ears equally. And now you're looking directly into it. I know a lot of people, they try and get one year or they try and maybe wet a finger and feel where it's at, but just turn your head, you get the equal sound of both ears, you're looking directly into the wind. Yeah.
[00:21:04] Paul Ballard: Okay.
[00:21:05] Paul Ballard: Well, we'll note that one. I'll give that a try. I always go by the back of my neck often. You know, I feel that's the most sensitive thing I've got to where the wind is when it's, when it's coming that way. And I've been, take me back to not too far from where we are right now, watching the, you know, some whitetail and, and starting to stalk them.
[00:21:27] Paul Ballard: And as soon as the, the, the wind changes, which it. You know, is apt to do. Sure. I felt it on the back of my neck and all of them snapped their heads back, looked at me and booked it for me. It's crazy. Yeah. It's just how much that scent can carry. All right. Let's bring the other one into the room here. Is that color?
[00:21:47] Paul Ballard: All right. Color. So we kind of started talking about this. Birds can see color. So only a fool would go duck hunting wearing a hunter orange cap, because that's going to draw that bird's attention to you. Now, there is a legal requirement in many parts of this country when you're upland bird hunting, that you must wear, you know, a blaze orange.
[00:22:11] Paul Ballard: But often that type of hunting is approaching that bird that's, that's holding cover and, and almost. You know, anybody that's worth his salt is using a dog to put upland birds up, uh, grouse, maybe not so much, but certainly quail, pheasant, partridge, you know, you're, you're going to use the dog. So the dog's going to pin the bird.
[00:22:34] Paul Ballard: You, who cares if you've got a neon flashing light on top of your head, that bird is trying to hide from you, mostly from your dog. And so it doesn't matter, but let's. Turn around on the ambush style hunting for birds. Well,
[00:22:49] Travis Bader: hold on one point on that one, birds. Uh, I knew a fellow, actually I knew his, I think it was his nephew and this guy, he raised grouse.
[00:22:58] Travis Bader: He'd go and he'd train dogs. Raise grouse. Yeah, to live cats, he's grouse and he'd take them back and he'd pay helicopter pilots, take them up the mountain to remote areas and get different grouse. And everyone says, oh, you know, it's a fool's hand, a fool's chicken, right? Um, He says, no, no, no, they're actually really smart.
[00:23:18] Travis Bader: They've got the camouflage and they sit still. It's not that they're stupid. They just think if they sit as still as they can, they're using all of their camouflage that they have. And a lot of times that works, not for so much for a dog, but, uh, for humans, like you can walk right beside one and not even see it.
[00:23:35] Travis Bader: If,
[00:23:36] Paul Ballard: and you got to think in anybody that's hunted, you know, gross in, in the woods, it's usually when the thing blows up that you
[00:23:44] Travis Bader: actually see it. And your heart's thumping out of your body. If he
[00:23:46] Paul Ballard: didn't. Blow off the ground like that with all the wing flapping and, and everything else goes along, you probably wouldn't have noticed.
[00:23:54] Paul Ballard: Yeah. You typically see them because of their shape when you're, you know, going down a road or down a, you know, through a logging slash or on a skidder trail or whatever. It's their shape that gives them away or their movement. Right. But if they're holding still. They're very effective in using your camouflage.
[00:24:13] Paul Ballard: So, again, we tend to, um, like those are the, The type of birds that, you know, we are looking for, we're trying to find, so it's working, but it's the other birds that we're trying to hide from that we want to call to us. Uh, so waterfowl, classic, you know, you put your, your decoy set out there and you, you commence to call, uh, you're hoping for a bird passing by that's going to maybe see your decoy set.
[00:24:41] Paul Ballard: So it's important that everything looks good to that animal as it's coming towards the potential decoys. We're. Turkey hunting, we're putting out decoys, we're calling and everything else. So all that bird should see is what it believes to be other members of its species or, you know, akin to it that it's going to come to, you should be not in the picture.
[00:25:03] Paul Ballard: So you got to understand that if that bird has, you know, the, the cone cells in its eyes to see. All the colors of the spectrum. So your coloration has to be right. You can't have that big pink face. You can't have, you know, that the emblem on your ball cap. Uh, you can't have your watch, your rings. You can't have the shine off your firearm, all that.
[00:25:24] Paul Ballard: Incredibly important with those animals, but the color is, is the big thing. Let's move over to the ungulates. Before we do that,
[00:25:32] Travis Bader: the color blue, I've heard this before, have you heard this? The color blue is something that, uh, tends to stand out to ungulates. Well, that's
[00:25:40] Paul Ballard: what I was going to say. Oh, is it? I thought we were moving on from color.
[00:25:43] Paul Ballard: No, no. Oh, no, no. But this is still in the color. Now, keeping with the color, when now we're dealing with big game, so you know, all of the deer species, they are known and deer species, uh, again, the bovids, the bison, uh, go cheap. They are all red and green blind. So in their color blindness, so they don't see, but they all see shades of gray, black, and the blue spectrum.
[00:26:13] Paul Ballard: So the worst color you could possibly, you know, select, you know, if you, if you were avoiding, you know, khaki, olive drab and so on would be anything that's blue. Um, and I still remember too, you know, hunting with a individual who wore a neoprene neck strap on his binoculars and it was like an electric blue, he was a cheapskate, he would never buy anything that, you know, other than it was price point, but you know, this soft neoprene neck strap, man, you could see that thing forever.
[00:26:47] Paul Ballard: And I, and now, you know, understanding more to this day about how that. Part of the, you know, the light spectrum is visible to the ungulate. So we see many, many parts of, of North America where the regulations say you, you have to wear a hunter orange, uh, when you're big game hunting and people think here in British Columbia.
[00:27:09] Paul Ballard: There is no such a regulation. We, we can wear anything we want. There's no, nothing says you, you have to, you know, have some high visibility clothing on if, for this particular type of hunt, and we're only a, you know, a province away, Alberta requires that Washington state, you know, requires that Idaho requires it.
[00:27:28] Paul Ballard: Montana requires that, you know, all these different rules about what color clothing, we don't have that. Mm-hmm. . But the bottom line is, When you see this blaze orange, uh, camouflage clothing, you know, it has like, it looks like branches and everything else in that, you know, and as much as you think, oh my God, everybody's going to see me, the animals are not going to, the ungulates, uh, are not going to pick that up.
[00:27:52] Paul Ballard: Right. So breaking your pattern. Right. You're, you're, you're achieving that shape issue, perhaps the silhouette issue, but. If you, you know, do have concerns about people seeing you while you're out there, a lot of people have this mindset that, Oh yeah, people are shooting everywhere and people are getting shot.
[00:28:12] Paul Ballard: It's not really the case. Like, you know, in, in the entire country, two, maybe three people in a year might die, uh, as a result of being shot in a hunting accident. It's, it's not realistic to. That's higher than I would think, honestly. Yeah. And I don't even think it. You know, it's that much, like I know the United States, they show maybe states where it's two or three people and you think, well, British Columbia, a hundred thousand hunters, uh, taking out licenses.
[00:28:41] Paul Ballard: It's, it's really not something that we're hearing about or anything else. And occasionally, you know, when people are being shot, it's not that they're being shot because, you know, somebody seeing them out in, you know, at distance in the field, it's usually stuff like somebody walks in front of a muzzle.
[00:28:57] Paul Ballard: Um, you know, they're, they're trying to take dangerous game and they're not paying attention to whatever. It's not really, you know. The need for the high visibility clothing, but it's still a good idea. It just adds a measure of safety. No,
[00:29:12] Travis Bader: I actually know a fellow who was bison hunting. Yeah. Did I tell you about this one?
[00:29:17] Travis Bader: No, no. He was out on his bright red quad and, uh, Two shots, someone took two shots at him. Actually, he's, uh, planning to be on the podcast at some point, but just having to lock him down cause he's a farmer and he's got a pretty busy
[00:29:31] Paul Ballard: schedule. Yeah, but now he's bright
[00:29:33] Travis Bader: red. Bright red. And another hunter thought he was a bison.
[00:29:37] Travis Bader: I
[00:29:37] Paul Ballard: don't know. Or what? Or what? Or yeah, that's right. And then, I mean, he's doing everything he can. Like some people say, well, I'd rather be camouflaged and sitting still when there's other hunters about so that they don't see me. Done this since, you know, I was a kid, this is like 50 years of being out in the woods, you know, spring and fall.
[00:29:59] Paul Ballard: I've never felt that somebody had taken a shot at me, you know, at, at me, I've heard shots going through the air. I've heard, you know, being in a blind or being lower, you know, than where people are shooting. I've heard that, but I've never thought that I was actually being shot at. Oh, wait. Paul Jacobson and I were, were duck hunting once and we got shot at, but it was, we're duck hunting and somebody kind of, I think they were the, like they were tracking a low flying teal and, uh, we saw it coming.
[00:30:32] Paul Ballard: We basically turned away from it and, you know, felt a little bit of a shot, but that would, that would be it. But honestly, I, it's not a huge concern, but going back to that. If it gives you a measure of, you know, personal security or feelings, you don't have to worry about wearing those bright colors. Now, colors, camouflage, camouflage specific.
[00:30:54] Paul Ballard: We love to go to, you know, the local, you know. Supplier of the latest and greatest in camouflage. And if you do the slightest bit of reading, people will say, well, you know, our, you know, XYZ style of camouflage, let's call it, you know, timber withering, you know, whatever. Version 7. 2. Old man, seven ghost, you know, version completely mimicking the bark of the Douglas fir tree, you know, is, is the answer.
[00:31:25] Paul Ballard: And, and people will buy into that. And I honestly think, you know, you see people buying camouflage to appeal to their own eye. For the lot of part, that's exactly what it is. And. What does it matter whether you buy the same patterned pants is the same patterned shirt. The idea is you want to break up your shape, your silhouette, you know.
[00:31:44] Paul Ballard: As long as you don't
[00:31:45] Travis Bader: have like horizontal on one and vertical on the other one.
[00:31:48] Paul Ballard: Yeah, but you know, and then, and then we look at, you know, the military is the greatest one for camouflage, you know, you look at tiger, you know, the Vietnam era. Tiger stripe, which is definitely a black line through it. And almost to my eye stands out, but you know, in certain applications that go through, you look at the U S military.
[00:32:09] Paul Ballard: Now, every one of their working dress uniforms. Is camouflage, um, you know, but the Navy has a bit of blue in theirs and the Air Force is kind of a grayish green, you know, uh, the Marines has got some more brown in it wall, but that's it, unless they're being deployed in the desert, all these things. I guess one
[00:32:28] Travis Bader: thing to think about when you're.
[00:32:29] Travis Bader: Wearing that camouflage is not to accentuate points on your body. And, you know, it's like when you're being taught how to put face paint on and they say, you take a flashlight, put it under your face, the parts that go dark, you make bright, the parts that go bright, you make dark, and you just kind of opposite everything up, right?
[00:32:45] Travis Bader: You put a
[00:32:45] Paul Ballard: mesh veil on your face. Or you put a mesh veil on it. Yeah, just to,
[00:32:48] Travis Bader: you know. But the same thought pattern, if you're going to be wearing something, if it's accentuating your shoulders or accentuating lines in ways that, uh,
[00:32:55] Paul Ballard: you wouldn't want. And I think every military, modern military You know, of the, in the world has spent a huge amount of money listening to some experts saying, you know, this digital pattern is going to be better than this leaf pattern is going to be better than this grass pattern and so on.
[00:33:11] Travis Bader: Or they get Guy Kramer from Silvercore podcast five, I think it was. Yeah. That's the Gore Optifade line, that's his creation. And what
[00:33:19] Paul Ballard: you got to look at is it's the human eye that they're trying to deceive. The human eye that is fully equipped with, you know, Rods and cones. Rods and cones. And the cone cells, which can of course see all the colors and visual acuity and everything else that the animals, the ungulates will lack.
[00:33:39] Paul Ballard: So let's go back to the color. I'm going to spend big money on this outdoor gear. I want it to be windproof, weatherproof, you know, shed the rain, repel the rain or whatever like this. Hunting season for me. And a lot of guys is like 10 days in the fall. So you're, are you really justified? And this is where we, when we've had this discussion about having this talk, is it justified to spend the amount of money you do to buy camouflage clothing?
[00:34:13] Paul Ballard: For 10 days, or should you be out there buying really good outdoor gear with its insulating value, it's, you know, water repellent, water shedding value, uh, it's wear resistance and everything else. So if you were to buy it in a drab gray or green or light colored brown or something like that, wouldn't that serve in a lot of cases, your purposes, you know.
[00:34:40] Paul Ballard: Better because then come your camping trip or your backpacking trip, or you're going to the sports field to watch your kid play soccer in the pouring rain, you're not necessarily standing there wearing camouflage.
[00:34:55] Travis Bader: That brings up an interesting point. Cause my favorite color is camouflage. Well, that brings up an interesting point.
[00:35:01] Travis Bader: There's a couple of months ago, I was in Nuremberg, uh, and I was having dinner with the head of training for the Bavarian region for firearms and hunter education. Yeah. And camouflage, now they've got a very traditional approach. I think it's, what was he saying? A year and a quarter it takes for someone to go through and get their hunter education and learning about dogs and about bugs and about, uh, the ecology, all of this different thing, but part of their hunter ethics and their, uh, their program is, you know, you're out there in an area, public land, and you run into somebody else who's a non hunter and you're.
[00:35:37] Travis Bader: Decked out head to toe in camouflage. And what sort of an interaction are they going to be having with you as opposed to, and he's a big proponent of the traditional German style garb when you're.
[00:35:47] Paul Ballard: Kind of that foresty green. Right. With black leather accents on your, you know. Right. But
[00:35:53] Travis Bader: wherever somebody sits on that spectrum of, Oh, it doesn't matter what other people think, or I want to be, I'm conscious about that social aspect of it.
[00:36:02] Travis Bader: The fact is. He and many others are extremely successful wearing their olive drab and their, their beiges and. My old
[00:36:11] Paul Ballard: man hunted all those years. He wasn't the greatest hunter in the world, but he never wore camouflage. Sure. He had a big old, you know. Knit sweater and, uh, he actually had a buckskin jacket that he made out of, well, buckskin, it was an elkskin jacket with fringe and everything.
[00:36:27] Paul Ballard: He used to horseback hunt all the time and he used to wear that. So who knows? I mean, that's a whole other thing. Old Jeremiah Johnson. Yeah. Hunting off a horseback, the horses can be your camouflage in a bit of a way too, but I don't think anybody should hide what they're doing to say, well, I'm not going to wear camouflage because I'm embarrassed.
[00:36:47] Paul Ballard: With certain people about hunting. You should never be that way. You should, you should celebrate the fact that you are in the outdoors and you want to hunt. And if you want to wear camouflage, I'm not, uh, this is not an advocacy to stop wearing camouflage. No. This is, I'm, I'm advocating for the guy that's making the decision to maybe buy, you know, a solid color, you know, maybe.
[00:37:11] Paul Ballard: khaki, maybe gray, maybe brown, even, you know, like a dull red or something like that. It don't be afraid, you know, you're going to get way more use out of a piece of clothing like that. And you can still wear it for hunting and you can, you know, break up your shape maybe by throwing a vest on like I've got on, but man, again, dig this plaid shirt.
[00:37:34] Paul Ballard: What's the difference between that and camouflage? That's breaking up my shape. It's got all these really, you know, neutral tones that wouldn't be seen by an animal that's out there. I'm good. Uh, some of the other things too, like camouflage gaiters, you know, will help break up your shape. You know, maybe you've got a solid color pair of pants on and a, and a camouflage vest between that, you know, top and bottom, maybe a camo hat, you know, those types of things.
[00:38:05] Paul Ballard: I don't know. You get more, more mileage out of that really expensive, high tech clothing that's out there. We look at our dads, our grandfathers, you know, and great grandfathers, they didn't wear camouflage. It didn't matter where it was. That was not a thing. Uh, they wore, you know... They wore plaids, they wore, you know, and then again, the high tech clothing of those days was wool.
[00:38:29] Travis Bader: Yeah. Wool, good old wool, nice
[00:38:31] Paul Ballard: woolly pull. Good old wool, you know, it was quiet, it was warm, uh, it would shed the water, uh, to some degree. Um, if you're really stuck, you put on a rubber jacket. You know, and, and again, I always say too, the good thing about rain, shine becomes a bit less of an issue because, you know, the leaves are shining from the rain and stuff.
[00:38:53] Paul Ballard: So if you are wearing a solid colored, you know, rubber jacket, it's not that big of a deal in the rain. Sound is not that big of a deal in the rain. When it's really hammering down with rain, you know, that's the time to move and, and get out there and without worrying about your sound. But again, our forefathers.
[00:39:12] Paul Ballard: They hunted for years, blue jeans, plaid jackets. It works. Yeah. And so those guys were probably better at their movement, um, you know, at, at not exposing themselves, staying in the shadows, all that can go forward. We, you know, we should never, ever, ever be ashamed of our hunter's heritage. And if, if wearing camouflage is a part of that, that's fine.
[00:39:37] Paul Ballard: I'm just. Advocating for those people that go, man, you know, when I go home and tell mama how much this suit costs, because you could go to the big box stores and you know, starts with a W and they got a whole hangar full of camouflage clothing and it's reasonably priced, but it ain't necessarily the best high tech stuff.
[00:40:01] Paul Ballard: You know, it'll, it'll probably be warm enough. But it doesn't, you know, it may not have all those, you know, pit zips and breathability and, and the things you really want, if you want to get into some of the more technical aspects of hunting. And that's going to be a comfort thing for you. Right. And, and so we see, you know, these specialist companies, you know, the letter K jumps out immediately in my mind.
[00:40:26] Paul Ballard: Kmart, yes. Yeah, no, not Kmart, but you know, those, uh, those types of. Very, very high end technical clothing. You're paying 400 for a pair of pants, 400. Like a lot of people. And you're afraid to sit by a campfire. Because they're going to be a spark hole in it or something like that. Now they're great because they're breathable.
[00:40:50] Paul Ballard: You can kneel in the snow. You're not going to get wet through and everything else like that. But darn it. If you get. that and it's in camel and you would really like to wear that on, you know, maybe a cross country ski trip or something like that. You know, and everybody's looking at you like, whoo, well, heck, you know, why are you wearing camo?
[00:41:11] Paul Ballard: Now, again, don't be afraid, but you should never be ashamed. Yeah, never be ashamed. But if you, if you want to get like sore, more mileage out of your money, you know. Don't be afraid, the deer won't care. They won't care.
[00:41:26] Travis Bader: Well, Paul, I think that was a good fireside chat. Maybe that's what we'll call this,
[00:41:29] Paul Ballard: fireside chats.
[00:41:30] Paul Ballard: Yeah. Yeah, another, another fireside. I just want to talk a little bit more about the turkey hunting. It's not going well. Uh, two hens this morning. That's it. Couple of calls, very lame.
[00:41:42] Travis Bader: Should we talk about, uh, seafoam? Oh
[00:41:46] Paul Ballard: yeah. So yeah. So. Yes, hunting equipment that only gets used in the hunting season. And, and may that include your, your UTV or your side by side, your ATV or your quad, whatever.
[00:42:02] Paul Ballard: And of course you like to protect it by dumping things into your gas can, into your gas tank. And then what happened to
[00:42:09] Travis Bader: us? So it gets put away for storage last hunting season, comes out this hunting season. Put some seafoam, little octane, some, uh, not much. That, what, you know what I'm trying to recall if I doubled up or what, but.
[00:42:25] Paul Ballard: Clearly more than what it needed. Something
[00:42:28] Travis Bader: went awry, a lot more heat coming out. Vehicle's not working the way it should. The license plate, I should post a picture of that license plate. Yeah, it's pretty good. It's pretty brown and charcoal y right now. But, uh, yeah, test your kid out. The smell
[00:42:42] Paul Ballard: was burning celery.
[00:42:43] Paul Ballard: Burnt celery. Burning celery. That's, that's the only way I could describe it. But yeah, she, she was running hot and then not running well. So yeah, we'll finish up with that. I don't know if we were chasing the turkey away with that. Perhaps. Uh, but you know what, Travis, it's been amazing coming out here, watching you set up for, for doing this, this little production here.
[00:43:07] Paul Ballard: And, uh, you know, I, I hope the folks out there, you know, are, are enjoying all of the stuff that you're putting forward for them. And, and I'm very honored to be a part of this.
[00:43:18] Travis Bader: Thanks so much for being here.
[00:43:19] Paul Ballard: All right.