Some believe that camo hunting clothes make the hunter, I believe getting clothes and body scent free is the most important factor in hunting. If the deer can smell the hunter or smell something foreign to his environment the hunter will never get to show off his great camo clothes, tree stand or get to shoot his razor sharp arrows shot from his perfectly set-up bow.
That said if the scent problem has been addressed camo becomes a factor. As mentioned elsewhere the deer sees movement better than recognition of patterns. The larger the contrasting patterns when making even slight movements the more likely the deer will see you. By contrasting, I mean white skin on dark green and brown backgrounds or large dark areas with a snow white background. The closer the deer the smaller contrast in cam hunting clothes they can detect moving. If totally still and no scent is detected deer will not just automatically process human features as dangerous.
Most people in most commercial camo hunting clothes patterns and colors have to depend on this because most patterns are too dark and from 20 or more yards away the eye sees them as a solid dark. Jeans would do as well.
I think dark glasses are more essential than camo shirts for instance and the same goes for gloves. It is impossible to keep the eyes from moving and their pure white is a flag. The hands and arms have to move to aim and shoot. Since deer do not see in color the main factor involved in camo hunting clothes is light and dark compared with the background. Dark pants and a large light checkered or bright Hawaii flowered shirt will break up the pattern in lighter woods better than Mossy Oak or similar colors. Since it is hard to find bright flowered coats the Predator Fall GreyTM pattern works great.wear it on top and darker camo hunting clothes pants below.
White overalls, white gloves – with vertical black Marks-a-Lot stripes above the waist – and no sunglasses – works for me in snowy areas which I hunt every couple of years in Northern Minnesota. For cold weather head covering I use a fluorescent orange camo cap which the deer sees as a light color which blends with sky holes and the snow and black trees.
Color is a different thing when it comes to birds, birds see in color so they can see ripened fruit. Turkey might pick up on brightly flowered shirts.
The goal then is to get the camo hunting clothes to look as much like the background around you and this may require unconventional coordination.
Another factor is noise, I once made the mistake of wearing water proof duck hunting camo hunting clothes suit to a deer hunt because it looked like rain. The noise while walking and climbing was defining to me and it was impossible to draw the bow without everything within a hundred yards hearing me. I find soft cotton is the quietest for camo hunting clothes for me, I now always make sure noise is a top consideration when selecting hunting clothes.
True Whitetail Story
A surprising example of a deer not recognizing a human form happened to me while bow hunting at a day lease in Llano County Texas during the mid ’70’s. One morning I was dressed in a pair of blue jeans, a light weight long sleeved camo shirt, a non camo ball cap. I had a folding canvass stool which I set up next to the trunk of a live oak tree on the edge of a small grove of oaks. I sat down with the bow sitting vertically on my left boot toe and an arrow in place on the rest. I was sitting there only minutes when a five point buck (all deer are small in Llano but racks get large) walked around from behind the tree, he passed me completely and kept looking for acorns. I stayed frozen in place and lowered my head so that my eyes were hidden and a couple of minutes later he turned back around and walked directly to a position of a couple of feet from the bow. He then stopped and stuck his nose down and sniffed the broadhead tip, he then actually lifted the tip up with his nose and let it fall back on the rest and turned and walked off. It was all I could do to maintain my composure. Actually when he got so close I be came afraid to move not knowing how he might react if he actually figured I was a danger. The spikes could have done a lot of damage if he were to lunge at me.
What was amazing is the buck never made me as a human. I was so dumbfounded I just let him go without even moving. In fact I do not believe I could have taken a shot after the close nearly personal exchange.
That day my strict adherence to scent free camo hunting clothes and gear paid off.