I am a firm believer in camouflage, especially during archery season when our encounters with big game are usually up close and personal. There is the age-old arguement that a real hunter can kill an elk in blue jeans and a red wool coat…and I agree. But being camouflaged will give me an added advantage over the blue jean hunter in questionable situations, and that is the edge I’m looking for. So many hunts have been decided by the slightest variables…”just one more step”, “winded me just before I released”, etc…if I can gain an extra 5 or 10% advantage on an elk, you bet I’m going to do it. Scent sprays won’t mask human scent, but if they get me 10 yards closer to an elk, they have succeeded. Camouflage won’t allow me to walk up on an alerted antelope, but if it gets me 10 yards closer, my odds go up. So the question now is this…with all the different camo patterns available today, which one works best? I have tried most all of the camo patterns available today. From the early “Treebark” pattern, on through Realtree and Mossy Oak, King’s, and a variety of others, I have used just about everything. Being an engineer, I am somewhat intrigued when there is a scientific basis or theory behind why something is developed, as was the case when Gore unveiled their new Optifade camouflage pattern in 2009. Gore’s Optifade camouflage pattern is the first and only concealment system ever scientifically designed around the way a hunter’s prey views the world. It’s the only concealment system to combine a symmetry disrupting macro-pattern with the fractal geometry based micro-pattern designed to become nothing in the eyes of prey at engagement ranges of 20 meters and beyond. Watch the videos below for excellent explanations of the science behind macro and micro patterns and how they conceal us, as well as how deer and elk actually see. Many years of ungulate vision research and military development went into the science behind Gore’s new pattern, and the results are something I can attest to. Previous camo patterns have had a tendency to “blob” or turn into a solid, recognizable object, but Optifade breaks up a hunters outline in just about any environment. We’ve hunted antelope in the open desert, mule deer in the broken high country, and elk in the thick mountains, and Optifade has excelled in all areas. With Gore unveiling a new “Forest” pattern to complement the original “Open Country” pattern in the Optifade line this year, the only real question left unanswered is which Optifade pattern should I wear? For that answer, click here.