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Camo Basics and Camouflage Patterns for hunting Utah

Camouflage Basics & New Hunter Information

- posted by Rose Marion
Realtree Max 4

Waiting for waterfowl wearing Realtree Max 4

Not everyone in Utah grows up hunting & fishing just like they do camping & swimming – I know, it’s crazy. Seems like a whole lot of people learn because their family hunts, and they bring good friends along with them. But not everyone reaches adulthood with their falls spent in duck blinds or waiting for deer – and if you didn’t grow up with it, there’s a lot to learn. Fortunately for you, we got together and talked about the basics of camo and hunting gear. Here’s all the camouflage basics you always wondered but were too afraid to ask. And further down, there are examples of what camo patterns you can use for what Utah environments. But first…

New Hunters: Utah Trial Hunting Program

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources just announced a new Trial Hunting program, that started in early August. If you’d like to bring someone along hunting, or if YOU would like to go hunting before you complete your Hunter Education course, here’s how. A licensed hunter, 21 years of age or older, takes a person 12 years of age or older along with them hunting. What a great mentorship program. All that has to be done is completing a quick online Trial Hunting Program orientation course. Here’s more information: How to sign up for the Utah Trial Hunting program

Smith & Edwards talks the Basics of Hunting Camo

So what would you take with you hunting the first time? What would you tell your buddies to get when you take them along the first time? There’s a lot of hunting-minded people here at Smith & Edwards, so they had a lot of good suggestions and considerations for hunting camo. Got some tips yourself? Let us know in the comments below! Smith and Edwards camo answerers

Q. Why wear camo?

Sam, Western: Because you’re a solid color. Even though deer are colorblind, they can still see patterns.

Dave, Western: Duck hunting & waterfowl – can’t do it without it. Big game? Wear it if you have it, for bow hunting it’s important. It’s good to blend in so you don’t stick out.

Kevin, Hardware: So you can blend in with your surroundings.

Joyce, Clothing: So you’re not seen. I elk hunt and so I need to fit in with the mountainside for a sneak attack.

Tyler, Sporting Goods: It’s not just the look, but camo also helps you get in the mindset that you’re going hunting. That you’re not just out on a hike in jeans.

Q. What’s the most important hunt to wear Camo for, and what do you wear?

Sam: For deer I wear King’s Camo desert, because deer are in an open field. For elk, I wear Under Armour camo because they like to hide and stay in the trees, so I have camo with pines and green on it to match that. Everything on me is camo or brown to blend in.

Dave: Big game it’s not as important for rifle. For turkey, I get completely camo’d up: gloves, face mask.

Kevin: I do archery. You gotta get close to do archery. I hunt deer, elk, duck & waterfowl, pheasant, turkey. Turkeys can pick out the slightest detail and the slightest movement.

Bears Butt in Orange and Camo with his bull elk

Bears Butt with his bull elk last November, wearing orange and camo (click for the story!)

Bear’s Butt aka Wynn Zundel, BearsButt.com My favorite camo for turkey and muzz deer hunting is Kings Camo in Desert sage pattern. (Bears’ jacket in the photo at right is Desert King’s Camo) For duck hunting pretty much all the cat tail and bulrush patterns work.

Joyce: For late cow elk hunt, in December and January, there’s snow on the ground. I wear snow camo to stay concealed.

Q. What’s the closest you’ve gotten wearing camo?

Sam: I got within 5 yards of my doe wearing camo!

Kevin: About 5-10 feet.

Dave: I could reach out and touch a deer. Not by going out there and walking up to it, but sitting and waiting, being quiet, being camouflaged, I could reach out and touch it.

Tyler: I’ve had coyotes run up on me less than 10 yards. Also I’ve been within 10 yards with a bow hunting elk.

Love camo? Check out this Camo ammo box that Brenda in the paint department painted with Plasti Dip! Camo painted wooden ammo box with Plasti DipYou can spray wood, metal, glass & more with Plasti Dip – and it’s real rubberized plastic so this ammo box is now more waterproof in case you need it out at deer camp. Come see Plasti Dip in action next Saturday at Smith & Edwards – details here.

Q. Have you ever used snow camo for hunting in winter?

Sam: Yeah, my brother and I go hunt coyotes. I like the King’s winter patterns for that. You can get coyotes or bunnies.

Snow camo hat

Browning snow camo cap (warmer than snow on your head)

Kevin: I have a double-sided jacket, one side camo one side snow camo. I need a full set but haven’t gotten it yet. I’d use it for late season archery if there’s snow on the ground. Also ducks in the blind or on the boat if the fields are snowy. Also coyote. I know people who sit in snow fields and hunt geese with snow camo.

Joyce: Yes, for elk in the snow I wear snow camo. It’s face-stinging cold, so I wear a face mask and good waterproof gloves and boots as well. That way I can hike the mountain after elk without getting cold and wet.

Tyler: Still think about where your terrain. White camo is great when it’s snowy. Just make sure that it doesn’t have branches on it if you’re hunting in an open field, and the other way around – don’t go pure white if you’re going to be in bushes.

Q. What’s more important than camo when hunting?

Sam: Scent. If they scent ya, they can just start running the other way. You can get rid of your scent with No Scent detergents, body wash, shampoo, deodorant – there are a lot of ways you can get rid of your scent.

Kevin: Stealth. Being quiet, watching every step, every move and movement. Camo just helps you get in closer, you have to stay still. Also, location. Know where you’re going to be hunting, what the terrain is like.

Dave: Shutting up and not talking. Being down wind. Not standing out or being flashy.

Joyce: Waterproofing. For snow, keeping warm and dry is even more important than your visibility, because elk hunting, you need to already know where the elk are going to be. You need to be sitting still in your spot in the dark before dawn, then sit and wait for them. So your camo needs to be waterproof and breathable.

Tyler: Camo is a close second to being prepared and having the right equipment to make the kill. I see people that have a nice rifle but a cheap scope. You need to make sure you can make the kill. Boots is also a big part of being prepared: break them in before the season. Also have moleskin for if you get blisters, and a rangefinder if you’re in open terrain so you can get the right distance. Better optics mean you’ll be able to use your scope longer because the optics let in more light as the sun sets.

Q. What’s the best thing about your favorite camo?

Sam: I like the way camo looks, I wear it constantly at home too because I like it. It’s hard to find girls’ camo though, growing up I just wore guys’ camo. Luckily King’s makes camo for women.
Note from Joyce: Recently they’ve started making more camo for women who hunt. Now we carry Ranger, Browning, and King’s Camo in real camouflage patterns for women, in addition to the fashion pink camo.

Kevin: Comfort and durability. I mix and match my camo, the jacket doesn’t always match the pants pattern. If you keep still it’ll work for you. I’ve heard of “leafy camo,” camo that has cuts in it to give a leafy outline. I love it except it tangles in the underbrush pretty bad. Same with ghillie suits.

Dave: Get the pattern you want. That’s the most important thing. From there, the nice things to have are waterproof, breathable, and scent locked, depending on price.

Joyce: My favorite Columbia camo jacket has Omnitech inside and it’s waterproof. So it wicks off sweat, while keeping me dry and warm.

Tyler: Layerability and universal coloring. I really like the Kyptek and Sitka because these materials are light for layering. In bow hunting in August, you want to keep cool. Even later seasons, you want to avoid sweat because if a cold front comes in, you’ll freeze. Since the Salt Lake makes its own weather patterns, I go for the lightest layers possible. I like universal coloring because this Kryptek highlander jacket will work for me in the mountains and the sagebrush here in Utah. It’ll work well enough for me that I can take it anywhere it’s not snowing.

Kryptek Highlander camo jacket

This Kryptek Highlander camo jacket is super-lightweight so you can layer and be comfortable during archery or any season.

Military surplus multicam is designed to blend in with 98% of terrain, so if you’re just starting out multicam and ATACS are good patterns and they’re what military guys trust their lives to.

Camouflage Patterns for Different Game

There’s a lot of patterns at Smith & Edwards and if it’s your first time camo shopping it can be overwhelming! But if you know what you’re going for, you’ll know what patterns to pick out. Here’s a quick guide to the basic patterns & why they’re used. Realtree and Mossyoak are your big 2 camo pattern “brands.” Here are what you need for 3 types of hunting in Utah: waterfowl, desert/sagebrush, and forest/mountain.

Duck Hunting Camouflage patterns

For hunting waterfowl, you want to look like the reeds and grass of the wetlands.

Browning camo in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades

Browning shirt and pants in Browning camo in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades pattern

Browning camo in Realtree Max 5

Browning camo shirt and pants in Realtree Max 5 pattern

Realtree Max 5

Realtree Max 5


Realtree Max 4

Realtree Max 4

Sitka Waterfowl camo jacket

Sitka has a different take on waterfowl camo: their camo is designed to match how BIRDS see things from overhead – instead of human eyes.

Desert and Fields Camouflage patterns

For hunting deer in Utah, in a lot of units you need to be out in the grass and sagebrush. Here’s camo designed to look like the open spaces in Utah.

Realtree Max 1 Camo

Gamehide shirt and pants in Realtree Max 1 pattern

Realtree Max 1 camo

Realtree Max 1 camo is great for sagebrush and grassy areas, in the sun…

Realtree Max 1 camo

…or in the shadows.


King's Camo t-shirt in Desert Shadow pattern

King’s Camo t-shirt in Desert Shadow pattern


Mountain and Forest Camouflage patterns

In the hills, where there are lots of trees and shade, you want similar camo to desert but darker and more treelike. In some you will find lots of green, like Realtree Xtra Green and Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity. These could be for deer, elk, or turkey as well, depending on your area. Here are a few picks:

Bell Ranger shirt in Realtree Xtra Green

Bell Ranger long sleeve t-shirt in Realtree Xtra Green pattern

Mossy Oak Break Up Infinity

Bell Ranger long sleeve t-shirt in Mossy Oak Break Up Infinity pattern

Bell Ranger shirt in Realtree Xtra

Bell Ranger long sleeve t-shirt in Realtree Xtra pattern

See that T-shirt and more online here: Men’s Camo Shirts on SmithandEdwards.com (and we got LOTS in the store, too!)

Realtree Xtra camo lets you hide in the trees!

You can hardly see him wearing Realtree Xtra!

Thanks to Realtree for allowing us to use the cool shots of camo in action! Let us know YOUR camo thoughts in the comments below! We want to know what works for you! Before you go – here’s a handy hunting checklist, don’t leave home without it: Hunter's Checklist from Smith and EdwardsYou’ll find loads of Camo and Hunter Orange in-store at Smith & Edwards in Farr West…. or order online:

Mens Camo Shirts and JacketsMen’s Camo Shirts

Womens camoLadies’ Camo

Youth camoKids’ Camo

Mens Camo PantsMen’s Camo Pants

Hunting Hats and GlovesHunting Hats & Gloves

Check out our Camping and Hiking gear - click here!

Sitka waterfowl jacket

Duck Hunting Season is here – We’ve got what you need

- posted by Rose Marion

First day of duck season and we’ve got what you need here at Smith & Edwards!

Come on in and you’ll find camouflage shirts, pants, hats, gloves, warm boots, and much more. All types of hunter orange gear that you can use the rest of the season, too. We stock a huge variety of camouflage patterns and accessories – the ducks will never see you coming in your duck hunting camo. And we’ve got Under Armour and hoodies as well as good socks to keep you warm on those cold mornings.

We know hunting gear because we hunt, too. Craig, our camo buyer, and Scott, one of our Hunting buyers, gave us all the details on what gear you’ll need for a great waterfowl trip.

Craig and Scott know all about duck hunting - just look at the proof! Get their gear and advice at Smith and Edwards.

If you take their advice, maybe you’ll have as great a day duck hunting as Craig and Scott did!

It can be tough to keep track of all the gear you need for a simple morning of duck hunting, so take a look at what we’ve got for all your waterfowling needs.

Smith & Edwards’ Duck Hunting Picks

If you haven’t been to Smith & Edwards for hunting gear before, come on in the front doors and head to the north wall, on your left. You’ll be able to find the waterfowl hunting gear you need fast.

Waterfowl camo shirts


We’ve got the waders you need for a dry socks after a long, successful morning of duck hunting. You’ll keep your feed warm and dry with insulated boots. Even if you’re in the marsh rather than in a blind, a good pair of camouflage waders can be a solid investment – and the difference between a good hunt and a real success.

You’ll find several types of camo waders, including blades camo, at Smith & Edwards. We also carry regular fishing waders in solid colors for fishing.

Browning Blades Waterfowl camo

Blades waterfowl camo by Browning

Waterfowl Camo

You’ll find great waterfowl camo at Smith & Edwards – camouflage that has natural grassy shapes and a lot of earth tones and shading, compared to blocky, solid camo. This will help you blend right in with the blind and the swamp. We’ve got lots of camo patterns so you can see what works for you.

Blades, Max 5, and Sitka are our best-selling waterfowl camo patterns.

Browning Realtree Max 5 waterfowl camo

Browning Realtree Max 5 waterfowl camo

Sitka’s got a very different take on waterfowl camo and camo in general than other brands. Sitka’s scientists are interested in what the ducks’ eyes see, rather than how humans see camo.

This Sitka waterfowl jacket is designed to look like a wetland when viewed from overhead.

This Sitka waterfowl jacket is designed to look like a wetland when viewed from overhead.

So that’s why Sitka’s camo has a honeycomb or mesh look to it: Sitka’s betting that the birds will see Sitka camo as a more realistic view of the environment, because the camo is designed to blend in when viewed from overhead – so the ducks don’t see you as they fly.

Sitka waterfowl jacketRemember, you might have camo on, and you might be in a blind, but the most important thing is to keep still! Try to only move your eyes and keep your head as still as possible for the best shot at your birds.

Gamehide waterfowl pants

Gamehide waterfowl pants

Duck Hunting Gloves

Sitka waterfowl gloveWhen you’re duck calling, you don’t want your hands to stand out. Keep warm and put a bit of camouflage on your hands with these hunting gloves.

Waterfowl gloves are waterproof, so you can go in and get your decoys or get your ducks out of the water without getting your hands wet! Again, Sitka makes its own special camouflage gloves so you’re even more hidden, since they’re designed for how ducks see you rather than how animals on the ground see us.

Sitka’s gloves are great as stand-alone gloves, or, you can wear them as a base layer because they’re form-fitting and not at all bulky, so almost like a second skin. You can slide on another pair of gloves on top of them when it’s really cold.

Camouflage Gloves at Smith and Edwards

Keep your fingers warm in the blind with these camo gloves. You’ll find your size in a variety of patterns and levels of warmth.

Duck at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Brigham City

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Brigham City


For the best chance of success, use our lucky Smith & Edwards hat. And we’ve got tons of styles of hats so you can pick your favorite. Black, Hunter orange, and several patterns of camo hats that’ll keep your head warm on those cold mornings.

Sitka waterfowl beanie hat

Sitka waterfowl beanie hat

Hand Warmers

Keep warm with handwarmers in your gloves. We’ve got both reusable hand warmers and single-use handwarmes. Both will give you several hours of nice, glowing heat. Put ’em in your gloves, with or without a liner, to keep your fingers flexible and ready for action.

Now that you’ve got your camo and you know you’ll be warm next time, let’s make sure you’ve got all the gear from sporting goods you need. Head over to our east wall to our Sporting Goods department for decoys, duck calls, and shot.


We don’t stock dogs, sorry. But we do have nice dog treats and bones for your hard-working retriever.

We’ve also got training dummies, whistles, leashes, training collars, and scents – both duck and pheasant scents.

Working on training your own retriever? Check out this video lesson:



Sure we’ve got decoys! Get your ducks in a row with duck decoys and a mesh decoy bag to pack them out.

Tanglefree Mallard Duck Decoys and Bag at Smith and Edwards

This Tanglefree® mesh decoy bag and mallard decoys are a great place to start with decoys.

We’ve got duck decoys and geese decoys. The ducks above were a favorite in 2013. In 2014, we now carry Deek Decoys made here in Utah! Call 801-731-1120 for any questions, we’ll be happy to help.

Duck Calls

You knew all about duck calls way before Duck Dynasty was cool.

We’ve got Duck Commander duck calls that will work great on your next waterfowl hunt. If you prefer Primos duck calls, we’ve got those, too.

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Brigham City

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Brigham City

Shotgun and Ammo

We’ve got the shot and ammunition for all kinds of hunting this season at Smith & Edwards, and we’ll be happy to recommend the ammo as well as guns for your hunt – whether you’re duck hunting, turkey hunting, or looking at four-legged game.

Come on back to the Sporting Goods counter – we know the guns and ammo you’ll need because we hunt ducks ourselves – as well as elk, deer, and more game. We’ll get you what you need.

For shells, you need to use steel shot for waterfowl. 3″ is a good place to start – you want to use 2s, 3s, or 4s for ducks. We’ve got a huge selection, and we’re happy to help you choose the best shot.

For shotguns, Scott’s pick is the Benelli Nova, hands-down.

If you’re looking at semiautomatic, take a look at Benelli, Winchester, Beretta, and Browning. You’ll want a gun with a synthetic stock, and we’ve got those in black and camouflage. You’ll get a gun you can rely on to function well in cold weather.

Remember to give your shotgun a good cleaning after a day in the swamp. Mud, grit, and all sorts of crud can build up on your gun. Doesn’t hurt to carry some cleaning equipment and a cleaning rod with you into the blind, too, so you don’t have to go back to the truck or worse, home, if your equipment gets too dirty to function.

Duck hunting at Bear River Bird Refuge in Brigham City

Duck hunting at Bear River Bird Refuge in Brigham City

Cooler and Thermos

Nothing like hot cocoa or warm soup after a long morning of duck hunting. We’ve got both thermoses and coolers, so you can keep your hot drinks hot and keep your ducks on ice til you get home.

Duck Stamp

You can get your federal duck stamp right here at our Sporting Goods counter. They’re $15 and they’ll get you in to all the waterfowl areas here in Northern Utah, like Farmington Bay and Ogden Bay. When the federal government gets its act together, check out Bear River up by Brigham City – it’s a federal wetland, so it’s not open at the moment, but it’s a great location for duck hunting.

Duck hunting camo pants

Get duck hunting gear in our web store

Do you have a good bag for all your gear? We’ve got a great selection of gear bags in the store, and you can find our favorites online, like our 5.11 tactical bags and Voodoo tactical bags.

You might also want to bring a headlamp and a compass so you don’t wander around the swamp longer than you have to. And we’ve got a huge selection of paracord in-store and in our online store, so you can keep your gear where you need them.

Hunting Camouflage Paracord at Smith and Edwards

Choose from camouflage paracord as well as bright and solid colors of paracord, both in-store and online.

Come in for great deals on hunting gear!

Don’t forget to stop by our Sporting Goods department for all your shot, too. They’ve got some great sales and rebates for the beginning of hunting season, so come on in today.

Hunting camouflage at Smith and Edwards

Whatever season you hunt, we’ve got the camo and gear to help you have a successful hunt. Maybe you’ll bring us back a souvenir!

What are your duck hunting tips?

Leave us a comment below with your duck hunting tips & tricks. What gear do you use year after year? What are your favorite spots? We want to hear what works for you!