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Monday, October 31, 2011
Wearing cammo is all about gaining the advantage over your quarry. Matt Clark finds a new suit by Deerhunter designed for the job.
It is often said that what you wear can give you confidence. When it comes to hunting, something youknow is designed for the job in hand does make you feelyoure ahead of the game and when you are confident you are a better hunter. Fortunately, we airgunners have a wide choice of cammo hunting kit that can help keep us concealed and comfortable in the field. In terms of breathable and waterproof material, the hunting market does tend to follow the walking/mountaineering community; however, a jacket designed for stalking has to have an added dimension; and that is stealth.
Material designed for hunting has to be rustle free, so as not to spook the quarry. With all this functionality having to be built into one jacket, its surprising hunting clothes are not more expensive than they are, especially when you compare them with their walking/mountaineering counterparts.
The Deerhunter Gamestalker jacket and trousers, costing around 84.99 and 69.99 are situated in the upper mid range of hunting clothes. But you get a lot for your money.
If we look at the Gamestalker jacket there are a lot of features that are practical and well thought out. For example, the hood can be rolled up inside the collar of the jacket. This is common on most outdoor jackets, but where the Deerhunter shows its hunting credentials is in the unique way the hood is held in place when rolled up. Instead of press studs, which can be noisy and difficult to undo when they are behind your head, the Deerhunter jacket uses magnets hidden inside the fabric. This means you can quickly access the hood when you are in the field without bringing unwanted attention to your presence. Another brilliant feature that you wont find on many other jackets is the mosquito hood thats hidden in a pocket at the base of the collar of the jacket. This hood also goes some way to concealing your face, so it has a double purpose.
With all these features designed specifically for a hunters needs you would be right in thinking that it had been designed by hunters. On the label of the jacket it says that the Engels - the Danish family behind the brand - has a passion for hunting and this is evident in the design of the garment.
Other features on the jacket are found on a lot of outdoor gear, such as pit zips - which will help keep you cool in hotter weather - and elasticated cuffs. The cuffs can also be adjusted by press studs to make them tighter and keep the weather out. The pockets are hidden with a large pocket flap and have tabs on the zipper, making them a cinch to unzip in chilly weather. If you are wearing the jacket in the cold, you will also be glad that the pockets are fleece lined.
You would be forgiven for not seeing another pocket secreted away between the zip and the front placket. This is for a mobile phone, wallet or key. It also has a clip hook in there, which means you can attach your keys to it for added security genius.
Now here is where I will make one criticism: I would prefer the Gamestalker jacket to have more pockets. Maybe one inside pocket, or a poachers pocket at the rear of the coat would have added all important stowage space for pocket knives, pellets, first aid kit etc.
But minor gripe aside, lets get back to whats good about the jacket. Theres a waist draw string, if you want to make the jacket closer fitting and it does up with a front zip and storm placket to repel wind and rain.
The jacket as a whole is windproof and waterproof thanks to the Deer-tex membrane material. This is a breathable fabric that wicks moisture away from the body, keeps the elements out and is also stretchy, enabling easy movement. Its also soft to the touch and Ive found the ladies love it and cant keep their hands off it because its soft and snuggly apparently. So my advice would be to buy the matching pair of gamestalker trousers!
FLARES OR BOOT CUT?
Made from the same warm, comfortable, stretchy material, the trousers also have zip pockets with storm flaps. So they would help with the lack of pockets in the jacket. Another nice feature of the trousers is the adjustable bottoms. Thanks to a zip and some press studs you can alter the width of the bottoms. You can have bell bottoms ideal to put over wellie boots and keep the rain out. Or, you could have the plain and very modern boot cut which are good for going over the top of lace-up boots. Finally you can have a fit that is a bit tighter, ideal if you are going through gorse and you want to tuck your trousers into socks, or put them under putties to stop the trousers being shredded.
The top of the trousers are elasticted, so they allow for that extra helping of Christmas pud, and they also have belt loops. The suit I tested came in Realtree ap high definition cammo pattern. I have to hand it to Realtree; their camouflage is very high tech. The pattern has an almost 3D effect that tricks human eyes, let alone animals eyes. You may think I am deluding myself, but since I have been wearing cammo designed specifically for hunting - such as Realtree and English Oak patterns - I have got much closer to my quarry. The cammo really does break up your outline, meaning thatyou only have to worry about noise and your scent. However, there is even cammo available now that neutralises human odour. What will they think of next.
Anyway, back to the suit in question. Having read this far you will probably have gathered that I was impressed by the Deerhunter Gamestalker trousers and jacket. Either that, or you might think that Deerhunter have bribed me because there is so little criticism made in this article. The truth is that I really thought this was a good piece of kit. I certainly felt confident in the field wearing it and I would confidently recommend it to you.
DEERHUNTER GAME STALKER SPECIFICATION
Jacket Price: around 84.99
Trousers Price: around 69.99
Contact Details: www.deerhunter.dk
Available in all good gun and tackle shops