Camouflage: Jack Pyke’s LLCS
PUBLISHED: 13:26 05 October 2016 | UPDATED: 13:26 05 October 2016
What makes camouflage work? The editor asks
I don’t think there’s another hunting sport that loves camouflage as much as airgun hunters.
Over the years, there have been a huge number of options in the shops. In the early days, after we gave up our Barbour coats, almost everybody used army DPM (disruptive pattern material) until American RealTree-type, photo-realistic ones began to be offered. These seemed exotic and impressive, and sold by the boat load.
Next to come along was digital camouflage, which impressed me greatly, but I’m sad to say doesn’t really seem to be catching on.
The theory is that it doesn’t try to look like a tree, it tries to look like nothing. Just a random pattern that breaks up the human outline, so that animals and birds don’t recognise us so easily.
No matter the camouflage, any movement will automatically give you away, so staying as still as possible is a key skill for the hunter – only moving when our quarry is unable to see us.
Any printed camouflage pattern is two-dimensional, and although it might try to depict shadow and shade, in reality it never can.
This is where Jack Pyke’s LLCS (Light Leaf Concealment System) can show – or is that ‘hide’? – a real advantage. The strips of leaf-shaped, camo-printed leaves stand proud of the suit, creating a real 3D texture. They even move in the wind, just like the real thing, helping us to blend in naturally.
Our silhouette is immediately recognisable to wild creatures, so anything breaking it up works to our advantage.
I have a hunting friend who always wears a hat with a broad brim because he believes it hides the shape of his head and helps his stalking, and I think he may well be right.
The LLCS range includes a jacket, trousers, gloves, a baseball cap, a balaclava, a rucksack cover, and even some spare strips of leaves you can attach to anything you like to complete the concealment.
The suit is a green mesh that’s light and airy, so it can be worn over anything you like: over warm clothes for the winter, or light trousers and a T-shirt in the hotter weather.
Now, I have to confess I feel a bit silly wearing it and don’t want to bump into estate workers who would rib me mercilessly, so I tend to put mine into a rucksack and put it on when I’m getting into my hiding position.
I have absolutely no doubt this is the most effective camouflage you can buy, short of building a hide. Sure hides are the best, but what do you do if all the pigeons are landing 50 yards along the wood from where you built yours?
With an LLCS suit on, you just relocate, get settled in and wait, and it offers a great freedom of movement that allows you to change your plans as the day unfolds in seconds.
Because the suit is mesh, it’s both cool and light, properties I value during the summer. I find a pair of green trousers and a green T-shirt are all I need to wear underneath, and the mesh keeps off a lot of the biting insects.
With a lightweight seat cushion I can settle anywhere I believe my quarry will show, and be in business in minutes.
My nemesis is the woodpigeon, a bird I admire and respect for its incredible eyesight and lightning reactions, and they’re a huge problem on the farmland I shoot over, yet I struggle to take many each year.
I have to confess I’d sooner eat pigeon than any of our other quarry species, or even game birds for that matter. This year I must do better, and the LLCS suit is a key part of my armoury for the task.
With the ability to hide myself well, I started thinking about the rifle. Sure, you can camouflage them but you still have to move them to take the shot, and this is why I’m keen to try the Clearview hide net, which is exactly what it says.
Again, it’s a light mesh, printed in Jack Pyke’s English Oak camouflage pattern, that can be easily carried in a rucksack, to be used as the situation requires.
It does a superb job of hiding you and the gun, and yet allows you to see straight through. Draped over the rifle, it perfectly complements the LLCS to complete the job.
Both suit and net have proven their worth against rabbits, but I still have to face the ultimate camouflage challenge; the flighty woodpigeon.
Wish me luck!
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