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Top Hunting Tips: Camouflage

PUBLISHED: 09:24 28 September 2015 | UPDATED: 09:24 28 September 2015

Completing the camouflage picture. A face veil and gloves will improve your bags

Completing the camouflage picture. A face veil and gloves will improve your bags

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The editor takes on a controversial subject, face veils

Camouflage is hugely popular with airgun hunters, but most of you let yourselves down with one simple, yet game-changing mistake; you don’t cover your face! Caucasians have a dinner-plate-size, pasty white disc that our eyes are set in, and in order to see our quarry we’re sure to show it to them. Sure, your torso, legs and arms might be covered in super-high-tech camouflage, but they’re often behind bushes, long grass or other bits of the countryside that we use for cover. To see well enough to shoot, though, we expose our heads. A camouflaged hat with a brim or peak helps by casting some shadow, but pale skin stands out like the proverbial sore thumb.

I’ve heard many excuses for people not wearing a face covering; they’re too hot, they’re uncomfortable; I’m so good that I don’t need one; I feel stupid and look like an axe murderer - and I agree with the last two, but that still shouldn’t put you off. There are plenty of cool, comfortable examples on the market, and I know that’s true because I own them.

Complete balaclavas aren’t for me because I find them hot and uncomfortable, so I prefer the halfhead type that can be worn loosely around your neck and pulled up only when needed. This gets me away from the feeling silly/axe murderer problem. If I meet walkers or farm staff, I quickly pull it down to rest around my neck like a scarf.

Another advantage of this kind of veil is that they’re available in a thin, camouflage mesh that doesn’t overheat or collect condensation inside, like warmer fabrics can. I use them all year around without any problems – also, they’re tiny and can be easily stored in a jacket pocket when not needed.

Any time I’m in a situation when I hope my quarry might be around, I’ll pull the veil up and go into my best stealth mode, moving only a few steps before stopping to search with my binoculars and listen carefully for movement. I’ll stand in any cover I can find to hide my silhouette and keep my movements to the minimum. As ever, it’s my head that will be most visible, so my camo hat, gloves and veil will be on show and I’ll hide them as best I can. Squirrels and birds have a towering view, negating some of the benefits that the ground cover might offer, so your camouflage had better be good. Pigeons are particularly tricky to approach and even with good camo they’re a huge challenge to hunt, which is why they’re one of my favourite quarries.

If you’ve refused to try a face covering until now, please think it over. The Allen one I’m wearing in the picture is just £7.49 and ticks all the boxes for me. Give it a try, be as stealthy as you can and your bags will improve, I’m sure of it.

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