By Tim H. Martin
Black clothing can stand out nearly as much as white in the forest during daylight, but there is a place for black in the hunting world.
I first learned the downside of wearing black in 2005, while bowhunting in Illinois. I'd accidentally forgotten my camo hat and had to use the only headgear I had in my backpack, a solid black pullover fleece cap. I figured since there was no white on it, the deer would never notice. But, wow, did they notice it!
Each time a deer would approach my stand, I couldn't move an inch without them busting me. Sometimes I wouldn't even move at all and they'd stare straight at me, stamping their hooves and trying to figure out the unusual black object. Needless to say, I wore my Realtree cap the next day with much better results, arrowing a big 13-pointer that afternoon.
Later, I placed black clothing in the woods to see what it looked like and quickly noticed how it stands out like a sore thumb. In fact, I'd say black is almost as attention getting as white at times. It makes me thankful for camouflage.
But there are times we shouldn't avoid black or white clothing in the field.
It makes perfect sense for hunters in the snow country to wear all-white coveralls and jackets, so it makes just as much sense to wear black in the opposite scenarios: inside dark ground blinds and shooting houses.
When I bowhunted in Africa the first time, some of the sharp-eyed animals such as guinea fowl and kudu would spot me easing up to the opening and spook, even if I tried to ease out of the shadows. The same thing happened to me in a ground blind in Ohio where turkeys and deer could spot my movement within the blind if the sun was bright.
On both occasions, I changed to a black top and cap, making me practically invisible inside the shadows.
Bring a black pullover, or black base layers to wear in the shooting houses and ground blinds if you've been having trouble being spotted. And as much as kids fidget in a ground blind or shooting house, take along a long sleeve black T-shirt and make them invisible, too.