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Ghillie Suit Adventure

Marianne HoosierBy Marianne Hoosier

-- As I struggled to get into my new ghillie suit, it became apparent that this one was made for someone at least twice my size. This was okay because surely the struggle would be worth the effort. I had planned on adding this suit as part of my hunting tactics for quite some time. I felt certain that it would be the key advantage I needed for my favorite hunting technique of glass, walk and stalk.

With a building sense of excitement, I headed out across the field toward the woods. It was the beginning of my new hunting adventure. I felt like the little kids you see when they get their first set of camo clothing, who then ask "Can you see me?" All the while believing that they are invisible to all those around them. 

Okay, well, I knew I wasn't THAT invisible but can you imagine what must go through an animal's mind when it sees a green and brown stringy blob creeping through the woods? 

 My trek across the field was soon interrupted by sudden painful pinpricks to my legs. 

"Snake Attack-ahhh!" I was into my third or fourth giant leap when it dawned on me that the bites weren't going away. Something wasn't right. Looking down I realized that the suit and I had become entangled in briars. Relieved at least that I wasn't being bitten by a vicious snake, I disentangled myself and continued toward the woods.

Easing into the woods, my dreams of getting a deer soared high. Dreams and thoughts were interrupted as my reflexes suddenly struggled to keep me in the upright position. What followed was the sensation of my body being rocket launched into the air. My flight was kept short by the fact that I was still attached to the ground.

Turns out the ghillie suit had managed to securely anchor us both to a fallen tree. Lying on the ground, assessing my bodily damage, it occurred to me that this suit wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. For one, my flight through the air was too short to claim air miles. And I certainly didn't fly first class.

It was also apparent after wallowing around on the ground following the crash that this ghillie suit was a brush magnet. Okay, I suppose you could say this added to the effect of my camouflage, but I was sure that I was starting to look more like the swamp thing.

While trying to put myself back together again, I couldn't help but wonder if this suit could double as an oven. Oh man, was it getting hot! At this moment, I decided to reroute my hunting path away from the open field as visions of my roasting in the open fire - I mean - open field didn't seem so appealing anymore. Instead, I decided to skirt around the edges of a cool, refreshing creek. I made sure to avoid getting too close to the creek's edge for who knew what else these ghillie suits might be capable of doing.

I managed the next 200 yards or so without any major incident. However, even the coolness from the creek wasn't enough to counter the draining heat from the ghillie oven. I was past the preheat stage and well into the baking stage when I spotted a large tree that looked appealing. As I stood resting by the shade tree, I heard crashing sounds coming toward me from across the creek.

Experience told me that this was the sound of approaching deer. This was the opportunity that I had dreamed about, and it was quickly coming my way. The woods were thick, so the deer were on top of me before I could see them clearly. Suddenly, three bucks pursuing a doe appeared in front of me. The largest buck stopped for a second as if it was trying to catching its breath.

There wasn't anything separating the buck from me except for the cover of my suit. That was all I needed. After taking careful aim with the muzzleloader, I squeezed the trigger. What followed was a large puff of smoke. Hmm, was that coming from the ghillie oven or the muzzleloader? Thankfully, once the smoke cleared I saw my dream deer lying on the ground.

One of the other bucks had stopped about 40 yards from me and was staring directly at me. I'll never know what the buck thought of the green and brown stringy blob standing next to the tree, but after a few minutes the buck simply headed toward the direction of the doe.

Marianne Hoosier
Anchorage, Alaska

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