How to prepare a hasty camouflage position.
When people train with me they are preparing for something bad to happen and happen fast. Trouble usually comes when it’s least expected, as reviews of hundreds of deadly encounters will show. Things aren’t always perfect-the enemy has a vote and he’s not going to stop to allow you to prep the battlefield to your liking. You don’t always have time to establish the exact fighting or hide position that you would like, and this was on my mind recently as I stole away for a quick afternoon coyote hunt on a snowy day.
During this hunt time wasn’t on my side. I had to walk light and quick, and carrying blind making material wasn’t an option. There was snow on the ground, and living in a region where snow isn’t plentiful, I’ve simply never invested in snow camo. Much of my clothing is drab in color, and this day I grabbed a camo jacket, some light brown pants, and hit the woods. Although my prey of the day has keen eyesight, I wasn’t going to let my lack of perfect camouflage keep me out of the woods.
Oh, I took my camera too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfZqNg2tCN4&t=34s
My tactic was simple. To break my outline and try to find a position that would allow my earthy dress to blend in. I already knew the draw I was wanting to hunt, so I approached from the ridgeline above and found a spot to assume a good prone position. I found a spot just behind the crest of the ridge, in an old fence line that was littered with scrubby trees. To help conceal my prone position I broke some branches and propped them up on some autumn olive branches in front of my position. This served to break up my outline from below if an animal (or human) looked up towards me. Lying behind a brown bush and using sticks to conceal me, there was no color conflict or need for expensive camouflage. I used what I had to conceal me. It was simple, quick, and effective, and using a short bipod on my rifle I was able to elevate my muzzle just over the crest enough to have a clear shot.
I encourage my students to be familiar with their everyday surroundings. Know the depressions, walls, and visual barriers in the areas you routinely visit. Have a plan in your home or office to know what can camouflage you and offer concealment. (We will save our discussion on cover for another day). Learn to identify features that offer concealment when you visit new areas. Think through worst case scenarios in shops you visit-where will you hide if something happens. What offers concealment and does it allow you to return fire?
Train! Practice! It will come if you put the work in.