Skip to main content Skip to main content

How Bowhunters Can Stay Concealed in Open Country

How Bowhunters Can Stay Concealed in Open Country

This is the time of year when we’re gearing up for fall hunts, and camouflage clothing is a large part of that effort. Our goal is to match our camouflage pattern to the terrain we’ll be hunting, which typically means woods, brush, and the all-important shade. But what if you’ll be hunting in the high country or open prairie, where vegetative cover is sparse and there is no shade? What do you match your camo to?

Well, the first thing you must realize is if you’re in open country with the sun at your back, the shady side of your body becomes a shadow regardless of the camouflage pattern you’re wearing, and there’s nothing you can do about that. Of course, you can’t avoid the sunlight either, and when it’s hitting your “sunny side,” it’s lighting you up.

So, since you don’t have any trees, brush, or shadows to blend into in open country, the only thing you can match your camo to is the mountainside, or the ground. This becomes especially important as you make a move on an animal — be it a muley buck or a Dall sheep — because you’ll be spending a lot of time hugging the turf. That means you’ll be trying to be inconspicuous in rocks, boulders, shale, and grass in the high country, and most likely tall grass, weeds, and sage on the prairie.

One camo pattern that works well in these situations is Mossy Oak Mountain Country. The varying gray tones and eye-deceiving contrast has worked extremely well for me when hunting the high country. It’s also great on the open prairie, where a dark pattern doesn’t help you hide from pronghorns and muley bucks. Even in large expanses of grass, a lone, low-profile rock (your camouflaged body) can be overlooked by game animals. Curiously, Mountain Country is also very good in a treestand, especially when the leaves have fallen.

There’s a saying that stillness is the best camouflage. While that may be true to some extent when you’re in heavy cover, it does not apply to the wide-open spaces. When you’re that exposed, you need all the help you can get to stay hidden. So, choose a pattern that features lighter shades and high contrast, pay attention to the angle of the sun, and then try your best to look like a rock.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Turkey Decoy Beatdown

Turkey Decoy Beatdown

Bowhunter contributor Matt Palmquist witnesses a hen trying to destroy one of his decoys while hunting turkeys in Kansas.

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Tree-Climbing Sticks

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Tree-Climbing Sticks

Sectional sticks are the most popular tree-climbing method among saddle enthusiasts because sticks are safe, effective, easy to use, and you only have to hang three or four of them to reach heights of 17-22 feet if you add a lightweight climbing aider.

New for 2021: Hoyt RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30 and Ventum 33

New for 2021: Hoyt RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30 and Ventum 33

ATA 2021 NeDuring this video from the Archery Trade Association's New Product Premiere showcase, Bowhunter's TV Mike Carney visited with Evan Williams, pro staff manager for Hoyt Archery, to learn about the new RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum and Ventum 33 bows.w Product - Hoyt

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Bowhunter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Bowhunter stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now