Situations Where Hunting and Camo Face Paint is the Clear Choice
Which is better: camo face paint or a face mask? Hunters all over have wondered this on opening mornings for years. In most cases, they’ll end up bringing both in their hunting packs, just because they’re not quite sure which one would work better. And the option of using nothing is not an option really. Deer, turkey, and ducks alike have very discerning eyes, so it’s best to camouflage yourself and not give them a reason to leave in a hurry. The good news is that both face masks and face paint for hunting work in some fashion to conceal our features from the keen eyes of our prey. They’ve both been used in all seasons and types of hunting too.
So what’s the big deal? You could theoretically just pick one and always use it in the field, no matter what the conditions. But then you’d be missing out on the distinct advantages of each different approach. What are the main differences in their effectiveness vs. the effort is takes to use them? Let’s look at a few points below.
Camo Face Paint
Far and away, the biggest benefit of camo face paint is its ability to be used in any environment and make you blend in seamlessly. Whether you’re in a dark spruce forest or open prairie area, take some 1.5 ounce tubes of camouflage face paints out and smudge some colors around. If you pair these colors with natural camo face paint techniques, you can hide your exposed skin from detection just about anywhere.
Another awesome perk of face paint is that it doesn’t limit our ability to hear or see everything around us. You can simply apply face paint and start hunting without worrying that you won’t hear a branch break behind you. Many people just don’t like having something blocking their interaction with the outdoors, and face paint is a great solution to that.
In warm hunting environments, camouflage face paint is the clear winner. Nobody likes wearing a hunting face mask when the mercury climbs above 60 or 70 degrees. It gets stuffy and claustrophobic, even if you only have a mesh version. Our faces are already a weak spot when it comes to scent elimination, and sweating under a hot face mask won’t help that problem at all. In fact, CarboMask® goes one step better. The clay-based formula also contains activated charcoal for additional scent absorption. This additional detail makes it one of the best hunter face paints on the market.
Of course, the downside to camo face paint is that what goes on must eventually come off. After creating a masterpiece nature scene on your cheeks and nose, you do need to take time at the end of the hunt to wipe it off. Luckily, CarboMask® makes this process much easier than traditional face paints. Instead of spending a half an hour scrubbing greasy paint off your skin, the clay-based formula easily wipes away with water and some light pressure. Because of this natural material and ease of removal, it’s a great camo face paint for kids and isn’t really much of a drawback at all.
Hunting Face Mask
A hunting mask is a good option on occasion. For example, when the mercury plummets during late season deer hunting and you’re looking for an additional layer to keep your face warm, a camouflage face mask is an attractive choice. At that point, you may be willing to trade off your restricted hearing for a warm face. Also, spring turkey hunting is another time when face masks might be useful since you could use a mosquito net to keep pesky bugs away.
Another benefit of a face mask is that it’s extremely simple to use. You can put it on and remove it at will within seconds. There’s no painting involved and when you’re done in the field, you can simply take it off and throw it in your backpack for next time.
But despite those perks, there are some disadvantages with a hunting face mask. As mentioned above, you can’t use a single face mask to blend into any environment. The dark greens and browns of a conifer forest pattern don’t exactly hide in a sea of light-colored sage brush. You’d have to get a few different styles or patterns to really use in different environments.
When using it in extremely cold weather, there can be complications. Though it keeps your face warmer for a while and protects it from the wind, the condensation from your breath can freeze on the inside of the mask, creating an uncomfortable ice barrier that doesn’t end up keeping you warm after all. Additionally, face masks pose problems if you wear glasses. As you breathe, the warm air in your breath will float upwards out the top of your mask, which is where your lenses are. This will likely fog them up. Of course, this only really happens when you don’t need it to, like when a deer is finally coming into range. Maybe it’s the excitement and increased pace of your breathing, but you can almost guarantee this will happen.
Depending on the style you have, a face mask may interfere with your head’s movement and restrict your hearing to the point where you don’t hear an approaching deer from behind you. Won’t you be surprised when you stand up to stretch your legs and watch a giant whitetail bound off snorting like crazy. While bow hunting, face masks can sometimes slightly alter your anchor point when at full draw, which may affect your shooting accuracy and consistency.
Type of Hunting
Whether you’ll be fully exposed or hidden in a blind will also play a role in deciding which option is better. After all, if you’ll be out in the open during late season where you need good hunting camouflage, you may want a face mask to protect your skin from the cold. But if it’s early season or you’re in a concealed blind, you won’t necessarily have that to worry about, so black face paint for hunting would work great.
On that same topic, if you’ll be using face paint while hunting in a tree stand or on the ground, you need to make sure to add layers of colors to break up the symmetry of your face. Try to use face paint colors and patterns that you find around you to hide your profile the best. But if you’ll be inside a blind where it’s dark, you don’t need any colors. Black paint should be all you need to take the glare off your skin and blend in with your new surroundings.
Pulling it Together for Different Species
To wrap this up, let’s apply the discussion above to different types of hunting. As you’re starting to see, either approach is effective, but each probably works better for different species. Let’s look at deer, turkey, and waterfowl hunting, for example.
During deer bow season, camo face paint is the way to go since it won’t affect your shooting form and you’ll generally be out for longer sits. Deer hunting face paint should consist of simple patterns and colors that match your surroundings. Most people bow hunt during the earlier part of the season, when it is warmer and not suitable for face masks anyway. But when you switch to deer firearm season, which happens later in the fall, you may want the extra warmth offered by a face mask. There are downsides that could certainly sway you the other way, but this would generally work out in most cases.
For turkey season in the spring or fall, you’ll most likely be using a hunting blind. You can indeed hunt turkeys without them, but it’s much easier (especially with a bow) to use a blind to hide your movements. In this case, you can easily rely on dark turkey hunting face paint to hide your exposed skin. Even within a blind, our skin produces a glare that stands out. Applying face paint dulls the shine and conceals our appearance. Within the dark interior of a hunting blind, you need to be sure to use dark face paint to blend in.
If you’re a waterfowl hunter, you probably know all about face paint. Waterfowl species have amazing eyesight, which means any glare off your face will likely be noticed from above. It’s the clear winner for duck and goose hunting since it’s pretty difficult to blow a duck call through a face mask. Also, it’s very helpful while waterfowl hunting to be able to pinpoint the direction of approaching birds by listening for them. That’s almost impossible while using a face mask. For those reasons, duck hunting face paint is the way to go.
The next time you find yourself staring at your backpack, trying to figure out if you should bring camo face paint or a face mask, think back to this guidance. Weigh your options quickly and make a decision. The woods are waiting for you.