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It's not what it looks like on the rack it how it looks to the deer.

The number of camo patterns have exploded in the last two years but they generally fall into to categories. Patterns that make you look like a tree and mimic or digital patterns that are supposed to break up your outline. 

Since their inception debate has raged in the hunting world about what works better but science is on the side of digital camouflage. 

W.L. Gore, — makers of all things waterproof —started the digital camo trend in 2008 with their optifade pattern. Gore developed their camo with some big names in the science field. Jay Neitz, an animal-vision expert from the Medical College of Wisconsin and Timothy O'Neill, the man who came up with the digital camo the United States Army uses while working at West Point.

If it's good enough for the Army, one would tend to think it's good enough to chase whitetails in the Black Hills. 

“The essence of digital camouflage goes back to the old question: Is the purpose of camouflage to match the background or to break up the shape of the target?” O’Neill said in a New York times interview. “The answer is yes — you do both. You create a micropattern that matches the ‘busyness’ of the background and makes it harder to detect the target, and you overlay it with a macropattern that makes it harder to recognize the shape of the target once you’ve detected it.” 

Neitz and O'Neill research into all things camo was founded on a few key findings. 

First, they designed the camo on how the deer sees not how it looks to humans. The took years of data an investigation into testing the vision of a deer in different situations and used computer modules to mold the best camo. 

Second Color isn't as important as breakup of human shape. The crew over at Gore uses micropatterns — small colored blocks or pixels — to match the overall texture of the landscape and macropatterns to — large abstract shapes — to break up the human form.

The theory is when an animal sees something that they aren't sure about their brain trys to figure out two questions. Where is it? and What might it be? The micropatterns are thought to fight the where question and the macro the what question.

The idea is that if a deer never registers your form as a human than they will be less likely to flee even if they see you move. 

Digital camos are now being shaded differently to help mimic the surrounding as well as break up a hunter's outline. There are different patterns for deep dark forests or open deserts. 

Sure you can still go out in a pair of blue jeans and a flannel shirt and shoot a deer. But just like the fact that most of us aren't using flintlock rifles any more digital camo will more than likely raise your chance of success. 

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