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Blending In: Matching Mossy Oak Patterns to Turkey Terrains Around the Country

Bob Humphries

Best Camo Patterns for Turkey Hunting

Turkey hunting takes a toll and sometimes the fatigue has some humorous consequences. Such was the case for me late one morning after I’d nodded off against the base of a big oak, worn down from 6 weeks of chasing longbeards. A distance gobble stirred me slowly from my trance and still in a haze I glanced down at my legs only to discover they weren’t there! The fog cleared more quickly then, and I was relieved to discover they were in fact still attached to my body, but the Forest Floor camo pattern blended in so well with the real thing it had fooled me for a moment. I chuckled at myself, then pondered just how important camo is to turkey hunters.

At one time or another most turkey hunters have had one (often more) of those intangible encounters. Everything was right. You were motionless and completely concealed but for some unexplainable reason that strutting tom locked up out of range, changed its body language then turned and walked silently away. You wracked your brain over what went wrong and likely one of the first things you eliminated was your camo; but maybe that decision was a bit short-sighted.

Not all camo is the same. Some patterns are designed to be more general, others more specific. Anything that breaks up the human form can be effective, but specialized patterns designed to match specific habitats just might give you the edge when the wild turkeys are particularly wary.

The Best All-Around Pattern For Turkey Hunting


Pictured: Mossy Oak Obsession

Mossy Oak Obsession

Unlike deer, turkeys see all colors of the visible spectrum very well, which makes color a more important component. Mossy Oak Obsession was designed to deceive the best eyes in the woods by providing turkey hunters with a pattern that features an enhanced background of mottled tree bark (inspired by the original Mossy Oak Bottomland pattern) with true-to-nature elements of limbs, pine, and oak foliage. All rendered in lifelike color tones to match the turkey woods in spring and early fall.

Its relatively neutral background will blend into most environments but it’s the greens and detail that will make a difference on a mid to late spring turkey hunt. Same goes for the Mossy Oak classic pattern Greenleaf. If your season starts before leaf-out, a pattern like Country Roots or Bottomland might be a better option.

Best Turkey Hunting Pattern for Classic Timber


Pictured: Mossy Oak Original Bottomland


Best Turkey Hunting Pattern for Out West

I used to travel a lot and on some of my western hunts found the patterns I wore back home in New England just weren’t cutting it. The logical option back then was Mossy Oak Brush, which blended in remarkably in a range of western environs from the plains of Nebraska and Oklahoma to Texas brush country. Now I have a couple more options in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Habitat and Shadow Grass Blades. While designed for waterfowling, they blend beautifully into the aforementioned backgrounds; and I can pull those same patterns back out come fall duck season.

Do You Need Camo for Ground Blinds?


Pictured: Mossy Oak Eclipse

One of the biggest blunders blind hunters make is failing to consider their micro-environment. The woods around your blind might be lush green forest or pale tan grassland but wherever you hunt, the inside of your blind is dark. Wearing black works, but why not go one step further, and further break up your black blob of a body with a pattern like Mossy Oak Break-up Eclipse? It’s specifically designed for ground blinds, but I’ll sometimes wear it when hunting under dense canopy of evergreens that dominate (and shade) the landscape of my home turf.

Considering Sunny Days vs Overcast Days

If you really want to get specialized, you might even consider how weather and time of day can influence your camo’s effectiveness. On overcast days the woods are darker and colors duller, and Country Roots or Bottomland might help you blend in better. The bright green of Obsession might be a better option on sunny days, especially in the middle of the day. On really overcast days you might even consider Elements Terra. And while it doesn’t happen often, it snows often enough where I hunt that it’s worth having an outfit in Mountain Country, which I can also use during our late archery season.

Mix and Match Your Camo Patterns

mix and match

Pictured: The author in Brush (Bottoms) and Obsession. (Vest/Top)

It’s human nature to wear matching patterns on top and bottom; but the term “human nature” is a bit of an oxymoron. Remember, the purpose of camo is two-fold: concealment and breaking up the human outline. There are times and situations where wearing one pattern on top and another on the bottom might better accomplish both. For example, Bottomland will blend nicely into the trunk of a big oak tree, whereas the dead leaves of Country Roots more mimic the forest floor your sitting on. Conversely, if the grass is green but the trees aren’t, you might go with Obsession pants and a Country Roots jacket.


If you’re an experienced hunter you’ve experienced those seemingly intangible episodes and are now wondering if it might have been your camo. If you’re a serious hunter the wheels are already spinning as to how you might better plan your patterns for specific hunts, especially if you travel to different parts of the country.

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