Editor’s Note: Jeff Propst of northeast Missouri has been wearing Mossy Oak for the last 13 years. “Although I like all the Mossy Oak patterns,” Propst says, “over the last year or so, I’ve been mainly wearing Infinity. In the past, I have worn Mossy Oak Break-Up, Treestand, Shadow Grass Blades and the original Bottomland. My son, Chris, and I are hunting and videoing partners for “Bow Madness” on the Outdoor Channel.”
In 2008, my son, Chris, and I were elk hunting in Montana. On the morning of the fifth day of the hunt, we switched gears and began to spot-and-stalk. The afternoon found us sitting over water holes. We’d heard many bugling bulls were around the ranch we were hunting, so we followed the bugles from one bull to the next, trying to get a shot.
Finally, we found a bull in a little low spot. Chris, the cameraman for the day, was behind me. The ranch manager backed away from us and started cow calling. We were pretty much in the open, save for a small patch of brush behind us. However, I wasn’t overly concerned about visibility since I was sporting a Mossy Oak Break-Up leafy jacket and Break-Up pant, which blended in well with the surroundings. As the ranch manger cow called, I could see the bull react, coming straight toward us, making his way down into the drainage. He was bugling while steadily advancing.
The bull was coming a little to my right, straight in the direction of the cow-calling ranch manager. When the bull was at 19 yards, he hid his head behind a tree, giving me the precious seconds I needed to make my draw. As soon as he stepped out, I made a noise to stop him. Once the arrow released, I saw it made a clean pass-through. He was double-lunged and therefore only went about 100 yards. The bull was a large 5x5 that scored about 260 on Pope & Young. I realize how lucky we were on that hunt. We were hunting on open terrain, so we took the rancher’s flat-bed truck right up to the bull and used the winch to pull the elk up into the truck, saving us the massive effort of dragging the beast all the way to camp. We were also fortunate about our camouflage selection.
When I know I’ll be hunting on the ground, I like to wear some type of leafy Mossy Oak jacket, because if I have any breeze at all, the leaves on the jacket will move in the wind. This natural look transforms a hunter enjoying a breeze into a tree simply letting its leaves sway with the wind. Leafy jackets provide that extra concealment that I really like to have, when I’m hunting from the ground without a blind. Too, since trunks coming up from the ground are leafless, you should go with a non-leafy pant in order to better resemble a real tree – a fact especially important when you’re hunting in woods that are more open. In the open woods, the wind has a greater effect on leaves and bushes than in thickly-covered areas.