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Seclusion 3D at Cabela's

Seclusion 3D

Author: Mike Schoby

Since man first hid behind a bush or painted his face with charcoal from the previous night's fire, camouflage has been an integral part of the hunt. Luckily for todays hunter, the science of camouflage has now caught up with the art.

Field tester, Matt Highby, with his large eastern tom.
Seclusion 3D Camo has answered the call from serious hunters everywhere who have been looking for a pattern that looks and performs as well at five feet as it does at 500 yards. Seclusion 3D is an open pattern that does not look like a blob at a distance, yet has enough detail to fool even the wariest eyes, and blends in with a multitude of backgrounds. According to Ev Tarrell, Cabela's Hunting Wear Merchandise Manager, what makes Seclusion 3D perform so well is a technique known as Optical Prioritization. In nature, individual color schemes are prioritized by the eye of the viewer, this allows Seclusion 3D to look green in green backgrounds, brown in brown backgrounds, gray in gray backgrounds and so on.

Intrigued by this concept and the possible potential, I ordered in a couple of sets for field-testing. A pattern can look dynamite hanging in the closet, but how it performs against game is the real merit of its worth.

I wore a set during the last week of Nebraska's turkey season. The birds were talking, but had become educated during the course of the season. Once in the woods, I was immediately impressed with the detail and color of the pattern and how congruous it was with the natural surroundings. Over the course of a weekend I hunted dense river bottoms as well as open pine ridges, and to my eye it blended in everywhere, but in order to know for sure how well it worked, I had to test it against some sharp eyed turkeys.

Unfortunately, I failed to bag a bird, but I did see plenty of hens and jakes. I even had a whole group come in to inspect my decoys. After the hens determined that the decoys didn't offer much of a threat and the jakes realized that the foam imposters weren't interested in their amorous displays, they all decided to go back to feeding - right towards me. Within minutes, I had a passel of clucking, pecking and purring hens and jakes all around me. Some were behind me, some were still by the decoys, while others were almost within grabbing distance. I sat stock still, only moving my eyes. The birds slowly fed past me, within feet, and never were the wiser. While I have had birds within 20 yards countless times before, without being detected, while wearing other camo patterns, I have never had them within feet. I was impressed.

For the next trial, I sent a set with Field Tester, Matt Highby to hunt eastern longbeards in Northern Missouri. His "luck" turned out to be better than mine - but then again, he is one of those rare birds himself, where luck usually doesn't factor into his success. One way or another, he consistently fills tags. While Matt is accustomed to not going home empty-handed, the Seclusion 3D even impressed this experienced hunter. "I am not used to hunting easterns," he told me after he got back from the hunt. "I normally hunt Rio's and Merriam's, I can't say if these birds {easterns} are intrinsically smarter or if they just get hunted a lot harder than Rio's and Merriam's. All I can say is these birds were super cautious when coming to a call.

Seclusion 3D.
On the second morning, I set my decoys up a hundred or so yards from where I heard birds roost the night before, in a small open meadow. As the light increased, I saw a coyote slinking through the field across from me. About half way through the field he spotted my decoy and came for it. He actually grabbed it and when he realized it was a fake, he dropped it and jumped pretty much into my lap. I had to hiss at him to spook him off - I couldn't believe how well the Seclusion 3D kept me hidden, even from his sharp eyesight.

Of all the experiences I had in Missouri though, I have to say the set-up where I bagged my bird was the icing on the cake. I heard the bird gobble on the roost, and set-up a couple hundred yards away. He flew down with a couple of hens that I couldn't call him away from. I sat patiently and waited. About an hour later, I heard some soft clucks and purrs coming from behind me, then there was a truncated gobble. I realized I was set-up wrong, but it was too late to do anything about it, so I kept still and softly clucked with my diaphragm call. The birds moved closer and I realized they were right behind me. I wished I had chosen a larger tree than the small scrub brush I was leaning against. I caught movement from the corner of my eye and realized two hens were alongside of me. I knew if they would pass me, the gobbler would follow. At one point one stopped, cocked her head and stared straight at me. I thought I was busted. She inspected every inch of me, but after a few seconds, that seemed only slightly longer then a few days, she lowered her head, pecked at the grass and continued walking towards the decoys in front of me. Just then I heard the wings of the gobbler strike the ground behind me. After a few seconds I could see him swaggering towards the hens, in my peripheral vision. The tension was too great and I couldn't resist to slowly turn to line up my sights on him - I know better than this too, all turkeys have excellent eye sight, especially when something moves. However, due to what I believe to be excellent camo, none of the birds picked up my movement. I waited till the gobbler came out of strut and gave me a clear shot. When the dust finally settled, I found I was staring at the largest bird I had ever bagged. The bird weighed 23.5 pounds, had an 11-inch beard and 1 3/4 inch spurs. It truly was the bird I came to Missouri for."

Since turkeys are some of the sharpest-eyed critters around, and Seclusion 3D fooled them, I have no doubt that it will work extremely well for close encounters with deer and elk. Our test samples were lightweight cotton, Cabela's Silent Weave, which were perfect for turkeys and early season big game, but this new pattern will be available in waterproof breathable clothing lines as well - look for all the selections of Seclusion 3D at Cabelas.com.