The sport of hunting has driven men's style for years. From tails to tweed jackets, many classic parts of the male wardrobe might not exist if it weren't for hunting.
In modern times, hunters are no longer taking the field in red, long-tailed jackets or earthy tweed suits. But just because the clothing worn during the hunt has become more modern and practical doesn't mean that anything goes. For reasons of both safety and utility, you should still closely consider the clothing you choose to wear when you go hunting.
We'll start with the most important factor: safety. For contemporary hunters, safety has been closely associated with a bright shade of orange typically referred to as "blaze orange." Blaze orange (which is also called "hunter orange") serves an obvious purpose: its Day-Glo hue sticks out like a sore thumb in forest settings and fields. The instant identification provided by wearing an article of blaze orange reduces the chance that a hunter may be accidentally fired upon by another hunter.
In many states, the wearing of blaze orange isn't just encouraged: it's the law. Demands vary from state-to-state, but many demand that hunters wear a specific amount of blaze orange (often measured in square inches) during specific hunting seasons.
Luckily, there's no shortage of blaze orange items on the market. The color's most common appearance may be in vest form, which allows it to be easily slipped over a hunter's pre-existing gear. For greater effect, hunters can don blaze orange jackets, jumpsuits and even backpacks. Smaller accents of the color can be provided by blaze orange knit caps and baseball hats and gloves.
You might wonder if all this almost-neon orange is scaring away potential game, but the answer is no. Amazingly, deer are not able to see blaze orange. To the animal's eyes, it appears a muddy brown or grey.
Of course, there's more to the hunter's kit than just blaze orange. Depending on the time of season in which you hunt, you'll want to make sure you start from a solid base layer of warmth. Create a strong foundation with a long-sleeve henley, a thermal waffle crew, or even a set of men's long underwear. Once this base of warmth is achieved, you can top it with anything from a simple hooded sweatshirt to a men's winter coat, depending on the weather (and how early you'll be embarking on your hunt).
For your lower half, you'll want to select a pair of men's pants that provides full coverage and ample storage space for the other items you will be carrying during the activity. For those reasons and more, a pair of men's cargo pants will make for an excellent choice. There's no need to seek out anything slim-fitting or fashion-forward. A pair of cargo pants in a traditional fit will work just fine, as their pockets provide ample space for storage.
Don't neglect one of the most important, if smallest in size, aspects of the outfit: socks. As hunting requires you to stay on your feet for hours, and sometimes through wet and cold conditions, a pair of socks that can provide insulation and remain dry will be well appreciated. Look for a pair made from merino wool or a moisture wicking technical fabric.
Once you've selected a hardy pair of socks, you'll want to turn your attention to footwear. Ideally, you'll be wearing a pair of men's boots for the greater amount of coverage they provide—the last thing you want to deal with is sticks and thorn bushes scratching up your ankles. And if your hunt is likely to take you to wetter climes, consider adopting a hunting classic: the duck boot. Thanks to the waterproof rubber shell used in its construction and its non-slip rubber outsole, a pair of duck boots is ideally suited for tracking down its namesake critter.