Make a Ghillie Suit

Next to an animal’s nose, its sense of sight helps it survive the perils of the wild. One way hunters fool wary game is by wearing camouflage to blend into the background.

Ghillie suits take camouflage to the next level by altering the recognizable human shape into a blurry form that is hard to detect even with the best set of eyes.

Take an old turkey vest and make it into the ultimate camouflage vest for hunting.

Materials

  • Old turkey vest
  • Synthetic Ghillie Poncho Kit (www.ghilliesuitwarehouse.com) or poly-cord craft netting, camouflage burlap, jute twine and camouflage netting
  • Heavy-duty sewing needle
  • Braided or fused superline of at least 15 to 20 pound test
  • Silk/synthetic leaves
  • Zip ties, safety pins or rubber bands

Instructions

  1. Go to www.ghilliesuitwarehouse.com and order the Synthetic Ghillie Poncho Kit or purchase supplies at your local craft or sporting goods store. You also can recycle old camouflage shirts, pants, jackets, burlap, camouflage netting, etc., but they will not be as lightweight as synthetic jute.
  2. Create a poncho that will fit over the vest you are camouflaging. Add sleeves if you want more cover of your arms and a hood to cover your head.
  3. Secure netting to your vest using fishing superline (braided Kevlar, fused line or micro Dyneema) threaded through a heavy-duty needle and sewn on a regular pattern covering the vest.
  4. Choose strands of colored jute, strips of burlap or strips of netting to create a camouflage pattern that closely matches your hunting area and season. Use only 4 or 5 strands of jute at a time. If you are having trouble figuring out color, match the color pattern and color proportion on the vest. If the netting lies on a patch of green on the vest, knot a patch of green jute/fabric/burlap to match.
  5. Don’t tie knots on every strand of netting, leave gaps and don’t get into a habit of tying a particular pattern of colors. Random colors will work best.
  6. Take your time. Expect this project to last many hours, even days, as there will be up to 3,000 knots.
  7. When finished, test your new camouflage against different trees and foliage to see how well it blends in to the background.
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