Sometimes I amaze myself on how quickly something totally unrelated can lead me to start thinking about duck hunting.
I was driving home the other day when one of my favorite songs from the Rolling Stones came on, “Paint it Black”. I was jamming out in my car to the song when I started thinking about the phrase “Paint it Black”. Like what a hunter does to his face before he leaves the house, he’s gotta “paint it black”. Before the song was over, I had thought of 5 easy face paint styles when duck hunting. This is another example of how my mind works and why I started this blog about duck hunting.
You might thing this is a bunch of BS and a bit of a stretch, but the next time you put face paint on before your go out on a hunt, guess what song will be in your head. At least it’s a good song.
Is Face Paint Necessary?
Every hunter knows the importance of concealment when hunting ducks. Ducks have a birds eye view and can easily pick out anything that doesn’t look right. If hunters are not properly hidden, a duck will pick them out from the natural surroundings and will never come within shooting range. Late season ducks get even more nervous, making concealment more important as ducks become apprehensive towards hunters.
So a hunter must go through great lengths to make sure they are properly hidden.
Camo from head to toe? Check.
Shotgun concealed with camo wrap? Check.
Blind hidden with plenty of brush.? Check.
Face covered? Nope. Shinning like a light.
Ducks are spotting you and flaring before you can get a shot. Seems how your face is the only thing not covered, could that be why? Possibly. With no concealment, your face shines like a spot light during a prison break you see on TV. Much like how the spot light shows escaped prisoners which direction to run away from, your glaring face might as well be a big “stay away” sign for the ducks.
Face paint is a great way to help keep your face concealed. It takes the glare off your face and helps you blend in to your natural surroundings. But there are other ways to remain hidden without using face paint.
Some hunters like to use face masks to hide there face. To some, a face mask is easier because you don’t have to deal with “messy” face paint. Plus, having a face mask with the matching camo pattern as the rest of your gear will help you totally blend in.
Or, a hunter can use nothing over their face and just hide under brush and keep the brim of their hat over their face. This works since ducks are looking down on you from above, as long as the hunter has the discipline not to look up when some ducks start circling their spread. But it can be hard not to look up because of the excitement of seeing ducks go by, especially for new hunters. I know I’ve had trouble containing myself.
Face Paint for the Fun of It
Whether or not face paint is really necessary will likely be a debate that all hunters will never agree upon. I’ve read many posts online both for and against the use of face paint. It seems you might have better luck getting Republicans and Democrats to agree upon something in Washington. Talk to one hunter and they will absolutely swear that the use of face paint is a requirement, and are dead against using a mask. Just read The Modern Hunters Guide to Face Paint. Talk to another hunter and they’ll say that face paint is just a foolish fashion statement made popular by hunting TV shows.
For me, part of the fun of hunting is getting geared up and going out to the blind in anticipation of a great hunt. Sometimes I feel like I’m gearing up like a special forces soldier. Why not use face paint as well? They do. And get creative with the styles of face paint you use. It adds to the fun and it makes great pictures to remember the hunt.
Dead Down Wind Face Paint Product Review
For the examples below, I used black face paint from Dead Down Wind. It comes with a refillable applicator that is extremely easy to use without making a mess. Just pull off the plastic cap and apply the paint using the applicator as desired. No mess.
The best part is that is cleans off really easily. Even the black out style where I covered my entire face with paint was quick and easy to come off. Just two baby wipes removed most of the paint. Then after rinsing my face with soap and water there was no sign of the face paint. I would recommend this Face Paint by Dead Down Wind. You can get yours here: Dead Down Wind 1256BC Face Paint System, Black
5 Easy Ways to Paint Your Face
This style was quick and easy. Three swipes on each cheek and one down your nose. It took all of 5 seconds to apply using the applicator. No need to make a mess by applying with my fingers. It is just enough to break up the smoothness of your cheeks and helps blend in with your camo. Quick and simple for the beginner face painter.
The great thing about this is that it can be applied after you get into the blind. Just put the applicator in your blind bag and you’ll have it applied before the first wave of ducks come swinging by.
The Cross Face
A little bolder than The Warrior. Still easy to apply using the applicator. I’m clearly no Hollywood make up artist, but this will get the job done in the blind. Besides, we are not going for looks, we just want to hide from ducks. Your face will really start to blend in with this style.
It went diagonally across my face, but you could also go vertically. Either way will work. The lines blend in well with the Realtree Max-5 camo pattern. You’ll easily blend in so ducks can’t see you.
Starting to get a little more extreme with the face paint, the raccoon totally blacks out around the eyes and upper part of the face. Looks like the mask of a raccoon, hence the name. Now, if you must look up at the ducks, at least your cheeks won’t shine back at them.
This time I applied some paint with the applicator then rubbed it in with my fingers to cover the entire area. Using your fingers helps you get around your eyes fairly easily. Still took less than a minute to apply.
For those who really want to start stepping up their face paint game can go with what I call the Batman. Black out around the eyes then come down the cheek to a point near the chin. This adds a little toughness to your face paint style. It tells others that you are not afraid to be a little crazy with your face paint.
I used the applicator to outline the area then spread the paint out with my fingers. Not very difficult. Again, we are not trying to impress Hollywood.
For the truly dedicated duck hunter, there is the blackout face paint. The entire face, ears, and down to the neck are covered in paint. This is a sign of a hunter who goes beyond the norm in order to hunt ducks. Leaving nothing to chance, every bit of exposed skin gets covered for the ultimate concealment. Even the hands have paint on them unless the hunter is wearing gloves. This amount of dedication only comes from a hunter who doesn’t care what other people think, especially none hunters. All they care about is hiding from ducks.
The easiest way to apply the Blackout is to apply it around your face using the applicator. Then use your fingers to spread it around every crevice on your face and ears. It looks like a lot, but can be put in about a minute or two.
These were 5 easy face paint styles that can be used to keep yourself hidden in the duck blind. Whether you decide to use face paint or not, the important thing is that you enjoy your time in the blind. To me, in addition to the tactical reasons for hiding your face, getting creative with your face paint can add to the entertaining aspect of duck hunting. Plus, it will help you stay hidden long enough to get clean kill shots on ducks. Otherwise, you can read my 5 Tips to Stop Losing Crippled Ducks.
So when sharing any pictures of your hunt, when I look at your face ♬♩”I want to see it painted…painted…painted black”♬♩
Do you like to use face paint? Why or why not? How do you like to paint your face. Click “leave a comment” below to share your thoughts.
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