Duck hunter

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Duck Hunter

The term "duck hunter" camouflage is generally applied to a pattern having large, irregular spots in several colors on a solid background. Duck hunter patterns trace their origins to the US M1942 spot pattern camouflage of the Second World War, worn primarily in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Variations of the original pattern were reproduced by numerous American and foreign companies from the 1960s well into the 1990s and were marketed as hunting apparel for sportsmen. The popularity among duck hunters was strong enough that the nickname has stuck with the pattern even though most contemporary sportsmen probably opt for different types of camouflage today. This style of camouflage is also often called "spot" or "duck hunter spot." Many nations have adopted variations of the "duck hunter" pattern, although the design is considered somewhat archaic and has generally died out of usage except with a few nations.

  • The original "duck hunter" camouflage was designed by civilian Norvell Gillespie (horticulturist and garden editor of Sunset, Better House and Gardens, and the San Francisco Chronicle), and was printed as a green and tan dominant version.

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  • Early copies of the US M1942 pattern were produced by the Netherlands for their Commando units.


  • Indonesia (formerly a Dutch colony) also reproduced the green side of this pattern during the 1960s and 1970s.

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  • South Vietnamese-made beo gam (leopard) pattern camouflage.


  • Introduced in the 1960s, South Korean "duck hunter" pattern remains in service with some military academies and cadet schools.

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  • Turkish "Aegean" spot pattern


  • Mexican Army duck hunter camouflage from the 1970s.

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  • Colombia also produced a copy of the pattern from the 1970s through to the 1990s.


  • Crude Chinese copies can be dated as far back as the 1970s.


  • Honduran duck hunter camouflage.


  • Iranian spot patterns, derived from the "duck hunter" concept.

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You could also count the current pattern in use by Australia (termed DPCU - Disruptive Pattern, Combat Uniform) to the family of duck hunter patterns. Although not copied directly from the original design, the dapple type spots are certainly derivative of the original.