face paintIt shouldn’t, but it irks me when I see all these guys and gals who feel the need to paint their faces like a WWE wrestler or a college football player prepping for the big game when they go bowhunting for deer. The trendy color is black, and common designs are flames or swirls that shoot up and back over the cheeks, or “warrior” teardrops that start below the eye and streak down to the jaws.

That look works in the ring or on the field, but in a tree stand? No. In my opinion fancy paint makes you look kind of silly, and like you’ve never been there before…like you are a rookie or wannabe. And although I’m sure the face painters have never thought of it and don’t intent it, I believe it disrespects a bit the good and wholesome rite of deer hunting.

Is this the image we want to portray? Suppose a man or woman in the suburbs looks out the window one day this October and sees a guy in full camouflage, face painted like the WWE’s Ultimate Warrior, carrying a bow or crossbow and sneaking through the woods on the next lot behind their house. This hunter is perfectly legal and has permission. While the man or woman has never been against hunting, he or she might view this man as a threat, and might even call the sheriff. Don’t laugh, it could happen, we live and hunt in a different world these days.

I know a lot of hunters in their 20s and 30s see a lot of fancy face-paint jobs on TV hunting shows and the Internet, and think that is the cool way to hunt these days. This is America, you can paint your face however you like. But I ask, unless you are a child of 8-15 please resist the urge. (Kids get a pass, they can have fun painting up.)Use just enough dabs and streaks of brown, black and green grease to break the outline and glare of your face, like real bowmen have done for decades.

Agree with me, or am I being petty?

In the picture: Montana hunter Luke Strommen shoots bucks on the ground at close “wolf range” with his recurve. This is how a real bowhunter wears face paint.