In the heart of waterfowl hunting country, where marshes meet forests and rivers carve their paths, an evolution was taking place in the world of hunting apparel. Rhett and Hunter Strickland, the founders of AVES, embarked on a journey to create the ultimate waterfowl hunting clothing line, facing challenges head-on and pushing the boundaries of design and functionality. Their creation: Refuge Camo, a design meticulously crafted from the sky down.

AVES Refuge Camo on Drifter Jacket

The Quest for the Perfect Fabric

AVES's quest began with the search for the ideal fabric. Partnering with Toray Industries, renowned for its high-performance fabrics, was a significant leap forward. Toray’s fabrics, known for being lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and possessing exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio, set the stage for AVES's innovation.

AVES Refuge Camo with ducks around the neck looking up to the sky

The Birth of Refuge Camo

The Strickland brothers faced a daunting challenge: designing their own camouflage pattern. Unlike conventional methods, AVES chose a unique approach, drawing inspiration from the natural world. They weren’t trying to create a cool fanboy-type of camo that would sell because of its appeal; they wanted something that concealed them from waterfowl. “I don’t care what I look like 30 yards across the swamp from my buddy,” Rhett said. “I want to know what the bird sees and, more importantly, I want to create something the bird can’t see.” Observing the impeccable camouflage of hen mallards in their marshy habitats, the idea struck—why not mimic the brilliance of bird feathers?

AVES Refuge Camo with a Mallard Hen

Armed with this vision, AVES embarked on a meticulous process. They digitally captured the essence of a hen mallard and a Canadian goose, layering photos to create a six-color pattern. Through countless iterations and field tests, Refuge Camo was born.

AVES Refuge Camo Pattern Animation

This pattern seamlessly integrated macro and micro patterns, ensuring waterfowlers remained concealed from their avian counterparts.

“I don’t care what I look like 30 yards across the swamp from my buddy,” Rhett said. “I want to know what the bird sees and, more importantly, I want to create something the bird can’t see.”

AVES Refuge Camo from the sky down 100 yards by drone

The Drone: A Game-Changer in Camo Development

What set Refuge Camo apart was the meticulous testing process. Leveraging drone technology, AVES scrutinized the camo pattern from a bird's perspective. They didn’t just want to blend in with the environment; they aimed to vanish entirely from a waterfowl's keen eyesight. The drone became their eyes in the sky, allowing them to refine their design until it was flawless.

AVES Refuge Camo from sky down at 25 yards in timber

AVES Refuge Camo from the sky down alongside a marsh

Refuge Camo: Where Versatility Meets Style

Refuge Camo isn’t just about blending in; it’s a statement. AVES understood the need for versatility in modern hunting apparel. While camo remains essential in certain situations, they also recognized the appeal of solid colors. Therefore, AVES offers their apparel not only in Refuge Camo but also in practical solid colors like dark brown and charcoal. This range ensures that hunters are well-equipped in the field and can seamlessly transition their gear to everyday life, making a statement wherever they go.

For waterfowl hunting, AVES Refuge Camo expertly blends innovation, concealment, functionality and style. From the marshes of North America to the wetlands of Canada, hunters now have a tool that not only conceals but elevates their outdoor experience.

Designed for Every Condition. Built from the Sky Down.