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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Meet Scott LaCoe Owner of Ghillie Suit Source

I met Scott through a link exchange. After reviewing his site I became very interested in Ghillie Suits and wanted to learn more about them. I thought what better way to learn more about Ghillie Suits then from the Man behind Ghillie Suit Source.

Hello Scott, Could you tell my Readers a little about your outdoor background?
I have always been into hunting and fishing. When I was about 4 we were fishing on the Missouri river. A hooked a nice sized northern. I was too small to get it in by myself, but with the help of mom and dad we landed it, but not before it swam up and down stream several times, tangling the lines of the other 2 families that were out fishing with us.

My first deer hunt was then I was 8 or 9, I couldn't carry a gun yet, but I was out in the badlands with my dad. Bagging a nice deer/elk or whatever your query is fun, but that time spent with family is as much a part of hunting for me as anything.

Scott you had mentioned to me that you have had more big game in the trunk of your neon than most Silverado’s will ever see. Can you tell us about the craziest time you have had with big game and your neon?
Well, it sounds a little red around the collar, but it was the last night of deer season in 2006. My brother and I decided to give it one last try to fill my doe tag. Well, with about 15 minutes of legal light, we saw a buck and doe out across this dry lake bed. We made it down from the side hill we were on, scooted across this lake bed and up the bank on the other side. I pulled up the 25-06 and squeezed of a shot, both deer took off running and I assumed my tag would go unfilled, After about 50 yards, the doe stopped, reared up on her hind legs and fell over dead. When we got to her, it was getting pretty close to dark and since there were some new Mt. Lion sightings in the area that year, I didn't want to field dress her there. We drug her about a mile to the good old neon and threw her up on the trunk and drove a couple miles to my uncle’s place and field dressed her there. There was a tremendous amount of blood running down the rear quarter panels and trunk of the white Neon.

I usually quarter my antelope and deer and get them on ice when it is warm out, and when it gets cold, I bring along a plastic tarp and put them in the trunk. This year I had 4 critters in the trunk of the Neon, (not all at the same time of course) 3 deer, a buck and 2 does and 1 antelope. Sound like a lot, but my wife and kids love wild game and we eat very little store bought beef.

Can you give us a little background about Ghillie Suit Source When did you start & why?
I think everyone dreams of starting there own business some day; the same was true with me. I had done some research on different product line and markets, investigated the feasibility and after all my hard work, stumbled on Ghillie Suits quite by accident. After some more research and an "aha" moment it was obvious to me that I could really enjoy the Ghillie Suit business. I love the outdoors, I love to hunt and now I could make a business out of it.

Where are you and your business located?
Our business is located in Bismarck, ND because that is where family is. It is hard to open a brick and mortar store when you are in a niche so a web store makes sense. When you operate a web store, physical location isn't that important so for me, it is important to be where I am happy. That happens to be close to family, in Missouri River Valley of North Dakota.

Is anyone else involved in the business other than yourself?
I have done all of the market research myself, I also did all the web page design, which for a guy who knew nothing about html in the beginning, this felt like quite an accomplishment. My wife helps to process orders from time to time and in just the last couple weeks I have been working with a friend to develop a hunting and paintball forum.

If I were to tell you I was going turkey hunting this spring what ghillie suite would you recommend? Same question for Bow hunting this coming fall?
Assuming you are hunting turkey with a shotgun and not a bow, I would suggest the Ghillie Suit Jacket & Pants ( probably in the Woodland pattern. This is a nice medium duty suit and since you will not likely be doing a lot of walking, this suit would be comfortable and hold up well. The Woodland pattern is a little greener that I typically use, but with the early green foliage, it would work well.

Fall Archery hunting, I would recommend the Ultra-Light Bow Hunting Ghillie Suit ( in the Mossy Oak Color Pattern.

This suit is built on Military BDUs so they are very durable. As fall approaches and some of the greens turn to gray and tan, the Mossy Oak pattern blends very well. As a matter of fact, I do almost all of my hunting in the Mossy Oak pattern, year round.

Other than hunting where are your Ghillie Suits used?
Ghillie Suits are very popular for hunting, but they are also used by SWAT Teams, Military Snipers & Recon, Paintballers & Airsoft players and even Nature Photographers.

Do you have any examples of your ghillie suites in action?
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to play paintball against the North Dakota National Guard new recruits. It was a blast! We played in an area us locals affectionately call "The Desert" it is a wooded area of the Missouri River Bottoms with a lot or fine river sand and criss-crossed with ATV trails. My team got to positional themselves between the drop zone and the extraction point and the new recruits were flown in on 2 Blackhawks at a time. As the descended, the trees would start to sway, and then whip back and forth. The dirt and debris started rolling like a scene from Platoon. You couldn't see a thing, and then you could hear the choppers fly away. As the woods grew quiet and the dust started to clear, paintballs started to fly and for 10 minutes all hell broke loose as the recruits tried to make their way to the extraction point. It was really and awesome day, after the fun, we all sat around and ate MREs talked about the experience, it was great!

Can you explain the difference between a Ghillie Suit that’s synthetic and one made from natural jute fiber?
Natural Jute Fiber comes from Plants in the Mallow family often found in India. Jute looks and feels similar to a Hemp Fiber. Jute can be woven into cloth (burlap) or left in the fiber form as it is found on Ghillie Suits. Jute's natural tan color is an excellent undertone and takes green, black and brown dyes very well. As a natural fiber its reflective and textural qualities also blend very well into a natural environment.

Ultra-Light or Synthetic Ghillie Suit fibers are colored rather than dyed. This makes them good for paintball since there is no dye to be rinsed from the fiber; they take rinsing paint out very well. Ultra Light fibers tend to tangle easier so if you are hunting in a lot of thick brush or have a lot of cockleburs, natural fiber may be the better solution. Synthetic is much lighter than Natural Jute fiber and if you often get wet while hunting or hunt in extreme humidity where mildew or rot are a concern, the synthetic fibers are mildew and rot resistant.

Scott I noticed on Ghillie Suit Source you have Ghillie Suit kits available, being I don’t know a lot about Ghillie suits can you explain why someone would want to buy a kit vs. a premade suit?
There are several things that Kits are good for. One of them is making you appreciate the work that goes into making a Ghillie Suit. Kits are also nice if you want to get some unique colors that are not offered in the standard color patterns. The Custom Ghillie Kit ( gives you everything you need to make the $150 Ghille Poncho for only $60 all you have to add is the elbow grease, so Ghillie Kits can be a way to get a nice ghillie suit at a reduced cost.

this is a pic of one of the kits

Example of a Ghille Gun wrap

Do you have to hunt differently when wearing a ghillie suit vs. wearing traditional camo?
Yes you do have to hunt differently. A lot of skeptics will shut down right there; saying you shouldn't have to hunt differently and they will never use a ghillie suit for that reason. My comment is this, do you hunt differently with a bow or a gun? Do you hunt differently before vs. during the rut? Of course you do, if you don't want to try something because it’s different, then perhaps hunting is not the sport for you.

The main difference is the additional fiber. When walking through wooded or brushy terrain, you need to be more cognizant of your surroundings and pick your path a little more strategically. Can this be a challenge? Certainly at times, but it has not hindered my hunting experience. I have made a 2 mile stalk on a Mule deer and made it to 38 yards using a ghillie suit. This winter I stalked to within 20 feet of a white tail doe and sat and watched her for several minutes before she winded me. So in answer to the question, yes, hunting with a ghillie suit is different than hunting with traditional camo. Is it better or worse? I think that is up to each person to decide, I know I enjoy them.

I learned a ton about gillie suits from this interview (thanks Scott!) and I hope you did too. Some day I would like to get a hold of one of these and try it out for myself. I think it could be a whole new challenge and I love to try new things.

If you ever need anything Ghillie related make sure to stop by Scotts Site Ghillie Suit Source. I'm sure if you have any questions you can contact Scott and he would be happy to answer them for you.


Ben G.


Anonymous said...

Awesome interview Ben, keep up the good job.

Albert A Rasch said...

Nicely done Ben! Look for it on the Rodeo!

I Review the Nikon Monarch

rothco said...

A very good job! Cheers to you!

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