HomeMiscCamo Legends: The History of RealTree

Camo Legends: The History of RealTree is a website that showcases the products, media and lifestyle of Realtree, one of the most successful camouflage brands in the hunting industry. Realtree was founded by Bill Jordan, a former football player and avid hunter, who had a vision to create a more realistic and versatile camo pattern that would blend in with various terrains and seasons.

The story of Realtree began in 1983, when Bill Jordan started Spartan Archery Products, a company that manufactured t-shirts, head nets, caps and archery accessories at a local mill in Columbus, Georgia. Bill sold his products to various retail customers across the country, but he was looking for a way to differentiate his company from the crowd.

In 1984, Bill attended the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show and saw Jim Crumley’s Trebark Camouflage, which inspired him to try his hand at designing his own camo pattern. Bill went back to his parents’ front yard and sketched the bark of a giant oak tree with paper and colored pencils. He then added layers of twigs and leaves to create a three-dimensional appearance. He named his pattern Realtree, because it looked like real trees.

In 1986, Bill introduced Realtree Camouflage at the SHOT Show, but he faced some challenges along the way. He had trouble printing his pattern on fabric without rubbing off, and he couldn’t afford to pay for his booth space at the show. He had to hide behind a curtain whenever he saw SHOT Show officials in the aisle, and he had to dress his mannequins with the only garments he had in the world just hours before the show started.

Despite these difficulties, Bill’s camo pattern caught the attention of buyers and hunters who were impressed by its realism and versatility. Bill soon secured contracts with major clothing manufacturers such as Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops and Mossy Oak. He also developed new patterns such as Brown-Leaf, Grey-Leaf, All-Purpose Brown and All-Purpose Grey to suit different environments and seasons.

In 1991, Bill hired David Blanton to join Realtree and expand its media presence. They launched Realtree Outdoors, a television show that featured hunting adventures across North America. They also produced videos such as Springtime Monarchs and Whitetails in the Wild that showcased their camo patterns in action. Realtree Outdoors became one of the most popular hunting shows on cable TV and won several awards.

In 1992, Bill revolutionized the camo industry again with the introduction of Advantage Camo, which used computer-generated images of natural elements to create a more detailed and lifelike pattern. Advantage Camo was followed by other innovative patterns such as Hardwoods, Max-1, Max-4, APG and Xtra that offered hunters more options for different habitats and game animals.

Realtree also diversified its product line to include accessories such as hats, gloves, boots, backpacks, knives and optics that featured their camo patterns. They also partnered with other brands such as Under Armour, Nike, Carhartt and Wrangler to create co-branded apparel and footwear for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

Realtree also expanded its media reach to include magazines such as Realtree Hunting Illustrated and websites such as and that offered hunting tips, news, stories and videos. They also sponsored events such as NASCAR races, rodeos and concerts that promoted their brand to a wider audience.

Today, Realtree is one of the most recognized and respected names in the hunting industry. It has over 2,000 licensees that produce more than 10,000 products that feature their camo patterns. It has millions of loyal fans who follow their media platforms and wear their products with pride. It has also supported various conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association that protect wildlife habitats and promote ethical hunting practices.

Realtree is more than just a camo company. It is a family business that is driven by passion for hunting and love for nature. It is a legacy that Bill Jordan has built over three decades with hard work, innovation and dedication. It is a lifestyle that celebrates the outdoors and connects people with each other.

  • is the official website of Realtree, an American company that offers camouflage clothing and accessories for hunting, fishing and outdoor enthusiasts .
  • Realtree was founded by Bill Jordan in 1986, who started sketching and coloring the bark of an old oak tree in his parents’ front yard to create the first Realtree camouflage pattern .
  • In 1987, Bill introduced Realtree Camouflage at the SHOT Show and developed the first Team Realtree logo to promote his products in magazines.
  • In 1988, Bill added bark and leaf overlays to his original Realtree Pattern to create Brown-Leaf and Grey-Leaf, which were more realistic and three-dimensional than any other patterns on the market at the time.
  • In 1991, Bill improved the effectiveness of the Realtree patterns with the introduction of All-Purpose Brown and All-Purpose Grey, which were more open and versatile for different terrains.
  • In 1992, Realtree entered the video and television markets with Springtime Monarchs and Whitetails in the Wild videos, as well as the Realtree Outdoors television show, which featured Bill and his team hunting across the country .
  • In 1994, Bill launched Advantage Camo, a new line of patterns that incorporated realistic colors and shadows to create depth and contrast.
  • In 1999, Bill introduced Realtree Hardwoods, a revolutionary pattern that blended hardwoods, pine branches and realistic leaves to create a multi-seasonal camo for any hunting situation.
  • In 2003, Bill unveiled Realtree Hardwoods Green HD, a pattern that added green tones to the original Hardwoods design to match the spring and early fall foliage.
  • In 2005, Bill created Advantage Timber HD, a pattern that combined realistic bark, limbs and leaves with high-definition printing technology to produce a stunningly detailed camo for wooded environments.
  • In 2006, Bill celebrated the 20th anniversary of Realtree by launching Realtree AP (All-Purpose) and APG (All-Purpose Green), two patterns that featured neutral colors and open spaces to blend with any background.
  • In 2008, Bill introduced MAX-1 and MAX-4, two patterns that were designed for maximum effectiveness in open terrain and wetland habitats respectively.
  • In 2010, Bill developed AP Snow and AP Blaze, two patterns that added white and orange elements to the AP design to suit snowy and high-visibility hunting conditions respectively.
  • In 2011, Bill launched Xtra and Xtra Green, two patterns that used digital technology to create a three-dimensional effect with natural colors and shapes.
  • In 2013, Bill unveiled MAX-5, a pattern that incorporated cattails, reeds, cane and grasses to create a realistic wetland camo for waterfowl hunters.
  • In 2016, Bill celebrated the 30th anniversary of Realtree by introducing EDGE, a pattern that used abstract background elements and realistic foreground details to disrupt the human outline at any distance.
  • In 2018, Bill released Timber, a pattern that featured flooded timber elements and high contrast colors to create a versatile camo for duck hunting.
  • In 2019, Bill launched Excape, a pattern that used warm grays and browns to blend with open landscapes and rocky terrain for western hunters.

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