Early Season Elk & Mule Deer
We strive to work with you to build a system that will cover all of your hunting needs. Every part of the system is important and every system is just a little different. Here we will go through the Gear we use to create your system base layers to hard shells.
Every system starts with the exact same base layers, we use these on every hunt.
Merino wool is the only thing we wear on our skin. If you look around you will see that every gear manufacturer, company, group etc. has started using merino. There is a reason for that. It is amazing. It works as advertised. We’ve been using merino wool for years, we’ve used a lot of the available makes and models. We are big believers in the Smartwool and Sitka base layers. We use the same base system year round, everywhere we go, Alaska to Arizona - this is the foundation of all of our systems.
MERINO 150 Boxer
Slip on the Smartwool 100% Merino Boxer Short for the most comfortable and breathable experience you can find for those days when you will be on the move or the temperatures won’t require a full length bottom. You will be amazed at the Merino’s ability to control odor and regulate temperature on even the warmest days.
MERINO 150 or CORE LWT
These short and long sleeve crews are the ultimate first layer shirt for any hunting situation. From Dall sheep in Alaska, to whitetails in Iowa and this shirt can be worn just as easily on a September elk stalk in the Rocky Mountains. This shirt is your foundation for those days when it is 30 degrees at dawn, 85 at 11:00am and back down to 40 at sunset – the ultimate comfort in all situations.
INTERMEDIATE LAYERS/ADD ONS
The Flash Pullover is a technical wind shell perfect for long climbs in unsettled weather. Featuring taped WINDSTOPPER®, this piece is incredibly lightweight, breathable, water resistant, and compressible for easy storage in a cargo pocket or the top of your pack for quick deployment in case of a surprise afternoon squall.
The Apex Hoody combines the benefits of merino wool and nylon in a specialized design purpose-built for big game pursuits. The merino-nylon blend offers natural moisture and odor management as well as comfort and noise reduction while retaining great stretch for navigating technical terrain. Reinforcement in the shoulders, arms and elbows will withstand years of abuse and removable elbow pads buffer long stalks and glassing sessions on unforgiving vantages.
Top & Bottoms
We use the Montbell Thermawrap (ThermaWrapTM) series for insulating layers. We choose a synthetic insulation for two basic but fundamentally critical qualities. It stays warm when it’s wet, and it dries quickly. PrimaLoft’s ultra-fine microfibers are specially treated in a proprietary process; the result is a fiber core with incredible insulation properties. As a whole, Primaloft is soft, breathable and water repellent. The ThermaWrap TM possess the same desirable qualities as the PrimaLoft just a separate proprietary process to get there.
One exception to the rule: we do use the Montbell U.L. Tec Down Pants. They have a full separating leg zip that allows us to get them on and off in the field without removing our pants or our boots. (if you’re sitting for a long glassing session or just cold, put these on right over your soft shells and warm up). Incredibly light and compressible, both of these series are designed to be accessible at all times – either on your back or in your pack. Extremely hydrophobic and breathable, these jackets are perfect for glassing, as a quick-warming midlayer, or late season layering. Designed for warmth, both offer a very high warmth to weight ratio, which is ideal for backcountry hunts. And we’ve found these to be the most durable “puffys” we’ve ever used.
*This is the cheapest insurance you’ll ever purchase or carry.
Soft Shell Layer*you will only need pants for this layer. The shirts above fill all other needs.
Designed for hot days spent charging in the mountains, and early season endeavors, the Ascent Pant features mesh backed pockets for ventilation and an internal mesh knee pad pocket if added protection is desired.
Hard Shell Layer
Cloudburst Jacket & Pants
Utilizing GORE-TEX technology, the Cloudburst jacket from Sitka Gear is the perfect waterproof/breathable shell for the mountain hunter. 2-way stretch polyester material increases mobility and range of motion, while the pit zips allow you to ventilate during or after strenuous trekking. Keep your gear dry with five waterproof pocket compartments and welded watertight zippers.
GaitersTwo great options here depending on your boot of choice. If light hiker or trail shoe go with Ascent.
The Ascent Gaiter will be your go-to for cruising summer trail runs or logging countless miles scouting that elusive trophy. A contoured fit offers protection over running shoes and light hikers, and an innovative cable system keeps a low profile and eliminates exterior buckles.
A soft, quiet, waterproof gaiter for slipping through the mountains undetected. The Thunderhead GTX Gaiter features GORE-TEX® Laminate, a quiet center zip, and an innovative strap design that eliminates external buckles for maximum stealth. A streamlined complement to the Thunderhead Jacket and Pant.