As the late fall winds slice through the hollows in Appalachia, a morning hunt can be downright uncomfortable for those who aren’t keeping the blood flowing by stalking their prey. If you’re confined to a tree stand, the best way to get through what could be a long, cold wait is to make sure your outerwear can withstand everything Mother Nature throws your way.
Enter Sitka, a company founded on the realization that humans might be the highest-evolved species from a gray matter standpoint, but darned if the wildlife haven’t developed an eerie ability of knowing how to outsmart us during a hunt. The deer, elk, antelope and mountain goats seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to picking the trail less traveled, requiring a hunter to go places and battle weather conditions that can be tough.
Sitka won the NRA Publications Division’s Golden Bullseye this year, and it’s no wonder. Although the award cited advancements and offerings in women’s-specific clothing, the parallel offerings for men stand up to the same level of scrutiny.
The Sitka Fanatic Jacket and Fanatic Bib pair up as tough to beat in terms of keeping you warm and allowing you good mobility when you're out on a hunt.
The Fanatic line-up is one line of the company’s outerwear, and while most reputable cold-weather gear manufacturers offer products of similar material, the cross-body zipper is one thing that was incorporated to help protect against the biting wind. The gambit paid off, as it rebuffs most gusts with a higher degree of efficiency than would occur with a standard vertical zip.
When you partner that coat with a bib, … well, let’s just say you’ll be able to stand up to most of what the climate throws your way. The men's line features an array of new gear, including the ESW category that includes technical hunting pants, a shirt and gloves.
Add to that the fact that Sitka is offering Merino wool products—including a heavyweight top and bottom, or a lightweight top and bottom, for your base layer—and you’ll find everything you need for either gender.
Sitka also makes picking the right gear a snap. You can start with shopping by gender, then pick the type of hunt you’re planning (the camouflage patterns vary based on what kind of terrain you’ll be in for your hunt). From there, you can break it down by clothing category, what layer you want and the expected temperature. The options are designed to complement each other nicely so you can layer up as much as necessary. Even with the layers, though, the gear won’t leave you hamstrung from a mobility standpoint, as evidenced when American Hunter put the products through the paces on a hunting excursion.
Top it all off with an array of headgear and gloves, and you’ll have everything you need to show your prey that while they might have an innate advantage for survival, humans have the ability to adapt and to choose products that will serve our purpose.