My friends will tell you that I do as much hunting as I do fishing. Having come later to hunting, I’m not as skilled as I would like to be. In the last couple years, though, I’ve been taking big steps to remedy that; learning to bow hunt, for example. Or learning to call turkeys on my own. As a result I’ve been getting more and more interested in hunting technology.
Sitka is bar none my favorite hunting company. They are partly owned by WL Gore, meaning they get access to the very best technology way in advance of their competition. I love their gear–the build quality is simply the best I’ve ever encountered. My biggest objection, however, as a whitetailed deer hunter, is that their former Forest camo pattern (a Gore Opti-Fade technology, which looks a lot like military digital camo and which allegedly works well on cervids) was far too green for conditions on the ground where I hunt–especially if I wanted it to do double duty as a turkey pattern. Turkeys see in full color (actually in more than full color compared to us). Contrary to what competitors will tell you, turkeys do not see digital camo any better than any other kind of camo. I had multiple birds within eyesight throughout the season; hens and jakes especially, but also gobblers. I never felt the camo was anything other than excellent.
Sitka seems to have heard this enough from hunters, especially in the Southeast, that they finally made a change. For 2015, the Whitetail pattern is completely revised to look like the photo above. It’s very close to the old Open Country (which I own a lot of), to the point that you can mix and match.
As usual, there’s more to the product than just color. Sitka also has added high technology, like the new Polygiene anti-microbial layer. Polygiene is a technology based on silver chloride (which they say is made from recycled silver). Like many heavy metals, it inhibits bacterial growth.
I wore the lightweight crew shirt above on multiple 6 to 10 mile hikes during turkey season this spring. It was warm down here in Georgia, but the shirt never smelled the slightest bit funky. From what I can tell, the technology works. Even better, the fit and finish on the shirts are just plain excellent; they have a high loft waffle textured interior.
This seems like a really strange thing to say on an outdoors site, but the ladies truly seem to like this shirt. For whatever reason, I’ve had multiple strangers compliment me on it.
Whether you’re trying to impress deer or, I guess, women, you can’t really go wrong here. I’m even planning on bringing this on a decidedly non-hunting outing: my honeymoon to Iceland, next month.
Rating: 5 stars out of 5, will buy another.
Available: At Sitka dealers and online via sitkagear.com. ($69)