September is a time when I switch gears from chasing trout with a fly rod to chasing Elk with a bow and arrow. There is nothing like having a Bugling Bull Elk com charging down the mountain challenging your calls. The adrenaline that moves through your body is so intense that you tremble for minutes after the encounter. The only thing that I could think comes close is jumping out of a plane. It is that intense. It is awesome.
As far as the gear is concerned it is very similar to fly fishing….you can spend your whole bank account with one swipe if you are not careful. There are several new brands of lightweight clothing and gear on the market today but, it seems without a doubt that Sitka Gear has the lions share when it comes to Bow Hunting. I am a hunter that wears this brand of clothing and not because I can afford it but because it is good quality and last over time. I certainly did not go out and buy all of this gear at once, for me it is something that I have had to piece together over the last few years. I try to look at it as a long term investment, this helps me justify spending $200.00 for a pair of pants.
The newest member in my Sitka Gear arsenal is the New Ascent 12 Daypack. This is a great pack for day trips into the Elk Woods. The small lightweight design forces you to take the bare essentials so you do not overpack and carry a lot of weight. It has a built in compartment for a hydration bladder and three zippered pockets for hunting essentials. The external bungie straps add additional storage for a vest or coat and can also secure your weapon for longer hikes into the hunting grounds. The one thing that I did not like about this pack is the lower lumbar strap. For me this is one of the most important pieces on a backpack, it allows you to shift weight from your shoulders to your hips. When you are hiking multiple miles a day over rough terrain this is very necessary. The Ascent 12 comes with a lumbar strap but it squeaks. Maybe it is just my pack, but this is a huge inconvenience when you are trying to be as silent as you can moving through the mountains. I have written Sitka regarding this issue and will confirm their response when I hear back. It is just a little problem but hearing that squeak is really getting inside my head. If I can hear it so can the animals. Despite my quirky squeak from the lumbar strap I still would highly recommend Ascent 12 Daypack to all archery hunters.