Sitka’s Optifade Concealment Waterfowl pattern, based on the science of how birds see from the air, has been seen around duck blinds for several years now. It works beautifully in marshes and dry fields, but hunters who spend a lot of time hunting flooded timber asked for a darker pattern that better matched the colors and shades found in the shadows of the timber. Sitka has delivered with the new Optifade Concealment Timber pattern, designed specifically for this purpose.
The new Timber pattern is available on several products, including the new Timber Pack. Designed to tie securely around a tree trunk, the Timber Pack features an RF welded bottom that’s water impervious for the boat ride in (no more soggy blind bag). It’s top-loading with a very functional tree strap and a custom metal gun hook, D-rings, a removeable fowl strap, plenty of pockets, and camo on the interior in case you want to leave it open while you hunt. Should hit stores around July, with an MSRP of $229.
The Delta Wading Jacket has undergone an “extreme and extended” redesign, making it more durable and breathable with a GORE-TEX pro shell. It’s an outer layer, so no insulation, making it very light and packable. A call lanyard system interfaces with all outerwear jackets, including this one.
One cool why-didn’t-I-think-of-that product is an innovative caller’s glove with a muff on top. If you’re like me and wear a glove on your non-shooting hand but not the other, this is the glove for you. Buy one glove in lefthand or righthand and tuck your bare shooting hand in the warm and cozy muff on top of the glove when the action is slow.
If you hunt out of a layout blind, the new Layout series is for you. It comes in a jacket and a pant, and is custom designed specifically for the dry-field hunter who spends a lot of time lying down in a blind. Ground Seal technology is a foam insulation material with a super-high insulation factor. It’s built into the seat and the elbows to keep those contact points with the ground warm. The jacket features a “vampire collar” that comes up high in the back to cover your neck, but gapes in the front to allow you to comfortably tuck (and hide) your neck when birds are working. The hood features an elastic halo that keeps the hood on your face but not over it, maintaining your peripheral vision. Pockets are designed to be easy to access when you’re lying down — not too high, not too low — and the Primaloft Silver insulation covers the torso and half the biceps, keeping all the heat from under your arms from escaping.
The Layout pant has mapped insulation beginning about mid-calf, making it easy to shove the thinner bottom into your rubber boots. The back upper legs have Primaloft insulation, and the seat has the Ground Seal technology to keep your behind warm when you’re lying down. The back of the pants comes up high to cover the small of your back, and the suspenders adjust at the waist — no buckles to create pressure points or get in the way of your gun mount.
It’s a great time to be a waterfowler, and Sitka’s gear flat-out performs and is engineered from the ground up with ‘fowlers in mind. If you’re a timber hunter or a dry-field guy, give some of the new products a look at www.sitkagear.com.