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    Late Season Goose Tactics

    Late Season Goose Tactics

    The late season can provide some of the best goose hunting opportunities, but it also presents a unique set of challenges. Late season birds have been getting shot at routinely sense they left Canada five months ago, and the ones that are still alive can be hard to kill. Here is a few tips and tricks that may help you find success during the last few hunts of the season.


    The good ole’ early season days of running two dozen decoys in a U are over. Late season geese have seen every U and J shape variant by this time of year, and they tend to avoid them at all costs, especially in heavily hunted areas. The key to setting decoys in the late season is realism. When scouting, take mental notes of how the birds are sitting and try to mimic them when setting up your decoys. In our home state of Colorado, that often means running large, tight packed spreads with multiple holes for birds to land in. As always, make sure you set up with a wind direction that will help the birds finish.


    By this time of the year, the birds have seen everything from A-frames on fence lines to pits in the middle of worked fields, and they know what to avoid. A good hide is key for killing educated birds. In the late season, avoiding setting up your hide on the edge if possible (unless the birds were sitting close to the edge when you were scouting). Although edges often provide great cover, birds can get weary of field edges in the late season. If there is snow on the ground, hiding in the middle of the field in layouts with snow covers will often be the best hide. If you are hunting in a cut stubble field, make sure that you utilize every brush strap on your blind. When scouting, make sure you plan exactly where and how you are going to hide when you hunt. The last thing you want to do it roll out into the middle of a dirt field at 5 a.m. with an A-frame and realize you failed to think ahead.


      Late season birds can be picky with calling. Sometimes they like to come in quiet, sometimes they liked to be screamed at the entire way in. Finding the right volume of calling will help make those stubborn flocks commit. Pay attention to how noisy the geese are when you scout. We often let the first group of the day work the spread with no calling to see how they react. If they do not commit, we will give the next group a few cluck-and-moans. If they do not commit, we will steadily increase our calling until we find the sweet spot.


        Sure, you don’t need nice gear to kill birds, but it can help. A proper clothing system will keep you comfortable in the blind so you can sit all day if the need arises. The Boreal Jacket and Boreal Bib are our in-house late season favorites. Pair the Boreal system with a Grinder Hoody and a pair of Dakota Pants for the ultimate cold weather waterfowl set-up. If you are having trouble getting birds in close, pick up a case of Migra shotgun shells so you can reach out and touch them!

        Leica Geovid Binocular Review

        Leica Geovid Binocular Review

        It was a cold, late November morning during the last weekend of Montana’s general deer season. I was sitting in one of my favorite glassing points looking for a tall 4x5 with deep forks that I had been trying to shoot for the past three days. I glassed up the buck at about 600 yards walking across an open face chasing four does. By the time I got my rifle set up, pulled out my ballistics sheet, and dialed to the correct holdover, the buck and his does had already made it into the thick timber, never to be seen again. This seemed to be an all too common occurrence during my mountain hunts, so I decided I needed to find a faster way to obtain my ballistic solutions. Two months later, I picked up a pair of Leica Geovid 8x56 3200 binoculars and have been extremely pleased. The glass is amazing, and the ballistic program makes long range shots as easy as pushing a button.

        The glass featured in the Geovids is nothing short of what you would expect from a high-end binocular from Leica. The edge to edge clarity of the glass is superb. Since I started using the Geovids, my spotting scope has seen much less action than it has in previous seasons. I have found that in most conditions, I can find and judge animals effectively out to about 1800 yards thanks to the optical quality of these binoculars. It should also be noted that the Geovid’s light transmission is second to none. In previous seasons, once the sun set, I had a hard time picking up animals through my glass, which essentially rendered the last 30 minutes of the hunt useless. I saw a noticeable difference in low light performance when I compared Geovids to the other binoculars I had used in the past. This past spring, I was able to find and judge bears up to the end of legal shooting light, which is 30 minutes after sunset. The glass used in Leica’s Geovid Binoculars completely exceeded my expectations.

        Although the glass quality of these binoculars is excellent, the range-finding and ballistic features are what bring the Geovids to a whole new level of optical performance. The range finder on the model I am using is rated to 3000 yards, but I have consistently hit hillsides all the way to 3800 yards. Of course, 3800 yards is not even close to a practical shooting distance but having the ability to range extreme distances can be helpful when making stalks on distant animals. For example, if you glass up a bull at 2200 yards and you range the ridge before him at 1800 yards, you know that if you get to the ridge before the bull you will have a 400 yard shot.

        Once you close the distance into a range that you are comfortable shooting, the ballistic program in the Geovids makes holdovers a breeze. Simply range your target, and the Geovids will display a holdover solution calculated with your custom ballistic curve while considering air pressure, humidity, temperature, elevation, and your shooting angle. All you have to do is dial to the correct holdover, estimate the wind, and squeeze the trigger! I have tested the Geovid ballistic calculator extensively and have found the holdover solutions to be extremely accurate out to 1100 yards. There are only two problems that I identified with the ballistic program in these binoculars. First, Leica’s online ballistics program only allows for the G1 ballistics scale to be used. This isn’t a huge deal, but it will require you to do some velocity truing if you are shooting a boat-tailed projectile. The second problem I identified was the ballistics program did not have any outputs for estimated wind holdovers. Of course, a laser rangefinder is not able to calculate wind drift, but similar products on the market will display an estimated wind holdover for a 5 mph and 10 mph wind along with the holdover calculation. This isn’t a major problem because after all, a long-range shooter should know his wind calls, but a 5 mph wind holdover would be a handy feature to add to the program.

        Overall, the Leica Geovid Binocular has been the best all around Western big game hunting binocular that I have used, and they will most definitely be strapped to my chest this fall. The Geovid should be a top contender for anybody who is looking to upgrade their glass before the start of the season!

        Written by: Max DeMarco

        Hunting Essentials: What to Pack for Your Deer Hunting Trip

        Hunting Essentials: What to Pack for Your Deer Hunting Trip

        When it comes to deer hunting season, it’s crucial to have everything you need on hand. If you forget something, it could easily affect how successful your trip is. Just like any other hunt though, it can be a little overwhelming to try and remember everything you need to bring with you when you’re getting ready to leave. You can use this quick guide to make sure you grab all of the basics.

        The Right Clothes

        Having the right clothes for the job is essential for both comfort and safety. You’re going to want to be warm enough, so it’s a good idea to grab a high quality camouflage jacket and pants. Rain gear is also important to keep on hand in case you run into inclement weather. The Downpour Pant and Downpour Jacket are both excellent choices and currently 35% off. 

        One of the essential pieces of clothing to keep in your pack is your Ballistic Vest from Sitka Gear. In almost every state, a hunter’s orange vest is strongly recommended if not legally required. The International Hunter Education Association covers the laws for every state when it comes to hunter orange requirements. It’s important to check in on your state’s laws, too, because some states require a certain amount of hunter orange to wear. Aside from safety, these vests can also help you dodge fines. In Arkansas, hunters not wearing their blaze orange garment risk a penalty of up to $1000, as well as the safety risks that come with the lack of visibility that would cause.

        If you’re using a tree stand, you’re also going to want to use a safety harness with your wearable gear. These are crucial in making sure that you remain safe in and out of your stand. Your best choice is to invest in a full-body harness because they’ll keep you upright if you fall, and they’re less likely to knock the wind out of you if you do. Sitka has designed quite a few different jackets and vests with safety harness pass-through ports for layering flexibility while you're connected.

        To hike in your layers, gear, and tree stand, you'll want the Sitka Gear Tool Bucket. This pack is designed with a Treestand Carrying System allowing you to haul in all your needed gear while freeing your hands. With 1900 cubic inches of storage,  you'll have room for everything you need for a dark-to-dark day in the stand.

        Firearms, Bows, and Optics

        When you’re headed out for whitetail hunting, you’re going to need to bring a bow or rifle that’s up to the task. Blaser R8 rifles are a particularly good choice because they’re lightweight, easy to use, and modular for all kinds of hunting.

        Alongside your firearm, you’re going to want to make sure and have all the accessories for it that you might need. For instance, optics for your rifle will help you see whitetail clearly when you try to make a successful shot. You'll need a high quality rifle scope and binoculars to rely on. Additionally, having a sling for your firearm or bow is important for easy access.

        Hunting Knife

        Whenever you go on an outdoor adventure; keeping a solid knife handy is a good idea. They’re a versatile tool that can help you out of many tight situations. When it comes to hunting, one of the most basic needs of a knife is field dressing. If you can’t field dress a deer, then you’re going to have a hard time bringing your prize back to your campsite or truck.

        It’s also a good idea to pack a knife sharpener with you when you hit the field. This way, you won’t get stuck if you’re ready to use your knife and realize it’s a bit dull. These sharpeners can be handheld too, so you don’t have to worry about them taking up too much space.

        Food and Water

        A lot of hunting includes long days prepared and ready in your tree stand. This means you’re probably going to get a little hungry and thirsty while you’re out. It’s a good idea to bring some snacks and a water bottle when you go. As far as the water bottle goes, it’s better to use a reusable one because a crinkling plastic water bottle doesn’t work well for trying to stay undetected. Several packs from Sitka Gear and Stone Glacier are hydration sleeve compatible for extra convenience. 

        For snacks, it’s good to go for something that will give you energy rather than snack on sweets or salty snacks all day. Try reaching for snacks like Heather's Choice Packaroons to keep you alert and ready throughout the day.

        Since you’re probably going to create a bit of waste when you’re snacking, it’s a good idea to bring a gallon bag with you to keep your trash in. This is a good way to make sure that you leave your area the way you found it.

        First Aid Supplies

        When you're out hunting, you want to be prepared for anything. That means if you're going to stay on top of any medical emergencies, you need to keep a first aid kit handy. This should be well-stocked as well. You don't want to be caught in an emergency only to see that you don't have the supplies that you need.

        To make sure that you have the supplies to deal with everything from a scrape to helping handle more severe problems, it's best to check your supply list before every hunting trip. If you aren't sure what should go into your first aid kit, The Red Cross has a handy checklist.

        Additionally, you'll want to make sure that you know how to use everything in the kit as well. Otherwise, those supplies aren't going to be very useful.

        Hygiene Supplies

        Going out, camping, and hunting is a great way to get in touch with nature, but a lack of hygiene supplies will make that trip miserable pretty quickly. This includes items like toilet paper as well as wipes, soap, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.

        When you’re packing hygiene products, remember that it’s best to opt for unscented products. The last thing you want is to be covered in man-made perfume while you’re trying to track whitetail. It can help to pack some scent killer in your hygiene bundle as well or consider the various accessories from Scent Crusher. This will help mask your human scent that may alert wildlife to your presence.  Go a step further and consider using merino base layers or polygeine products to keep bacteria and smells at bay.

        Hunting season promises a lot of memories and experiences that will stick with you for a lifetime. To make sure that these experiences go as smoothly as possible and to ensure you have plenty of venison for the dinner table, you’re going to need to pack pieces of gear like these so that you’re prepared for anything.

        Written by: Josh Montgomery 

        Ligthweight Hunting Tents

        Ligthweight Hunting Tents

        There are several ways to get the job done while hunting. Some people like to spend several days or even a week out in the wilderness hunting. Others want to hunt from their vehicle and not have to walk more than half a mile to locate and execute the hunt. This article is written for the type of hunter who hikes for days out in the back county, stalking his/her prey. For the ounce counters who search high and low for the lightest, most dependable gear on the market, this guide is for you. A backpacking tent can be one of the heaviest items that will go in your pack; therefore, identifying which tent will be most reliable while not compromising durability is imperative.

        Skyscraper 2P Tent - $595

        So let’s take a look at the ultimate backpacking tent from Stone Glacier. The Skyscraper 2P Tent was designed with the ounce counter in mind. With a packed weight of 4lbs 12oz, this tent will add very minimal weight to your pack. Since this is a two-person tent, the pieces of this tent can be split between two different packs, reducing the load weight even further. The Skyscraper is the definition of a luxurious lightweight tent. Featuring an entrance/exit opening on each side, dual vestibules for gear space, and interior mesh pockets for storage, you will be delighted with the capabilities of this tent. The Skyscraper is a four-season tent, meaning it can withstand heavy snow loads. Built with 20D Nylon Ripstop, this tent is made to endure wet weather. If the snow load gets too heavy, a trekking pole can be used for additional support. I have had a foot and a half of snow piled on top of the Skyscraper without any caving in or other problems.

        SkyAir ULT Tarp Tent - $165

        For the true minimalist hunter, Stone Glacier makes the SkyAir ULT Tarp Tent, which is an excellent option when every ounce matters. This tarp tent has a packed weight that comes in at just over 10oz and can be balled up into the size of a grapefruit. There's just enough room to fit two adults inside with some gear. This tent does require a set of trekking poles to pitch it, which contributes to how lightweight it is. There are several accessories that you can purchase to go along with this lightweight tarp tent. First, Stone Glacier makes a mesh insert that is perfect for when the bugs are out in full force. A second accessory you can get for the SkyAir Tarp Tent is a vestibule that gives you even more room under the covered space. While these accessories will increase the packed weight of your shelter, they are designed to be ultra-lightweight as well.

        Flash Shelter 10x12 - $299

        Sitka Gear also makes a tarp tent called the Flash Shelter. For die-hard Sitka Gear fans, this is the perfect tarp tent for you. Utilizing their Optifade Concealment technology, the Flash Shelter will help you stay concealed and cool while glassing on a hot day. This tarp is one of the most versatile tarps on the market, as it features 1500mm waterproof rated woven nylon, six reinforced primary guy outs, and two reinforced pole pockets located along the center-line. Weighing in at just over a pound, the Sitka Gear Flash Shelter is an excellent option.

        Spending any amount of time in the wilderness can be challenging. That’s why investing in premium quality gear will make the experience ten times better. Don’t compromise on weight; these tent options are incredibly lightweight and are some of the best shelter options on the market.

        Six Key Base Layers for Hunters

        Six Key Base Layers for Hunters

        Every hunter knows, one of the keys to staying warm in the elements are base layers. There are many options on the market when it comes to base layers. Is it worth a couple hundred bucks for a base layer system? Well, let's talk through some different options, and then you can decide. Sitka Gear is the leader of innovation and premium gear in the hunting industry. There is a lot more to their base layers than meets the eye. In many of Sitka Gear's base layer items, there is Polygiene Odor Control Technology integrated into the fabric to give you an advantage over your prey. We will discuss the base layer options in order of intended weather use, starting with warmer weather gear and moving to colder weather gear.

        CORE Lightweight Crew - Long Sleeve - $55.20

        The first item to look at is the Sitka Gear CORE Lightweight Crew Long Sleeve. There are several features on this product that set it aside from other brands' lightweight layering items. Designed with an athletic fit, the Lightweight Crew offers a significant amount of breathability and is ultimately intended for warm weather and layering. Due to the nature of the fabric used, polyester, this crew is extremely fast drying and will wick the moisture away from your skin. Another feature of this Lightweight Crew from Sitka is built-in, permanent Polygiene Odor Control Technology. Sitka Gear treats the fabric with a skin safe salt solution that prevents bacteria (the source of human odor) from growing. Each item is thoroughly treated with this solution, ensuring the odor-controlling properties remain, even after years of washing.

        CORE Lightweight Bottom (2019) - $55.20

        The next item we will discuss fits perfectly with the Lightweight Crew. The Sitka Gear CORE Lightweight Bottoms are essential for every hunter because they fit perfectly under any pair of hunting pants. This lightweight bottom will keep your body warm, and your scent concealed. Redesigned for the 2019 season, the gusseted no-bunch crotch, and low-profile elastic waistband keeps the next-to-skin layer from bunching while hiking, stalking, or fishing. Pick up a pair of these high tech bottoms for the upcoming hunting season! 

        CORE Midweight Zip-T - $111.20

        The next item that is worth looking at is the Sitka Gear Core Midweight Zip-T. With this season’s redesign, Sitka continues its purpose-built design with an improved drop-tail design, stretch thumb loops, offset seams on the shoulder, low-profile flatlock seam construction. These features make this item great for many different types of weather, and activity levels. The Midweight Zip-T has been treated with Polygiene Odor Control Technology which fights odor keeping you concealed. Featuring a convenient half zip, the Core Midweight Zip-T is an extremely versatile item and makes for a superior base layer.

        CORE Midweight Bottom - $71.20

        As the season and weather progress, switching into a midweight base layer is essential. The Sitka Gear Core Midweight Bottom is the staple for midweight base layers. While you do give up a little breathability with the heavier fabric, this is significantly made up for with the increased warmth. This Core Midweight Bottom features Polygiene Odor Control Technology, so you'll be able to stock your prey with confidence in your concealability.

        CORE Heavyweight Zip-T - $82.99

        If you are looking for a solid, heavyweight base layer that will keep you warm in the most extreme conditions, look no further than the Sitka Gear Core Heavyweight Zip-T. Stay comfortable in the cold with Sitka’s lofted comfort stretch fleece, and fine-tune your micro-climate with a half-length, center front Gore™ Optifade™ Concealment YKK® zipper. Permanent Polygiene® Odor Control Technology keeps odor-causing bacteria and fungi from growing during those long extended stays in the back-country. Use the stretch thumb loops to keep your wrists warm while glassing, and the drop-tail design to keep your backside covered from those cold drafts while sitting still. This base layer will make the perfect addition to your gear lineup. 

        Merino Heavyweight Bottom - $119.20

        During the November through February hunting months, the weather gets extreme in states like Colorado and Idaho. For this reason, having a heavyweight base layer set is vital for anyone who plans to endure these conditions. The Sitka Gear Merino Heavyweight Bottom is a heavy and warm bottom that should be packed in every hunter's gear bag from November to February.

        No matter the month, having a good selection of base layers is incredibly crucial for anyone who plans on spending time out in the elements. Shop our full collection of hunting base layers here.