Next to Skin
Next to Skin
Next to Skin
Next to Skin
All Logo Wear
Enter your email address below and click "Subscribe" to signup for notices when new posts are made to this blog.
2013 Sitka Gear Catalog
Karsten Hart: Hunter, Freestyle Skier
Kissed by an Elk
Dustin Roe - A Quick Hunt in BC
Author: Dustin Roe
Aug 31, 2010
My last hunter killed early so my guide and I ran to BC for a quick five days to hunt for ourselves. Shawn, my friend, and the client Wayne Brown and I flew out of Muncho Lake to hunt Stones.
Shawn killed this Sheep on the third day after we hiked 29 miles by GPS! It was a grind but it was FUN!
We had one day left before we had to drive back to the Yukon....so we decided to look for a goat.
I took this goat at 28 yards and it's my first goat for myself. Gotta love it when a plan works!
Our new hunters are here today and we head to the mountains again tomorrow! I hope all is well with the rest of you. Nice job Jason C and Matt L with the bucks and to you too Dirk! Keep me posted on all your hunting success fellas.
The velvet is gone...
Author: Chris Awe
Aug 30, 2010
Hunting season opens here this coming weekend. I spent the last 2 days with my trail shoes and spotting scope, running into zones that have been juicy in years past. We've been having unseasonably cold & wet weather (snow up high) and I've been fearful that this would trigger an early rut.
Since 3AM on Saturday morning (when I left the house), to 3PM Sunday afternoon... I covered more than 500 miles in my truck visiting various points of interest and trying to get a consensus of what the elk were up to.
I wouldn't say the rut is cranking, but I did hear bugles.. and noted fresh rubs in some of my favorite honey holes. Not to mention watching this bull circling, sniffing, and screaming to his 20 cows.
Good luck this fall everyone!
Aug 27, 2010
Hunting coastal blacktail in Northern California has many benefits...the best being that you can begin hunting bucks in early July! Although trophy deer are always on my mind, my goal this year was simply to put notches in tags; insuring full preparation for later mule deer and whitetail hunts. Success! I head out in three days for an early season New Mexico mule deer hunt having already tagged out in the beautiful state of CA. ...and yes, I did have a couple chances at real nice bucks but took home the consolation price twice!
Nothing quite like a last minute hike into camp at 12:30 in the morning the night before the opener.
The two trophies: #1
I just keep reminding myself that younger bucks eat better...and it is really all about feeding my family :)
Author: Jeff Simpson
Aug 26, 2010
While all of you Western guys are making me jealous with the pics of Dall Sheep, Mountain Caribou, blah blah blah..... The late summer routine is in full swing here in the Midwest. We are setting cameras, scouting bean fields, hanging stands and getting lanes cleared for those moments of truth that will come this Fall.
Time is a short that is just a kickoff and public notice of a new film project that is in the works! Enjoy and keep laying them down out west and we'll keep preparing here...
Peace - J. Simpson
Author: Katie Seacat
Aug 26, 2010
Here is an email that one of our Sitka employees received from a customer:
I have one complaint. With the new Optifade, my buddy can't find me on the other side of the hill putting on the stalk. He missed all the action.
Got the new pants and shirt this year. Great job on the advancement of the clothing line. No pull on the knees at all. The Ascent pants even held up to a burning ember that got through my space bag while doing an extreme light bivy (survival) the night before in hopes to get in on the sheep the next day.
It paid off!
5 Up 5 Down!
Author: Dustin Roe
Aug 24, 2010
Just finished my second Stone hunt of the year in the Yukon, hunter Wayne Brown killed this Ram on a hard Day 3. 5 up 5 down!
4 Up 4 Down
Author: Dustin Roe
Aug 23, 2010
Hey guys the season is off to a wicked start. Many miles have already been hiked and some great memories have been made!
The first hunt was a Backpack Archery Dall hunt in the Northwest Territories. My friend and client, Mark Gutsmeidl of Wisconsin, had a miserable first few days. 25 miles in... just bivy sacs and the worst bugs I've ever seen. On day 2 we were rained and fogged in and had to stay in our the bivys for 30 straight hours. ( my bivy worked well but man is it tight for 30 hours!) On day 4 we found three good rams and made a slow stalk on our first band of rams in really open country. Mark connected on a beautiful 10 year old ram at 55 yards. He made a great shot and the ram was down in under 50 yards. I was able to get great footage of the whole thing and we were two happy hunters. Mark was wearing the Mothwing pattern and I was in OPTIFADE! Man is it good stuff in the rocks!
The second hunt was also with a good friend , Ed Deyoung and his Daughter,Rachel. Ed was hunting Dalls with a bow and depending if we were able to get it done then Rachel was going to try for Mountain Caribou. Ed's hunt was a challenge as the rams just weren't making it easy on us. In a 30 hour time frame we made six stalks to under 80 yards with no shot to be made...they really tested my patience. The small rams were always on the look out. They never allowed us to make a move to close the last 40 yards. However, the seventh time was the charm! We finally out witted them and let them make a mistake. Ed took a great shot that made himself a 3/4 Slammer with a bow. Rachel hunted one day and killed an awesome bull Caribou. The Northwest Territories was a blast as always and we left a few other big ones on the mountain for next year.
My season was off to a great start with 3 for 3... and now I was on my way to the Yukon. Stone Sheep is the target. Fifteen year old Sara Brandenburg is the hunter and a Grand Slam is the focus. After five long days, 86 creek crossings , wet boots, some massive blisters and big smiles we found the one. Six rams busted us from the creek below and as they blew down the valley and around the corner we saw the one we wanted. It was game time! Light packs were assembled and the hunt was on. We were busted at 3:00 pm and relocated at 8:00 pm. Sara was settled behind her rifle by 9:30 pm. That kid can shoot! One shot with her 7mm at 325 yards and the dream ram folded like a tent! My other guide Shawn captured history being made all on film as Sara became the youngest girl (15) to kill a Grand Slam and she completed it in less then one year's time. Her ram is 41 inches long and any sheep hunter's dream. (my dream anyways!) 4 up 4 down!
The next hunter will be in in a few days and we're back at the grind. Enjoy the outdoors boys! "Do What It Takes"
Sitka Athlete - Success from the Field
Author: Mark Seacat
Aug 20, 2010
Outfitter: Sitka Athlete - Greg Krogh Hunter:
This is a buck that Jack Brittingham just killed with me in Nevada. He shot the buck on the first day of his hunt. The next three days Jack spent backpacking into some remote country looking for a buck for the other hunter in our camp. The Taxidermist scored the buck at 32 inches wide and 197.
- Greg Krogh
Going for The One
Author: Sean Browne
Aug 18, 2010
Each year before hunting season Dylan starts sending me trail cam or spotting scope photos of great bucks he’s been seeing as I anxiously await my annual trip to his ranch, the
, in Humboldt County. Often there are some specific deer we hope to find but we aren’t usually just looking for one buck. My excitement level builds as the possibilities unfold.
This year I had planned to arrive late August however Dylan was seeing so many great deer he asked if I could come earlier. I was able to change my schedule and arrived Tuesday 8/2. We had a few exceptional bucks in mind to chase. A monster 3×4 that seemed like a good candidate for my bow. A 5×4 down near the cabin, and then one huge buck that had only been seen a couple times. Not sure what he was, only that he was very very BIG. This ended up being the buck we hunted for. The one.
Tuesday night Dylan and his wife Holly and I left the cabin around 6pm. Immediately we saw a 4×4 near the cabin. He looked great, deep forks, probably the biggest I’ve ever seen, but a young buck. Too young to shoot. He’ll no doubt be huge next year. One great thing about hunting every year with Dylan is that I’ve been able to see how improved the deer are on his ranch. Also you can see traits from previous great bucks that are now propagated in his herd like the huge typical ‘Cabin Buck’ or the non-typical ‘Fever’. He’s done a great job managing the ranch. He’s now part of the
or Private Lands Management program which has the benefit of longer seasons and also allows me to either use my bow or rifle.
We find a great vantage point on a large rock that overlooks golden hills on either side We glass for Mr. Big until sundown. A spike is milling around nearby unconcerned. Dusk is such a magical time hunting. The landscape you’ve been glassing for hours slowly transforms color as bucks and does materialize. Excitement builds as we hope to catch a glimpse of the big buck. As the sun sets behind us, the sweetly scented hills and distant trees turn a reddish gold and then slowly through shades of gray into night.
It’s a little warmer than we’d wish and we have seen some hard horned bucks. We’re thinking that they may have changed their pattern and are rubbing their velvet off somewhere in the thicker brush. We do see some great deer the next day along with all the usual pigs, turkeys, quail. Some we recognize like ‘club’ that had a big knob for an antler on one side is now a respectable 4×4. A very tall 3×3 with silver gray velvet. Too many to recall now but we don’t see one of the big ones or THE big one. Lots of does and fawns are seen all around the ranch.
Thursday I make the mistake of checking my phone, which rarely works up there, only to find it has. An urgent issue at work requires my attention by Friday. I end up leaving Thursday night. I had originally planned to be up on the 21st so decide to just come back then. Time spent this week was really a bonus.
Sunday 8/8 is Kari and my birthday. Dylan calls me and asks if I’ve seen the picture. With no cell coverage in La Honda I don’t get my texts until I’m back in the valley. Kari and I are shopping when I finally see the picture. He’s spotted the BIG buck and has taken some pics with his phone through the spotting scope and sent me the one below. The picture is impressive, his antlers stand clear above the tall grass, deep forks and extra points. Staring at my iPhone I can’t help but think I’m sharing the same feelings with my primitive ancestors as they gazed at the flickering images on the cave wall; hope, desire, hunger. This is a special buck!
When I finally call to say I’ve seen the picture. He asks wouldn’t I rather hold him in my hands. I need to get back up there as soon as possible. I don’t require any further encouragement. What a great birthday present! Yes I want to hunt this buck. I manage to communicate the urgency to Kari and have no problem securing some additional days off from work and an understanding boss. I’m headed back up Tuesday morning 8/10. I arrive mid day and take it easy at the cabin with Dylan until it gets late enough to try for him. We have the rest of the week to look for him until Friday when another hunter is coming in.
Dylan's friend Kenny hunts coyotes on the ranch for Dylan. I’m thrilled to finally meet him. He’s come to help us out. Dylan has a plan. He and Holly will both take separate locations to glass for the buck while Dylan and I will head up top near where Dylan had seen him last. Finally we all head out to our respective spots. We aren’t really seeing many deer out.
Dylan decides we should go up a little higher than where he saw the buck last. It’s not long before Dylan spots him with another buck getting up from their beds and walking away from us into a thick strand of oak trees. I only see a big rack and his rear as he disappears into the trees. Dylan says to make sure I shoot the right deer, the big one is the wide one. It’s pretty obvious which as they disappear into the woods.
Dylan takes us much further up where we grab our gear and are quickly climbing a grassy hillside, through a wooded area, and emerge onto a high rocky knob that overlooks the trees the bucks entered. I take a prone position with Dylan behind me and try to get settled in for any possible shot. I have my Sako 85 in 30.06 with a short harris bi-pod. I have a steady rest.
We have a great view if they keep coming with some clearings that offer good shot opportunities. My legs are higher than my head and I’m lying on jagged rocks. After 20 minutes my left arm is falling asleep and I’m beginning to wonder if they will show. I’m wanting to sit up for a while but I tell myself to just stay put as they could emerge at any moment.
Soon Dylan whispers behind me that he sees them. He calmly explains where to look and I see the big buck immediately. I acquire him in my scope and then turn it up to 12 power. He’s facing me with his head down at about 200 yards. I’m afraid he will walk right out of this window back into the trees. I’m looking down on him and I hold in between his shoulders. I’m squeezing and boom, he is gone at the shot. I’m not sure if it was a hit or not. I reload and watch and he emerges into the closer clearing. I’m not sure if he’s hit. I’m holding on him again, squeezing, and boom, at the shot he’s gone again. I know he’s hit and think he’s just rolled right there.
Now the buck he’s with walks right into the same clearing facing left and looking down. He's a big 5×4 himself. He just stands there for minutes looking, we think at the other buck. He’s a great buck. After a long time we are starting to ponder the idea of shooting him too on my second tag. He just stands there offering a perfect broadside shot. Suddenly we hear crashing in the trees below and the other buck bolts off. We are pretty sure it was the first buck rolling down the steep hill. After a few more minutes we see the 5×4 in the far distance.
We finally decide to go check it out. We gather our gear and walk back down the steep hillside and then make our way to a large fir tree that they were under when we shot. We side step down the hill and eventually I see an antler rising above a log that stopped his fall. As we approach Dylan sees he has six points on that side and as we arrive and pick up his head by his beautiful antlers, he’s actually a 5×7 with great palmation on both sides. Dylan and I exchange congratulations at least a few times. I’m in shock. I still can’t believe we pulled this off. I take a moment holding his rack in my hands, what a majestic buck. He’ll provide many meals and memories and be immortalized as the biggest buck yet taken on the ranch and most likely the biggest of my life.
Kenny and Holly soon arrive along with her kids Clayton and Ashley. I’m so glad Kenny is there helping us drag him up the steep hill. We finally get him to the top where we take a couple pictures just as the sun sets.
I’m so grateful for my luck and for Dylan’s skill and knowledge to put us in the right position to have a chance and take such an incredible buck. My dad used to say there are no atheists in fox holes. I think hunting also puts you back in touch with God or whatever your notion of him may be. From urgent supplication to unbounded thanks, hunting often has me checking in with the big guy. I’ll be thankful for this day the rest of my life.
I look forward to many more hunts at the Diamond C. As I take better and better bucks I’m truly looking forward more to ‘the hunt’ the anticipation, the experience, and the memories of time spent with great friends like Dylan and Holly Carr.
Want to test new gear and hunt trophy whitetail???
Aug 17, 2010
Come with us to Harpole’s Heartland Lodge for their first annual hunt that brings some of the best outdoor company’s to you while you hunt trophy whitetail. Join us on a 3 day, 4 night archery hunt, along with other representatives from top hunting companies for an exciting Pike County whitetail hunt. Hunters will be able to see and test the latest gear and have an opportunity to win door prizes and contests. There are only a limited number of spots available. If you would like to reserve your spot call Matt at Harpole's Heartland Lodge office at 217-734-2526. Check out the website at
Hunt details: Arrive Oct. 6, hunt Oct. 7-9 and depart on the 10th. All meals, guide, and lodging included. Hunt cost $1650 per hunter
We can't wait to see you sporting the newest Sitka Gear holding a buck like one of these:
< OLDER POSTS
2013 SITKA® Gear - 877-748-5247 (877-SITKA-GR)