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The Sitka Team | 9.5.2013

The Darkroom: All Systems Go

Fall rolls in slow and savage, like a storm. In July, you see flashes off in the distance from those lucky enough to hunt sheep. In August, you hear rumblings from the antelope plains, crackles in the mountains of early elk units. Come September, you feel the first few drips landing on your skin. The anticipation is palpable, season opener after season opener, the storm gathering strength. Elk. Moose. Bear.

Whitetail flickers like a hot rope binding the earth to a darkened sky, the reverberations shaking the earth, a deluge. And from out of this cacophony, you hear the calls of "cut 'em!" as waterfowl seasons get underway.

We've been preparing for this storm all year. We’ve been wearing out the target foam and boot leather, learning new country, building up our legs and our lungs. And we've been driving your gear forward with our company-wide commitment to the discipline of hunting, to creating solutions for the problems hunter’s face in the field.

Montana archery season opens this weekend, and that means our Bozeman-based team is champing at the bit. For months, we’ve been meeting before work to fling arrows and run the local trails. Sitka Athlete and 8-time World Elk Calling Champion Corey Jacobsen stopped by this summer to share tactics and teach his strategy of aggression. In the spirit of friendly competition, we've been embroiled in an office-wide challenge to see who would complete the most hikes from a list of grueling scrambles.

And as part of all our labors, we're testing and scrutinizing the gear, building out our personal systems, tinkering, polishing and perfecting. We’ve put the Dewpoint Jacket through sodden, doghair bushwacks pulling trail cameras. We've perched on ridge tops overlooking velvet-clad bulls, falling in love with the simple functionality of the Jetstream Lite. And we've been discovering ways to improve future pieces that don't have names yet.

In the last weeks, crucial moments of the past have swirled in our minds and gusted through the office: reaching the truck after a long pack out, missing an incredible opportunity by mere seconds, the rush of fooling the keen senses of a wise old bull. We are filled with excitement and hope and trembling for what is now upon us.

The storm has come, the fall is now upon us.

So here's to pushing our hearts, minds and lungs to the limit.
To living great stories.
To beating the hell out of gear.
To returning home safe and satisfied and filled with new insight.