GORE ™ OPTIFADE™ Marsh
Waterfowl hunting is done in a high contrast environment. Skylight from the horizon or light reflected from the water surface will shine through gaps in rushes, creating concentrated light spots. GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Waterfowl Marsh pattern is high in contrast to be consistent with the environment and includes elements that are light in color and elements that are darker in color.
GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Waterfowl Marsh pattern is designed for layout and blind hunting in the marsh, standing crops, or cut stubble fields. While most patterns are designed as though the bird is on the ground looking at the hunter, the GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Waterfowl Marsh pattern takes into account with a swirling effect that the birds are usually above the hunter in flight, and are in constant motion. The optimal engagement distance is between 35 yards and 45 degrees and steeper angles.
GORE ™ OPTIFADE™ Timber
The GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Waterfowl Timber pattern takes into account how ducks, geese and other waterfowl see. Rather than mimicry patterns that make the hunter look like something, the Waterfowl digital concealment pattern is intended is to make the hunter appear to be “nothing” to the animal.
GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment Waterfowl Timber is optimized for engagement distances of 10 to 40 yards in the darker environments of the flooded timber. Because the water reflects both the brightness of the sky and dark underside of the canopy, the pattern displays areas of high contrast. But as a bird moves along its glide path closer to the hunter, its environment darkens, thus the pattern’s overall dark and lower contrast appearance.
When he’s not in his Kentucky blind on the Ohio River, or hunting waterfowl all over the U.S. and Canada, he’s building, tuning, and talking calls as the owner of Field Proven Calls.
“It consumes my life 365 days a year,” he says. “I am so fortunate that my love and passion for waterfowl hunting has blessed me with the opportunity to work in the industry I grew up loving.”
Clay got into the sport himself at the age of 11, eagerly absorbing all his father’s knowledge. And today, waterfowl hunting is still very much about relationships for him. “The most gratifying part of hunting is spending time with family and friends in a blind,” he says. “Fifteen years ago I would have said shooting limits was the most gratifying aspect of hunting. But as I get older, if I can go out every day and work a few groups of ducks or geese and watch my dog work, I’ve had a good day. Though, trust me, I still like to pull the trigger.”
While his favorite elements of waterfowl hunting haven’t changed since he started the sport as a kid, other things have. Clay says that hunters have more access to information than when he was starting out, so learning to hunt doesn’t require as much trial and error. Hunters are more abundant, which is great for habitat and population numbers. And, he says, the quality of products has improved. “SITKA Gear has set the bar when it comes to waterfowl apparel and designs. It has changed the way I get dressed every morning to go hunting. The products allow me to wear less and still be warm and comfortable, which plays a huge role for me when I’m facing the elements on a daily basis.”
Highly specialized for the kill hole environment, the Fahrenheit Jacket is a windproof insulating mid layer. Mapped for moisture management with Primaloft® down blend from elbow to elbow and fully synthetic Primaloft® through the forearms.
Built with a 100% windproof WINDSTOPPER® membrane and a soft Berber fleece backer, the Dakota Hoody functions both as an outer layer and a cozy insulator to be stacked under a shell. A built-in zippered hand muff keeps your digits warm, while the fitted hood delivers warmth without compromising the peripheral vision or range of motion needed to keep tabs on a swirling flock.
Sharply focused in concept and design, the Layout Jacket’s every feature is optimized for the layout blind. The waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX® construction is backed by body-mapped Primaloft® insulation, and reinforced in the elbows and forearms for maneuvering in corn stubble. Sitka Ground Shield Insulation keeps cold spots from developing at points that contact the frozen earth.
An innovative glove sold in singles (not pairs) the Caller’s Glove lets you keep one hand free for better calling and trigger control. Between waves, keep your trigger hand warm in the highly insulated, Berber-lined hand muff, which is bonded to the back of an ultra-warm GORE-TEX® glove. NOTE: Right-handed shooters will need to purchase the left-handed glove, and vice versa.