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SITKA WHITETAIL GEAR REVIEW S TA F F A R T I C L E TRAIL KREITZER PROFESSIONAL HUNT ADVISOR RESEARCH SPECIALIST W hitetail deer, Odocoileus virginianus, are the most common large North American game animal and have long held the admiration and fascination of millions of hunters from Canada to Mexico to Washington to the Atlantic coast. Generally, whitetail populations and hunting opportunities abound, so it makes sense that we are seeing more refined, specialized, and species-specific hunting gear aimed squarely at the whitetail hunting 12 market. A few years ago, Sitka entered the whitetail game, and in 2015, they once again stepped up and advanced their lineup. Currently, Sitka has an impressive whitetail line of clothing and gear that every serious whitetail hunter should look into because, believe me, Sitka is serious about whitetail. Their whitetail lineup attempts to address the nearly endless array of situations that whitetail hunters face. For five months from Alberta to south Texas, Sitka has a layering system that will suit your whitetail hunting needs. The Sitka whitetail lineup of clothing and gear was created under the criteria that it had to fit, function, and conceal, both visually and audibly. Sitka’s current whitetail line is printed in the Elevated II pattern, which was revealed in early 2015 as the successor to the Optifade Forest pattern. Optifade Elevated II differs in the overall color palate from its predecessor with more muddy browns, grays, and khakis and with larger white or off-white open space. Overall, it’s a much more neutral scheme that blends more with tree barks and autumn-colored leaves and vegetation. Notably, you will not see the greens and blacks associated with the older Forest pattern. The Elevated II pattern still has a digital or pixelated appearance, but it seems to be slightly less so than the previous pattern. The more “open” pattern and color scheme should cover a much wider range of seasons and locations, offering concealment as the vegetation transitions from late summer deep into fall and winter. The contrast of colors within the new Elevated II pattern seems to be somewhat heightened, which should offer concealment for those close encounters as well as increasing its effectiveness at greater distances. The essence of most whitetail hunting is an anticipated close encounter from a well-placed treestand, and the Sitka whitetail line is built around those specific needs. Noise, or the lack thereof, and a layering system that gives hunters the ability to comfortably sit from dark to dark are among the highest priorities. Sitka builds systems, base layers, mid-layers, insulation, and rain/weather protection. I won’t touch on every single piece, but I will highlight some of my favorites.