Lightweight stuff is nice
Needless to say, after hiking up 3,500 feet of mountain each day, all your gear gets heavy. The first day I had quite a bit of extra stuff such as water, extra ammunition, layers etc. All that shit got placed in the rear seat of my truck once we got back. This year I used a Cabela's Prestige 85 Liter pack. So far it has been a good pack, but the main reason I got it was for my Elk Hunt, where I would be making multiple trips to pack out meat. For a high country mule deer hunt, I do not quite need that much backpack. Being a big pack, I found myself loading all sorts of stuff into it, and the pack alone weighs 11 pounds empty. Next year I plan on going with a lighter and smaller Sitka pack, to ease the burden of going uphill.
600 yard shots are close
Sitka gear rocks
I have to say that I am blown away by all of the Sitka Gear I have purchased so far. The pants are very well thought out, and when you wear them it feels like you are having unprotected sex with Taylor Swift, IE Amazing. On top of it, the material while being very comfortable against the skin is incredibly durable. After days of busting through the brush, there were no holes, loose threads, or abrasions to the legs. The Optifade Open Country pattern blends in excellent in Nevada, and looks decent as well. Gotta say, it is worth the price, and I am a customer for life.
My remington 700 failed me
This completely shook my confidence in my rifle to my very core. On the hike back to the truck, and after subsequent cleaning, I could not get my rifle to do this again. My trigger is pre X Mark Pro (the good serrated faced trigger), so I am not sure exactly what happened. After this incident I am still leery to use the rifle, which lead to my next finding.
The Steyr AUG A3 is an acceptable backup rifle*
*Check your local fish and game regulations that list restrictions on firearms and ammunition types before you take my advice. I am five quarters retarded.
Good glass pays off in droves
Physical conditioning pays off
Rolling your ankle and falling in a cactus fucking sucks
My first course of action was to use every bad word I know, which took a couple minutes. Once I was done making every sailor that has ever existed proud, we assessed my situation. The needles had penetrated through my Sitka 90% jacket, Jetstream Vest, and Core base layer. All we could really do out in the field was pull the long (over 1") needles out of my body, since the smaller yellow ones broke off when you tried to pull them off. With the large needles pulled out, I went Chuck Norris wearing a vest only, and hobbled down the mountain.
Once back to the truck, and in service, I called my dad to ask him to have rubbing alcohol and tweezers standing by. Two hours later, most of them were out, and I tended to my ankle. I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
Good boots are a must
It was worth it
Since everyone likes pictures, I supposed I will do a picture dump for the rest of this article.