November never used to hold much significance to me until I became a hunter. It is runner up to September (elk season) and now that I have figured out the best hunting gear system for cold months, I look forward to it more and more each year.
Most of my archery November deer hunting, for both whitetail and mule deer are from a tree stand so finding gear that keeps me warm and comfortable in extreme conditions has been a top factor in my big-game bowhunting success. I am continuously trying to improve my systems and comfort but there are 5 players in the November game that constitute my deer hunting starting line-up.
#1- It’s all about that Base Layer
Sitka Gear Long Sleeve Women’s Crew - This key upper body layering piece is available in lightweight and midweight and is perfect for regulating body temperatures in both warm and cold weather. It provides perfect protection, concealment, odor control and is moisture wicking. I alternate between the two weights depending on the temperature and love that I can wear it for several consecutive days without stink!
Sitka Gear Core Bottoms - This key lower body layering piece is also available in lightweight and midweight and is a STAPLE for long tree-stand sits. They are styled like your favorite yoga pants and the lightweight bottoms are now available in merino wool. The flexibility and mobility of merino wool make these a great option for long sessions of movement. They also make great sleep pants at camp!
#2- Mid-layer- The Keeper!
Sitka Gear Women’s Fanatic Hoody - If I had to pick one piece of clothing for all styles of hunting, it would be this! It is designed with stretch fleece insulation, a form fitting hood and a built-in facemask. The off-set shoulder seams allow full range of motion for archery and hiking with a pack. The chest zipper pocket is perfect for holding the rangefinder, and the thumb holder and fold-over mittens are a quick warming solution. The fanatic hoody is the most versatile and functional hunting piece on the market!
#3 Top layer- The Lifesaver!
Sitka Gear Women's Fanatic Jacket - This top-layer system is honestly what has kept me in the cold weather tree stand game! The Fanatic jacket is the most unique outerwear piece in the industry and it is designed for women to perfection! The outer layer is Berber fleece which provides a quiet front over their signature GoreTex Windstopper technology and the Primasoft Silver Insulation traps the body heat right where we need it. The unique diagonal zipper design is a bit of a challenge to get used to, but it keeps the cold out and allows for a front muff. Keeping my hands and fingers warm during a cold sit is imperative to my comfort! When I am archery hunting, I do not like to wear heavy gloves for fear that I will be fumbling to get them off when a deer comes in. Therefore a thin glove paired with a hand warmer works flawlessly with the muff. A removable hood, magnetic closure rangefinder pocket, and a safety harness pass-through port finish out this finely honed tool.
Sitka Gear Women’s Fanatic Bib - This top layer bottom piece is without a doubt a necessity for every woman that sits in a tree or blind in temperatures below 40 degrees. In fact it is so awesome, I wrote a completely separate review of the bib- Go Bib or Go Home. It is the same material and technology you will find in the Fanatic Jacket. It is a perfect compliment to the jacket or it can stand grandly on its own.
The Sitka Gear Bino Bivy can be the best friend of any bowhunter. Once I have compiled all my layers and have secured into the tree, it is important for me to have my optics close and secure. It is easy to slip on over the fanatic jacket and has plenty of give for the straps to adjust for the number of layers. The bino bivy holds your optics in place with two elastic tethers and has two side pockets for storage (mine holds my windicator bottle and grunt tube). The zipper system glides easily with a sturdy handle that you can maneuver with one hand and secures with a magnetic flap to keep the bivy open. and comes with an attached lens cloth. The Sitka Gear Bino Bivy comes in 8x-10x and 12x-15x in both the sub alpine and optifade patterns.
The Sitka Gear Fanatic Beanie - It wouldn’t be a complete system without a warm hat. The Fanatic beanie is made of the same Berber fleece in the bibs and the jacket with the GoreTex Windstopper. The women’s design has a ponytail port to keep things streamlined and a four-way stretch. The slightly longer back has an air permeable band to warm the back of your neck and ears without impeding hearing.
The Sitka Gear Tool Box Pack is the best tree-stand pack that I have used. It is specifically designed for whitetail hunting and every zipper, compartment, and strap was well-thought out to maximize functionality. It is designed to hang flawlessly on the pack hook so you have easy and quiet accessibility to anything inside. You can lift the flap and place the metal ring on your pack hook to keep it open and the top folds over and secures with a plastic hook fitting so your stuff stays secure without having to mess with the zippers each time. The inside of the flap has 3 large see through mesh pockets to keep items secure and can surprisingly hold a number of different hunting necessities. There are 2 side pockets on the inside that keep accessories organized and separate- I use one for my bow and pack hooks and the other for my thermos. There is plenty of room inside for extra clothing and hunting gear.
The tool box is a great fit for women who are walking short distances in and out of the woods. I am able to secure my bow or my jacket with the well-constructed straps to allow for two free hands and the hip and chest belt are enough to provide stability on the walk/hike. The material is quiet and the quality in the details is unmatched.
As we chase November in search of our next big game harvest, feel confident that you can do a dark to dark hunt with the SitkaGear women’s whitetail starting line-up in any weather condition! Hunting gear is an investment in your comfort, well-being and ultimately your hunting success. Don’t miss out on your next opportunity because you were too cold!
To purchase any of the items above, check out our Huntress View storefront on Amazon.
Be sure to follow all of Erin's hunting adventures on Instagram at @eaglediegel.