10 Questions With HuntStand: Sitka Gear

Many serious hunters need no introduction to Sitka Gear, which offers some of the most cutting-edge hunt gear and apparel you’ll find anywhere.

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

With goals of being the industry leader in hunting gear design, customer service, and environmental stewardship, this Bozeman, MT-based innovator’s motto is clear: Go big or go home.

Timber 2 600From the current wind and weather conditions to insights into the best hunting tactics and gear, all of us here at HuntStand believe that more knowledge leads to more hunting success. And that’s part of the genesis of this new feature, which aims to introduce the HuntStand community to a whole host of hunting-focused companies and gear.

Many serious hunters need no introduction to Sitka Gear, which offers some of the most cutting-edge hunt gear and apparel you’ll find anywhere. Whether your goal is hunting in demanding mountainous terrain, waylaying a trophy whitetail in your local woodlot, or chasing waterfowl wherever they fly, Sitka has you covered. From ground-breaking designs, to science-based camouflage and the best new fabrics, this line is carefully engineered to offer unique advantages.

Timber 600From the start it’s been obvious that Sitka is not about following trends. This company’s goal is to set them. A great example? Sitka’s thoughtful conservation initiatives that seek to provide better game animal habitat, and increased hunter access.

For a more in-depth, “behind the scenes” look at this fascinating company, we spoke recently with Alex Tenenbaum, Sitka Gear marketing associate.

HuntStand: What sets Sitka Gear apart from the competition—what makes your company unique?
A: We engineer gear to solve problems plaguing our core users. We don’t cut corners to save money or hit a market-driven price point. Every piece is developed to overcome a discomfort or distraction we, or our athletes, have experienced in the field.

TimberJkt 600HuntStand: What are some new developments at Sitka Gear for 2016?
A: For waterfowlers, it’s gear for the pinnacle experience of hunting flooded timbers. After years of research, study, design, and testing in timbered environments, we are making the new Gore Optifade Concealment Waterfowl Timber pattern (above) available to the public.

Marsh600New for the Waterfowl Marsh System is the Gore-Tex Layout Series, which we engineered for the horizontal environment of the layout blind. The jacket (see above) is our most-complex build to date, with GroundShield Insulation to keep points of contact with the frozen ground from becoming cold spots, and heavily reinforced Gore-Tex fabrics built to withstand the abrasiveness of cut cornstalks. The ergonomics, high-back collar, and pocket layout are all optimized for laying on your back, blowing the doors off the blind, and firing up into the tornado.

TIMBERLINE 600For mountain hunters, we’ve reengineered the Timberline Pant (above) and created the new Timberline Jacket. The pant has a more sculpted fit and updated kneepad system, for more freedom and range of motion. With the jacket, for the first time ever, we’re introducing taped Windstopper fabrics to the hunting world. The Timberline Series offers uncompromising performance for extreme and extended hunts, earning it a spot in every mountain hunter’s arsenal.

HuntStand: How and when did Sitka Gear get its start, and where are you currently based?
A: Headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, and founded in 2005, Sitka Gear was an idea spawned by necessity. After climbing 3,000 vertical feet in the dark with intermittent snow and driving sleet, founder Jonathan Hart and his partner huddled behind a gnarled white bark pine to get some reprieve from the elements, and a little food in their bellies. Their clothes were drenched with sweat, which made them unbearably cold, and it was obvious such discomfort was unnecessary. They’d climbed much harder in far worse conditions on numerous ascents and backcountry ski trips, and never suffered that kind of discomfort. The problem was clear. And as the sun rose that September morning at timberline, surrounded by bugling bulls, the vision that became Sitka was laid out. Jonathan and his partner drew on their backgrounds in climbing, mountaineering, and general head strong assaults of the backcountry. They focused their expertise and experience first on bridging the gaps in fabrics and construction, and then on driving new technologies and design solutions for the modern outdoorsman.

SitkaBigGame 600HuntStand: What accomplishment is Sitka Gear most proud of over the last year?
A: We measure ourselves by our contribution to the world’s quality and quantity of hunting experiences. In 2015, we contributed more than ever to conservation initiatives that give wildlife healthier ecosystems and hunters more access. We launched a new whitetail line that expanded possibilities in the whitetail woods, and a lot of hunters experienced the stand in ways they never had. In 2016, we’re doing the same for waterfowlers in the storied environment of flooded timbers. You know, it’s a big deal when you can give even one hunter more time and less distraction to focus on connecting with the land, the animal, and their food. We’re very fortunate that we get to wake up every morning and do that for people who love this as much as we do.

Fanatic Lite 600HuntStand:. How does Sitka Gear engage its customers for feedback, ideas, or suggestions for improvement?
A: For us, it’s all about the conversations we get to have with our tribe in the woods around Montana, by phone and email, at outdoor sports shows, and on social media. A lot of those conversations feed directly into our design room. Our other ‘engines of innovation’ are our close relationships with material tech companies that are pushing textile possibilities, and the wild-eyed Sitka Athletes who emerge from dim marshes, remote canyons, or forgotten stretches of timber with product ideas just crazy enough to work.

whitetail 600HuntStand: What are two things most people don’t know about Sitka Gear?
A: Sitka Gear is the founding partner of a new hunting conservation initiative called ‘2% for Conservation.’ It’s a wholly independent non-profit program certifying companies that donate more than 1% of their revenues to hunting conservation organizations, and whose employees volunteer more than 1% of their work time to conservation efforts. Any company can be a part of 2% for Conservation, whether they’re in the hunting industry or not, and we believe this initiative will have a big impact on the future of wildlife, land access, and hunting culture.

HuntStand: What is your company mission statement?
A: Sitka Gear exists to be the standard against which all other hunting brands are measured—in product design, content authenticity, customer service, and environmental stewardship. We engineer gear to solve problems plaguing our core users. We create authentic media to inspire, delight, and enlighten hunters. We provide excellent customer service. We stand up for our dealers, who in return make our customers’ lives easier. We invest in efficient organizations that improve the future of hunting, wildlife, habitat health, and public access. We embrace the global initiatives of Okoe-Tex to implement ecologically sound and socially responsible textile manufacturing practices.

BigGame2 600HuntStand: How many people do you employ, and are you currently hiring?
A: The Sitka Team is small, nimble and incredibly capable, and we are looking to add a couple positions. If you’re interested, you can find all current openings at

HuntStand: If you could change one thing about Sitka Gear right now, what would it be?
A: We need more whiteboards. Our window-framed views of the Spanish Peaks, the Gallatins, the Bridgers and the Tobacco Roots are getting obstructed with dry-erase markers.

BigGame 3 600HuntStand: What are some short-range (less than two years) company goals?
A: We want to keep pushing this industry forward. If you don’t see others emulating our model of design, technology, conservation, service, and storytelling, then we’re not shaking things up enough.



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