Favorite Shirt for Early Season Bowhunts?

SMITTY1HUNTER

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Jan 30, 2013
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I'm finally going to be making a hunt out west. I'll be hunting early season WY bow for elk. We're going to be packing in by foot and camping out for what will most likely be a pretty extended stay. I'm wondering what would be a good shirt that you guys find yourself wearing for the majority of the time? I will have a layering system and merino from Sitka will be my base layer. I'd like a lightweight shirt to wear on top or even to switch out and wear by itself. I don't want something that's going to start stinking after a day or two either. I've heard good things about the Cabela's microtex so I may go that route just wanted to see some varied opinions. Thanks guys.
 

birdman1

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Feb 2, 2013
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NEBC
Merino for me too. I usually start off with Kuiu's 185 and 250, then shed the 250 as it warms up. The merino takes days of use before it starts to stink. I really like that stuff!
 

fillthefreezer

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You guys got me thinking I'll just do the same. Do you just bring two and just swap them out as you wear them?

last year i ran my redram shirt and switched between a kuiu 185 (still long sleeve) and a slightly heavier polypro 1/4zip. mostly because the temps were wild and neither was quite the right weight. since december ive been using the 185 as a tshirt with the 230 over as needed. i really dont even take the tshirt off unless i need a little baby wipe shower.
 

Racethesunset

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If I am understanding you right, you are wanting camo clothing that breathes AND is durable for when you are looping around a ridge for closer look at an animal in a hundred degree heat wave, surrounded on all sides by high desert cliffs, thorns, cacti, and shrubs.

Honestly, the major hunting gear shops have yet to produce 'western' hot gear clothing that competes with the rest of the outdoor industry.

For shirts, I guess I like cotton when it's really hot. Call me old fashioned, I just don't buy into long sleeve Merino or mesh in the desert summer and early fall.

If you are concerned about temperature fluctuation, buy a Kuiu Superdown Hoodie or Sitka Wind Shirt.

For pants (why not discuss western pants too?) I would recommend a lightweight hiking pant from marmot and columbia that have thin, tough fabric to resist tears and the like, but aren't necessarily mesh-like (mesh is for tennis courts). REI and Sports Authority sells pants like this.

If you only shop at Cabelas, I suppose Sitka has a couple shirts that almost fit the bill, and they are similar to Cabelas Microtex. like most porous fabrics, these will get murdered by wait-a-minute-bushes. The Microtex stuff falls victim to those seed pod things that look like miniature arrows. A couple years ago I had to pick hundreds out of my shins after a thirty minute walk through a grass plateau in those pants. Not cool.

My two cents.
 

Solitude

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Feb 28, 2012
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Smitty1Hunt,

The last few years I have done virtually the same hunt you are doing this year.

I guess I am the odd ball here as I use a long sleeve poly shirt for my day time hunting. Wash it in creeks to cool down and freshen up when I need too. They wick moisture well and are extremely cool IMO. I will not be changing this year an probably have a dozen shirt options (including the ones mentioned above) but keep coming back to the long sleeve poly for coolness and sun protection.

After a week in the backcountry you will smell and you will be busted during your final approach if you do not play the wind correctly. Have a great time on your September elk hunt and wear what is comfortable to you.
 
OP
SMITTY1HUNTER

SMITTY1HUNTER

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Jan 30, 2013
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Location
South Louisiana
Smitty1Hunt,

The last few years I have done virtually the same hunt you are doing this year.

I guess I am the odd ball here as I use a long sleeve poly shirt for my day time hunting. Wash it in creeks to cool down and freshen up when I need too. They wick moisture well and are extremely cool IMO. I will not be changing this year an probably have a dozen shirt options (including the ones mentioned above) but keep coming back to the long sleeve poly for coolness and sun protection.

After a week in the backcountry you will smell and you will be busted during your final approach if you do not play the wind correctly. Have a great time on your September elk hunt and wear what is comfortable to you.

I'm glad you said that, I wear mine for turkey season and bow and I know what you mean about washing it off in the creek. They dry extremely fast. I was going to bring the one I have but may get one more sense you said that. Thanks for all the replies fellers!
 

JNDEER

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May 2, 2012
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If I am understanding you right, you are wanting camo clothing that breathes AND is durable for when you are looping around a ridge for closer look at an animal in a hundred degree heat wave, surrounded on all sides by high desert cliffs, thorns, cacti, and shrubs.

Honestly, the major hunting gear shops have yet to produce 'western' hot gear clothing that competes with the rest of the outdoor industry.

For shirts, I guess I like cotton when it's really hot. Call me old fashioned, I just don't buy into long sleeve Merino or mesh in the desert summer and early fall.


My two cents.

Race - You should really look into wool for summer hunting. I have been hunting CA July archery season for 6 years. First two years I wore cotton. Not knowing any better I thought it was great. It would get soaked with my sweat and when a little breeze came it would feel cool. When I stopped I would take it off and hang it out in the sun to dry, but I had to always have at least two shirts so I could change them out.

Years 3-5 I switched to an BPS Enduraskin long sleeve. This shirt was super thin, I could feel the slightest breeze through the shirt and if and when my back got saturated it only took a few minutes for it to dry. I felt less clamy while hunting and overall it just felt better. From that point on I threw away all my cotton clothes.

Year 6 I hunted with a First lite long sleeve wool shirt. It did everything the enduraskin shirt did, but it did not have that "sticky" feeling you can get when really sweating with a poly shirt before the sweat gets wicked away. I wore that shirt for 8 total days while hunting in July with temps ranging from 72-104.

Hiking for 2 hours in to our camp and would hike out from there. It is hot and miserable, but I can honestly say that this wool shirt is like "magic" in that I really stayed warm in the mornings, cool during the day and never got clamy or sticky while hiking and sweating buckets. I was like you before and loved cotton before slowly makeing the move to wool. I would highly recommend giving it a try before you knock it.
 

Racethesunset

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Jan 8, 2013
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Arizona
Thanks I will give the lighter Merino a try. I liked the 185 from Kuiu for sub 90 degrees this past season, but boy was it stuffy when the wind stopped. Appreciate the tip.
 

JNDEER

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May 2, 2012
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No problem race. At first I was very scared I would get too hot as I over heat quickly. I was very pleased with the llano and what it did. Never over heated once and I was in the heat a lot including a few stalks mid day.

Just worth a try, if they do not quite do it for you my next thought would be the super thin poly stuff. UA or enduraskin has worked for me.
 

bowinhand

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Feb 26, 2012
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Colorado
like most porous fabrics, these will get murdered by wait-a-minute-bushes. The Microtex stuff falls victim to those seed pod things that look like miniature arrows. A couple years ago I had to pick hundreds out of my shins after a thirty minute walk through a grass plateau in those pants. Not cool

Ditto, had the same thing with the microtex. look for a tighter woven fabric. I have a pair of REI 4-way stretch pants and kuiu attack pants i like.

As for a shirt I like merino. Red ram t-shirt and 1/4 zip and/or minus 33 230gr 1/2 zip long sleeve. A couple wool base layers short or long sleeve light weight, one long sleeve mid weight, a breathable rain jacket and a puffy jacket and your set.
 
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