Jonathan Willis

  1. BlackOvis Holiday Gift Guide

    Every year I sit down to write the Holiday Gift Guide for BlackOvis with two goals in mind. One, help people who may not be hunters give the hunters in their life better gifts, and two, make sure no one has to force a smile while unwrapping a camouflage necktie or polo shirt with deer all over it. Giving a gift to a loved one with a hobby you don't understand can be a challenge. My video game-obsessed nephew got 500 AA batteries from his uncle who has never owned a Nintendo, or Sega Genesis. Electronics need batteries right? It's the thought that counts? Hopefully, this list will give you a few “thoughts” that will count a little more… Continue reading →
  2. So, You Got a New Bow Huh?

    I have been intrigued by archery since I was a little kid. My first few setups were recurve bows and mismatched arrows. The birds, squirrels, and hay bale targets in my yard were generally pretty safe but I didn’t care. I just loved watching the arrows fly. As I got older my desire to hit what I was aiming at gradually caught up, so at age 10 or 11 I finally graduated to a compound bow with a set of matched, store-bought arrows! That first setup was a pretty simple flipper-style rest and single-pin sight, but it was the start of a journey with bows and arrows that has led me throughout life. Watching arrows fly is still a thrill for me.  Continue reading →
  3. Crispi New & Updated Hunting Boots For 2022

    The team at Crispi, both here in America and in our Italian factory is constantly looking to improve, update and innovate our boot line. The lessons learned while hunting all across North America create ideas that can turn into new updates, improvements, and designs. We are in a unique position here at Crispi US to take the ideas and feedback we gather throughout the year directly to our Italian designers to influence design decisions and directly lead to improvements and changes. With that in mind here are the new and updated boots in the Crispi line for 2022. Continue reading →
  4. 2021 State Hunter Orange Requirements

    Here's a quick look at the information we've gathered on if and how much blaze orange you might need in the state you're hunting: Continue reading →
  5. How to Choose a Hunting Sock

    One of the first phone calls I took when I started doing Customer Service for BlackOvis was a gentleman who had just retired from his job. He explained that he was 71 years old and figured he had 15 or 20 years left. One of his retirement gifts to himself was buying 365 pairs of socks. For the first year of retirement he would get to wear a brand new pair of socks every day! Most likely each pair would only be worn a couple of dozen times before he passed away. This guy was my hero!  Continue reading →
  6. Crispi Warm Weather Boots

    Ahhhh it's finally spring time. The sun is shining, kind of. It’s pretty much stopped snowing and draw results are slowly starting to trickle in. Hopefully you have already been out looking for sheds, turkey hunting or maybe setting baits for spring bear. As the temperatures and snow line keep rising, the mud dries out and the runoff slows down. Most of us are cleaning and storing our late season and winter equipment so we can start pulling out warm weather gear. The right warm weather equipment can take you from late spring shed, turkey and bear hunts, into summer scouting and the early archery season. Continue reading →
  7. Expandable Broadheads

    Every year as archery hunters are making preparations for the Fall, it seems like broadheads are often the last thing on the list. Many guys will head to the local store, pick up a pack or two of whatever catches their eye, screw them on the front of their arrow and head out. Without fail every year you will hear a story about somebody who made a “perfect shot” only to never recover the animal. Most of the time the blame gets placed on the broadhead and it seems like it is usually an expandable broadhead. Continue reading →
  8. Fixed Blade Broadheads

    Here in the west we are six to eight weeks away from most archery seasons opening up. With prep time getting short a lot of folks are looking at broadheads trying to decide what to shoot. Both fixed blade and expandable broadheads have advantages and disadvantages, but in the article I will be focusing on fixed blade style broadheads. Continue reading →
  9. NEW 2020 Arrows

    New Hunting Arrows for 2020 Easton Easton FMJ Limited Edition Legend Easton has been running a limited edition of their popular FMJ for a few years now. In the past they have done the Fall Stalker Brown and Woodland Camouflage. For 2020 they have the Legend. It is the same FMJ arrow that everyone loves with a carbon core and aluminum outer. The Legend features an artistic whitetail scene on the logo, similar to what the engraving you may find on a high end shotgun. Continue reading →
  10. New Broadheads for 2019

    We pride ourselves at on being in the loop on new products and we strive to research every new offering and carry products that we think set our customers up for success. Every item we carry on BlackOvis has been scrutinized and meets or exceeds our standards. Every year we anxiously wait to see what new products and innovations are announced and decide what makes the cut to be on the site. The trend in broadheads for 2019 was stronger designs and better materials. This year we are excited to offer eight new broadhead models from 5 different companies. Each of these models has traditional characteristics of a quality broadhead. Strength, sharpness, good flight, and quality construction. Whether you want to shoot a two, three, or four blade, fixed or expandable broadhead we have you covered. Continue reading →
  11. Sleeping Bags - 101

    Synthetic VS Down This is a topic that has been covered extensively and there are a million write ups explaining the differences and pros and cons of different types of insulation. For the purpose of this write up I will give a broad overview of Down and Synthetic insulation. Synthetic insulation is generally heavier and will not compress as small as down. It also tends to pack down over time and lose loft. Loft equals warmth. On the plus side, synthetic insulation is generally cheaper than down and will hold loft and provide some warmth when wet. It also tends to dry faster than down. Down insulation is lighter and will compress extremely small. The downside is it is more expensive and will not insulate when it gets wet. It also takes longer to dry out. Marmot uses Hydrophobic down or synthetic insulation in most of their bags with a couple of models using both synthetic and Down. Hydrophobic treatment is a method of covering down with a waterproofing agent that helps it repel water. This along with mixing in a small amount of synthetic insulation gives users the best of both worlds in one bag. Continue reading →
  12. Marmot Sleeping Bags

    Marmot Logo Spring is slowly fading into summer. Many of us have already been out on the mountain after turkeys, bear, or shed horns. Draw results have been announced in most states with a couple states set to release results in the next few weeks.  We have had all winter to think back on the past season and consider what gear worked, what didn’t and what we need to upgrade. This is the time of year for us to start researching and making decisions on what new gear we are going to add to our kit for the upcoming season. With that in mind I wanted to do a quick review on Marmot sleeping bags. Whether you are an experienced backcountry hunter or someone fairly new, Marmot has a bag with specific features and a price point that will work for you. In this write up I will cover a few Marmot specific features and then give a quick example of a Good, Better, and Best option. Marmot has been making outdoor gear since 1974 and was the first to use Gore-Tex fabrics in sleeping bags. Because of this long history they have been able to fine tune their sleeping bag line with a few specific features not found in other bags. Continue reading →
  13. Sitka 90% Series Explained

    Sitka 90% Series Explained sitka-90-series-explained In our world of remakes, remixes and new models, occasionally you find that somebody got it right the first time. That the original is still the best. Willie Nelson, Ghost Busters, Pre 64 model 70’s and the Sitka 90% series. This was the idea that started it all. High quality, technical fabrics made into clothing, designed and built specifically for hunters. The days of an old pair of jeans and a flannel shirt, baggy cotton camo, and heavy one size fits most army surplus stuff are officially gone and we never have to go back. When Sitka came out with the first 90% series it really did change the way we viewed our hunting clothing. Hunters realized that they could hunt longer, smarter and more efficiently than before. We found that by choosing a few specific pieces and using an intelligent layering plan we could be comfortable, mobile and safe for longer periods of time further away from a home base. Clothing was now gear. We have come a long way since then and our options for high quality clothing seem to be growing every day, but the 90% series from Sitka just may be the best of the best! Continue reading →

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