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  • Review: Outdoor Edge Razor-Blaze

    I remember when my friend and hunting buddy first introduced me to the Havalon knife, my first exposure to a removable blade knife for skinning and field dressing game. It blew my mind, and aside from the razor sharp blade that scared me to death at first thought of changing out blades, I was sold! With time and a bit of practice, I found that I could remove the blade without too much trouble, but with laser focus as to not remove a finger. Perhaps you too had the same reaction.

    Fast forward a few years and in 2013 Outdoor Edge dove right into the removable blade knife world by introducing the Razor-Blaze, a knife that was similar in some ways but that addressed some of the demands that hunters and outfitters had been asking for.

    Outdoor Edge Razor-Blaze at work on my Idaho bull elk Outdoor Edge Razor-Blaze at work on my Idaho bull elk
    2014 OTC Idaho Bull Elk by Kendall Card 2014 OTC Idaho Bull Elk by Kendall Card

    Some of those enhancements and features that stand out for the Outdoor Edge Razor-Blaze knife are:

    • Stronger blade strength by adding in a "receiver" for the removable blade. This gives is more stability and rigidity, especially when doing things like cutting through the hip joint ball and socket area or the shoulder blade area on the front quarter of an elk
    • Easy, let me repeat, EASY to replace blades. Push the button and pull out the old, in with the new. It's simple and secure
    • The soft tactile grip of the handle feels great in the hand and won't slip when wet
    • Lock-back folding knife style. Again, easy and simple
    • Blades that you can re-sharpen if you'd like. This is quite unique among the replaceable blade knives and certainly sets the Outdoor Edge apart from the crowd


    What I found using this knife on two elk and a deer during the 2014 hunting season is that I really liked the feel of the handle and the durability of the knife in my hand. It felt and acted like a strong traditional folding knife with the advantage of a very sharp blade. I didn't think twice about the blade bending or even breaking which had happened to me before while caping a deer with the Havalon. There's not doubt that replacing the blade on this knife is so easy and safe, even my 8 year old daughter could do it without trouble. Additionally as the knife got wet from blood, it didn't move a bit in my hand and I was able to get the job done every time.

    A couple of points of criticism would be that first off I was a little surprised that the blade seemed just a bit less sharp than the Havalon right off the bat, and it did dull a bit faster than its competitor. Secondly, at 3.7 ounces for the knife and an additional 2.4 ounces for the sheath, I felt that for an extended backpacking trip I would consider at least leaving the sheath behind from a weight savings standpoint.

    Overall, the durability, ease of replacing the blade and the ability to sharpen the blade were all worthy trade offs that may likely offset my criticisms and keep me coming back to the Razor-Blaze for the 2015 season.

  • MSR Giveaway - Rokslide and

    The progress of backpacking stoves has come a very long way in the past couple of decades. When MSR first introduced the MSR Whisperlite International it changed the experience of cooking in the backcountry for hunters and backpackers alike. I still remember that first experience with my brand new MSR Whisperlite in the old growth forests of was a game changer.

    MSR Reactor Stove

    Fast forward 25 years and MSR is one again leading the charge in the backpack stove market with last years introduction of the MSR Reactor Stove System. This compact and powerful stove is built for tough conditions where you and I hunt each season.

    As part of Rokslide's Camp Month and in coordination with the MSR Reactor Stove review written by Matt Wymer, has teamed up with Rokslide to give away two of these Reactor Stove Systems.

    Submissions Have Now Ended

    Winners will be notified via email and given two days to respond back. Go check out the winner list here now posted on Rokslide to see if you made the cut!


    • - 2 MSR Reactor Stove Systems will be given away to two lucky winners
    • - 10 winners will receive a 30% off code valid to purchase a MSR Reactor Stove System as well as the MSR Reactor Coffee Press Kits.
    • - Everyone that enters to win will receive a special offer from following the contest

    Terms and Conditions

    By entering to win you will receive the weekly BlackOvis Gear Insider email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Your email will not be shared or sold to any entity that is not BlackOvis or Rokslide. You will have 10 days to claim your prize after which we'll announce another winner

  • Sitka Rain Jackets - Stormfront vs. Cloudburst vs. Dewpoint - Which Works Best for Your Hunt!

    Finding the perfect rain jacket can be a daunting task. Finding the right one for your hunting style and the weather in which you will be hunting can be difficult without trying them out in the field. While searching for the best Sitka Rain Jacket for your hunt, it's nearly impossible to find comparisons for the 3 jackets Sitka offers. The Stormfront, Cloudburst, and Dewpoint are all top of the line rain jackets by Sitka, but the one for you may be different than the one you were planning on buying. Here is a breakdown of each jacket:

    Stormfront JacketCloudburst JacketDewPoint Jacket
    Stormfront Jacket
    Cloudburst Jacket
    Dewpoint Jacket
    22.00 oz: Medium24.00 oz: Large
    18.30 oz:Medium20.80 oz: Large
    12.70 oz: Medium14.40 oz: Large
    • Most durable hard-shell in Sitka's line
    • Foldaway Hood
    • Extended Tail
    • Water tight cuffs
    • 4 Strategicaly located pockets (2 chest, 2 sleeve)
    • Pockets are placed to be easily accessed with a pack on
    • Elevated hand pockets to keep rain water out
    • Pit-Zips
    • Most versitile in Sitka's line
    • 2 Hand pockets
    • 2 Chest pockets
    • 1 Sleeve Pocket
    • Hood Zips into collar
    • Pull Cords for Hood in chest pocket
    • Pit Zips
    • Lightest weight
    • Most packable
    • Ideal for the ounce counter
    • Pit Zips double as hand pockets
    • 1 True Pocket (Chest)
    Type of Hunting
    Extended periods of time in wettest conditions. Perfect for more time in the brush. Alaska is a great fit for the Stormfront. Weight is not your first concern
    Hunting with a pack, but not concerned about weight. Great for the occasional heavy rain storm. Ideal for early archery bow hunting with the August storms
    Backpacking - Count those ounces! Not spending hours each day in rain jacket. You don't need lots of features, just want to stay dry!
    Fabric Details
    3 Layer Gore-Tex Fabric
    3 Layer Gore-Tex Laminate
    3 Layer Gore-Tex Fabric
    Micro Taped SeamsDWR Finish
    Micro Taped SeamsDWR Finish
    Micro Taped SeamsDWR Finish
    Hunting Conditions
    Torrential downpour for days
    Heavy to Intermediate rain
    Light to Intermediate rain for shorter periods of time


    Ok, ok I know, it's a chart with a bunch of info on it. So I am going to tell you short and sweet what rain jacket to buy depending on where you will be hunting.

    Stormfront: You will be hunting in long periods of rain, sometimes for days. This is perfect for the guy that needs to wear his rain jacket while bushwacking or hiking through dense brush. Alaska comes to mind for the Sitka Stormfront Jacket. So if you have a trip to Alaska, get the Sitka Stormfront Jacket.

    Cloudburst: This is the rain jacket I use the most. I don't worry too much about the weight I am packing in since I am usually on day hunts or maybe an overnighter. I get all of the features of the Stormfront with a bunch of pockets, but I won't be diving through brush so I don't need the full durability of the Stormfront Jacket.

    Dewpoint: This is for the backpacker. The guy counting ounces that is going to be hunting bivy style and needs the waterproofing of Gore-Tex but does not need the features with pockets and a stowaway hood.

    Also while you are looking for rain jackets, don't forget the rain pants!

    Whichever you choose, it will keep you dry! Backed by Gore-Tex's Lifetime warranty, you can rest assured that it won't leak, won't break down, and if it does Gore-Tex will hook you up.

  • Sitka Layering in August & September


    With the off-season in full effect, I know I am not alone when I say I could really use a trip to the mountains with bow in hand chasing deer and elk here in Utah. I know you feel the same, that instead of sitting behind that computer screen, you were a few thousand feet higher in elevation. Since now is the time to research what gear you will be using for this year's hunts, I wanted to give you a glance into my early season Sitka layering system. Now this may not be the best layering system for you, or you may disagree with me completely, but this is the system I have found that works best for me during the early season hunts. This system keeps me dry, warm, and scent free during my 1 to 2 day hunts here in Utah.

    Core Layer - Against Skin

    Intermediate Layer

    • Sitka Mountain Pants - With removable knee pads and stretchy fabric these pants are ideal for almost any situation. I have even wore them into December (of course with more layers underneath!)
    • On top I am only wearing my Core 1/4 Zip Shirt, this is due to the fact that it is really warm in August and September. If it cools down I will wear the Traverse Zip Tee in its place.
    • Once I get to the top I am breaking out my Kelvin Lite Vest. At only 9.6 oz this vest keeps me warm when my core temperature drops after my ascent and it isn't a big deal to throw in my day-pack.

    Rain Wear

    • Cloudburst Jacket - 100% waterproof Gore-Tex shell. Full rain protection all without sacrificing features. I still get a ton of pockets to keep everything close. 
    • Since my Mountain Pants are DWR treated they will keep me dry, that is unless the storm starts dumping water. At that point it is time to get out the Cloudburst Pants. With full size zips it is easy to put them on over the top of all of my other layers.

    With this system you will stay comfortable during August and into September. Granted there are some pieces you may want to implement once the middle to end of September hits, but this will get you through the elements that may be thrown your way during the early season. Now go stock up! The 20% off Sitka Sale is only going for a few more weeks here at BlackOvis!

    Would you do something different? Tell me below! 

  • Sitka Core Series - Review and Layering Technique

    BOLD STATEMENT ALERT! When used properly, Sitka Gear is the best hunting clothing around. Now, of course I am biased since I always love wearing my "Opti-Fad" while I trick those huge 16" bucks into thinking I am just a blurry spot on their eye. But in all reality, my journey to discover the system which is Sitka did take a long time. A "journey" that led me to realize that Sitka has developed the best hunting clothing in my eyes. Unless you understand the layering system behind Sitka, you won't truly come to love their system and everything that it can do for you. Since Sitka is designed to be layered, you cannot simply buy a Coldfront Jacket and think you have the best camo on the market. The backbone of Sitka is layering, and when we layer we'll be comfortable, no matter what Mother Nature can throw at us. We all want to stay in the field longer, away from real world responsibilites, and by layering you can stay out longer, go further and be more successful since you are spending more time in the field. Check out this video on the Sitka layering system:

    Since you now know why you should layer, you need to know where to start! The Core Series is where it all begins.

    The Core Series is part of Sitka's "Next to Skin" system, obviously meaning it goes on first! The clothing you put next to your skin needs to have characteristics that wick that stinky moisture away all while keeping you smelling fresh and provide comfort and warmth. No that does not mean you can be out hunting for 5 days and come home and expect a snuggle sesh with your wife. Sadly, you will need to shower before that happens, trust me I know. Sitka utilizes a 4-way stretch fabric to allow you to move and stretch so that you can make it up to the top of that peak without having your clothing slow you down. The Core Series is made up of a 100% polyester bi-component technological fabric that actively moves sweat away from the skin, ultimately keeping you warmer or cooler, longer.


    There are a lot more experienced hunters out in the industry that will tell you that you must layer. A concept that I had not learned fully until this year. I personally use the Core Series in each of my hunts. I used the Core Zip T all during the archery season, and I will continue to wear the Core Zip T under more layers this weekend on the opener of the rifle deer season. During those earlier hunts, I typically will only wear the Core Zip-T (of course in Optifade Open Country) and it is by far one of the most comfortable shirts I have worn in the field. What has really sold me on Sitka is the way their clothing fits. I don't want my camo to be too baggy, but also I don't need it to be skin tight (ahem Under Armour Base Layers.) Sitka has truly designed the Core Series to be your first line of defense, the necessity of your hunting clothing. Sometimes I even wear my Core Crew Short Sleeve underneath my Core Zip-T as an extra layer of defense when it is not quite cold enough for a jacket, but one layer does not quite cut the cold.

    Sitka has designed the Core Series to be used at all times, and with a variety of either synthetic fabrics or merino wool, you will find the one that works best for you. Personally I like the synthetic fabrics since they tend to dry out a little faster, but merino is much better in scent elimination. So really you will need to decide based on the hunting situation you are going to be in and your personal preference whether the merino or the synthetic works better for you.

    Here are the 3 main key points of all items in the Core Series:

    • 4 way stretch - Making it, oh so comfy!
    • ATB-100 Silver Scent Inhibiting Technology - Keep that stinky BO to a minimum.
    • Moisture Wicking - I don't want to be soaked when the wind kicks up!

    Here is Dale Pearson, Sikta Athlete, explaining why he loves the Sitka Core Series.

    So now you need the Core Series right? Well guess what, you can get it right here on!
    Check out the Core Series on BlackOvis HERE or each piece below, remember it will always ship free:

  • First Lite's New Pattern - First Lite Fusion Review

    Just released - New First Lite Fusion "No Pixels, No Trees"

    Buy Fusion on BlackOvis by clicking HERE.

    We are super excited to announce that BlackOvis will be one of the very few to carry the new Fusion pattern from First Lite. Many of you have not heard or seen much about the pattern so I wanted to give you the exciting points and my initial thoughts about what First Lite has done to create this new pattern.

    A First Lite exclusive, Fusion excels at removing the characteristics of outlines of the hunter from 2 to 2000 yards. Let's see if you grasp that, 2 to 2000 yards, so pretty much everywhere and anywhere you may be while hunting.  So unless you are trying to catch game by hand I think that just maybe, Fusion is going to work for you. I will give you the long sophisticated words later of why this camo works, but in short Fusion will hide you from game better than other patterns offered by First Lite. Different from other patterns First Lite has used, Fusion does not use leaves or trees. Let's be honest here, the leaves and trees that you find on your camo are most likely not the same leaves and trees where you hunt. Stop trying to blend in to your surroundings, it's time to disappear. Another pattern that First Lite has used, you know the one, it looks like a tribal tattoo. Well that pattern used thick dark lines, just think of seeing black branches on a hillside, they would probably stand out. First Lite has taken all of the knowledge they have gained over the years and through research and testing, and created Fusion, the pattern designed to help you blend in and disappear. 

    _DSC1651email First Lite Fusion in the Field

    To be honest, when I first saw the pattern online, I thought it was ugly to say the least. That it looked like puke. But the images First Lite has on their site are a little off, the pattern is not as bright as they make it seem. After trying the Fusion on and wearing it around for a minute I was actually shocked at how much it was growing on me. The lighter browns in the camo are not as strong as many of the product images. And of course, it is First Lite so it still uses their fantastic Merino Wool and top of the line fabrics to keep you comfortable while in the field. If you have never worn First Lite before, you can typically size down in many of the mid-weight and heavier pieces.

    With everyone trying to make their own camo pattern these days (and most failing) First LIte may have just nailed it. Let's talk specifics:

    -Employs macro and micro disruption as well as finely tuned distortions

    -Perfect relationship of color and shape to deliver maximum concealment

    -Large Shape Disruption: the larger shapes distorts and hides the hunters body shape by incorporating large regions of light and dark that work against the human figure

    -Small-Medium Texture Disruption: When you are closer, you need those finer details. This is what the smaller and medium texture disruption gives you, it hides your location and shape and blends then hunter into their surroundings.

    -Disruptive Coloration: Using a fined tuned set of 9 colors Fusion uses contrast to help blend the hunter into their surroundings, no matter where they are hunting.

    -Focal and Depth Confusion: The animal has a hard time focusing on the hunter due to the color and the algorithms put into Fusion.

    -Light and Dark Crackleture: The crackleture (not found in other patterns) offer another level of versatility and effectiveness by distorting the hunter even more.


    Fusion Fusion design of shape and colors absolutely obliterates the human shape

    Are you still with me? So basically what that all means is animals won't be able to see you. This is not your grandpa's leaves and trees camo. It is time that we evolved into the next level of camo. First Lite Fusion will hide you from that trophy, it's just a matter of if you can take the shot.

    Fusion Hide yourself from 2 to 2000 yards

    Overall we are absolutely stoked for Fusion! This pattern is the next big thing on the mountain and it is here on BlackOvis! We approve of the new Fusion pattern and know it is going to work in any situation in which you may be in your next hunt.

    The question behind it all is, can you actually get your hands on some?

    Click HERE to check it out on

  • The Ultimate Bow Sling - Alpine Innovations CamBow Review

    With archery season just around the corner, we wanted to do a review on a new product we are carrying, the CamBow bowhunting sling by Alpine Innovations.

    Bow slings, just another hunting gimmick that I hate! But sadly, I have always been looking for one that will actually work. The ultimate bow sling has been harder to find than my TV remote.  My search is now over! This is the absolute best bow sling in the market today! The CamBow by Alpine Innovations has taken everything that we hate about bow slings (I'm looking at you Primos), and made them a thing of the past! Unlike other bow-slings, the CamBow hooks around your limbs and onto your riser so there is not any stress on the cams of your bow. The CamBow also comes off a whole heck of a lot easier than other slings on the market, all you need to do is pull a tab and the CamBow snaps off quickly and quietly so that you can make your shot! With all the hiking we do here in the west, a quality bow sling is always needed. I will definitely be hunting with a CamBow this year on my bow, it is the only sling I have found that I don't absolutely hate! Now to find that TV remote....

    Check out the video review done by our very own Kendall Card:

    While you are at it, check out all of the cool, innovative products from Alpine Innovations --> HERE.

  • Scouting for High Country Mule Deer

    Scouting season is upon us and the opening season is just around the corner. It is time to dust off those trail cams and make sure they still work, and stock up on batteries (more than you expect!)

    When scouting for a big mature mule deer you need time, patience, focus, and a good set of glass.

    Let’s face it, trail cameras are just another fun hobby.  I look forward to putting out trail cameras every year but I am not convinced that they will help you kill a mature buck. There are plenty of great trail cameras out there on the market. Honestly, I personally can’t choose one brand. Unless you are hunting private ground, my opinion is buy a camera that you can get a smoking deal on, that way when you place your camera on public ground you won't be stressing about your $400 trail camera you just put on a heavily used trail. Remember, when putting out trail cams, you alway risk getting your cameras messed with, broken, or even worse, stolen. For me, I can't beat the value of  Stealth Cam, Bushnell trail cameras, or even the Wildgame Innovations and Cuddeback Trail cameras. If you are in the market for a higher end camera make sure to check out Spypoint and Covert trail cams. They definitely help on finding bucks and what size of bucks that are in the area. Unless you have the same buck on the same trail or same water hole consistently than it’s all just a crap shoot. Now personally, if I do find a good buck on one of my cameras I will than pull cameras from other areas that are not doing so good and flood the area with the good buck to try and find the bucks favorite path.

    IM000413Alright, so you have placed your cameras and been able to pattern a few really nice mature bucks, now it is time for homework.You really have to do your homework on when you get the pictures back from your cameras. It will seem as if you are enrolled in law school for deer hunting. Check how often he is coming in and what times of day. Checking the times of day is so crucial, make sure you plan your hunt accordingly to when he is using what trails/watering holes. If legal in your state try and use a salt lick if you can in your state. I prefer the Trophy Rock brand. This will slow the buck down so you can get some good pictures of him, and also get him to keep using the same trail more frequently instead of using a trail that’s 20ft up or 20ft downhill from the trail you put your camera on.

    This is so important! DO NOT check your trail cameras too often, or else you can leave so much human scent the bucks will vacate the area completely. Give the area at least 2 weeks (3 weeks is better) before you check on it. I know it’s really hard to wait, but if you can’t wait, than get a few more and spread them out in different areas at different days of the week so you are constantly checking different cameras to keep tabs on your deer. My beautiful picture

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  • Hunting Essentials - Your Camping Gear

    65 Days 11 Hours and 41 Minutes.  That is the time we have left until archery season begins here in Utah. As I gear up for this years deer and elk hunt I have been looking a lot into the gear I use and how I can better prepare myself for the hunt that is quickly approaching.

    The purpose of this blog post is to better familiarize you with some of the camping gear that we carry here at, but also to share experiences with you so that you can learn from my mistakes. I also have a killer gear list to help you on this year's hunt, whether you will be backpack hunting in Alaska or spot and stalk hunting in Sonora.

    "Last year while on the archery deer hunt in Central Utah, we got rained on pretty much every single day. Not just a little sprinkle here or there, but we are talking about torrential downpour each time we were in the field (make sure to get some rain gear!) This lead to one thing... discouragement. It did not matter how much I practiced, how hard I trained, how many bow-hunting movies I watched to get pumped up. I was discouraged. Now I had 1 saving grace, 1 thing that helped me to keep going. My Jetboil stove. A warm meal can really turn your spirits in an instance. With my Jetboil, I was able to get a warm meal at least twice a day. With hot oatmeal in the morning and a hot Mountain House meal in the field, it is what saved my hunt. Although I was not able to fill my tag, I did learn many valuable lessons along the way. 1 of which was the importance of my Jetboil stove, but most importantly that I needed to upgrade almost all of my camping gear for next year's (now this year's) hunt."

    photo (7) The Key to a good hunt - Good Food! Mountain House and a Jetboil, you can't go wrong with that.



    If you are ready to get serious about hunting, camping and backpacking here is a list I made of all of my favorite camping gear:


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  • 2014 Sitka Lineup - New and Updated

    When I first laid eyes on the original Sitka 90% Jacket nearly 7 years ago, it was love at first sight. Like many other hunters, I knew that this was a game changer and more importantly that I needed to get one. Putting on my 90% Jacket for my first archery elk hunt felt like I was putting on something as solid as armour, as stealth as ninja and it felt like my hunting clothing had indeed been transformed to gear. What was then a very young Sitka brand had not only raised the bar but had set it high, so much so that it left other clothing companies scrambling to play catch up.

    Optifade stealth like a ninja! Optifade stealth like a ninja!

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