Author Archives: Chris Neff

Mystery Ranch 2018 Rundown

We know that keeping up with gear can be a little cumbersome and finding out what’s the latest and greatest year over year can be a little tricky. Today I wanted to go over everything Mystery Ranch for 2018 including the additions, what’s going away, and why you need to pack out with a Mystery Ranch this season!

Let’s start with what’s discontinued. Starting as of this year (2018) Mystery Ranch is going away from the Multicam pattern. While it might be an awesome pattern, Mystery Ranch is eliminating it from the Hunting lineup and is keeping the pattern focused on the Military side. They are also going to be fading out some of their small day packs like the Crest.

Continue reading

Darn Tough – Quality Socks – Made in the Heart of Vermont

When it comes to footwear and choosing your gear for the upcoming season the single most overlooked pieces of gear is your socks. What the average person doesn’t understand is that most hunting socks are built with a specific purpose. Some are made to be light and quick, some are meant to provide more cushion in your boot. One of the leading brands out there in our industry is Darn Tough, and they are the prime example of what makes a good sock. It’s a story of survival, a story of hard work, a story of never giving up, and all of those things make their socks “DARN TOUGH”.

Below is a film that Darn Tough put together last year that dives into the history and what makes a good sock. Definitely give it a watch when you have some free time. With that being said let’s dive into how and why to choose the right sock for you.

Continue reading

BlackOvis Custom Arrow ID – Why and How?

BlackOvis Custom Arrow ID Logo

Let’s face it you guys, factory fletchings is a thing of the past. Grabbing a dozen arrows off the shelf that are already pre-fletched is great and easy to grab last minute, but what if we told you that you could create a dozen custom arrows, see a preview of what they’d actually look like, and have them built and shipped within 48 hours…

Welcome to the BlackOvis Arrow ID…

Continue reading

Crispi Briksdal GTX – Product Gear Review

Crispi Briksdal GTX Review Banner

The Briksdal GTX was one of the new additions that Crispi US made to the lineup this year. Reason being is that they would give hunters the option of getting into a stiffer boot than the Nevada’s but not quite to the extreme as let’s say..a Scarpa.  That way you maintain that comfort level that Crispi is well known for. This boot was really designed to fill the need for those hunting at extreme elevation where they need a bit of Insulation (200 g), a stiffer board last, and a boot that will take a beating in the extreme terrain without getting into a pure mountaineering pack boot.

Continue reading

AccuBow | Pre – During – Post Archery Training

What is it?

AccuBow has been purging the world of social media since around late 2015 and has been peaking the interest of every and any bowhunter ever since.  What it is, is an Archery Training Device that is simple, easy and extremely effective if used right.  It really is a revolution in archery training because it can be used virtually anywhere!  We were fortunate to get our hands on one to play with for a couple days thanks to Matt over there at AccuBow and being the Archery Expert/Bow Tech here at BlackOvis, I had to see if this was worth it and what all the fuss was about.  Before I dive into my experience with using the AccuBow let me just explain my situation since it will obliviously differ from most.

Continue reading

First Lite – New for 2017

First Lite – 2017 NEW Pieces

2017 First Lite Gear

With the launch of First Lite’s 2017 lineup just around the corner, there is a bunch of new pieces that they’ve introduced and we decided to help you all out by explaining the benefits of each and every one! This year First Lite also introduced an addition to their color options with a new Cipher pattern.  For an in depth look of what and why Cipher is check out our Write Up Here.

Continue reading

Sitka SUBALPINE – New for 2017



GORE OPTIFADE Concealment incorporates the micro and macro patterns of the animal kingdom to help make hunters unrecognizable as predators, even when detected. Stalking predators, like tigers, have a macro-pattern of stripes that break up their body symmetry as they chase prey.  OPTIFADE takes these same concepts and uses a pattern that was designed for what ungulates see not how WE see making it an extremely effective pattern.


Continue reading

Dobson VS. Red Desert

Dobson Aerowool and Red Desert Merino Comparison

Dobson Desert

Dobson Desert Comp

With the introduction of the new First Lite Dobson Boxers, a lot of people, including myself, have been wondering what the main differences are between those and the legendary Red Desert Boxers so we decided to put them both to the use out in the field this season and lay out the major differences of both products and dive into which one is the best fit for you!

Continue reading

First Lite Beanie Comparison

First Lite Beanie Comparison


This year First Lite redesigned their accessory line and made a couple changes as well as additions to help fill the need that hunters ask for. One of the main differences right off the back is sizing. Starting this year First Lite started offering two sizes in their beanies, a Medium and a Large. The Medium size took over the old “One Size” and gives you the same fit and feel that you know and love out of any previous First Lite Beanie. The Large has a little bigger dimensions and sits a little lower on your head making it a perfect choice for those who want a little more covered or for those who just have a mellon on their shoulders.

Besides sizing, First Lite also introduced a new beanie, the Tag Cuff. Much like the Merino Beanie, this is made 100% out of Merino about twice as thick and features the “tag” fold-up style band around the base. This adds an extra layer of warmth for those bittersweet chilly mornings.

Having the option to choose the right style that fits your hunting style really helps keep your gear as versatile as can be and also allows you take full effect of all that specific product was designed for. They all are made out of 100% Ultra Fine Merino, which makes them lightweight, breathable, naturally odor resistant and they even stay 80% warmer when wet compared to other fabrics.


The “Classic” First Lite Merino Beanie is the perfect choice for early season hunting. If you spend a lot of time in high altitude or deep drainage’s where sunlight isn’t shown as much but you just need that added layer of warmth to keep your head and ears warm then this is the beanie for you plus it only weighs a couple of ounces. Again, this does come in two sizes now, Medium, which was the old One Size, and Large.


The Brimmed Beanie is everything you know and love about the Merino Beanie, the only difference is that it has a brim on the front. This tends to be the better choice if you do a lot of summiting or peaking in both twilight hours as well as during the day when you need to shield the sun out of your eyes without having to wear a hat. Besides that the fit, feel and technologies are identical.


The First Lite Tag Cuff Beanie is a new addition to the accessory lineup this year. First Lite got a lot of feedback about people wanting a beanie that did a little more than the Merino but still stuck within that price zone that every hunter can afford. The Tag Cuff is about twice as thick as the standard Merino Beanie and is similar to the same 330g Merino weight that the First Lite Chama EXP offers adding that extra heavyweight layer of warmth that is crucial in the late-season. It’s still made 100% out of Merino so still odor resistant, performs great even when wet, and features that “Tag Cuff” brim all across the base of the beanie which helps keep your ears warm and sweat under control just in case you get a little more active than planned.

Overall we’re excited to see the growth that First Lite has had in the last couple of years and how they always retain to keep the same Quality as they make advancements and spread out their product line offerings. You can’t go wrong with either or but be sure to pick one up and at that price pick up a spare as well that you can keep in your pack, truck, UTV at all times. You can never have enough beanies. Take that as a “Tip of the experienced idiot”.

1st Time Archery Elk Hunt | The Growth of Unsuccess

1st Time Archery Elk Hunt | The Growth of Unsuccess

By: Chris Neff


   A couple weeks back I had the chance to go on a fully guided archery elk hunt up in Colorado with our warehouse manager Jason Stein.  Jason actually had quite a bit of experience hunting elk and I was able to learn a lot by watching him on this hunt but the coolest part is that Jason is hearing impaired. Let me just start by saying that Jason is a hunting idol of mine now.  Picture hunting without being able to hear a single sound. How and where would you know where to hunt besides what you see?  Every year he gets it done and he can even bugle way better than I can.  Try making a sound that you have never heard before and can’t even hear yourself producing… It’s pretty insane.  At first I was a little worried about how we were going to communicate but luckily we had an eight and a half hour car ride and he was able to teach me a bit of ASL and let’s face it, when you’re hunting there is little talking anyways and a lot of hand signs.  I was taught countless tips and techniques for hunting elk from both Jason and our guide Kyle and quickly realized that it was a completely different ball park then hunting mule deer, which I knew but I decided to keep a journal and record the events every day to share that with all of you.  Pardon the novice writing skills but feel free to kill some time and dive into my experience and how our hunt unfolded in Taylor Park, Colorado!  **For the sake of the Outfitters Privacy and Respect, I have changed the names of all the areas that we hunted**

Continue reading