Sam Davis' Early Season Archery Elk System

Our buddy Sam Davis let us tag along on an archery elk hunt last fall. "On the Fringe" documents his hunt, and you can watch it below starting April 27. Sam also broke down his system for us with some great insight for early season layering and gear choices.

Story by Sam Davis. Photos by Cam Henderson.

This hunt was a hot one. As I looked at the forecast of the 10 days I was planning on backpacking in for elk, I knew I was going to be dealing with extreme heat and with that maybe some occasional afternoon thunderstorms.

Starting from the bottom, I was running the 206 Pant. Super lightweight for the extreme heat but also durable enough to take a beating while chasing elk for the next week.


Sam Davis archery elk hunting

For a top layer I ran the Avro Synthetic Crew SS with the lightweight Avro Synthetic Hoody over the top. I really like the synthetics and how fast they dry out.

The Grumman LITE Down Jacket was in my pack for the cool mornings. And as always, I had my M5 Rain Rear with me. It never leaves my pack In the fall.


Sam Davis archery elk hunting

I used the Sky Talus 6900 for this adventure. I really like the side pockets and center zip, plus I’m a bigger guy and I pack quite a bit of extra food so I like the space of the 6900 for longer hunts.

Shelter & Sleep System

I slept in the Chilkoot 32° Quilt. The evenings were getting down into the forties so the quilt was a great lightweight option. My shelter was the SkyAir ULT with the Mesh Insert and Vestibule. This is my all-time favorite setup for early to mid-season hunts!

Other Gear

I always use the Skyline Bino Harness to protect my glass. For boots, I used the Zamberlan Baltoro Lites.

Sam Davis archery elk hunting