SHOT Show is chock-full of interesting people. I met one who thinks it’s fun to run 200-mile marathons and hunt bears from ground positions with a bow. That would be bowhunter, extreme fitness enthusiast, and apex predator Cameron Hanes. I had the opportunity to sit down with Cam and talk about his endorsement of the new Under Armour Ridge Reaper Forest camo line. It’s coming this April and will be carried exclusively by Cabela’s for the remainder of 2016.

Here’s what Cam had to say about his hunting adventures, how Under Armour Ridge Reaper Forest has worked for him in the field, and what’s on his plate for the rest of the year.

OutdoorHub: Tell us about your exposure to Under Armour Ridge Reaper Forest camo.

Cameron Hanes: Under Armour designed the pattern, then it was a matter of field-testing it, and that’s where I came in. I’m out using it hunting to see how it works and if it’s effective. Right out of the gate, I could tell that it worked well in timber and [in the] open, which are the types of areas where I hunt. I became a fan of it right out of the gate.

OH: When you go out and are trying to evaluate a new pattern, how do you gauge its success?

Cam: Well, if the animal sees me…but seriously, it’s pretty simple. I bowhunt only, so I’m close to the animals. My whole thing is stealth and getting close. Archery is an up-close and personal challenge. This year, I killed 10 animals, six of which were during rifle season with my bow, so it sounds weird to say “if the animal runs away, it’s not working”, but it’s true. I was able to get in close to animals. If the camo’s not working, the animal will either stare holes through you or bust out of there.

OH: How many hunts have you done with the Forest camo and what did you take?

Cam: I’ve used it for at least seven or eight hunts so far. I’ve taken two brown bears (grizzlies); two black bears; three bull elk in Utah, Colorado, and Oregon; and a moose. All of those except one were from the ground, not a stand, so the camo quality was critical. It’s intense hunting.

OH: What types of environments were you in for those?

Cam: Bears are usually in river bottoms, black bear especially. The moose I killed was up in the snow. The brown bears were out in tidal flats, and the elk were in the mountains. So, you name it; I hunt. I’ve tested this out there.

OH: Why is it important for you to work exclusively with Cabela’s for the Under Armour Forest Launch?

Cam: I was an ambassador for Cabela’s, and they have really believed in me over the years. I’ve tried to keep the relationship positive ever since. I don’t get paid by them, but I like to do events like store openings with them. They feel like family. I did the grand opening for the Eugene, Oregon Cabela’s near my home and my idea was to shoot the ribbon with an arrow instead of the usual scissor-cutting. While trying to figure this out, I was in Africa, and I had some caution tape. I was trying to shoot it, but the arrow would pass right through without cutting the whole ribbon. I figured out that wasn’t going to work. So I used a clay pigeon target attached to the ribbon. When I shot the clay, it exploded and cut the ribbon. Now Cabela’s does something like that at all their grand openings.

OH: What drew you to work so closely with Under Armour? After all, you represent them on TV, and your pictures are everywhere.

Cam: The difference for me, as a real hunter, is that a lot of stuff is made for the rack. People who may not be as serious about hunting buy different camo patterns because they look good. I don’t care if something looks good; I only care that it works. Under Armour is really serious about making top-notch functional gear that’s field tested. At the end of the day, I like having good partners like Under Armour and Cabela’s, but this is what I do. This is what I love. When it means so much to me, I’ve got to have the best—that’s why I use what I use. I truly feel it’s helping me. I’ve passed up a lot of opportunities because I didn’t believe in the product.

Hanes (right) and the author (center).
Hanes (right) and the author (center).

OH: What’s coming up for you in 2016?

Cam: I do four hunts a year for Under Armour. I want big, dangerous, and epic—three words. I like grizzlies, I like moose, I like cape buffalo. If it’s dangerous, I like it even better. I like the test. I like being tested out there. That really pushes me to be at the top of my game.

OH: Peak fitness is obviously a big priority for you, care to elaborate on why you train so hard?

Cam: For me personally, I want to be at my very best. I want to be able to take on any challenge that I face. As a human being, the tougher, the more physically conditioned you are, you’ll be able to withstand more. You’ll be a tougher out. I’m just trying to be at the top of my game. I don’t take any shortcuts. I want to be ready for anything that comes my way. I just know I’ll have to be mentally and physically better than I’ve ever been.

OH: What’s this I hear about your obsession with 100-mile ultramarathons? Don’t you know we have cars now?

Cam: That’s just another way to test myself. To prepare to the hunts, I’ve done three 100-mile ultramarathons. This summer I’m doing a 200-mile one. There have only been a couple of 200-mile races and the one I’m doing had a winning time of 64 hours. My goal for that one is 60 hours. I want to win it. I want to have the fastest time ever. It’s going to be miserable, that’s all there is to it. It’s a temporary pain.

OH: What’s a 200-mile ultramarathon look like? It is like those “tour” bike races where the race is divided into segments with short breaks or is it continuous until you just die?

Cam: You can stop as long as you want, but the clock doesn’t stop. The race is August 12 to 16 around Mount St. Helens, so it’s four days long. My goal is to be mentally and physically ready enough to push through for 60 straight hours and just get it done. I don’t know if I can do it or not. The furthest I’ve ever done is 106.5 miles in 24 hours. When I’ve finished 100 miles, I’ve never had the mindset that I was ready to do another one. I’ve been, like, dead. To get your body ready for that is just really difficult. I’m going to have to be tougher than I’ve ever been. I’m excited, though. I wish it were tomorrow. I want to do it right now.

Learn more about the new camouflage from Cam in the video below:

We’d like to thank Cam for spending some time with us. The full Under Armour Ridge Reaper Forest line will be out in April at a Cabela’s store near you and online at www.cabelas.com. The project has been 24 months in the making and is the first time Under Armour has developed a product specifically for a company like Cabela’s. Stay tuned for more news. This article was produced in cooperation with Cabela’s.

Images courtesy of Cabela's

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