KUIU Founder and Extreme Hunter Jason Hairston Passes Away

Jason Hairston KUIU Founder Dead RIP

The late Jason Hairston with a 10-year-old ram taken at Bonnet Plume in August of 2018.

We are saddened to report the passing of KUIU founder Jason Hairston. Yesterday, September 5, 2018, the company announced his death through social media. Jason, a well-known hunter in the outdoor industry, was 47 at the time. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Jason Hairston got his start not in the outdoor industry but in the NFL. After playing football in high school he attended UC-Davis and was named starting linebacker for the Aggies. In 1993 he suffered fourteen fractures to his C5 and C6 vertebrae during a playoff game. By 1995 he had healed and was signed as a free agent by the San Francisco 49ers. He went to the Denver Broncos a year later and retired from football in 1996.

He got into the outdoor industry in an impressive manner by founding Sitka Gear in 2005. Although he grew up hearing stories of legends like Fred Bear, his path into the professional hunting world was an arduous one with a number of highlights along the way.

Eight years after killing a monster buck in eastern California with his father he was on a tough hunt with a friend in Idaho when they began discussing their camo. Each man was wearing a random combination of clothing which lead to their spending four days debating the relative merits of different materials and patterns. In the end the high-performance camo company Sitka Gear was born.

KUIU Founder and Extreme Hunter Jason Hairston Passes Away

In 2009 Jason sold Sitka to Gore but rather than marking the end of his involvement in hunting gear it was simply a transition. He wanted to create the lightest, highest-quality camo possible for extreme hunting conditions. By 2010 he’d founded KUIU.

“What does ‘KUIU’ mean?” is a rather common question. Kuiu is actually an island in southeastern Alaska, a spot known for its sizeable bears. (It’s pronounced “koo-yoo”.)

KUIU and Jason became the face of the athlete hunter. Jason’s love of hunts in treacherous, breathtakingly beautiful areas for sheep and in the wilds of Alaska made him a credible source for serious gear.

KUIU patterns are designed to perform both in the trees and above the timberline while the materials are made to not only meet but exceed the specific needs of the hunt. From gaiters to packs to pants, they do it all. But KUIU isn’t just about hunters. Jason has also designed kits for Navy SEALs – not because he went to them, but because they came to him for help.

Now for the personal. Jason played a significant role in launching the Train to Hunt and Fit to Hunt lifestyles. He was a bonafide badass, a strong-willed, stubborn man happy to take on the shale and mud of any mountainside. For sheep hunters especially he was the face of persistence and success, an encouragement to keep working for your dreams no matter what. #fullcurlfriday was Jason’s realm in more ways than one.

KUIU Founder and Extreme Hunter Jason Hairston Passes Away

Jason and his son Cash on Cash’s first hog hunt.

He was a dad. Just ten days ago he was heading out on a caribou hunt in the Brooks Range with his father and his son, Cash. He’d just taken a stunning Dall ram on a hunt with Donald Trump, Jr., a detail the mainstream media will likely run with. He was known as the kind of guy who shook hands and chatted with customers at the KUIU store in Dixon, California; the guy at SHOT who was friendly and focused.

The details surrounding Jason’s death are currently unclear. Speculation and rumors are unnecessary. We will update you as more information is released.

Jason was a husband, a father, and a hunter. He had a brilliant mind for business and a keen eye for the needs of hunters. He was a revolutionary. He was uncompromising in his goals. He had a good heart. That last one – that’s the detail you need to know.

We are unspeakably diminished by his passing.

Our thoughts and love go out to his family at this tragic time.

Update: Sadly, Jason did take his own life. We’ll see you above the timberline, Jason. Rest easy.

KUIU Founder and Extreme Hunter Jason Hairston Passes Away

 

 

 

 

comments

  1. avatar little horn says:

    but never anything like this for any kind of victim in the stories you post all the time. nice.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      What are you even talking about?

      1. avatar Kamoland says:

        Ya know, you just gotta wonder if the insatiable appetite for hunting was Jason’s coping mechanism for a tortured soul. Notn-stop hunting adventures might make good press, but the true appreciation is found in moderation. It sounds like he had an addiction to stalking and killing. Once the trigger was pulled or the bowstring released, another fix was needed.

        And some of the most dedicated and appreciative hunters in the world could not do even five pushups. The uber-fit hunter persona is further evidence of some mental misfires.

        Guess we’ll learn the truth soon enough.

        RIP anyway.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          That was so much bullshit pseudo psychobabble from someone who clearly doesn’t know shit about this man.
          When you don’t know what you’re talking about, keep your mouth shut.

        2. avatar New Continental Army says:

          Kamoland. Not any projection in that little absurd statement at all. What are your hobbies, as it were?

        3. avatar Broke_It says:

          God damn right that’s my fix. I’m sure it’s the same for the many others that can afford more than one tag in one state. Killing makes food. What’s your problem other than simple jealousy that he got to do it more?

        4. avatar luigi says:

          how do i delete someone else’s comment

        5. avatar drunkEODguy says:

          yeah, passionate hobbies are always the sign of a disturbed soul…

          I just wish I could face palm for you at this one bud

    2. avatar arc says:

      Define victims? good people who draw the short straw and get killed in DGUs or crime? Criminals, who in the eyes of left wing social justice are ‘victims’? Feral animals that get killed when attacking people? Game animals living spoiled lives on private hunting grounds or managed parks until their card gets pulled?

      There is a victim around every corner, to which are you referring too?

    3. avatar Dan Zimmerman says:

      Kat knew Jason personally. That’s why she included so many details about his life.

      We virtually never know the background of the individuals about whom we write who are involved in defensive gun uses. That’s something I thought was obvious. Apparently I was wrong.

      1. avatar little horn says:

        and doing some actual journalism escaped you i guess too.

        1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

          Perhaps you could assist them…?

        2. avatar EWTHeckman says:

          It seems that asking people to be decent, respectful, and mature concerning a tragedy really was too much to ask.

          Sigh…

  2. avatar jwm says:

    47 is too damn young. I don’t care how much you packed into your life. 47 is just too young. And now his kid will not have him anymore.

    Sad.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      A *lot* of serious injuries when in college, but recovered enough to play pro ball.

      I hope this isn’t related to steroid use…

      1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

        And before some idiot think’s I’m refeing to a ‘Roid Rage’, I’m referring to an unfortunate side-effect of steroid use can have on human lifespan, things like heart attacks…

        1. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

          Thanks for the clarification.

          Jason did suffer from CTE.

          When details can go public, they will. I understand the desire to know.

      2. avatar jwm says:

        I knew a man that died of a heart attack at 48. Didn’t smoke, drink or do drugs. My late BIL had a massive stroke while at church choir practice and was dead in a moment. He was 41. My mother was 47 when she passed.

        Anybody can go at any moment. Enjoy each day to the best of your ability.

        I believe I will enjoy a dove shoot this weekend.

        1. avatar Chadwick says:

          Amen to that. We are all on borrowed time and nobody should forget it. Live like today is your last day and before closing your eyes every night be thankful for everything you have.

          Hope his family finds some peace and hope he finds some as well.

    2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      I am 68 so he seems like a young man with so many years ahead of him, you would think. Don’t know if he was like many others who suffer from depression , but I feel sorry for him and his family. Terrible loss. may God bless his family.

  3. avatar J.Lo says:

    Sorry about the guy who passed but geesh, hunting isn’t “hunting” anymore. Should be banned. These animals have a hard enough time surviving with our own animal Instincts taking over the earth. Trump JR is a douche, so no sob points there and I’m a conservative republican lol.

    1. avatar New Continental Army says:

      You’re stupid.

    2. avatar DaveL says:

      How do you propose we control excessive animal populations that pose a threat to ecology and human activity? Without population control, deer (to give one example) turn forest into savannah, savannah into desert, and highways into pinball games.

    3. avatar HP says:

      Well that’s just like, your opinion, man.

    4. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

      Have some respect, “J.Lo.”

      The family will see this.

      Hunting is a topic for a different time.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        I neither agree with, nor sanction the “negative” comments. As they seem to originate from people who have no knowledge of him personally, I find them somewhere on the continuum of wild speculation, to highly irrelevant.

        That being said…

        “The family will see this.”

        I would surely hope the family members are a little more mentally balanced than to be roaming the internet after the death of a loved one.

        Self-censorship in a forum such as this may be appropriate for those with a sense of decorum. Much as many of us would like people to have this sense, it ain’t part of the rules of the interwebz.

    5. avatar Chadwick says:

      Conservative Republican? Right… Well I’m a classical liberal and you come off as a leftist. P.s. thanks for the tears that help to brew my coffee every morning.

    6. avatar Broke_It says:

      I love the “free” taste of game meat. I got that hunger and since I can’t buy it in a store I’m a bloodthirsty animal when it comes to tagged food season.

  4. avatar 41mag says:

    Why allow comments at all for obits………………………..

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Probably in hopes that people will show their humanity and not their internetz. Not much hope after just a few comments.

  5. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

    Another victim of the Trump crime family. He was a friend of Donald Jr. and knew too much, so they had him killed. Sound familiar?

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Is there any way you could pull your head out of your ass?

    2. avatar Chadwick says:

      Sounds like you are confusing that with arkancide. Maybe do some research and stop trying to be a complete moron. Ever wonder why you are a paid internet troll and not a success and we’ll liked human being? Examine the way you act and what you stand for. If the answer is like a child and nothing then there’s your problem. No big deal I suppose. Hell comrade Bernard didn’t have a real job until something like 40 and now he has lazy idiots all over the country hanging on his every word. Maybe there is a future for you after all. If Hillary and Bernie can collect a bunch of idiot followers then anybody can do it. Meanwhile jobless claims are at a 49 year low, but that’s probably just Trump lying or something like that right?

  6. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

    I didn’t know this gentleman or of him, but he sounds like an interesting person who lived a decent life.. why did the comments here get so toxic? I dipped back in here curious how he died and I’m really surprised at the negativity and abuse.

    1. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

      Most likely because Jason’s death is of interest to the mainstream media due mostly to his ties to Trump Jr. The antis found this within minutes.

      Hopefully the positive will outweigh the rest.

      1. avatar EWTHeckman says:

        I appreciate TTG’s willingness to let stupid stick around so others can can correct them. But this is the kind of story where I suggest more aggressive moderation.

        I didn’t know him, but 47 is way too young. That has to hurt intensely for his family and friends. They need decency and space to grieve. The kind of toxic garbage being spewed by the scum so far in comments do not belong here. Period.

        Yes, that is my opinion—a very strong opinion.

        P.S. Feel free to clean up this comment, too.

  7. avatar Ropy saliva says:

    Seems like we’ve picked up an awful lot of trolls in the last couple of months.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      We are winning. Trump is winning and reshaping America.

      They are throwing temper tantrums. This douche and his buddies are just another sign of their defeat.

      And now joe’s comment and my witty retort have vanished. For the best.

      1. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

        He needed to go. It was a vicious comment.

        Thank you for being one to reply to him, though.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          You are welcome.

      2. avatar Chadwick says:

        How do you know you’re over the target? You get a lot of flack. How do you know the enemy is losing big time? They get desperate.
        We are seeing despair daily from the temper tantrum brigade. We are also seeing a record amount of flack…

        1. avatar John in AK says:

          I’m sorry, but I just. . . can’t. . . resist.

          The word is ‘FLAK.’ German military acronym. Stems from the German compound word ‘FlugzeugAbwehrKanone.’ In English: ‘AntiAircraftGun.’

          That OTHER word, ‘flack,’ is an American slang word for a press agent or public-relations person. ‘Flack.’

          The word you want is ‘FLAK,’ not ‘flack,’ unless your metaphor implies being surrounded by exploding press agents.

    2. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “Seems like we’ve picked up an awful lot of trolls in the last couple of months.”

      This is only the beginning. The Supreme Court is where the Leftists are about to get their biggest kick in the teeth. Look at the bat-shit crazy antics at the Kavanaugh hearings.

      Just wait until the announcements of granting certiorari for a gun case happen…

      1. avatar jwm says:

        If the info I got earlier today was valid there’s been somewhere more than 70 arrests at the hearings.

        These people are completely wigging out. And I’m loving every minute of it. 🙂

  8. avatar Gralnok says:

    Personally, I’m not a hunter. However, I’ll still give the man’s family my sympathies. Just because I like bighorn sheep, (they are endangered where I live) doesn’t mean I’ll say nasty things about him or his company. I’m actually going to give Kuiu some traffic. I like outdoors stuff, despite not actually going out much. We should, as POTG, stick together, fight together, and mourn together. I knew him not, but if I could, I’d place a flower on his grave, all the same. Rest in peace.

  9. avatar el Possum Guapo says:

    Wow that’s a big sheep. 47 that’s young if your 80 and old if your 18. It would be nice to live forever but the world would get pretty crowded overtime. I wish my first wife could have made it to 40 she died at 36. That sucked, Poor kids gonna miss his Pops yup yup, hope Mom don’t break down bawling, that really freaks the kids out… Peace out

  10. avatar Bill says:

    The man killed himself.

    1. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

      He was a good man tortured in ways most of us cannot imagine.

      It is my hope he has found peace.

  11. avatar bobinmi says:

    CTE is a ruthless bitch it would seem. I have all girls but I can tell you that I would have a hard time sending boys out onto a football field.

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