Staying Warmon Dec 3, 2012
You can’t win if you don’t play”. How many times have you heard that axiom? Well, it certainly applies to bowhunting for whitetails. You’re not going to fill any tags sitting on your couch. In the early part of the season, it’s no problem suiting up for a day in the tree. Come winter, however, it’s a whole new ballgame. Spending time in a blind or a tree stand when it’s below freezing is no small task. It’s cold out there!
As painful as it might be, however, the bowhunting can often be crazy good on those days when Jack Frost is nipping at your nose. The more the mercury drops, the more deer feel the need to feed. And as long as they’re on their feet moving, you’ve got a fighting chance at tagging a giant. The key to being able to endure a cold day afield is staying warm. If you get cold, you’re likely to bolt. It’s hard to convince yourself to stick it out with chattering teeth when you know the warm cab of your truck is not far away.
Don't let the cold temps of late-season send you home before you fill your tag----have a plan that will help you beat the elements.
The simplest method would be to hunt from some sort of enclosed blind with a heater inside. That’s a no-brainer. And if you’ve got a place to hunt where that’s possible, by all means go for it. Many of us don’t have that luxury. We hunt from tree stands and/or portable, pop-up ground blinds, where we have to fend for ourselves against the elements.
Clothing for hunters has come a long way since the days when military surplus gear was the norm. There are all sorts of technical fabrics that we can take advantage of to keep us warm on a late-season bowhunt. Nothing you wear is more important than the base layer – the clothes that actually touch your skin.
Start with a lightweight, form-fitting shirt, pants and socks made from a moisture-wicking fabric. You want a layer that will take perspiration generated during the hike to your spot and climb into your stand, and push it out through your clothes, as opposed to trapping it against your body, like cotton will do. Having moisture trapped against your body is a surefire way to get real cold----real fast. Check any hunting gear store and you’ll find more moisture-wicking base layers than you can shake a stick at. Under Armour, Sitka, Carhartt, Cabela’s, Hunter’s Specialties, etc. all have offerings in this category. Choose whichever you like best.
A good cold weather system begins with a good set of base-layers.
Next, go for another base-layer shirt and pants, but this time, choose layers made for cold weather. Usually, these will have a fleece fabric on the inside. Fleece is a great insulator because air is able to be trapped between its fibers. That means it’s keeping your body’s naturally-produced heat from escaping. You want these clothes to be base layers so that they’re tight. Bulk is one of the cold-weather bowhunter’s worst enemies. It impedes our ability to draw and shoot a bow. A good pair of Merino wool socks will round out your layers of undergarments.