Posted by Stokerized on 11/20/2021 to
For many people, hunting is a fantastic and fulfilling pastime. Trekking through woodland and over field, tracking footprints and following patterns, finding game and taking the shot. Every step of the way is its own thrill that contributes to a satisfying experience. They just can’t get enough of it.
That is, until winter rolls around and being outside for more than a few moments gets much less comfortable. Cold weather hunting isn’t as get-up-and-go as in warmer conditions. That said, certain practices can keep you cozy and help you nail the shot. We recently shared some winter hunting tips related to the actual hunting. Now, here is some advice we’ve been using for years to stay warm and comfortable.
Make no mistake: the wilderness is unforgiving, especially in wintertime. It does not care how tough you are, or how resistant you are to chilly air conditioning. More than a few people have lost fingers, toes, and more because they weren’t prepared for cold weather hunting. If the temperature drops below freezing, don’t treat it lightly.
When we say “bundle up,” we do not mean “maybe wear a sweater.” Start with insulating material, put long underwear over that, then top it off in warm clothes and a parka (preferably camouflage). Get warm gloves and a cap to keep your hands and head warm. Even if you do not think you need it, you will.
Remove Layers While Moving
All those layers will come in handy when you are in the bush or in the stand, sitting still and waiting for game. When you are on the move, however, they may hinder and even hurt rather than help. Moving too much in warm clothing will cause you to sweat, and perspiring in cold weather can leave you dehydrated and even colder.
For that reason, we advise leaving the top layers in your bag as you navigate the terrain. Once you no longer need to walk, run, or climb as much, you should bundle up again. This approach, counterintuitive as it may seem at a glance, should leave you feeling more comfortable.
Invest in Good Footwear
Your whole body may be vulnerable to freeze and frostbite, but perhaps no parts are more prone than your own two feet. These extremities must trudge through snow, and conventional shoes and boots may not be enough to keep them dry and warm. Before long, you may lose feeling in your toes, call it an early day, and walk back empty-handed.
Some boots, though, are designed to be waterproof and offer warmth in chilly conditions. If you plan to hunt in the winter, you should look into acquiring such a pair for yourself. Furthermore, boot insulators are special sleeves that keep heat inside with your feet and prevent frostbite. Long thick socks and gaiters are also recommended.
Have HotHands Handy
Hunters and HotHands go together like bread and butter. A simple shake causes the iron inside to mix with oxygen. The reaction produces plenty of heat within the half-hour, which can keep your hands warm while engaged in cold weather hunting. Archers who prefer not to handle bows and arrows with gloves may especially appreciate these products.
HotHands are not just great for hands. If your boots are big enough, you can cram them beside your toes. Some archery enthusiasts also recommend tying one around each forearm and another on the back of their neck. Many sporting goods retailers and general stores sell big packs for less than a dollar per warmer.
Find the Food Source
Now that you have all your clothes and gear, where do you take it? Your usual spots may be buried under snow, with no grass or foliage to draw the large herbivores that hunters tend to seek. With fewer places to find food in winter, game can become scarce.
On the other hand, if you can locate even one oasis of vegetation, you are more likely to eventually spot animals coming along. Ask local guides or follow trails and tracks on your own. Once you see a patch of exposed field or a tree that still has leaves, hide nearby and keep vigil. A combination of skill, luck, and nature knowledge may just pay off when someone gets hungry.
Eat Something Warm
Nothing perks people up on frosty mornings like a cup of hot chocolate or a bowl of freshly made soup. This applies just as much to cold weather hunting enthusiasts as to people getting snug at home. Bringing a thermos with hot contents can make outdoor excursion, especially all-day adventures, much more pleasant.
Of course, there is more to this tip than enjoying something tasty. If you are out in freezing-cold conditions long enough, your body may find it more difficult to produce heat. Consuming hot chocolate, soup, beef stew, coffee, or something similar can refresh, revive, and restore that ability. Make sure the container is excellent at preserving the food or drink’s temperature, such as a high-end thermos.
Avoid Staying Still
When you spot game, you want to be as motionless as possible. Slight movements may inadvertently draw attention to yourself and put jumpy targets on high alert. When waiting for game, though, you should avoid keeping too still or your body may get rigid. That can be inconvenient in normal weather — and dangerous in colder weather. In situations where every bit of warmth staves off danger and even death, physical activity can encourage the body to produce heat. You do not have to go overboard with jumping jacks or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. Just stretch and flex your arms, legs, fingers, toes every once in a while to keep limber and warm.
Stokerized Stabilizers for Cold Weather Hunting
If you are inadequately prepared, cold weather hunting can be dangerous and painful. If you keep these tips in mind and get the right gear, it can be an exhilarating pastime. Of course, bringing extra layers of clothes, HotHands, and a thermos full of warm goodies is not enough to take down game. Stokerized Stabilizers is home to a variety of top-notch archery equipment that any sport hunter can benefit from keeping in their arsenal. Shop with us before winter’s end so you can experience the thrill for yourself.