When you’re hunting deer, duck, elk, turkey, or whatever else, the winter season always brings its own unique challenges and aspects that you’ll have to deal with during the hunt or trip.
With that said, the majority of popular hunting seasons are during the winter, so learning how to deal with the elements and temperatures is crucial for being successful.
We’ve put together four quick winter hunting tips that you can apply to most every winter season, whether you’re going to be up in a treestand all day, or carefully making your way through fields looking for cubbies of quail.
You may think this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised, especially if it’s the first hunt of the season. Some hunters tend to underestimate the winter weather on the first hunt, and end up having to cut the day short, or deal with plenty of discomfort if they see it through.
Don’t venture out if you don’t have the proper winter gear. That not only means having the right jacket, boots, and pants, but also the proper layers to wear underneath.
Make sure to wear thick winter hunting socks, and winter hunting boots that are at least half a size up from what you usually wear to avoid any loss of circulation, and of course allow for the thicker socks and inserts.
One important thing to remember is to actually plan your layers, even more so if you are going to be staying in one spot, like a treestand. Save your extra layers for when you arrive to the stand or spot, otherwise you may end up overheating and sweat, which can turn into a bad situation when you later end up sitting in the same position for hours on end.
There are more winter accessories available than ever, so make use of them! Be sure to bring things like hand warmer packets to use on the back of your neck, inside your sleeves, and of course in your pockets and gloves.
Don’t be afraid to layer up a beanie or two, and pack a thermos full of hot water, tea, coffee, soup — whatever you prefer to sip on during the say and keep your innards warm.
Never venture out into frigid weather without some backup equipment, especially if you plan on traveling for awhile, or staying out the entire day in below-freezing temperatures. Pack some extra food, water, fire starting items, a phone charger, etc. You never know what may happen.
You’ve likely been watching the weather plenty leading up to the hunt, but give it a glance one last time before you head out, and check it again throughout the day if there’s any chance for storms, temperature drops, and precipitation.
Getting blindsided by unexpected snow, freezing rain, and high winds can really put a damper on your day, and may even present some danger when you’re far out.
Hunting in winter weather involves both planning and practicality. By mixing in some simple safety precautions, proper gear, and the right approach, you’ll set yourself up for a rewarding, comfortable, and hopefully effective outing, regardless of what you’re hunting. Good luck!