Want to become a really good deer hunter? Well, then I’ve got some advice for you, and it doesn’t start with running out and buying the best arrows. Or best broadheads. Or even the best compound bow.
It starts with staying warm. Yep, it’s that simple.
That’s almost an oxymoron … staying warm and shooting a bow accurately do not go hand in hand. The bulky clothing you wore for gun season might be prohibitive to making a shot while twisting around the base of a tree. Jacket collars, cuffs and bulky sleeves can easily get in the way of the bowstring. The best approach is to invest in high-tech underwear, socks and artificial warmers.
Outer layers should include pants and jacket that are insulated, yet streamlined. A knit hat and quality pac boots will also keep you warm where you need it most.
When hunting cold-weather climates, consider these game-changers. They can keep you out there longer, which, in the end, might be the difference in eating a tag and taking your biggest deer to the processor. After all, being in the woods longer is the best way to learn how to hunt deer.
I use the kidney belt when temps drop really low. Word of caution: Never place hand-warmers near your skin, and don’t use them if you have poor circulation. Whichever outer clothing you wear, be sure to dress in layers underneath. This will helps you peel off or add on to suit the conditions.
It is also important to practice shooting from your stand while wearing the same clothing you plan to hunt in. Don’t wait for the season — and the moment of truth — to find out that you can’t draw your bow and make the shot while wearing that jacket, face mask or bulky pair of gloves.
As for hunting tactics, don’t count on early season stands for your late-season, cold-weather hunts. Use a trail camera to learn which routes deer are using, and take the time to find tree stand sites that you can enter and exit without alerting deer to your presence. Brushy fence lines, overgrown pastures and bottlenecks in tamarack swamps are good place to hunt late-season whitetails.
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