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 bow string.
By Daniel E. Schmidt
The best approach is to invest in high-tech underwear. This stuff is lightweight yet keeps you warm during the coldest days. Outer layers should include pants and a jacket that are insulated yet streamlined. A knit hat and quality pair of pack boots will also keep you warm where you need it most.
It’s wise to check out the Heater Body Suit from T.S.S Equipment of Cleveland, Wis. The suit is almost like a custom-built sleeping bag. It has saved many of my late-season bow-hunts because it allows me to dress very lightly. The suit includes a zipper that opens easily when it is time to stand and shoot.
Air-activated hand-warmers are also effective. I use them in my boots, pockets and hand-warming muff. When temperatures drop really low, I wear a kidney belt that accommodates three hand-warmers. Never place hand-warmers near your skin, and don’t use them if you have poor circulation.
One of the more effective new ways to keep your hands (and mid-section) warm is the new FireCel from Celestron Elements. This is an essential multi-purpose tool for any deer hunter. I’ve been playing around with one for the past few months, and I must admit it is quite the handy little device. The rugged FireCel features a dual-temperature hand warmer, a multi-mode flashlight, and a portable power supply for smartphones and personal electronics.
FireCel’s 2500 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery can deliver a full charge to most smartphones and MP3 players. The company says the hand warmer, with 110- and 130-degree settings, provides continuous heat for up to 3 hours. However, I’ve gotten 5 hours out of mine. In fact, I was using the hand warmer that day I should have killed the mid-150s buck here in November. Oof. I’d rather not re-live that afternoon. I should have had that buck. My own fault.
The FireCel also has an integrated flashlight with red and white LEDs and 5 modes, including SOS for unexpected emergencies. The red LEDs are ideal for stargazing or anytime you need to preserve your night vision.
FireCel’s high quality aluminum shell is rugged enough for outdoor use, and compact enough to fit in your pack, pocket, or glove compartment. Never leave home without the 3-in-1 FireCel.
One last bit of advice: Whichever outfit you wear when hunting in cold weather, be sure to dress in your late-season outfit and practice shooting from a tree stand. Achieving consistent groups while wearing winter clothing is a lot more difficult than you might think.