-By Brandon Wikman
Many states around the country have already welcomed hunters to grab their bow and shimmy a tree in pursuit for whitetail. In fact, the land of dairy opens its archery whitetail season in two weeks. Much of the United States offers an incredible opportunity to enter the zone of big bucks during the blistering heat of September.
For some of us, this is just another opening weekend that has barely been thought about, but to others, a true moment of enlightenment in their dream! Taking advantage of early season whitetail habits is a crucial way to bombard an arrow into your next trophy. Hunting during September can be fruitful, as long as you’re robust enough to withstand the blazing heat and endless swarms of mosquitoes.
There’s nothing that boils my temper more than a muggy summer afternoon. The air is hazy, heavy, and humid. Hot and clammy weather is a downer. It makes the walk to the stand miserable because you’ve sweated out of your own carbon-lined clothes and are literally a walking sauna. Your clothes are moist, you’ve built a lather of stinky human odor, and you feel as uncomfortable as seeing an ex at a house party. The recipe for disaster begins at scent prevention. In other words, the less you sweat, the fresher you smell; obviously.
Hunting the scorching heat of opening weekend can be done effectively by taking note of these steps to literally, reduce ‘spoiling’ a good hunt. I’ve learned from some seasoned hunters how to beat the heat. As any wise hunter who’s conscious of their scent would do, they immerse themselves in scent free shampoo and soap. After drying off, they slip their camo clothes into a storage bag and toss on shorts, a tank top, and light walking shoes. It looks as if they were going on an evening stroll or hiking venture.
With a bag of camo slung over their shoulder and a bow in the other hand, they make their walk to the stand slowly. Walking slow is the key. As any natural cooling body function of a human would do, it sweats naturally. Before your body begins to do so, spray scent-eliminating spray upon your skin. As they walk to the stand they are naturally cooled from the cooling sensation of scent prevention spray evaporating from their skin. When the stand’s in sight is when the bag is opened and the lightweight camo is put on.
Now that you know how to minimize sweating, what about battling those pesky bugs that drive outdoors people insane, the mosquito. They come in swarms with a taste for blood and a relentless motivation to annoy us. There’s nothing that bothers me more than the buzzing sound of a bloodthirsty mosquito trying to slip into my head net or penetrate his beak into my skin. I’ve learned that there are two proven methods to shoo these bugs and it doesn’t involve swatting them.
The Therma-Cell is a product that you can purchase at almost any outdoor retail supply center. They are an inexpensive handheld device that functions by a mini-propane lit capsule that heats up a scented wick and disperses a zone of mosquito be-gone! Each wick and propane container lasts for nearly 12 hours. It is a great way to relax and enjoy your hunt without having to come back to camp all swollen. If you don’t have a Therma-Cell, you may want to invest in some bug proof clothing.
Many clothing manufacturers now sell bug-suits designed for the hunting community. They come in a set with a lightweight top and bottom that are extremely breathable and sewn to block bugs from biting. I wore a bug-suit for my first time when I was in Canada during a bear hunt. With the combination of a bug-suit and Therma-Cell, you can effectively beat the pesky bugs and finally enjoy nature without having to constantly scratch bug bites.
The early season brings an aurora of new obstacles and challenges that we must face in our pursuit for success. As any diehard outdoors person will tell you, it’s the ways of defying the odds that truly sculpt our accomplishments in the field. I hope you find these tips and techniques worthy and put them into your arsenal during your next hunt!