By Brandon Wikman
Archers must worry about more than slicing an arrow into a deer during December. There’s a new set of challenges that hunters must face in a time when frostbite-inducing temperatures and harsh elements add to the raw chill.
Over the past week, the Midwest has dipped below freezing. Snow is spotty, but don’t let that white blanket fool you – it’s still cold! There’s nothing chillier on a hunter than having to stand completely still with the wind in his face and ripping into layers of clothing – it’s late season bow hunting at its most memorable.
Walk-in Light. The most critical aspect of staying warm and cozy in a deer stand is walking to your setup slowly – which will eliminate your body’s natural reaction to sweat. Walk to and from your deer stand with as little clothing as possible. Don’t overdress like you’re venturing to the North Pole; you’ll only find yourself as cold as a snowman in due time.
Moisture is your chief enemy during late season and cold weather. The moisture build-up will only enhance your chill as time goes on. You should bring a backpack or even carry your outer layers into your hunting setup. This will allow your body temperature to stay average when treading through hip high snow.
Keep Your Limbs Warm. Your hands, feet and head are the very first body parts to go raw and numb. They are the furthest pieces of skin from your heart, which means it takes blood much longer to circulate to them.
I prefer wearing booties on my feet. There are several hunting and outdoor manufacturers that make foot-specific warming gear. I will always sport a muff around my waist to put my hands in. Lastly, I always wear a mask around my face. This provides my head, neck, and ears the extra warmth they need.
Be sure to try these simple tactics to help stay warm in the deer stand.