The past couple weeks Mother Nature has reminded sportsmen who is really in charge.
With the special “holiday” deer season, which is like the late-season archery and muzzleloader season, and the late-season waterfowl now here, it’s time to look at how to do what we do and stay safe.
A lot of people use Hot Hands. They’re an ingenious invention. I keep them in my pack and use them. The key is not to wait until your hands are frozen, but before getting that way. I don’t just use them on my hands, though. I place one inside each sleeve of my jacket (the tight cuffs keep them from falling out). Heat rises, so the heat goes up each arm to my shoulders. Also, I put one on the back of my neck. That’s the ticket. Put one there and your whole body stays warm. A warm drink or a coffee thermos full of hot soup will keep you in the stand longer. Chicken noodle, beef stew, alphabet soup, doesn’t matter. They all get the job done. It’s simple, yet effective. And it’s a cheap way to stay warm. A cold-weather hunt can be miserable if you aren’t prepared. Having the proper gear and using a few hacks can keep you warm when the mercury is in the pits.
Use these five tips this season:
This might seem elementary to some, but I’m serious. There’s a difference between good clothing and bad clothing. Wear that which is warm. Get the best you can afford. Don’t skimp on camouflage. You need warm clothing for cold weather or you won’t last long in the stand. And if you do, you won’t be ready when a shot opportunity presents itself. You need to be loose when that deer steps out, not shriveled up or rigid like a rock. Dress in layers, but don’t finish until you get to the stand. Put on enough to keep you warm while walking. Then finish layering once you get to the tree. Throw on your outer layers and climb up. You risk sweating if you walk with a lot of clothes on, even in cold weather. Sweating is the last thing you want to do.
With late-season waterfowl action around the corner, some of us head to the water, and it’s important to understand how to do it safely. Enjoying the marine environment doesn’t have to stop when the warm weather ends. As the temperature begins to drop, fish and marine mammals are stirring around our local waters in preparation for winter. This change of seasons offers ample opportunities for fishing as well as wildlife viewing from our shores or even closer, from the water.
When taking a small boat out duck hunting or canoeing down the river to get back to little-hunted winter hunting ground, it’s necessary to take extra precautions while on the water. Here are a few suggestions on how to prepare for cold-weather boating.
Check the forecast and be aware of potentially hazardous marine conditions. Wear multiple layers of clothing and bring extra …….