We all know that one of the best times of the year to hunt whitetails is the winter, but why is this? Does hunting in colder weather actually make a difference? While the winter may make hunting a little bit of a challenge, there are big advantages to hunting this time of year and big bucks can be killed. But how do you hunt winter whitetails without freezing to death?
Hunting during the winter can be a unique challenge due to the cold weather and the elements. But for those brave enough to tackle these difficulties, there are plenty of great opportunities to kill that buck of a lifetime. But this means battling the extreme cold, and this is no easy feat. Hunting during the winter requires some special equipment, tactics, and an iron will.
Let’s go over a few of these things that will help you to battle the cold and find success on your next winter whitetail hunt!
Utilize a Shelter
While sitting in a treestand is the most popular method of hunting whitetails, they can be downright miserable to hunt from during a cold winter. While up in a tree, you are openly exposed to all of the elements and have no shelter. Something as small as a gentle breeze can drop your temperature rapidly, and if it happens to snow or rain on you then you will be even colder. To avoid this, consider using a shelter to hunt from.
Pop-up ground blinds may not seem as though they offer much protection, but they can significantly increase the temperature around you and help to keep you warm. A permanent deer blind can offer even more comfort and protection. Some hunters will even bring along a small propane heater to help keep the shelter warm while waiting on a deer. And not only will they help to keep you warmer, but they will protect you from any falling snow or rain as well as keep you out of the wind.
Ground blinds might not be everyone’s first choice or favorite method to hunt with, but during the extreme cold of winter, they can be a lifesaver. After all, the more comfortable you are, the longer you can hunt. If you haven’t already, consider trying out a ground blind on your next late-season hunt.
Bring the Heat
As we already mentioned, you can bring additional heat sources with you to help you stay warm. Small propane heaters can do wonders to heat up your ground blind or deer stand. They can make a cold, miserable day into a bearable one that could result in filling a tag. But the key to all of this is staying out there long enough and being warm enough to perform when the moment finally presents itself.
Just be careful, as any heating device that relies on a flame will give off carbon monoxide which could be dangerous. While most heaters have an auto-shutoff feature and low oxygen sensors, it is still something to keep in mind and be careful with. Take a few safety precautions and make sure you have some type of small ventilation when using one in an enclosed space.
Another great heat source is the chemical heat packs that you can put in your pockets, gloves, or boots. These are great for keeping fingers and toes warm and are extremely cheap and effective! Almost all sporting goods stores sell these hand warmers, and you can place them wherever you need to on your body to stay warm and comfortable.
From portable heaters to simple heat packs for your pockets, an external heat source can be a lifesaver while out in the cold.
Bring the Right Clothes
Last but certainly not least, the type of clothing that you wear is the most important factor when it comes to not freezing to death on a winter hunt. It is best to wear multiple layers of cold weather clothing, this way you can put on or take off the right amount to be comfortable.
It is also important to bring along some wind-stopping clothing that has the material to keep the cold wind at bay. There is a major difference between hunting in cold weather and hunting in cold weather with some wind. In order to properly stop the wind from getting to you, you will need one (if not two) quality wind-blocking layers. Wearing these over your insulation layers will give you the best effect and stop the wind in its tracks.
If you really want to take your winter clothes to the next level, you can combine a heat source with the clothing and stay extra warm. This is why our Heated Hunting Vest - GoHuntVest - is such a great piece of clothing to have with you. Not only will it help to keep you warm on its own, but you can turn it on and let the heated warmth keep you nice and cozy as you sit in the dead of winter.
The Heated Vest for Hunters can combine the elements of warm clothing with an external heat source to give you the best of both worlds. With an impressive 12-hour battery life, you can sit all day long in heated comfort. As long as you bring the proper clothing on your winter whitetail hunt, you can rest assured that you will be warm, comfortable, and not at risk of freezing to death as you wait on that big buck to finally make an appearance.
Hunting whitetail in the winter months can extend your season and allow you more opportunities to fill your tags for the year. But while this sounds like an amazing chance to do more hunting, the winter seasons can be extremely challenging as you brave the cold and elements.
As long as you go prepared with the right equipment and tactics, you can properly battle the cold and find more success on your winter whitetail hunts!