Winter usually means the end of the hunting season, with most game species hibernating until spring. However, seasoned hunters understand that winter offers some of the best conditions for bagging game. You'll find many elements of the sport easier and more fun when you start hunting blind after a snowfall.
Easier to track
No matter how good a shot you think you are, there is no guarantee that you will kill or maim a deer or other game. That means stalking your prey through the woods. When the ground is covered with snow, fresh marks and bloodstains will be more clear.
When tracking animal footprints in the snow, look for unique footprint characteristics to ensure you're tracking the right animal. Broken hooves or longer toes can split a track, allowing you to continue hunting for prey. In addition to tracks, snow makes it easier to find signs of animal activity, such as urine, deer scrapes and droppings.
Based on the amount of snow covering the tracks or other signs of animal activity, you can estimate how long the animal has been at the location. When hunting it is best to follow a new set of footprints. Look for signs that the trails are getting colder. Older tracks may freeze at the bottom and appear zoomed in or have snow falling off the edges, reducing the amount of detail.
Cold temperatures can discourage casual or inexperienced hunters from sharing the field, allowing you to hunt with fewer distractions. An experienced hunter is less likely to startle their prey or mistake you for a deer. With fewer people in the forest, you're likely to see an increase in animal activity.
Peak hunting times in busy areas can be overwhelming for wildlife, and hunters who don't know how to cover their tracks can drive away their prey. In winter, you will benefit from less traffic and keep most of the hunting grounds to yourself. If your favorite way to hunt is to enjoy the tranquility of the snow-covered wilderness, you won't be disturbed this time of year.
As the leaves fall and the trees become bare, you can see and identify animals from farther afield. Setting up overhead hunting shutters is ideal in these conditions because there are no foliage to block your view. You can also use a bow or rifle for sharper shots.
Colder weather means whitetails will be more active than usual. So, you have to make a choice. Stay home and watch a hunting show on TV, go wild and suffer, or embrace the cold and learn how to make the most of it.
Winter Weather Deer Hunting In Wind Cold And Snow
The great thing about extreme weather is that you can use it to accurately predict deer activity. When it comes to winter weather, forecasts have become more reliable for knowing exactly when, where and why the hunt is happening. Here are my favorite winter weather strategies:
Does wind better affect deer movement? Instead of focusing on sun-facing slopes looking for places where deer will sleep during the winter, try to focus on places where deer will be sheltered from the wind during harsh late-season conditions. If the location is sunny it's perfect, but a south-facing slope is certainly not the lowest hole in the barrel when it comes to protecting whitetails.
You can often find the best whitetail sport during the warmest part of the day, when the extreme cold of December leaves woodlands freezing and tree trunks creaking. Daytime highs of 35 degrees can be a very hot time for the stands when temperatures drop to 10C as night falls. On the other hand, if temperatures peak at 35 degrees in the late afternoon, 12 degrees at the start of the day will encourage deer to stay in bed until temperatures start to rise significantly in the morning.
While a little bit of wet or fluffy snow isn't enough to significantly change the position of feeding patterns, things start to change when hard layers of glaze grip the frozen ground. Whether it's picked cropland, low-growing food patches, or native vegetation, if deer have to expend too much energy digging, don't be surprised if they end up turning their attention to winter browsing roost. Heather, hardwood regrowth, and preferred red willow dogwood bush tips are all good examples of browsing habitat that will attract winter deer when ground fish are frozen solid.
How to Dress for Cold Weather
Head - How much heat we lose through the head is debated, but your head is a pretty good thermostat for how your body responds to the cold. When walking in, I try to wear something very light on my head, or nothing at all. This reduces the amount of sweat I have when I walk in. Once in the stands, it is important to keep your face and head warm. As hunters, we usually face the wind. Staring at the cold wind can give you a cold in no time, and it can also cause some serious headaches.
Hands - Some hunters don’t shoot well in heavy gloves, they would prefer to bring rechargeable hand warmers in their pockets and only take their hands out when needed. Just like the Ocoopa Union 2s rechargeable hand warmers, with the idea of being able to warm both hands with a single hand warms, also offers 4 levels of heating temperatures from cozy warmth to 145? hot, so your hands heat up very quickly when you put them back in the pockets. If you love outdoor activities in the winter, such as hiking, skiing, golfing, hunting, or something else, whatever you want, they help.
Feet - Most people have trouble keeping their feet warm. I've tried almost everything and finally found what works for me. The first rule is that your boots need to be loose. Tight boots restrict your circulation, and reduced blood flow can cause your toes to get cold.The second rule is that no cotton is allowed. Cotton absorbs and retains moisture, and damp feet are sure to get cold quickly. If your feet get sweaty when you walk in, consider bringing a clean, dry pair of socks to change into when you get to the stands or blind.