Some of the absolute best coyote and predator hunting often occurs in the bone chilling cold; especially in the Midwest where I do most of my hunting.
The last thing you want to do when the temps drop and the hunting heats up is stay at home because you aren’t prepared for the chilly temps. I’m not saying everyone has to go out and buy all new arctic gear and apparel, but there are a few easy tips you can do to stay warm and make your hunts more enjoyable.
Protect Your Neck & Face: I like to wear a tighter balaclava on the first layer then pair it with a warm fleece neck gaiter and fleece beanie. I always layer up with at least one hooded sweatshirt and usually pull that hood up as well to protect my neck and keep the heat in.
Hand Muff with Hot Hands: Usually my preference on gloves is a mid-weight glove that still allows me to easily feel the trigger and utilize my hands in the field. This is almost never warm enough for the cold weather during sets so I always wear a hand muff around my waist with hot hands inside. This way you can get both the benefits of a mid-weight glove but also have the option to warming up your hands at any time you may need.
Boot Blankets for Feet: When feet get cold it doesn’t take long to become quite miserable. I’ve had a hard time finding boots that keep my toes toasty warm in the extreme cold, yet allow me to comfortably walk long distances if needed. My solution, boot blankets. There are numerous companies who make these and by strapping a set of these light weight covers to your pack, you will be amazed how much warmer you can stay during any set. The best part is, you can wear whatever boots you currently have. Simply zip these over boots when you setup and drop in a hot hand pad. You will stay perfectly warm in any conditions.
ThermaCare Wraps for Neck and Kidneys: I’m a huge believer in adding external heat sources. My choice has always been ThermaCare wraps. The reason is simple. These were made for people with back pain so you can put them right on your skin, they don’t burn and they last forever. Usually I can get between 15-18 hours out of each. By putting these on kidneys, you keep the entire body warm. Too, add one on the neck – this will add to overall body warmth. Much easier to carry these than several extra layers and it will make a huge difference in the field.
Buy Lightweight and Inexpensive Whites to Slip Over Warmest Gear: Instead of having to buy all new white camo gear or white clothing, an easy solution can be to purchase the light slip over coat and pants. This way you can wear your warmest fall hunting gear and still be ready to hunt the snow if needed.
Bring a Seat Cushion: Having a cushion to sit on is not only comfortable in the field, but it will also help keep you warm. The cushion keeps you off the cold ground providing a layer of insulation between the frozen ground and your body. It also keeps you dry which is very helpful. I like using a FatBoy cushion for not only this application, but this is also the cushion I put on all my treestands and ground blind sits if there is just a hard chair or bucket.
You’re going to find that using simple tips like these will help you be prepared for longer (and warmer) sits this winter. Too, make sure to get some quality varmint ammunition like Winchester’s Varmint X. It is made specifically for predators. It not only provides incredible knockdown performance, but you also will notice there is minimal pelt damage helping you make more on your furs this year.