For most hunters, late-season deer hunting holds many similarities. Two such resemblances; take advantage of cold weather feeding patterns and do whatever it takes to fill their tags before the season comes to an end.
Most likely, hunters will face bone-chilling temperatures that make it hard to sit long periods in the stand. When winter nears, and deer start preparing to add the extra fat needed to survive the harsh temperatures, it is famous for hunters to spend time hunting near food sources. The popularity comes from the larger numbers of deer that can be on one food source during this time of the year.
A food source full of deer sounds excellent. However, a field full of wary animals that have spent all season trying to avoid hunters equals many noses that are ready to end your season quickly. It comes down to staying warm and comfortable enough to sit longer and remaining scent-free to outwit these cautious deer to ensure success.
To achieve these tasks, one must have the proper clothing and a scent control regimen that has proven successful for many hunters all across the country.
PROPER CLOTHING FOR LATE SEASON
The two most common methods of deer hunting late-season include the ever so popular one of sitting in a treestand that forces the hunter into a battle with mother nature while trying to be patient. Then there is the more relaxed approach of sitting in an insulated or even heated blind for extended periods. Either way, dressing appropriately can be the deciding factor for who can make it until that critical moment when a mature buck provides a shot opportunity.
If sitting in the open, it is suggested to wear layers of clothing that consists of base layers and a well-insulated outer garment such as the ScentLok BE:1 Fortress Parka and Bibs. The BE:1 Fortress is fully waterproof, windproof, and equipped with thermal mapped Thinsulate insulation. Unlike other heavy insulated garments, the Fortress system is tailored for optimum movement featuring full articulation, compression, and sculpting with minimal bulk, which means the hunter can move to make the shot.
Another option when battling cold temperatures is that of wearing the new ScentLok BE:1 Reactor Heated Vest. Over the past year, I was able to wear the Reactor vest while deer hunting. The three featured heating elements that are designed into the vest kept the core area of my body warm when needed.
When bowhunting on cooler days, I would wear the Reactor Vest over my hoodie. I would then turn the setting to low heat by pressing the button on my chest. It surrounded my core area with enough added warmth to keep me comfortable as long as I wanted to sit.
When temperatures began to get colder, I would wear my Reactor Vest under my insulated parka. Again, turning the setting to low or medium heat was all I needed to stay warm and comfortable throughout my hunts, never once cutting them short due to being cold.
SCENT CONTROL DURING LATE SEASON
The second step to being successful during late-season deer hunting is to remain as scent-free as possible.
Dressing in the field and spraying down with a scent-eliminating spray are two great ways to minimize odors. Let’s be honest, when the temperatures are cold, we will most likely skip these steps to keep warm. Even though dressing in the field is vital in a more realistic situation, one will probably be dressed in warmer garments when they arrive at their hunting location. If we are already dressed to stay warm, getting out of the truck and spraying your body down with a cold scent eliminating spray is probably going to get skipped as well. So, how does one remain scent-free?
When I hunt in temperatures that are too cold to be getting dressed outside at my hunting location, I usually fall back to halfway dressing in the field. Meaning, I get dressed entirely except for my outer bibs and parka.
Using my OZ Rolling Chamber bag, I destroy all unwanted odors on my entire hunting garments before the hunt. Using the included OZ 500 ozone generator, I run a cycle of ozone before the hunt to ensure all odors are destroyed. I then get dressed except for my parka and bibs. I leave them in my Rolling Chamber while in my vehicle until I arrive at the hunting destination. There is where I take the final step to finishing dressing in the field. By waiting to exit the vehicle before putting the last layer of clothing on, I am confident that all odors are eliminated before the actual hunt takes place.
The same routine goes when I am hunting in an enclosed blind, except for my selection of clothing changes to be more suitable. I still want to keep warm during the hunt; however, wearing an insulated parka and bibs will cause too much warmth for comfort.
The new Full Season Elements system is my preferred choice for sitting in a blind. It consists of a jacket and pants, combines low-bulk insulation, and provides better freedom-of-movement and comfort while sitting in a blind. The micro tricot outer fabric provides deadly quiet mobility while moving inside the blind. Other fabrics can cause a louder sound when trying to move, mainly when sound is reflecting inside of the blind. Wearing the Full Season Elements System will keep you quiet, warm, and scent-free even when deer are in close range of the blind.
Having the right equipment is crucial to success, no matter what you are doing. When deer hunting late season, having the right gear to keep you warm, comfortable, and scent-free can be the deciding factor as to whether your tag goes on a mature buck or in the trash at the end of the year.
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