Kansas Deer Hunting Outfitters Tips to Follow for Winter Hunting Layering
If you’ve been deer hunting for any amount of time, then you already know it’s the little things that matter. All the trail cam scouting you’ve done is going to give you an approximation of where your whitetail rests, eats, and runs for cover. All the time you’ve put in shooting paper targets and getting your weapon to perfect zero will pay off later down the line. However, one thing that can sneak up on a hunter is the universal equalizer – cold weather. Dealing with old man winter isn’t something one can exactly practice for during the summer or fall. However, with cooler temps on the horizon, it’s not too early to think about how you plan to strategize for frigid days of laying on the cold, hard ground.
We’re speaking, of course, about layering. It’s a bit of a tricky tightrope. If you go too light, you wind up shivering and shaking, which is going to compromise your aim when you need it most. If you overdo it, you’re going to be drowning in a pool of your own sweat and unable to sit still. Ideally, you want to be able to control your temp with easily removable and replaceable layers. This ensures that you can put in the hours that the majority of deer hunts take when out in the field. This applies to guided hunts, high fence hunting, and traditional hunts conducted through the state. If you plan on participating in Kansas hunting, you’ve got to learn how to layer like a pro. Use the following tips.
Cold Weather Best Practices
Let’s start with the basics. When it comes to cold weather hunting, there are a few best practices that should be employed to ensure you can retain heat, but not so much heat that you wind up sweating and uncomfortable. Like we said earlier, it’s a tricky tightrope. Here are the main best practices to follow when cold weather hunting.
- Add/remove formula: When you’re on the move, this activity is going to naturally increase your body temp. Conversely, when you’re stationary, you’re going to cool down quickly. Make a habit of removing your top layer when you’re on the move and replacing it once you’ve reached a spot you plan on staking out, such as a blind. Anticipating the temperature change will keep you ahead of the layering game and keep you comfortable.
- Avoid cotton: Cotton is one of those fabrics that does more harm than good when it comes to Kansas hunting, especially if it’s cold and rainy. The problem with cotton is that it’s not moisture-wicking. Cotton retains moisture, so anything you soak up – rain, sweat, or otherwise – is going to stick with you and weigh you down. Avoid wearing cotton shirts and jeans at all costs. They’re not made for cold weather.
- Be mindful of hand warmth: Out in the field, your hands are your most prized asset, especially if you’re a bowhunter. Not being able to feel your fingers can drastically compromise your shot, so make sure to prioritize your hand warmth with high-quality gloves. Ideally, you want to go with a pair that uses a thin fabric so you can still feel the trigger or bow string, but that also does well with retaining heat. Don’t be afraid to spend money on high-quality gloves. You’ll be thankful later when it’s sub-freezing out in the field and you can still feel your fingers.
Simple Layering Tips
When hunting in cold weather, you not only have to plan for the type of weather you’re starting out in, but the weather you’ll encounter throughout the day. This means planning for large shifts in both temperature and precipitation. Plenty of hunts can start with tolerable weather and quickly turn cold and rainy. The best way to plan for this is with strategic layering.
- Base layer:Use a moisture-wicking layer directly on the skin. Since you’re going to be keeping this layer on the entire time, make sure to invest in something high-quality that can handle both sweat and moisture.
- Insulating layer: This layer will go directly above your base layer. You have two options with this: down or synthetic. Down is going to be warmer and lighter in weight compared to synthetic, but it also is more expensive and won’t do well if it gets wet. Synthetic, on the other hand, is heavier than down and will retain heat when wet. Go with down febrics during dry and extremely cold hunts. If the temperature is above freezing, go with synthetic.
- Mid-layer: This will be your third layer, just on top of the insulating layer. We recommend wool (Merino is a reliable brand) because it’s breathable yet retains heat extremely well. Wool is also a quiet material that also does well with masking any human odor that will alert your prey.
- Top layer: When determining top layers, it helps to go back to the down vs. synthetic argument. Play to what the weather is doing. There are plenty of coat/pant top layer combinations out there, but ultimately this is a matter of if you’re going to be hunting in sub-freezing or above freezing temps with or without rain. Also keep in mind this is the layer that’s going to come off first, so choose wisely when it comes to weight and fabric. Make sure to keep room in your pack for shedded layers.
- Boots: Last but not least, you’ll want to get a pair of isolated boots with thick soles that can lock out moisture and mud. We cannot stress enough how important a good pair of boots are. As a hunter, the moment you get frozen toes is when the countdown begins on your hunt ending prematurely.
Book Your Guided Deer Hunting Trip Today!
The beauty of hunting with Kansas Trophy Outfitters is that we offer year-round hunting on whitetail deer and all of our other exotic game. That means you can hunt during the warm summer/early fall temperatures, or you can wait until traditional hunting season rolls around to employ your best layering tactics.
We’re one of the few hunting outfitters in Kansas that actually guarantees that you get a clear shot off, which means that you can count on having a fair chance at bagging your trophy. We also don’t require any special licenses for those that are coming in from out of state.
KTO offers big game and exotic animal hunting for all experience levels of hunters. Our trusty hunting guides will be with you every step of the way to help navigate you through our 350-acre hunting preserve. Once you’ve concluded your day of hunting, you can relax and unwind in one of our luxury hunting lodges.
Book your trip with Kansas Trophy Outfitters today!