Skip to main content

Ask Bowhunter: How to Stay Warm While Hunting?

Question: I love late-season bowhunting, but I hate the cold. Do you have any advice for how to stay warm while hunting on stand during the last days of the season? T. Burkey, via e-mail

Nothing will cut a late-season hunt shorter than cold feet. While they are a little pricey, Kenetrek's Northern boots are the best cold-weather boots I've ever worn.

Answer: As a lifelong resident of Minnesota, I can safely say that I've spent quite a bit of time working on this problem myself. Most of the focus when it comes to staying warm involves base and outer layers. While it's true that you need quality core layers, as well as an outer shell that will trap heat and block the wind, there's more to it than that.

Cold2


Anyone who has spent a single morning or evening on stand when a north wind is blowing and the temperatures are flirting with zero knows that the first body parts to get cold are always your hands and feet. The true battle for staying comfortable when it's bitterly cold involves addressing your extremities.


Keeping your hands warm is, at least in my opinion, easier than the job of not allowing your feet to turn into frozen clubs attached to your shins. A good handmuff is a must. It's even better if you can stuff a chemical handwarmer or two in there. I despise wearing a glove on my release hand, so I tend to opt for a heavier glove on my bow hand, and at most a lightweight glove on my release hand. This means that for most of my sits, my hands are in the muff and staying toasty.

Feet are a different story. Good boots are without a doubt the best option. Kenetrek's Northern boots are the best cold-weather footwear I've ever run across. They aren't cheap, but they are worth every penny given their 6mm liners (removable), 400-gram Thinsulate Insulation, and 3mm of wool felt. This is all well and good, but what makes the Northern boots stand out is that they also feature an extra 600-gram Thinsulate Insulation that wraps around your foot, and they incorporate a wool-felt insole underneath your foot.

Paired with the right socks, these boots will keep your feet warm when the mercury tanks. But you may want to take it a step further, as I did a few years ago when I spent several days on stand in northern Wisconsin during the last days of the season. Throughout that entire hunt, the temperature barely broke above zero. To survive even a few hours on stand without being miserable, I used ThermaCELL's Heated Insoles. I like these much better than chemical toe-warmers, because I can control the heat and only turn them on when I need them.

Once you've got your hands and feet taken care of, you'll need to address your head. Quite a bit of the heat we lose leaves us via our domes, and that makes the right hat essential. Sitka's Fanatic Beanie is my go-to headwear for the late season. Not only does this beanie keep your cranium from frosting over, but it's also designed to allow for nearly unobstructed hearing. Pair it with Sitka's fleece Neck Gaiter (so important), and you'll be set.




Naturally, it's vital to keep sweating to an absolute minimum when sneaking to your stand. Oftentimes during late-season hunts, I use a large backpack that is designed for Western backcountry hunts. The extra storage space these packs allow gives me the chance to carry most of my outer layers and accessories into my spots without overheating. There is nothing that will cool you off quicker than getting sweated up, and then sitting motionless in your stand or blind.

Avoid this, and avoid letting your extremities get too cold, and you'll be able to enjoy those last wintry days of the season much more. Good luck!

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Turkey Decoy Beatdown

Turkey Decoy Beatdown

Bowhunter contributor Matt Palmquist witnesses a hen trying to destroy one of his decoys while hunting turkeys in Kansas.

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best New Climbing Aider Options

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best New Climbing Aider Options

A climbing aider is a device that you use in conjunction with a stick that helps you gain more height per stick, but at the addition of very little weight to the stick setup. An aider can provide one or two more steps per each stick section, thereby greatly increasing height potential when needed and allowing you to carry fewer total sticks to gain a specific height.

Better Bow Accuracy: Release Arm Alignment

Better Bow Accuracy: Release Arm Alignment

On this edition of "Dead On," pro archer Randy Ulmer shows you how to properly align your release arm for better accuracy and bowhunting practice.

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

Bowhunter Equipment Editor Tony Peterson sees plenty of action while hunting whitetails and hogs in Texas.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

With female bowhunting participation still on the rise, gear options for women are as well. Here are some of the best new products for lady bowhunters in 2021.New Women's Bowhunting Gear for 2021 ATA Show

New Women's Bowhunting Gear for 2021

Emily Kantner - January 14, 2021

With female bowhunting participation still on the rise, gear options for women are as well....

The latest top products that will enhance your big-game pursuits this season.New Attractants, Calls and Decoys for 2021 ATA Show

New Attractants, Calls and Decoys for 2021

Jace Bauserman - January 11, 2021

The latest top products that will enhance your big-game pursuits this season.

The public needs to understand the value of harvested and consumed wild game.Understanding the Value of a Wild Game Harvest Industry

Understanding the Value of a Wild Game Harvest

Dr. Dave Samuel

The public needs to understand the value of harvested and consumed wild game.

There are many benefits to putting a lighted nock on your hunting arrows. Let's break them down. Are Lighted Nocks Worth the Expense? Arrows & Broadheads

Are Lighted Nocks Worth the Expense?

Curt Wells

There are many benefits to putting a lighted nock on your hunting arrows. Let's break them...

See More Trending Articles

More How-To

Don't let the wind ruin your next shot. Follow these steps for improved shooting performance. Bowhunting Accuracy in High Winds How-To

Bowhunting Accuracy in High Winds

Joe Bell

Don't let the wind ruin your next shot. Follow these steps for improved shooting performance.

Understanding environmental factors will tell you where to put the pin when the moment of truth arrives.Learning the Body Language of Animals How-To

Learning the Body Language of Animals

Jace Bauserman

Understanding environmental factors will tell you where to put the pin when the moment of...

Experience your best shooting by following this three-pronged approach.3 Steps For Shooting Accuracy and Confidence How-To

3 Steps For Shooting Accuracy and Confidence

Joe Bell

Experience your best shooting by following this three-pronged approach.

Taking long-distance shots at big-game animals has become acceptable, but here's why it isn't the ethical choice.Is it Ethical to Take Long-Distance Bowhunting Shots? Conservation

Is it Ethical to Take Long-Distance Bowhunting Shots?

Curt Wells

Taking long-distance shots at big-game animals has become acceptable, but here's why it isn't...

See More How-To

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Bowhunter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now