Clothing For Bowhunters: 4 Things You Should Consider

Clothing For Bowhunters: 4 Things You Should Consider

Over the years I've had the fine and pleasant misery of hunting from Alaska to Africa and many places in between. During these 30 years of bowhunting I've endured 33 degrees below zero when chasing musk oxen on Nunivak Island, Alaska, and survived dehydration and a sweat-drenching stalk at 114 degrees while pursuing Columbian blacktails in northern California.

Most of my bowhunts occurred in weather conditions more moderate than those two extremes, but the point is you must have the right clothing for every hunt. Regardless of conditions, here are some guidelines for picking clothing for bowhunters.

1. QUIET

Bowhunting clothing must be extremely quiet. If a piece of clothing seems noisy in a store, just imagine how noisy it'll be at 20 degrees on a graveyard-still evening when you're trying to draw on an antsy whitetail buck! If you can hear it, game animals can hear it better.


2. LAYERING


Choose your hunting clothes in layers based on anticipated temperatures, activity level, and your personal metabolism.


Base layers are your first line of defense against Mother Nature. They move moisture away from your skin, help control your odor, and fit snugly. The microfibers of merino wool and several flavors of polyester make great base layers.

Midlayers can vary from wool, fleece, and polyester derivatives to goose down and synthetic down like PrimaLoft. Pick your midlayers to be quiet and cut to move with your body without restriction.

Outer layer choices vary in material and thickness depending on the style of hunting and temperature. You may need only a lightweight jacket to stalk in September but require a much thicker, more insulating coat to sit still and comfortable on stand in December.


3. VENTING

I have a volatile metabolism. Walking just a few minutes, I'll be drenched in sweat if I'm dressed too warmly; sitting still for only moments, I will become chilled if underdressed. That's why I look for jackets, bibs, and pants with full-length zippers or pit zips so I can vent off excess heat when walking and then quickly zip up to retain body heat when stationary.

4. LITTLE FEATURES


Make sure you check out the little features that might tip the scale when choosing one garment over another. I really like hunting pants with a rubberized waistband that keeps shirttails from coming untucked. Some coats now include a slot at the top of the back for threading your safety harness through. Check zipper noise levels, positioning, and ease of use. Make sure the pockets are easy to access and roomy enough for essential items.

In summary, think of your bowhunting clothing purchases with the same diligent thought process used when buying a bow.

Recommended for You

For those of us heading into the elk woods with the hopes of a close encounter with a rutting bull, Field Tools

5 Must-Have Pieces of Gear for Any Elk Hunt

Zach Bowhay - September 23, 2016

For those of us heading into the elk woods with the hopes of a close encounter with a rutting...

As a bowhunter, you need complete faith in your physical ability to hike in to your hunting ground, stalk your prey, pull your bow stealthily and pack out your animal. That means it's essential to train for your hunt. How-To

10 Workout Routines Every Bowhunter Should Master

Adam Holt

As a bowhunter, you need complete faith in your physical ability to hike in to your hunting...

Stabilization can be a crucial factor in that moment of truth while bowhunting. Here are the best new stabilizer options from the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

New Bow Stabilizers for 2019

Colton Bailey - January 10, 2019

Stabilization can be a crucial factor in that moment of truth while bowhunting. Here are the...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

Bowhunter contributor Matt Palmquist sets up shop for a turkey hunt in Kansas.

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.

Early Season Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Early Season Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Christian Berg begins the scouting process in Kentucky on his first whitetail hunt of the season.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for Bows

9 Top Budget Bows for 2018

Tony J. Peterson - February 20, 2018

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for

Advances in rangefinding devices have helped bowhunters immensely. Scouting Tools

Advancements in Rangefinder Technology Through the Years

Chuck Adams

Advances in rangefinding devices have helped bowhunters immensely.

Curt Wells explains the importance of momentum and penetration. How-To

Heavy Vs. Light: Choosing The Best Hunting Arrow

Curt Wells

Curt Wells explains the importance of momentum and penetration.

See More Stories

More Apparel

Back when I started hunting the mountains of Oregon, backcountry bowhunters carried a motley array Apparel

New Bowhunting Packs for 2014

Dwight Schuh - August 19, 2014

Back when I started hunting the mountains of Oregon, backcountry bowhunters carried a motley...

Over the years I've had the fine and pleasant misery of hunting from Alaska to Africa and many Apparel

Clothing For Bowhunters: 4 Things You Should Consider

Lon E. Lauber - August 08, 2011

Over the years I've had the fine and pleasant misery of hunting from Alaska to Africa and many

Suit up in the best camo patterns for playing high-country hide-and-seek. Apparel

The Best Mountain Camo for Bowhunting Elk

Tony J. Peterson - August 27, 2019

Suit up in the best camo patterns for playing high-country hide-and-seek.

See More Apparel

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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