Skip to main content

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.

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

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Tree Saddle Hunting: Tree Climbing with an Aider

Tree Saddle Hunting: Tree Climbing with an Aider

Go farther, hunt deeper, and trek lighter while enjoying all-day comfort with the newest tree saddle hunting gear and tactics.

Elk Bulls Abound in Colorado

Elk Bulls Abound in Colorado

Bowhunter team member Rudy Bachraty gets his chance to take an elk with Cross Mountain Outfitters of Colorado.

Better Bow Practice: Pick a Spot When Aiming

Better Bow Practice: Pick a Spot When Aiming

On this edition of "Dead On," Hall-of-Fame bowhunter Randy Ulmer shares advice on picking a spot to aim at when practicing with your bow.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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.

Get the top Bowhunter stories delivered right to your inbox.

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