Skip to main content

Footwear & Clothing For Winter Whitetail Work

Footwear & Clothing For Winter Whitetail Work

Whitetail hunting can be a year-round endeavor, and for many of us, is. While this time of year is dedicated largely to scouring bedding areas and food sources for shed antlers, there’s plenty of other work to be done. Winter scouting is a big one, of course. This is true no matter where you hunt, but a necessity if you want to get serious about killing big deer on public dirt. There is a direct correlation to miles walked now and arrows launched in the fall that can’t be denied.

For the private land bowhunter, winter scouting is also time well-spent. You can combine those days with pulling last season’s treestands, cutting a few new shooting lanes, and simply putting in the initial stages of the sweat equity required in the off-season.

To accomplish this, and any other whitetail work necessary, you’ll want to outfit yourself with the right gear so you can truly cover adequate ground and be comfortable doing it.

Following are seven options worth considering.


LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro

LaCrosse Alphaburly Pro

Normally I wouldn’t recommend a knee-high for shed hunting or winter scouting, but the Alphaburly Pros don’t fit like typical rubber boots. They are designed in such a way that I’ve started to leave my leather boots at home more and more and just wear the AB Pros. I did this last fall on multiple public-land deer hunts, and even during some late-season pheasant excursions in the cattails following around a hard-charging bird dog for eight hours a day. Alphaburly Pros are comfortable, built-to-last, and offer the added bonus of being 100-percent waterproof, which means you can stay comfortable while wading through spring runoff and searching for next season’s stand sites.


Danner Pronghorn

Danner Pronghorn

I don’t always wear knee-highs during spring whitetail work because some days and duties are more suited to leathers like Danner’s fifth-generation Pronghorns. I’ve worn Pronghorns in environments ranging from elk mountains to cranberry bogs, and they have never let me down. The latest version of these classic boots is waterproof yet breathable and available in three insulation options. They are also built with the Bi-Fit stability board, which provides underfoot comfort, reduces the overall weight of the Pronghorns, and allows for extra forefoot flex. In other words, they feel more like a high-end running shoe than a hunting boot.

Irish Setter VaprTrek

Irish Setter VaprTrek

Anyone looking for a good walk-around-all-day boot should consider Irish Setter’s latest. Their VaprTreks, which are available in 5- and 8-inch options, are 40 percent lighter than traditional Irish Setter hunting boots. Choose from a litany of non-insulated and insulated options with several available in Realtree Edge or Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camouflage. For women bowhunters looking to gain an edge on the upcoming season, VaprTreks are offered in an 8-inch boot with 400g PrimaLoft insulation.

Field & Stream Swamptracker

Field & Stream Swamptracker

If you’re looking for some knock-around knee-highs that won’t break the bank, the Swamptrackers from Field & Stream are a good choice. They are obviously waterproof but also designed to be lightweight and truly comfortable, thanks to the EVA sockliner. They also feature a rugged outsole and midsole to provide extra traction, which is not always the case with knee-highs and always appreciated when you’re slogging across muddy landscapes looking for sheds or pulling stands.

Sitka Gear Back Forty Pant

Sitka Gear Back Forty Pant

Now that I don’t drink any more, the best chance I’ve got of finding myself lured into an intervention will probably involve Sitka Gear. I can’t help it – their clothing is so comfortable and functional. If you splurge on one piece in their lineup to see if I’m full of it or not, buy the Back Forty Pant. They are ideal for shed hunting, winter scouting, summer fishing, and just about anything you plan to do outdoors. The fabric is this stretchy-ish material that weighs nothing and dries in a matter of a few minutes if you get it wet.


ALPS OutdoorZ Hybrid X Pack

ALPS OutdoorZ Hybrid X Pack

This pack is overkill for the average hike in the deer woods, but hear me out. I’m a firm believer in going big with my packs for whitetails, and medium-sized for my western packs. That means a 2,750-cubic-inch pack like the Hybrid X from ALPS is perfect. This pack/frame combo is designed in such a way that you could carry elk quarters in it, but it also feels like a daypack when you strap it on. If you’re going to travel west ever, or do all-day sits during the rut, adequate pack space is a necessity, just as getting used to your pack is as well. Pick up a Hybrid X for all of your outdoor endeavor, and break that sucker in now by using it to haul your stands out of the woods – or maybe all of those matching Booner sets you’re likely to find this spring.

Hunter Safety System Ultra-Lite

Hunter Safety System Ultra-Lite

When it comes to safety harnesses, the more manufacturers reduce bulk and weight, the more I like them. The leader in the pack for this trend is, of course, Hunter Safety System. Their new Ultra-Lite weighs only 2.9 pounds and is designed with ElimiShield Scent Control Technology, so no matter how much you sweat in it throughout the year, it won’t become a source of no-good stinkiness. If you’re going to hit the woods in an effort to pull all of last year’s stands (you should), carrying an Ultra-Lite is the way to go.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

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.

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Platforms & Ring of Steps

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Platforms & Ring of Steps

We all need a spot to place our feet in life … and even more so when in the saddle. The two options are a platform or ring-of-steps. For longer hunts, platforms are more comfortable and most familiar. Ring-of-steps are lighter and easier to pack for shorter-duration hunts and long hikes.

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek sets up for some hog and whitetail hunting at Canyon Ranch in Texas.

Daybreak Whitetail Bowhunt

Daybreak Whitetail Bowhunt

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek has a chance to fill his buck tag on a mixed bag hunt in Texas.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up in this Pâté chaud recipe.Vietnamese Black Bear Pâté Chaud (Meat Pie) Recipe Recipes

Vietnamese Black Bear Pté Chaud (Meat Pie) Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up in this Pâté chaud recipe.

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...

The advantages to using a binocular bivy system are many, and they go well beyond providing full protection for your glass.Why You Should Use A Binocular Bivy System Field Tools

Why You Should Use A Binocular Bivy System

Joe Bell

The advantages to using a binocular bivy system are many, and they go well beyond providing...

Curt Wells and Randy Ulmer [video] explain the importance of momentum and penetration when choosing heavy vs. light arrows for bowhunting.How to Choose the Best Hunting Arrow - Heavy vs. Light How-To

How to Choose the Best Hunting Arrow - Heavy vs. Light

Curt Wells

Curt Wells and Randy Ulmer [video] explain the importance of momentum and penetration when...

See More Trending Articles

More Apparel

Over the course of the last decade or so, hunters have changed the way they think about theirNew Hunting Boots and Apparel for 2014 Apparel

New Hunting Boots and Apparel for 2014

David Draper - October 13, 2014

Over the course of the last decade or so, hunters have changed the way they think about their

The technology and engineering built into today's bowhunting clothing is unequalled -- except maybeNew Clothing For Bowhunters You Should Know About Apparel

New Clothing For Bowhunters You Should Know About

Lon E. Lauber - August 08, 2011

The technology and engineering built into today's bowhunting clothing is unequalled -- except...

Don't let the heat, bugs, and other “annoyances” ruin your first few weeks of the fall hunting season.Early Season Gear Essentials Apparel

Early Season Gear Essentials

Brian K. Strickland

Don't let the heat, bugs, and other “annoyances” ruin your first few weeks of the fall hunting...


NOMAD's Sapwood lineup is the ultimate mid-weight Merino baselayer. It'll keep you warm, dry andIntroducing the 2016 NOMAD Sapwood Baselayers Apparel

Introducing the 2016 NOMAD Sapwood Baselayers

Bowhunter Online Staff - February 29, 2016

NOMAD's Sapwood lineup is the ultimate mid-weight Merino baselayer. It'll keep you warm, dry...

See More Apparel

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