During the early archery season, it’s hot and the bugs are out in full force. Here’s a few tips to ensure more pleasureable hunts.
Sweating buckets during an early season hunt, I often wonder what it is that drives a sane man to sit in 80- or 90-degree weather covered head to toe in camouflage while swatting mosquitos. When my eyes strain to spot movement through the dense, green foliage and come up with nothing, my mind wanders to more comfortable climes. I could be in an airconditioned home, cooking with a cold drink in hand. But I’m always quick to shake the thoughts because I realize, after all, I’m doing what I love most. I’d go to any lengths to pursue whitetails. Whether that’s heat, cold, snow or wind, I – and you, for that matter – will be in the woods. I know there may not be a real reason I go to these lengths other than it’s ingrained in me as a hunter.
Then, my mind settles. I sit back and enjoy the hunt despite Mother Nature’s best efforts. It’s a mental game. Of course, having the right gear can go a long way to make a September hunt more pleasurable. Here’s a few tips we’ve collected from years of sweating through early season archery hunts.
Keeping cool starts with your clothes. I have been impressed by Cabela’s + Icebreaker Merino First-Layer Long-Sleeve Crew for early season hunts. It wicks away moisture and stays dry as you sweat. When temperatures dip in the fall, it’s a perfect base layer. Pair this with lightweight, breathable and moisture wicking nylon pants. If you’re hunting from a blind like I do, camouflage isn’t necessary, which makes these pants from REI perfect.
Take it to the next level by replacing your camo facemask with one made by Mission Athletecare. It features fabric that instantly cools when soaked with water, wrung out, and then snapped in the air to activate the cooling properties. It’ll really cool you down for the first hour or two of an afternoon hunt.
Carry at least a liter of water with you and be sure to drink regularly. Since you’ll be sweating, mix in an additive with electrolytes. This will keep you hydrated and help to regulate your body temperature. Be sure to bring along an empty plastic bottle for when nature calls.
Hunt from a Blind
Nobody likes to sit in 80-degree weather swatting mosquitos throughout a hunt. It’s why I started hunting from a blind years ago. A Thermacell goes a long way to keep mosquitos at bay, but there’s still chiggers, ticks and no-see-ums to deal with. Banks blinds keep you high, dry and away from those pesky critters. It’ll also keep your scent contained, due to the tightly sealed windows and door. We had bowhunters in mind when designing our Vision Series blinds, which feature long, vertical windows and a 360-degree view. They’re equipped so that you can hunt in them from opening day to the last, frigid hours of the winter season.
Sure, you’ll likely feel the heat in the early season, no matter the steps you take. But keeping these tips in mind can make those hunts a little more pleasurable. Before you know it, it’ll be winter and you’ll be longing for those warm days once more.