Hunting in Winter

Hunting in the snow is both a challenging task and a beautiful one. Snow-covered forests are a sight to be seen and if you can brave the cold, it may lead you toward a nice buck this winter.

Snowy conditions can actually be beneficial when hunting. The animal tracks will be fresh and obvious in the untouched powder. There is no way for the animals to hide their tracks, so the trail should lead you straight to your game. The only way the trail will be disturbed is if the wind begins to pick up.

Visibility

Blood trails become a neon sign on white snow. Where some blood trails blend into the ground in the fall, there’s no missing a blood trail on freshly fallen snow. The snow will also make it easier to tell when the blood trail begins to thin out. You’ll be able to see the difference between bright red blood and a thinning pink blood. The color and consistency of the blood is key to determining where you hit the deer. The snow will let you see the exact shade of the blood immediately.

Visibility is opened up when the leaves fall from the trees. When the trees are bare you can see for miles and you’ll catch wildlife that you wouldn’t have seen if leaves were blocking your view. It also makes it easier to climb into your stand when there are no leaves to obstruct your climb. While the lack of leaves makes it easier to see, it leaves you more exposed. There are no leaves to hide behind and conceal yourself. This makes it very important to dress accordingly. You’ll want to wear a darker camo pattern that has more bark colors than green leaves. It may be tempting to wear white because it will make you blend into the grey sky and the snow, but continue to keep safety at the forefront. Consider wearing a blaze orange to alert other hunters of your presence.

Warmth

It is important to stay warm during your winter hunts. Dress in layers that you can easily take on and off. If you’re hunting in a blind, you don’t want to overheat in a heavy jacket you don’t need. You also don’t want to dress for the warmth of the blind and end up freezing when it’s time to walk out into the field. You’ll want to wear gloves that allow you mobility, but still keep your hands warm. The ideal glove is fleece-lined or insulated in some way, with a stretchy material on the back of the glove.

You can choose to sit in a stand, but you might be better off on foot this time of year. Deer know the elements and they instinctively protect themselves when it snows. They stay in smaller areas near food sources to minimize their need to venture out into the elements. You’ll most likely need to go seek out the deer, because the chances of them wandering through a snowstorm are pretty slim. They conserve their energy any chance they get, so if they find a good spot to bed down, they’re not leaving it anytime soon.

You can make every moment of hunting season last if you know how to hunt in the snow. Knowing how to navigate snowy terrain can extend your season well past the holidays. What do you do to ensure a successful winter hunt?

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