John’s Note: When snow falls, and the temperature drops, you’ll find hugging a heater much-more appealing than leaning-up against the bark of an icy tree to take a buck with your bow. In cold-weather conditions, you must make staying warm your first concern without wearing too-many bulky clothes. You also must know what the deer do under these weather conditions for you to locate and take them. These top hunters I’ve interviewed hunt in the ice and snow every year. Here’s the bowhunting tactics they’ve used that have given them success in cold, bad weather.
“I use chemical hand warmers, especially on all my extremities, to stay warm in cold weather,” Chris Kirby from Orchard Park, New York, the president of Quaker Boy Calls, emphasizes. “If you don’t stay warm, you can’t hunt effectively and shoot accurately.
“One of the biggest mistakes bowhunters make is trying to get into their tree stands too quickly,” Kirby mentions. “When you hunt in cold, bad weather, reducing the amount of time you have to sit still is critically important. If I’m on a 3-day hunt, I’ll spend at least the first day and maybe the morning of the second day scouting for a place to put up my tree stand.”
Where to Hunt:
“I’ve found that the best place to hang my tree stand is in an area where the terrain is necked-down, which forces the deer to travel through that bottleneck or funnel to reach their feeding and bedding areas,” Kirby says. “In many instances, I’ll look for a draw between two hills that leads into a cornfield. Even after the field has been cut, the deer still can paw through the snow and get the corn they need to eat. On the trails I choose to set-up on, I’ll look for tracks going in both directions. Then I know the deer are coming to the food and going toward their bedding places along the trail.”
Click here to get “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” and “Deer and Fixings” by John E. Phillips.
About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.