Bucky Hauser from Claudville, Virginia, is a longtime deer hunter who primarily bowhunts.
I went to Canada in 2008 to hunt whitetails in Manitoba, Canada. When we got off the airplane, we stepped into 14-degree weather with a wind speed of 40 mph, and I felt every bit of that temperature. When I’d left home in Virginia, the temperature was 70 degrees, so naturally I was wearing shorts. Everybody at the airport in Canada looked at me like I’d lost my mind.
After the hunt, I found out the high for the week in Canada was the day I got off the airplane at 14 degrees. During the hunt, we had weather as cold as minus 10 degrees, and the temperature ranged between single digits and double digits during the entire hunt. I was bowhunting. The only way I stayed warm was by using layers, layers and more layers of clothes. In cold weather, to stay warm, you must get moisture away from your body. Then, the clothing you’re wearing can keep the heat that you generate inside the clothing to keep you warm. I wore a lightweight Under Armour base layer. My middle layer was made of heavy virgin wool called Antifreeze made by Raven Wear. On top of the Raven Wear, I wore a Mossy Oak Under Armour (https://www.underarmour.com/en-us) outer layer. One of the issues that I had to deal with was that I never wore gloves when I bowhunted. To solve this problem, I wore hand warmer gloves, put Hot Hands (http://hothands.com) chemical warmers inside a muff and wore a balaclava and a toboggan to keep my face warm. However, I felt like my feet might freeze solid.
My stand was 18 miles from camp, and the closest that my guide could get me to my stand was 1-1/2-miles from where they let me out of the truck. I was hunting in the Turtle Mountain Wilderness Area in Manitoba, Canada, which was actually public-hunting land. I’d get dropped off 1-1/2-hours before daylight, walk to my stand and then stay in my stand all day long. I’d come out to the pickup point after dark. I was actually spending about 13 hours a day sitting still in the stand, not including the time required for me to walk to the stand in the morning and back out to the pickup point at night. I followed a snowmobile trail from the pickup point to my stand, and I also flagged where I went in and flagged the trail to my stand.
After the first full day of hunting, when I returned to the lodge, I announced, “I have to order a pair of boots that will withstand this weather and keep my feet warm. I’ll pay to have them overnighted to me with a pair of socks made for very-cold weather.” That night the lodge owner’s son asked, “Why don’t you try on my boots?” Even though the boots were too small for my feet, believe it or not, they kept my feet warm. The boots had a thick rubber bottom, a thick wool liner and an air sole that separated my foot from the wool liner. The entire boot’s outer layer was canvas, and the boots laced all the way up to below my knees. With those boots on, I was able to stay in my stand without fear of trying to walk out of the woods on frozen feet. The real secret to hunting in extreme weather like you’ll find in many parts of Canada is to spend the time, energy and money required to get the right type of clothing that’s meant to be worn under those extreme conditions.
My hunt began on Monday morning, and I didn’t see the buck I wanted to take until last light on Wednesday afternoon. I spent 3 days in the same stand. If I hadn’t had the type of clothing and boots that I wore, more than likely, I would have frozen to death (grin) or at least thought I was freezing to death. On this hunt, I saw a total of four deer, including the nice buck I took.
To learn more about hunting for deer, check out John E. Phillips’ bowhunting books, available in Kindle, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows” (http://amzn.to/1QGvdQx) and “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros” (http://amzn.to/VBr1qW). You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of the book for free).
Tomorrow: Bucky Hauser Takes a Big Canada Bow Buck