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It doesn’t matter how often you’ve been hunting in your lifetime—doing so in the winter is a totally different game. There are a lot of variables that the harsh weather will change for you, so it’s important to be ready for them. If you’re not sure what to do, then this guide on how to prepare for hunting in the snow and ice will be able to get you on the right path.
Understanding Your Own Limitations
Whether you have physical or mental limitations, you need to have a good grip on what you can and can’t do while in the wild before hunting in the cold. Winter weather makes the things that you’re able to do well much more complicated and everything that you can “kind of” do nearly impossible. Plus, to make matters worse, if you make a poor choice, the results will be much more dire.
The key to surviving is to not go alone. You might not feel like you have any limitations in nice weather, but they will be more apparent in the cold, so you’ll want someone else around to help out when you fail. Also, be sure to bring some extra food and water because you’ll be burning energy much faster than you’re used to.
Wearing the Correct Gear
It should go without saying that you need to wear heavier clothes for this type of weather, but you’d be surprised how many people underdress for snow. While some of them do it to look “cool,” others wear less clothing for a more legitimate reason: many layers reduce movement. In hunting, having a free range of motion is crucial, so at least this makes sense.
However, it’s not worth freezing to death over. That’s why you need to invest in clothing made to hold in heat. The better quality your gear is, the less of it you’ll need to wear, allowing you to keep your mobility at a tolerable level.
Bringing Some Form of Shelter
Even if you’re not planning on spending the night outdoors, you should bring some form of shelter with you when hunting in the winter. Not only will this help you keep warm while sitting around waiting for game to walk by, but it could save your life.
Just because you didn’t plan on spending the night in the wilderness doesn’t mean you won’t. You could get trapped or even lost, and when the sun starts to fall, you’re going to wish you had a tent and some fire-starting equipment packed away in your bag.
Knowing How Your Weapon Will Be Affected
The final key thing to note in our guide on how to prepare for hunting in the snow and ice is how different your weapon of choice will feel. Bows won’t be too difficult to use, but guns, on the other hand, will handle quite differently. If you don’t consider all aspects of operating your firearm in the cold, you could end up breaking it and possibly even hurt yourself. As long as you keep your weapons warm, though, you shouldn’t run into any issues.