Staying Warm on a Cold Hunt
November 29, 2014
Put some fuel in your stomach. Eat a warm, filling meal before you head out.
Don’t shower just before a hunt, even though you think your hair may be dry it isn’t 100% and will hold moisture. Moisture equals cool down.
Wear boots a bit too big to allow for doubled up socks and/or toe warmers.
Make sure one of those pairs of socks has some wool in it. Wool means warmth and the more the better.
Some folks have had good luck with heated battery powered socks and/or insoles.
Back in the old days parents had you place your socked foot into an empty, clean, dry, bread bag or grocery store type plastic bag without holes to keep your feet dry if you had any leaks and to keep the warmth in. Still holds true today. A cheap and easy fix.
Bring a small piece of rug or cardboard to put your feet on while sitting hunting. This will act as a barrier between your cozy toes and the frozen ground.
Wear a dry cotton layer close to your skin then a polyester blend on your torso and limbs to help trap your body heat in. Layers are key here.
I found bib style hunting pants to be warmer than regular hunting pants. If your coat rides up in the back, your heat wont escape as easily.
Slightly larger outer wear jacket to allow for layers. (Yes folks ask me all the time about camouflage prints. I like some camo print patterns better than others, but in the end all that matters is that you break up your pattern. Also the majority of the lines in your camo print should go up and down. Trees, bushes, plants, etc. all grow straight up and down in the woods.)
Now this one is tricky because of handling your weapon you will need to adjust this idea to your situation. Wearing a thin pair of fitting gloves, then a thin rubber glove or plastic glove over top (again to trap heat ) and finally a big pair of mittens or gloves over top. Some folks don’t like all the bulk so adjust it to fit how you hunt and what works best for you.
Have a a couple of hand warmers disposable or reusable in your pockets will add to your comfort.
Wear a neck cuff or collar for added neck warm they tend to stay put a little better. I prefer one that is reversible orange on one side and camo on the other. A properly wrapped scarf will work as well.
Snug fitting beanie knit or fleece so you are able to wear a hood over top for extra warmth.
Lastly a very important piece of the puzzle is a camouflaged blanket or an old sleeping bag. I have been laughed at for doing this but it has certainly added more time to my hunt by staying warm and stay out longer on those really bad days.
If you are lucky enough to hunt in a blind with sliding/closing windows and a portable heater than you are certainly going to need to adjust all of these recommendations! LOL
Staying Warm on a Cold Hunt
Shopping at my Favorite Grocery Store
I just stopped by my favorite grocery store to pick up some red meat. It is a beautiful store, decorated just the way I like it. Quiet for the most part and the smells are so fresh and clean, unlike any other.
There is a lot of fresh meat to choose from this morning, but mostly small, little, thin pieces of meat. I, however, am looking for a big, thick, juicy steak, choice cut for me please!
I have not seen any other shoppers yet today and that is the way I like it, but I can hear them making their selections in a department, in another far off part of this store.
There isn’t a demonstrator handing out free samples. There isn’t a clearance section, no sale items, no coupons, nor company discounts. Because here, we all pay the same price.
I have noticed the selection is getting more and more sparse though. Sure am hoping I don’t have to wait until next year, when the shelves are restocked.
Spending most of my time shopping in the frozen food section latley, has left me very, very cold indeed, chilled to the bone.
After all of these shopping trips, I am still waiting for the chance to make the call and say, “Clean-up on isle six!”.
In this store there isn’t an express lane but there is a limit of how many items you can check out at one time.
Oh and in this store, you have to “bag your own”.
1st Day of My Spring Turkey Hunt 2013
The smell of the woods in the Springtime is enchanting.
The birds & frogs sound amazing.
Multiple strands of shinning spider webs, blowing in the breeze across the last years soybean field.
The sun beaming off the flooded over water puddle, across the field, from the last two days rain.
Ducks flying over to take a drink and to rest their weary wings.
The seldom fly or mosquito announcing their presence, simply pass through.
Bald Eagle does a half circle over the area I am hunting in and soars straight over my head.
With the shotgun laying across my lap and the sun on my face, I give the slate call another try.
The wind has died down.
The sun is falling fast.
It’s almost roosting time.
No gobbles are being returned.
No strutting, no sight of the birds at all.
Far off I hear a shot, just one.
Maybe a lucky hunter?
A hunter luckier than I?
I have had a wonderful hunt.
The experience of the 1st day hunt of the year, has made me a lucky hunter.
There are far too many people out there tonight that have not had the experience that I have had, and wished they could have.
The sun is below the tree line now, slight, steel-grey, blue, clouds run through it.
A fitting ending to this beautiful hunt.
Not only is VP Joe Biden on Home Defense & Personal Protection BAD ADVICE, IT COULD GET YOU IN JAIL!
Not only is VP Joe Biden on Home Defense & Personal Protection BAD ADVICE, IT COULD GET YOU IN JAIL!
You might have heard or read about Vice President Joe Biden’s advice to women regarding home and personal defense. If you haven’t, you will find it amusing where he tells women how to scare off intruders by firing warning shots out of a double-barreled shotgun, promises how effective it will be and makes absurdly inaccurate statements regarding AR-15′s and modern sporting rifles.
“I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house,'” Biden said.
“You don’t need an AR-15—it’s harder to aim,” he added, “it’s harder to use, and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!”
Now consider this. The intruder just heard her fire her only 2 shots. Her gun is empty and now the intruder knows where she is at in the house. The intruder is illegally invading her home to do her and her home harm. He is most likely to have an illegally gotten gun that holds up to 30 rounds (if not more).
I just got off the phone with friend Rick Sanders, and this topic of discussion came up right in the middle of writing this blog. He said he not only finds this entirely absurd, he is going to be purchasing a gun that holds 100 rounds…..damn. (Yes I am jealous.)
Fortunately Dr. Jill Biden will likely not have to follow her husband’s suggestions due to the fact that she has Secret Service protection for the rest of her life. Firing those 2 shots would alert her Secret Service protection and come rescure her. Not only is his advice really BAD, but it also irresponsibly breaks one of the fundamental rules of firearm safety that could lead to harming or killing an innocent person. Also it is illegal in Delaware.
Owning a firearm is a great responsibility. Choosing one for personal protection and home defense is a personal decision and should not be taken lightly. Instead of taking this bad advice and adopting poor tactics, hopefully those who wish to protect themselves and their families will consider that when they are making their firearm choices. ***Remember only aim a gun at something you plan on shooting and killing.
I am wondering what is after hunting this year?My son died at the beginning of hunting season this past fall. Normally I hunt most of archery, ever single day of rifle and muzzle loader and throw in an extra hunt here or there out of state.This year I missed most of the month after he died, but found it to be therapeutic after I got into the routine of it again.I cried almost every single time in the blind. It didn’t matter what weapon I was using or how I was hunting or where I was hunting……. the tears came.I didn’t understand why for the longest time. I thought perhaps it was because I was alone with my thoughts. Some friends thought it was because I remembered all the good times we had hunting together, but truth is, we never really hunted together. (I have many times hunted with my two other boys though.) I cried so much while hunting, I even said I was going to invent a crying tube, like a coughing tube for hunting. (it helps deaden the sound). Most of my scarfs/gloves/sleeves doubled as a tissue when need be.Needless to say with all that crying going on, I didn’t have the best hunting season/record.~2012 :1 Spring Turkey that took 1st place in a local contest1 Doe with Rifle 1 Doe with Muzzle loader
I tried writing while in the blind to help put my feelings into perspective, only to get frustrated more when I couldn’t find the right words.But it all came to me today, on my final day of my hunting season.I have always felt close to God while hunting. I would talk to him like he was my hunting buddy. I appreciated all of what he has made out there, the sights, the smells, the sounds. Hunting for me is almost a religious thing for me. I know it sounds cliche, but most ~real~hunters will agree.So by feeling closer to God, and our little heart to heart chats, I also had a closer connection with my son. I found myself telling God to give him messages, or wonder what he is doing at that moment, or I’d see signs sent from him, or I’d just think back about all of the wonderful times we had together without outside influences, or distractions.
He just didn’t seem so far away while I was out there.
But now it’s over with for awhile. I will need to discover a different way to connect with God, that also makes me feel closer to my Kelby.
I have not wrote a blog since my son died at the end of October but God is telling me loud and clear that someone, somewhere needs to read this. So I am.
Today was a day filled with trying to cram into to much stuff, places and errands done in one day. Since my sons death, normally my pace through out the day is slow and methodical. I normally accomplish 1/4 of the stuff I use to get done in a day now takes me all week. I find myself staring out in space, thinking and remembering events and times about my son. I miss him so much that when I open my heart up all the way, the pain overwhelms me and I have a hard time breathing. Tear soaked shirts and sleeves are a norm now.
After flying home and dropping the boys off , I grabbed my crossbow (that my middle son had to help me pull back) and drove as fast as I could to the cabin 30 mins away. But as I was getting out of my SUV, my husband called and said his nephew was in the blind I was going to hunt in and that I had baited there two days ago. Frustrated I found another blind that I have never been to and sat, mean while noticing that someone earlier had walked all of the area. I was upset. I look back at it now and think how silly that was to be upset about that. He didn’t know that I had worked so hard and planned so long to be there at that moment.
Not seeing anything after sitting for almost 2 hours I started home. Stopped at the local store for chocolate milk and was on my way. But soon noticed how icy the road were I was going pretty darn slow and the closer I got towards home the worse it got. I came across a car in a deep ditch and no one was stopping. I turned around and went back with my flashers on and started down the embankment not sure what I’d find once I got to the car. Luckily the man inside was fine. He didn’t speak much English just Spanish and I don’t think he had a license. But we communicated enough to find out that he was OK and he called for help. He had a cell phone. I asked if he wanted me to wait with him and he said he wanted me to go ahead and go, but before I left I hugged him. I couldn’t help it. I was grateful he wasn’t hurt, a stranger a complete stranger I was surprised by my feelings. As I drove off I prayed for him and started to cry. I cried for the people that tried to help my son in his accident but couldn’t because it was too late for him and their feeling of helplessness that they must have felt.
As I continued on I saw many, many folks sliding past stop signs,and missing their intended roads. But I prayed again this time for everyone out tonight and for my own safety. I was traveling up a slight hill and my trailblazer just started heading in its own direction without warning or skidding or sliding, it was if someone just grabbed the wheel or pushed my car into the side of a hill and spun around slamming to a stop against the dirt. I was only going 30 and had both hands on the wheel no texting, music, praying or crying. As I was spinning around I kept saying, “it’s OK ,it’s OK, it’s OK ,i’ll be alright, I cant make it through this.”When I finally stopped, I took a deep breath and tried driving out of the embankment and onto the road and I did. I crept up the hill until I made it to the next drive way and pulled in and put it in park and just let loose.
I cried and yelled out to GOD why? what do you want from me? I am doing the best I can? I am using all of my tools and my knowledge to make it through my grief the best way I possible can and yet I am still being tested? What am I doing wrong? You have my attention!!……………he didn’t answer.
I traveled a little further and came across another van in the ditch that hit a few small trees and rested against a medium sized tree and to my amazement he was fine also! His car seamed fine! Much like the first gentleman he didn’t speak English very well, French I think. He also said he did not have Insurance, things were too tough and couldn’t afford it. Several cars where driving by him offering no help, no one stopped….a man standing in the dark with a light jacket and tennis shoes on, in a snow storm and no one stopped…..wow…… I have to say what are people thinking now days? I stayed with him until Police arrived, hugged him also, then started back on my way.
Once again as I started to drive away, crying, upset and shaking at this point. I decided to try to put my SUV in 4wd again…it has only worked one other time since last year, and it was when I was stuck at my sons graveside in the cemetery. Yes God is all around me and I taking care of me even when I don’t think so.
The rest of the ride home was filled with cars passing me, deer on the edge of the road & blowing my horn to scare them away, and taking my time.
When I arrived at home I came into the house and collapsed. I hugged my boys several times and they let me cry in their shoulders, and asked if they could do anything for me. I assured them I was fine just shaken up a lot.
My emotions ranged from the grief of my sons death and his accident, to helping others in their accidents and trying to take care of myself safely.
Maybe God just wanted me there to take care of them and give them assurance and give them a needed hug, and maybe they were there to do the same for me and give me that needed hug back.
In the end they are OK physically, maybe their cars had minor damage and maybe they got a ticket or two but they are OK….and I am OK…..at least I am trying to be OK…..still trying….never give up trying.
It takes away all the nuisances of the day. I filters out the garbage that I don’t need in order to live a healthy, somewhat, normal life. If they weren’t in my life, I often wonder where I’d be. Things wouldn’t fall into place and my days would be more chaotic. It transcends my spirit and makes things right with the world.
The connection made with the earth/water and my soul cannot be matched. If everyone could just get outside a few times a week even for a half hour at a time, this world would be a better place, calmer and at a slower pace. Time seems to be slipping right through our fingertips.
Taking your child hunting, fishing or camping and teaching them there is another world/place outside of school, computers, events and video games. Teach them to slow down, take in what nature has to offer.Observe the colors, scents, sounds. Appreciate what God has given to us and to souls.
It nourishes us in a way that nothing else can. Best of all it’s cheap or even free and it has natural healing powers, not just physically but also mentally. Studies show connection with nature can help with depression, anxiety and overall good physical health. Nature calls us. It calls us to participate, to be involved. “Get back to nature” was a catch phrase a few years back and still holds true today.
This is especially true for women. So many times women think they only belong at home, work or the mall. Well there is another place that women are welcome and encouraged to be, the great outdoors. A wonderful place that all belong.So grab a friend or go it alone, but open up that door again and you may be surprised at how wonderful you feel.