Keeping Warm on those Chilly Turkey Hunts

Hunting season for turkeys is generally in early spring or late fall. Both seasons can be very cold and wet. This makes the proper gear to stay warm a necessity. Just checking the weather channel might not be the way to go, since weather is fairly unpredictable. Going out with too little gear to stay warm can ruin the whole hunting trip. The warmer a hunter is during his hunt, the more comfortable he will be and the longer he can patently wait.

Advice from many experienced hunters is to have layers of clothing. Each layer is another layer of insulation and just with a house, or any other insulated object, the more layers the better. Also, layers can be taken off if necessary. If the day started out very cold, but the spring or fall sun heats the day much more than expected, the hunter can always take off one of those layers. Some hunters like to wear one-piece suits, thick and warm like a snowsuit, but that can sometimes actually be a bad decision. While the day gets warmer, the hunter will not be able to take any clothing items off. There is only the one piece and maybe a thin layer of undergarment underneath. When buying those clothing items, the hunter should not look at the price tag, but rather feel them for quality. Try them on for comfort and if it feels right, then perhaps look at the price tag to see if you can afford the item.

One of the first things that will ruin a hunt is cold or wet feet. Therefore, the proper pair of boots is essential. For many hunters that are walking miles to get to their hunting spot, the comfort is essential for long walks. Many hunters will use boots that are appropriate for the weather they are going to be in and sometimes add insulation by adding a few pairs of socks. Should the hunter be trying to hang out in the very cold, a good suggestion might be a boot blanket. These boot blankets are like big socks that are wrapped around the outside of the boot. The hunter then can add some sort of warming blanket or warming device into the blanket close to his toes and the feet will feel toasty for a good amount of hunting time.

As for the legs and the rest of the hunter’s body, there are many options. An insulated bib overall, a coverall suit, insulated pants and several shirts, are all options for under the coat. When buying these items, again the hunter will get what he pays for. It does not mean that he needs to buy the most expensive clothing items, but rather checking for quality when buying. The material of the clothes is important as well, some material make a lot of noise. For example, such clothing items as snowsuits and overalls are very noisy when moving. Noise is something a hunter wants to eliminate when hunting for game. A noisy suit can ruin the whole hunting trip. Most hunters recommend making sure that the material is fleece, micro-fleece or wool, which are not noisy. It is also recommended to buy overalls that have full-length zippers. This means suits that have zippers from waist to the feet and another zipper from top to the waist. This helps with putting on the overall when wearing big heavy boots. Often hunters do not want to take off the boots and then put on again when taking off layers of clothing in warmer weather.

Some hunters say they prefer bib overalls to one-piece overalls, because the suit might restrict the arm movement, while the bib-overall leaves that arm movement under the coat.

As for the coat, a parka is a must and the higher the quality of the insulation and the material is, the more quiet and warm will the hunting experience be. The coat should cover the hunter past the waist and should also have a hood. Some of the better parkas also have a tall neck collar to help prevent chilly winds from coming in with the hood on or with the hood off.

Also essential for a warm hunting experience are gloves, hand mufflers and the right kind of hat. Gloves should not be too bulky should be able to handle the gun properly. There is always the possibility of putting a hand warmer in the muffler to keep hands and fingers warm. As for the head, a hat and a facemask might do the trick on cold days, while a baseball cap is a good choice on the warmer days.