Bad weather often drives great hunting. If you can stand the cold and wind, you may tag the biggest buck of your life. As the country goes through one of it’s coldest storms in a decade, you may be intimidated to wait things out. Don’t! You must use common sense about keeping warm, yet cold weather can drive deer into thick cover and cause them to search for food. Use these motivations to your advantage.
Beating a Blizzard
My favorite place to deer hunt is a creek bottom in the Great Plains where cedars and cottonwood saplings are so thick that few hunters go there. Despite my success, most hunters ignore the thickets and chose to hunt its surroundings where they have greater visibility and range for their center-fire rifles.
Last year, a blizzard was forecast for the region and I drove four hours to get ahead of the storm. With the wind howling and snow falling, I parked along a country road and hiked a quarter mile to my spot. I was testing the new Pnuma Waypoint hunting gear and counted on it to keep me warm.
Managing the Cold
Arriving just before dawn, i settled against a large pine tree and waited for shooting light to arrive. My first few grunts from a True Talker lured a 120-class 9-point to 10 yards. This was a great deer, but the hunt was barely five minutes old. Whereas the wind howled through the tops of the tall cottonwoods, the breeze among the cedars was light.
I passed that buck and saw two bigger animals in early morning. Hunting from the ground, deer activity waned in mid morning and I made a strategic decision. I anticipated deer movements at mid day and headed back to my small cabin where I took a hot shower, warmed up, and then returned. A person just can’t sit still in extreme cold for long periods of time and I was ready for another long stint. Luckily, the biggest buck of my hunting life came by at noon.
Know your limits and use hand warmers, heaters, ground blinds, sleeping bags, electric heaters, and a host of gear, yet deer are moving and adapting to weather just as you are. Beat bad weather with short manageable sits at optimum times.