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The Whitetail Addict's Guide to Hunting Extreme Weather

By Mark Kenyon
1/25/2014 10:19:47 AM

Most times when we whitetail addicts dream of hunting season, we picture a crisp cool morning and a sparkling autumn sunrise. Shortly thereafter, a mammoth, tall-tined buck approaches with the sun reflecting off his ivory rack, with a light breeze at his back.

Unfortunately, these perfect days aren't all that common in the whitetail woods. A more realistic dream might look like this instead: You frantically try to stop your hands from shaking as you wipe away the rain from your eyes with your half frozen fingers, and then struggle to draw back on the buck that has miraculously appeared from the near horizontal sheets of sleet that hammer around you.

When chasing mature whitetails for weeks on end, you're bound to encounter some extreme weather such as this. But don't let that keep you inside. Although tough to endure, it can sometimes be the most extreme weather that gets the biggest bucks on their feet.

Whether you're facing extreme heat, cold, wind, rain or snow, these are the strategies you need to stay in the tree and get your big buck on the ground.

Extreme Heat

Extreme heat can be one of the toughest weather conditions to hunt in, but success can still be had. I like to think every situation has a silver lining, and the benefit of extreme heat is that it affects whitetails in a very consistent way: It makes them thirsty. In my opinion, the key to hot weather hunting is focusing your attention on this crucial factor.

When hunting in extreme heat, one of the best tactics can be to set up on a water source close to bedding cover. If you can access an area like this-with wind blowing away from the bedding-there is a great chance that you'll catch deer visiting this water source at any time of day.

While water is an important ingredient, proximity to bedding is almost as crucial. During hot weather spells, deer will travel as little as possible because of the discomfort they feel during above average temperatures. Given that fact, it's the close to home water that deer will visit the most.

As important as it is to be in the right spot during hot weather, it's also important just to endure a sit in that heat at all. To do that, you need to be dressed properly, and use a few helpful pieces of equipment to make the most of your time.

Lightweight, highly breathable clothing is a must because you want to minimize the amount of sweat your body produces as much as possible. That said, you're still bound to sweat some, and this increased odor can put you in a tough spot.

To help overcome this issue, I'd recommend keeping a bottle of scent eliminating spray handy for frequent use. On top of that, an Ozonics unit can be used to emit scent eliminating ozone, destroying most of the problem all-together.

Another common issue while hunting in hot weather is the presence of mosquitos...and lots of them! There's no better trick up my sleeve for mosquitos than a Thermacell unit. This small device burns a nearly scentless repellant that keeps mosquitos far away. Trust me, it's worth its weight in gold.

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