By Alex Comstock
As everybody well knows, hunting in cold and extreme weather can be a challenge. There is an abundance of information out there on layering systems, how to fight the cold, and stay on stand longer. But with that said, if you're like me and hunt early in September, it can be extremely hot and buggy and knowing how to hunt in hot weather can make a difference in your ability to stay in the stand, and ultimately increase your chances of success. There a few things you should keep in mind before anything else.
Bugs: First and foremost, bugs (specifically those darn mosquitoes) can be the biggest hurdle when it comes to hot weather hunting. The last thing you want is to spend all of your time in the stand swatting at them to no avail, and having it mess up an encounter with a big mature buck. There are two things that I do on every early season hunt to help win the war with mosquitoes.
First, cover up as much skin as possible. When it's hot, obviously it's not common practice to wear a long sleeve shirt, pants, gloves, and a facemask. Covering up as much bare skin as possible will go a long ways to help prevent the uncomfortability of mosquitoes all over you. The next item that you want to bring with you on every early season hunt is a ThermaCell. I never leave mine at home, and they truly are lifesavers. I don't worry about any scent that it puts off if it does, because I am already playing the wind anyways, and shouldn't have to worry about that.
Odor: It can be tough to stay "scent free" and keep from sweating while walking to your stand when it's hot out. If I know I am going on a decently long walk, I like to wear a light long sleeve with pants on the walk in, and then have a change of clothes in my hunting backpack. Once you arrive to your hunting location, change into your extra clothes from your pack, and then store your clothes you walked in with back in your pack and that will help prevent sweaty, smelly clothing and give you a better chance of staying undetected once a deer does get downwind of you.
Water: Deer need water. Granted, deer get a good amount of their water from natural browse, and food, they are more apt to hit a water source when it's hot. Common sense right? Creek crossing, hunting near a pond, or even creating a natural water hole can produce some of the years best hunting.
Early season hunting can be some of the best hunting of the whole year. If you find a buck on a patternable bed to food pattern, chances of success are about as good as they will be all year. Don't let the weather keep you from hunting him.