When you think of winter activities, there’s a good chance that things like skiing, snowmobiling, and snowboarding immediately come to mind. Can’t say that we blame you - hitting the slopes with a group of friends can lead to a fun weekend full of laughs, thrills, and adventure. But, wait - there’s another winter activity that’s just begging for your indulgence - hunting!
Hunting during the winter months can certainly be exciting, but some people seem to avoid it because it’s so darn cold outside. Many of those people are concerned with their safety as they’re trekking around on a hunt in freezing temperatures. Luckily, staying safe while hunting in cold weather isn’t difficult. Just follow these simple tips:
Wear Plenty of Layers
The secret to staying warm while you’re out tracking your prey is to wear multiple layers of clothing. What you basically need is an initial layer to keep moisture from your skin, a second layer for insulation and heat retention, and a final layer for added insulation. If it’s especially cold outside, add a heavy coat to the mix. Just remember that the best clothing for winter hunting (and winter, in general) is made with high-performance fibers that provide maximum flexibility and effectiveness.
Clean Your Firearm
This should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway. No matter what type of weather you’re hunting in, you want to make sure that your firearm has been cleaned prior to taking it out. In winter weather, the concern is that expansion caused by the cold can make dirt and grime worse, which can lead to a malfunctioning weapon. This also means that you need to wipe away any gun oil, as that can have the same effect in freezing temperatures.
Prepare for the Worst
What you want to do when you’re planning to hunt in cold weather is to be fully prepared… and then push that just a little bit farther. Before you leave your home, check the weather report and pick up a survival kit. You should obviously have your cell phone with you, but it’s also a good idea to carry a compass in case you get lost and are unable to get reception. And be sure to let someone know your exact travel plans, including your precise hunting plan and when you’ll be returning. All of these things will help keep you safe and sound.
Pay Attention to Your Body
When your body temperature drops under 98.6 degrees for an extended period of time, you’ll experience hypothermia. This starts with the shivers and can be fatal if you don’t take care of yourself as soon as possible. What you need to do is get yourself dry and warm. Add whatever layers you have with you and start a fire (the supplies of which should be included in the aforementioned survival kit). If possible, though, get to shelter immediately and warm up there.
Don’t Forget the Basics of ACTT
Now that we’ve covered dealing with the cold weather specifically, it’s important that we address the basics of gun safety. Whether you are hunting alone or with a partner or group (which is the much safer method), you need to respect your firearms at all times and follow ACTT, which you may remember from any hunter education training you’ve been through. Whether you’re familiar or not, this is what it breaks down to:
A — You must ASSUME that every firearm is loaded.
C — Be sure to CONTROL the muzzle at all times by pointing the gun in a safe direction.
T — Stay focused on your TARGET and what is in front and behind it.
T — Your finger must be off the TRIGGER and outside the guard until you’re ready to shoot.
Vaprwear wants you to have a safe and happy hunt during the winter months, and these tips will certainly help. Before you head outdoors, take a look at the products we offer to help integrate two of your favorite activities, vaping and hunting.