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Dealing with the Heat

Dealing with the Heat


Most hunters in the lowcountry of South Carolina are counting down the days until opening day of deer season. For many it’s a long tradition to begin hunting the August 15 opener. While we have the distinction of having the earliest opening in the country. There are things to consider when getting out there in August.

First, it’s hot. And if you are not familiar with South Carolina August, you have no idea what I mean when I say it’s hot. August in the lowcountry of South Carolina is a different kind of heat. While the mercury may be pushing ninety eight, the humidity will often be in excess of this making the heat index well into the triple digits. Staying comfortable on stand is essential to having success.

Hydrate! While this may sound obvious, I am always amazed at how few take this to heart. If you are not sweating on opening day, you have already passed heat stroke. The sweat rolls off of every hunter out there. Hydrating several days in advance will help, and taking plenty of water with you will also help. I have been known to carry a small cooler with ice and water to my stand in order stay hydrated.

Stay cool – while this is totally an exercise in futility, every effort can help. I like to use the cooling towels we all see advertised. I will often freeze one overnight and take it along, it doesn’t take long to thaw and provide hours of relief while sitting on stand sweating. It always amazes visitors when they get off stand the first time they hunt here that they are sitting still and sweating as if they were running uphill.

Shade! Now is the time to find stands that are constantly in the shade. A stand that has even a few minutes in the direct sunlight can simply be so oppressive that you give up before ever starting.

Mosquito repellent –  Just like the heat is difficult to believe until you have experienced it, so to the state bird – the mosquito. Hoards of mosquitoes will engulf you the moment you enter any shade. Interesting, some areas have small black mosquitoes that are in the millions, and other areas have mosquitoes are as large as a praying mantis. I have seen mosquitoes land on my arm and stood a full inch off my arm with a wing span in excess of one inch. These mosquitoes leave marks that often scar. While any spray with deet is great and works well. Nothing in my opinion beats the ThermaCell appliance for dealing with early season insects. This simple appliance is a total game changer. For best results, turn it on before you leave your truck and have it running the entire time you are in the woods. If you don’t you won’t last ten minutes.

Hunting the early season in South Carolina is a long tradition and if you want to kill a buck in velvet now is the best time. But before you go out, you better prepare for a very hot experience.