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Hot Weather Hunting:


This summer has been unusual in South Carolina. We have already surpassed the yearly totals for rain fall. The lakes are full, creeks are flowing and ponds are at full pool. Water is everywhere, and the temperature is milder than normal. However, as we enter the woods we cannot escape the heat and humidity. Hunting during these hot weather months can be challenging.

How do we control our scent while pouring sweat while sitting still? How can we get bucks in range when we cannot manage our scent, when the mercury is soaring, and when the mosquitoes are descending on us in hoards? There is no easy answer to this question, but for what it’s worth here is what I have learned through the years of chasing whitetails in the heat.

Writers and hunters have always said hunt the wind, this is never more important that during the early season. When scent control is difficult to maintain, hunting the wind is paramount to success.

Years ago, I began keeping detailed records of my hunts. This begins when I actually hang a stand in a new location. Its named or numbered. When the stand is placed, I will actually get into the stand and using a compass write down the best winds to hunt this particular stand. This is all recorded in a log book. When the day arrives for my hunt, I refer to this log before I decide where I will hunt. In short, I let the wind decide where I hunt not desire. Many times, I have wanted to hunt the pine stand that required a NE wind. But the weather was showing winds out of the west, I then hunted stands that were set up for that wind. More times than I can count it paid off. Never, did I kill or see deer when I hunted a stand with marginal winds. Regardless of how high I climb or what precautions I took to control my scent. When the heat index is over the century mark, hunting the wind is critical to success.

Secondly is proper dress; In the summer months, light is better than good. Its critical. I often will wear short pants (With my snake boots) to the stand and a thin ‘cool dry’ shirt. I make sure when walking to the stand that I walk slowly so as not to generate additional heat, next,  I take a small portable battery operated fan. This fan has on more occasions that I care to remember saved the day. It is only about 4 inches across and doesn’t move much air, but it moves enough to drop the temperature a few degrees. It’s quiet and the constant “white noise” doesn’t seem to bother deer. I have harvested countless deer with my fan running at full speed. Lastly and most importantly, is my ThermaCell Insect repellant. I have said it before and will say it again, nothing has revolutionized early season hunting like the ThermaCell device has. This little inexpensive device works. I have sat is stands and be literally covered with mosquitoes by the thousands, (if you have never hunted the low country of South Carolina you cannot imagine what I am mean) Then I turn on the ThermaCell and its like there are no mosquitoes in the world. They virtually disappear, making hunting not only tolerable but enjoyable. The ThermaCell devise will last for more hours than I will sit, turning on the device before entering the woods and leaving it on until I return to camp keeps me mosquito free. This little device is so vital, I will get down and go get my ThermaCell before I go get anything else.

Warm season hunting can be challenging, but after a long off season, it feels good to be in the woods. Be careful of ticks, snakes and other biting insects. Most importantly prepare properly and you will have a great time chasing early season bucks.