Dressing for Cold Weather Late Season Bowhunts

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Do You Bowhunt During the Late Season?

Base Layers

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1 | Base Layers

Staying warm while maintaining the ability to shoot a bow well all starts with the foundation. A good set of base layers will provide the first layer of insulation while wicking moisture away from the skin. 

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Vest

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2 | Vest

You’d be hard pressed to find a better-suited piece of bowhunting apparel than a vest. They make an excellent layering option, provide added insulation to the core of the body, and do so without causing binding in the arms and shoulders. 

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Bibs

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3 | Bibs

This is a key component to beating the cold while bowhunting. Insulated, chest-high bibs serve as the heavyweight insulation piece in this lineup. They will keep the lower extremities toasty warm while providing increased insulation to the bodies midsection. 

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Jacket

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4 | Jacket

The outermost layer on the upper body, a good jacket will block the wind, snow and rain. Along with protection from the elements this layer will also provide additional insulation. A heavy fleece-style piece with wind-blocking characteristics is an excellent option as well as my personal preference, a fleece-lined softshell. 

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Boots

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5 | Boots

Keeping your feet warm during a cold day of hunting is a must. For anyone who hunts where the mercury often dips below freezing, owning a second pair or late-season hunting boots can be a lifesaver. Look for boots with large amounts of insulation. I’ve found Pac-style boots to be the warmest and their rubber lower offers a good line of scent prevention.

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Arm Guard

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6 | Arm Guard

Anytime layers of clothing start to pile up, using an arm guard to prevent the bow string from contacting the sleeve of your jacket is a good idea. Arm guards constrict the garments making them less bulky and they’re very inexpensive. 

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Hand Muff

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7 | Hand Muff

Thick gloves and bowhunting go together about as well as oil and water. That’s where a hand muff comes into play. These insulated pouches allow you to wear lighter weight gloves while still keeping your hands warm. They are much warmer than simply sticking your hands in your jacket pockets thanks to added insulation and their pass through design allows you to rub your hand together inside, increasing warmth.

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Hand Warmers

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8 | Hand Warmers

When temperatures are bitterly cold, hand warmers are the perfect pairing with a hand muff. Used alone and placed in a pocket they will also keep your hands plenty warm for hours on stand.

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Hat and Face Mask

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9 | Hat and Face Mask

The human body loses the most heat from the head. Having a good hat during cold-weather bow hunts is essential. A facemask is also a critical piece of gear, especially when wind is in the equation. Selecting a facemask that also covers the neck will provide the most protection when conditions turn nasty.

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Editor's Note: This was originally published November 28, 2016.

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Bowhunting in mild weather is certainly enjoyable but all too often the hottest action is found when temperatures drop. Unfortunately, shooting a bow well while wearing bulky, traditional cold weather hunting gear can be difficult. These nine images will depict what I’ve found to be the best system for staying warm during bitter cold bowhunts while still having the ability to shoot.