Every year a good deal of outdoor hunting enthusiasts plan all year for the opening season of deer hunting. Whether it is for the opening day of bow, muzzle loader, modern gun, crossbow, or all the above, both men and women love to hunt the elusive whitetail deer. Although men have hunted this awesome animal for centuries there are more and more women getting into this hunting craze. Hunting the whitetail deer gives the hunter and experience unlike no other, this experience when hunting whitetail deer is something hard to put in words as it would be and understatement no matter what was said. The hunter quickly gains respect for the whitetail because this animal is not stupid by no means. It is very, very intelligent and uses all of its senses to the max. The hearing, smelling and sight of a whitetail is much greater than any human, and the deer can not only detect odors, it can also detect movement and the smallest noise and be gone in a heart beat.
As a hunter myself I have been busted by deer many times for one reason or another. The arrow falls off the arrow rest and makes a small dinging noise or the firearm, muzzle loader or crossbow bumps a tree limb or the shooting rest of the tree stand while trying to get my glove off, and hang on to the weapon at the same time so I can take a shot. The deer doesn’t look around to see where the noise came from, it just looks right at you. Then with one big snort, it’s gone and more than likely never to be seen again. I hate wearing gloves because I have been busted many times trying to get one off so I can feel the trigger to make a good shot. One of the biggest issues I have is my hands getting cold, and how to keep hands warm deer hunting in winter. Getting busted trying to get a glove off can really make a person sick at their stomach and when deer seem to just pop up out of the ground doesn’t help very much. You know what I mean, You’ve been sitting there for a few hours and something catches your eye or you hear a noise and slowly turn to look towards the area it came from and when you turn back the deer is close to your stand. And Knowing how sensitive the deer are to sound, and movement your afraid to move. Sometimes no matter how hard you try to listen for them they still sneak in when you least expect it. In this article I’m going to go cover types of gloves, and other hand warming aids to help keep you in the stand or blind longer to bag the big one you’ve been waiting on.
Types Of Gloves
There are all types of gloves manufactured today, and each one is designed for a specific use basically. Welding gloves for welding, electrical gloves for those that deal with electricity, gardening gloves. Leather gloves for farming or construction, jersey gloves for auto mechanics, and so on. Some are insulated for cold weather some are not. Gloves that are insulated for work has a thin layer of insulation because it doesn’t take much insulation to keep hand warm when you are moving and fully active. But when your sitting still deer hunting it makes a big difference. Winter type gloves have to have thicker insulation than working gloves, they are bulky, make it hard to feel the trigger or keep a hold of the weapon and usually cause problems when your trying to be quiet when taking off a glove to make a good shot, not to mention the dangers of dropping the weapon while trying to remove a glove.
A good type of glove that offers the best warmth for hands and fingers is mittens were all fingers are together rather than separated, this is one big factor when it comes to keeping hands and fingers warm. It is also an issue when hunting because you have to take it off to shoot, But they do have a mitt that offers the best of both worlds. It’s like a half glove with the finger slots that only go to the middle knuckle of the hand and the folding cover that goes over the fingers to make a full peace mitten. When the fingers are separated in gloves that have separate slot for each finger and thumb the fingers and thumb have to rely on itself to generate enough warmth to keep each finger warm. This is a difficult task cause when out in the extreme cold temperatures the body slows the blood flow to the hands and toes to keep the vital organs in the core of the body warm. The worst part about mittens is the same with the gloves, you have to use both hands to get one of them off which brings the same dangers of dropping the weapon as with bulky thick insulated gloves.
The material in a glove makes a big difference when it comes to keeping your hands warm as well as being quiet while hunting. I myself have yet to find a pair of gloves that will keep my hands warm while hunting in cold temperatures. When the temperature is at or around freezing 32°F/0°C when I first get in the tree stand or blind I am fine for about 2 to 4 hours as my hands are warm from being active when walking to the stand or blind. When the temperatures dip below freezing or lower the conditions are much more difficult to keep your hands and fingers warm. Some insulation in gloves seems to keep the cold in rather than allow the warmth of the hands to keep the warmth inside the gloves. Another issue of keeping your hands and fingers warm is holding onto the weapon, as temperatures are cold the material of the weapon also gets cold and your hands and fingers being in constant contact with the cold material of the weapon make it another issue to keeping hands and fingers warm.
Wool is a known material for holding in warmth, but it also makes us sweat especially when we are active, thus creating moisture, and moisture is a really big enemy for trying to keep your hands warm or the rest of the body for that matter. Windproof and waterproof fabrics are really good to use, but hold the same potential for creating moisture if you rush to get to the stand or blind. You will get colder faster once you have had time to cool down while sitting still. The key point in keeping your hands warm, as well as the rest of the body, is staying dry.
One of the best materials is the wicking fabric, this type of fabric is best when it is worn close to the skin, such as the first layer. The fabric will wick the sweat or moisture away from the body helping you to stay dry. This material is also found in gloves and some gloves are manufactured with both the wicking materials as well and the wind and waterproof materials making an ideal way to stay dry and warm. There are also wicking glove liners which are thin gloves that can be inserted into another glove to aid in keeping moisture away from the hand. But with gloves, you still have the issue of having to take one off to shoot.
The hand muffs was first introduced back in the 1700s and was basically design for women for one purpose. To keep your hands warm while out in the cold temperatures. The hand muff is like a cylinder with an opening at each end for your hands to slid into. They are made of a fur type fabric for warmth and are now being introduced to the hunting industry as hunting hand muffs. This is one of my favorites to use when hunting deer, it is simple and easy to use and doesn’t get in the way, it comes in different option and can be clip around your waist or clipped on outer hunting garments. It is windproof and waterproof and can have added optional features such as storage compartments, and cell phone pocket with touchscreen windows. They give easy access to your hands and you can eliminate the danger of dropping a weapon as you can keep one hand on the weapon at all times just by alternating your hand in and out of the hand muff. Once in the stand or blind I usually have the weapon in my lap, and have the hunting hand muff sitting on the weapon with my hands inside and when I think I hear or see a deer I just slowly pull my hands out of the hunting muff and place them on the weapon. If the what I heard or thought I saw was nothing I just replace my and into the hunting hand muff.
Hand Warming Aids
These hand warming aids are designed to help you keep your hands warm while hunting or other outdoor activities, each has a different way to create heat, the most common hand warming aids are…
- Lighter Fluid – This type of warming aid uses a flame, use of lighter fluid (petroleum naphtha). These can be re-used by simply refueling. Typical models can generate heat for either half a day or a whole day, depending on conditions.
- Battery – hand warmers use electrically resisting heating devices to convert electrical energy in the battery. Typically, hand warmers can survive for 6 hours or fewer, with heat outputs from 40-48C. The Rechargeable Electronic Hand warmers can be charged from a main power supply or from a 5V USB power supply.
- Air Activated – hand warmers contain cellulose, iron, water, activated carbon, vermiculite (water reservoir) and salt and produce heat from the exothermic oxidation of iron when exposed to air. They typically emit heat for 1 to 10 hours.
I personally like the air activated hand warmers as they are inexpensive, disposable and you don’t have to worry about losing them or a potential fire hazard. But that is just me.
A Trio Combo For Best Results
A combination of all items could be the best results for keeping your hands warm and being able to stay out in the stand or blind for a longer period. I myself have combined a wick away glove liner, air activated hand warmer, and a hunting hand muff. I cut a small slit in the index finger of the shooting hand to be able to slide it back to expose the finger so I can feel the trigger, and I add an air activated hand warmer inside of the muff cylinder. This has given me the best result for keeping my hands warm as I can keep my hands inside the muff where there is added heat from the air activated hand warmer, and the wicking glove liner offer me the ability to remove my hand from the hunting hand muff to take aim without the risk of making noise removing a glove and keeping a hold of the weapon. Of course, determining your best combo is all up to you.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope you have found it helpful. If, by chance, you know anyone that would benefit from this please share it with them. If you have a specific combination of keeping your hands warm please let me know in the comments below. Or if you have any questions about this article.