Dear Writing Huntress,
I saw that you recently moved from North Dakota to Texas and I feel like you could help me out in your new surroundings. I live in Montana and just signed up for my first hog hunt in South Carolina. I’m really excited about it, but I don’t know what do about the heat. I’ve only ever hunted when it was moderately warm or absolutely freezing. How do you outfit yourself when going from cold to warm hunting? Do you hunt any differently? Do you have any tips for hunting in hot weather?
Preparing for the Warmth in Whitefish
Dear Preparing for the Warmth,
Now that I live in the hot state, I’ve already learned a few tricks of the hot trade that can most certainly help in your hunt in South Carolina.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Obviously, carrying water is important during any hunt, but in hot and humid areas, it’s vitally essential. Your best option to beat the heat, with respect to water, is not only to bring a lot with you while you hunt, but also to make a concentrated effort to do a good water training prior to your hunt. When we first moved to Texas, I didn’t think much of the heat while working out, until I almost passed out after one particularly brutal run under the hot Texas sun. Now, I stay hydrated constantly, drinking as much water as my body will allow. I’ve found, the more hydrated I am, the faster my miles get and the less shaky my body feels — a lesson I’m going to certainly bring with me during my first hunting season here in Texas.
Use water to your advantage
Water isn’t only important for your body — it also can help your hunt tremendously. In hot temperatures, people flock to pools and open water to cool down. Not surprisingly, animals do the same thing. Therefore, scout the area you’ll be hunting for any nearby water sources and keep your eye out for activity, because where there’s water, there is bound to be a herd of hot pigs looking for some mud and relaxation, without a second thought that an awaiting barrel may be there to greet them.
Layering- it’s not just for cold weather
My first hunt ever in Texas occurred in March during the #BenelliTexasTurkeyAdventure, hosted by Benelli USA at Double B Outfitters in Ozona. When I first began planning for the trip, I was so focused on the excitement surrounding the hunt, I never stopped to consider the heat. However, given I knew spring turkey weather would be temperamental, at best, I packed an array of cold- and warm-weather gear, just in case, which ended up being the smartest thing I could have done. I quickly learned layers work in the heat just as well as in the cold. During your hunt, pack gear that can keep you warm, in case you encounter a chilly morning that quickly turns into a sauna. In the end, you may not necessarily need all the layers you tote, but you’ll be glad you have them.
Set your hunting clock to heat time
Most animals aren’t the biggest fans of sweltering weather. Therefore, arrange your hunting times around when animals are most active — generally in the early morning and late afternoon/early evening. This way, you’ll be alert during peak times and won’t expend precious energy hunting animals that are asleep anyway.
Pick your blind carefully
Depending on where you’re doing the bulk of your hunting, choose wisely. Instead of opting to hunt in a ground blind that will essentially act as a miniature sweat lodge, see if you utilize a blind higher off the ground. Box blinds with open windows or any sort of elevated blind can catch more wind and keep you cooler while you scan the horizon for assembling ambulatory bacon.
Lighter feet are cooler feet
While I have many pairs of hunting boots to choose from when hunting or shooting in warm weather, without fail, I always go with my Elite Spider Magnum Boots. They’re not specifically made for hunting, but they breathe extremely well and keep my feet cool in hot conditions. In terms of socks, I never go without a good pair of Merino wool socks that keep feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Good luck hunting in hot weather for the first time!