We’re in the prairie, at temperatures topping 100 degrees, for an early archery-season antelope hunt. If you’ve ever been to or through the prairie, you know there isn’t much in the way of trees or shade. That means it’s extremely tough to stay cool during a summertime hunt.
LG and I enjoy spot-and-stalk hunting, so a typical morning hunt includes crawling through buffalo grass, sage, yucca and cactus in sweltering heat. We attempt to outsmart animals, on their own level. But just like the animals, we need to be smart enough to survive the extreme temperatures.
Staying cool can be a challenge. I remember one summer my husband and I headed to the hunting blind for shade. About an hour later I looked over at a flushed-faced man. When I spoke, he looked distant and dizzy. He felt sick and his heart was pounding. It occurred to me, “He’s near heatstroke. Never mind a buck; I’m going to have to figure out how to pack out my husband.”
How to prevent heatstroke
According to the American Red Cross, it’s best to postpone outdoor activities during times of excessive heat. However, this hunt only lasts so long, so we’ll be hunting and need to be prepared while we’re out there. We took First Aid courses, and learned it’s important to use the buddy system when temperatures are extreme. Always remember to keep an eye on your buddy.
How to stay cool
The best way to prevent heatstroke is to stay hydrated. We also head for the blinds in the heat of the day, because it’s the only shade around.
Heatstroke is a legitimate emergency, which can be avoided with proper preparation. Below are several ways to prevent it.
Cool Gear – The Red Cross also suggests wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. We’ve found some great camo clothing and accessories to wear during the hunt. Buff offers camo sun protection in CoolMax UV-resistant tube and balaclava designs. The fabric is lightweight and the CoolMax science is truly amazing as it wicks moisture away, cooling the skin.
SHE apparel and Under Armour both offer Ultra-lightweight camo options for women. Bass Pro sent me the SHE Outdoor Element and I purchased the Under Armour Performance Field shirt. These are the most durable, high-quality, lightweight sets of hunting clothes I’ve found for women—perfect for archery season and spot-and-stalk. The breathable, quick-dry, moisture-wicking fabric allows a gal to protect her skin from the sun. She can wear long sleeves and pants while staying cool. Better yet, she’ll remain odor free.