From the Essentials to Seasonal Hunting Clothing, Never Be Unprepared
If you’re a seasoned hunter, chances are you already know the importance of having good seasonal hunting gear. But if you’re still new to the game or have only ever hunted in certain seasons, then it might not be quite as evident. While it’s obvious that colder seasons mean dressing more warmly and vice versa, your selection of tools and hunting clothing should be based on more than just, “summer hot, winter cold.”
The Ottawa-Gatineau region is home to some of the most extreme climate differences across its seasons, and being prepared for every possibility our humid summers and frigid winters bring with them is the difference between a successful hunt, and having to skip out early because you weren’t counting on exactly how much you would need that thermal underwear.
The Year-Round Essentials
Of course, as different as the seasons are, there are things that never change, including certain hunting gear that is always important. Aside from your weapon and basic tools, a water flask is always necessary in case of dehydration. If you’ll be out for an extended period, bring water purification tablets too. Maintenance and cleaning tools for your gun or bow will also pay off big time.
More essentials include binoculars, fire-starters (both matches and a butane lighter), snacks, flashlights, sunglasses (you’d hate for a bright glare to ruin your shot), and navigation items. While some hunters prefer a compass and map, others will go the high-tech route and carry a GPS. Bright orange tape that matches the vest of your hunting clothes is also a good way to mark your path if you need to backtrack.
Getting into the Specifics
If you’ve never hunted in the winter, it’s easy to assume that all you need is a thick coat. However, you’ll be outside during long stretches of time, and frostbite and hypothermia are both risks. A warm parka and insulated boots that can stand up to conditions in the -30°C to -40°C range isn’t just smart—it’s vital. Layer up, and wear thermal undergarments with your hunting clothing. Depending on the terrain of your hunt, snowshoes may also be vital. Because of the dangers of extended periods outside in the winter, make sure to pack a warm emergency blanket, know how to safely light a fire during winter, and remember to let someone know where you plan to go and when to expect you back.
While not as intense as our winters, fall and spring in the woods can still get pretty chilly—not to mention wet! Waterproof hunting gear is a must, especially in May’s black bear season.
No matter what time of year you plan to hunt, always be sure that you’re prepared for what nature has in store for you, and always hunt safely!