Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Preparing To Sit On Stand During The Rut

Preparing To Sit On Stand During The Rut

By: Allison B. O’Nan

Field Reporter

It’s no surprise that hunting during the rut is one of the best times to be in your stand. Unlike when the deer are on their early season and late season feeding patterns, they are completely unpredictable creatures at this time. There is no rhyme to their movement, only reason: to breed. Hunting the rut can be very rewarding but also challenging. The rut is typically at its peak mid November. Weather conditions and cold temperatures can be near unbearable this time of year.

Bucks in rut move all day. Covert Scouting Cameras caught this buck chasing a doe in daylight.

Hunting where there is fresh buck sign is a good strategy during the rut.

Preparation is going to be the key to success. If a hunter isn't prepared they likely won’t be able to withstand the elements and sit through an all day hunt. 

I have put together a compilation of tips that have proven to help me over the years to stay comfortable and remain focused.

Foods To Eat

Go nuts! Nuts are a healthy option to help stay warm and full.

Believe it or not the foods you choose to eat play an active role in your body temperature and how your body reacts to cold temperatures. Adding certain foods to your daily diet can make a difference. 

Peanuts and almonds are great snacks to incorporate. A handful can give the body deep warmth that lasts. Seeds such as sesame, pumpkin, and fennel are also great body warmers and help support a healthy digestive system.

Honey is also effective when it comes to warming the body. It’s a natural sweetener and can be added to almost anything.

Of course fruits and vegetables are always a great choice and act as an aid in boosting the immune system and blood flow in the body.
Sitting all day can get tiring. You can easily lose your focus and doze off. You know the saying “you snooze, you lose.” There are a few foods that improve alertness that you can pack with you on your hunt such as coffee, dark chocolate, and walnuts. You also want to make sure that you stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.

Keep A Close Eye On The Weather
As hunters, checking the weather and wind direction before a hunt is a must. If the forecast appears less than tolerable consider hunting from a ground blind. On days that the blustery winds were brutal and it was freezing cold with drizzle I have hunted from my ground blind that protected me from these elements and kept me dry. Deer move in all kinds of weather. Be there and be ready!

Bathroom Breaks

Holding off on your bathroom break is a sure fire way to become uncomfortable while hunting. Not to sound crude, but we’ve all been there. By all means DON’T HOLD IT!!

It’s much easier when hunting from a ground blind to ease out. I recommend getting away from your hunting area. Some say human urine doesn’t affect the deer, but why chance it?

In years past it was much more difficult to take a bathroom break from a stand and not disturb the peaceful woods. Thanks to companies, such as Go Girl, for developing devices that can be used in the stand and cause little to no disturbance at all, making our hunts more comfortable than ever before.

Cold Weather Gear & Staying Warm

When keeping warm you want to pay close attention to areas with main arteries; groin, upper torso, under the arms, and the head.

Therma Care back wraps are a great! They can be used on the skin or over clothing. By producing heat for 10-12 hours it will consistently keep the kidney area warm. The kidneys circulate blood throughout the body and is beneficial to keeping warm.

You want to try and trap as much heat from leaving your head as possible. Wear a warm beanie, face mask, and neck gaiter. (I would suggest waiting until you’re in the stand before putting these on to keep perspiration down.) Keeping your face and head warm is the main focus. Your hands and feet will remain at a tolerable temperature if you’re able to do this.
I prefer using a muff for my hands as opposed to gloves. (Gloves tend to make my hands sweat more). Keep hand-warmers in your pocket and use them only when necessary. Refraining from perspiration is the goal. The same applies to the feet.

It’s important to choose a good boot that is insulated. The boot doesn’t need to be so tight on the foot that it restricts blood flow. You will also need socks made of wicking material or wool. I prefer wicking, but both are great.

Recommemded products to keep a hunter prepared and ready for an all day sit

The ideal suit for extreme weather is one that is waterproof and insulated. Refrain from wearing any cotton. Cotton absorbs dampness and will cause the body to lose heat. If your cold weather suit isn’t waterproof you will need to take rain gear as a preventative measure. This will be useful in snowy conditions as well. Keeping your body dry will keep you warmer.
If you plan to sit all day you will need to stand up and move around from time to time to keep the blood flowing. Also, while sitting down you will need to prop your feet up to keep blood from being constricted to your legs. Sitting for long periods of time puts the body more at risk for blood clots as well, so this is very important information to be mindful of while hunting.

My Prois Extreme Gear does a great job of keeping me warm in cold climates.

Hunting in extreme conditions for long periods of time can be stressful on the body. It takes time and preparation to plan for this kind of hunt. I hope these tips are helpful this season.

Being comfortable =confidence, and confidence = success!

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