Dry feet for Bow Hunters
Whether you shoot a compound or a recurve, there’s nothing more important for bow hunters than keeping your feet warm and dry.
Keep reading to learn why it’s important to keep your feet dry during a hunt and how you can accomplish that.
If you’re new to bow hunting, you may wonder why you should bother taking extra precautions with your feet. After all, isn’t your upper body more tied to shooting a bow than your lower body? While this is true, you’ll quickly find that cold, wet feet are a surefire way to spoil any hunt.
If your feet get wet during a hunt, you’ll run into a host of problems. First of all, you’ll notice your body temperature dropping rapidly as heat continues to leave through your wet feet. This will not only make you uncomfortable, but will make it almost impossible to effectively finish your hunt.
If you can somehow manage to shoot a bow with quivering hands, then you’re still going to shiver nonstop until you scare away whatever you’ve been hunting. Or, in the best case scenario, you’ll freeze yourself out of your tree stand or ground blind and have to end your hunt early. Of course, there are more serious concerns like hypothermia, but most hunters get out of the woods before it gets that far.
So, what do you do? You know cold feet is a quick way to spoil a hunt, so let’s look at some ways you can keep your feet dry and warm out in the woods.
Consider Your Location
Streams and rivers are popular hunting locations for bow hunters since every animal will, sooner or later, need access to water. While this strategy of archery hunting lets you get closer to whatever you’re hunting, it also requires you to get up close and personal with the water.
Plan a way to your hunting spot. If you’ve got to cross a river, then make sure you’ve brought water-resistant boots and backup socks to prepare. This will not only ensure that you have a game plan going into the hunt, but that you’re able to stay dry and still get to your designated spot.
Invest in Boots
Nearly every hunter wears boots into the woods, but different types of boots will be right for different situations. If you’re trying to keep out the snow, for instance, then you want a thick winter boot to keep your feet warm. If you’ll need to cross a body of water, though, then you want a water-resistant material with a thick sole to keep your feet dry.
Before you purchase any new boots, try them on with the socks you wear while hunting, especially if you wear thick socks in the woods. Make sure you can move your toes freely, and you should be set. This will make sure the boots feel comfortable and let you move freely while you’re hunting.
Regardless of where you live, hunting is often a sweaty activity. In the interest of keeping your feet dry, it’s best to apply some kind of antiperspirant on them before heading into the woods. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself bundled up but losing all your heat through your feet and unable to effectively shoot a bow.
Additionally, don’t feel the need to layer wool socks on top of thick boots if you won’t need to protect against the cold. Only cover your feet as thickly as the weather dictates, and you’ll notice yourself sweating less throughout your hunt.
Pocket Warmers Aren’t Only for Pockets
The pocket warmer has long been the best friend of the bow hunter, but sometimes it’s underutilized. Pocket warmers aren’t just great for warming up your hands, but can easily warm your feet by dropping one or two in each boot. This is a temporary solution that’s best for after your feet have already gotten cold, but it’s a great way to buy yourself another half an hour and make sure you have enough time to take your shot.
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Moving may not be a great way to draw in your prey, but it’s important to keep blood flowing throughout your body if you want to finish the hunt. Some good ways to stay moving without scaring away animals are:
- Flex your toes to increase circulation
- Slowly rotate your ankles in circles
- Contract and release the muscles in your legs.
Each of these is an excellent way to keep blood moving without giving away your position, so consider using these the next time you find yourself getting chilly in the woods.
Get Out There
Now that you know why keeping your feet warm and dry is important and how to avoid freezing or sweating to much on a hunt, get out there and use these tips on your next hunt. Being a bow hunter isn’t always easy, but it’ll all be worth it when you let your arrow fly and successfully finish your hunt.