Archery Hunters: 5 Tips for Staying Warm and Flexible in the Cold

Be ready to shoot your bow, despite the bitter cold.

  1. Start out warm – Clear your head and warm up those muscles by starting the day of your hunt with a warm shower. The water’s heat encourages blood flow to your extremities and loosens up those muscles and connective tissues. If time permits, stretch a little while you’re in there. Not only will you begin the day more flexible, but you’ll also mitigate the risk of injury by becoming more durable.
  2. Stay warm – The benefits of a warm start can be undone if you allow yourself to get cold. Layer appropriately to stay warm as you travel to your stand and once you’re in and ready to hunt. It’s easier to remain warm than it is to warm back up after getting cold. Manage your thermodynamics to stay in that Goldilocks zone where you’re not too warm (you’ll sweat) or too cold (you’ll stiffen up) with various configurations of your zippers, gloves, hat and layers.

Stoke the furnace within by bringing calorie-dense snacks like nuts, cheeses, and granola. Digestion creates heat and a full belly is likely to keep you in the stand longer.

  1. Stretch – Stretching while you’re in the stand physically lengthens muscles and connective fibers so they stay loose and ready for action. Think about the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. His stillness over time made his joints rusty and movement difficult. While I realize that movie wasn’t a documentary (or was it?), the concept holds true for the human machine. You must move, but not so much that you get busted by an approaching whitetail.

Here are a two simple stretches you can perform in the stand or blind:

  1. Shoulder rolls – With your arms at your side, isolate your shoulders creating a circular motion. Start out rolling them forward, then backward.

 

  1. Straight arm stretch – Straighten out one arm and bring it across your chest. Use the other arm to pull it in close to your body by wrapping that hand across the tricep of the straight arm and pulling inward toward the chest. Hold for five seconds and alternate arms.

 

To learn more about late-season deer hunting, check out the January issue of MidWest Outdoors magazine, available now at a newsstand near you, or by subscribing at the MidWest Outdoors website.