Field Tested: What to Wear When Hunting Snowbound Coyotes

Hunters know layering their clothing is a must for active situations, but what about hunting coyotes in the dead of winter? Veteran hunter Mark Kayser has the scoop on what to do.

Field Tested: What to Wear When Hunting Snowbound Coyotes

When you're preparing to hunt predators in snowy, windy dead-of-winter conditions, make sure to consider your apparel layering system and plan ahead. (Photo: Mark Kayser)

Your clothing will spell success or doom for your snowbound hunt of coyotes or other predators. The term “layering” is a catch phrase, but don’t ignore it.

Three building blocks are essential to a successful layering system: base layer, insulation and a protective layer.

You need a base layer up against all parts of your skin from head to toe and including your hands. This layer is the most important and responsible for transporting any body-generated moisture away from your skin. Thin, wicking performance layers do this moisture transfer quite well; some hunters prefer a merino wool base.

After the base layer, you need to provide insulation. The mainstay for insulation for decades has been down. Unfortunately, down loses its air space when wet and bunches up. It also dries slower. Synthetic fibers like Thinsulate Supreme, Primaloft, Microloft and Polarguard effectively trap air between fiber strands, are water resistant and dry quickly.

Finally, you need to wrap the entire ensemble in a waterproof yet breathable layer for an efficient package. This weatherproof wrap not only protects your insulation and base from outside moisture, but it also traps heat and fights wind chill. Gore-Tex is the pioneer in this arena, but Cabela’s Dry-Plus rivals for waterproofness. Team it with a great camouflage pattern like Mossy Oak’s Mountain Country. Don’t forget to don heavy gloves, subzero pac boots and insulated headgear. Shed heavy layers while hiking and bulk up when sitting.

Snowshoes definitely help you stay afloat in deep snow. Models vary but shop for a rigid, strong construction to support weights up to 200 pounds. Newly designed footpads and heel lifts guarantee you’ll be able to spend a day in the woods without achy feet afterwards. This design keeps your heel centered and reduces exhaustion while tackling steep terrain.

Finally, outfit your truck. Tire chains, a handyman jack, scoop shovels, tow straps, jumper cables, extra fuel and survival gear should all be part of your excursion gear. If the weather looks questionable, debate the merits of staying versus a stranding or worse.

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