I chuckled yesterday when a news release from Southwick Associates crossed my desk with the title “How Cold is Too Cold for Hunters?” You can read the full release HERE, but here’s the gist of their findings:
There are indeed some fair weather hunters out there. Organized by region, the percentage of polled hunters who say it is too cold to hunt as temps fall to between 21 and 30 degrees were:
- Great Lakes States 3 percent
- Northeast States 5 percent
- Northern Plains States 3 percent
- South Central States 10 percent
- Southeast States 9 percent
- Western States 8 percent
By the time temperatures have fallen between 1 and 10 degrees, the percentage of hunters who choose to stay inside are:
- Great Lakes States 31 percent
- Northeast States 40 percent
- Northern Plains States 18 percent
- South Central States 51 percent
- Southeast States 52 percent
- Western States 36 percent
But the tipping point seems to be 0 degrees when across every region except the Northern Plains states an additional 25 to 32 percent of hunters report it is too cold to hunt. In the Northern Plains, another 21 percent, are choosing a warm fire over a cold deer stand or predator setup.HunterSurvey.com
Now, I’ll admit there are a lot of factors that lend themselves to hunting in the cold. For instance, when you’re younger and generally more eager one tends to dismiss the adverse weather as being a deterrent to being outside in the cold. In other words, with advancing age generally comes some increased sensibilities in the decision making process.
Another big factor is what type of hunting is being done. If a person is sitting motionless in a deer stand or walking sloughs in pursuit of game birds it makes a big difference. Muscles in action tend to deal with the cold a bit better.
Of course, you also have the prevailing wind speed level as a big factor. It can be cold and still outside, yet very tolerable. But once that wind cranks up it will dissipate heat from your body faster than you can imagine even with some of the best gear being worn.
One often overlooked factor is if you are seeing game while hunting. It’s amazing how a person suddenly forgets about the cold when a flock of ducks look promising they might decoy in. For that matter, if you’re not seeing game a 50 degree day could quickly become too cold to hunt. It’s a matter of perspective and what’s currently happening.
Now, I ran across this video today of Ryan Patin doing some extreme things on Lake Superior in freezing cold weather…check it out. By the way, Ryan is a deer hunter here in Minnesota. That being said, I’ll be the first to admit most Upper Midwest hunters may be heartier than average, but there are always some who take what the cold has to offer to an extreme. I would have to say what Ryan does in this video is certainly good training for a late season deer hunt. Wouldn’t you agree?