Darkness kept a strong grip on the early morning as I made my way to the first stand of the year. It was August 15, opening day of deer season in South Carolina and an early entry to the stand was important to get settled while it was still fairly cool. Cool this time of year is relative. The early predawn temperatures were in the low 80’s and the humidity hovered around seventy-five percent. I knew as the sun rose it would not be long before we were in the 90’s and it would become unbearable.

South Carolina isn’t the only state with early big game hunting seasons. In Wyoming and other western states, Antelope season opens, and in Utah and Nevada it’s early Mule Deer season, California has their very early Blacktail season to bring on the seasons. Hunters all across the nation are getting after game in summer-like conditions. Whether you are chasing mule deer in the high alpine, antelope in the prairie or whitetails in the swamps of the southeast. Hunting in these conditions requires special preparation to keep the odds in your favor.

It begins before you ever leave your home. Preparing yourself and your gear for the elements. Charlie Morris of Aiken, SC has a regimen of becoming as scent free as possible. “I will wash my clothes in Scent Killer laundry detergent by Wildlife Research Center and dry them with their dryer sheets. I like the earth scented dryer sheets.” Morris says. All of his clothes are then stored in an airtight container.

“I know I am going to sweat, but I am going to do all I can to put the odds in my favor.” He says. This includes a shower with the WRC’s Scent Killer soap and shampoo along with the scent free antiperspirant. After I get to the woods, I take the clothes from the truck in the container, walk into the woods a ways and get dressed there.” Morris doesn’t want any foreign smells on any of his gear. He follows this by spraying down all of his clothes, bow, and backpack with Scent Killer Gold.

The last thing he does is take a pack of the field wipes and before he gets into the stand, he takes out some of the unscented wipes, and wipes his face and arms down. He says, “I know I have been sweating, so I want to cover that smell with these wipes. These are really handy in keeping my scent to a minimum.”

“I have even been known to take a bar of soap and take a bath in the creek on the way to my stand.” Morris says.

Hunting in hot weather is difficult and controlling your scent in these extreme temperature can be challenging. With the array of products Wildlife Research Center offers, hunters have the ability to minimize their impact in the area.

The second thing that is great for hot weather hunting is dressing appropriately. How can one have full concealment while sitting in triple digit temperatures? Just as buying the best clothes for winter hunting, do not skimp on your hot weather hunting clothes. Modern apparel has improved so well that it is worth the expense for the comfort. Top brands that offer heat gear have materials that will wick away perspiration and create a cooling effect. These new materials are often cooler than not having anything on. Due to their ability to raise the sweat to the surface of the garment, it allows the slightest breeze to cool down your body. Most of these garments are available in the more popular camouflage patterns which help with concealment. If you are not comfortable in your stand you will not be alert and ready when the moment of truth arrives. Wearing great clothing is essential to a quality hunting experience.

Lastly, is the importance of staying hydrated. The easiest thing to do is to have a bladder in your backpack or to carry along a bottle of water.  More and more hunters are using the stainless steel bottles that keep ice and their drinks cold all day while hunting in the heat. These bottles can and do enable hunters to carry larger amounts of water and this helps them to stay hydrated through these extreme hunts.

Hunting season has arrived all over the country. Staying home because it is warm, is no longer an excuse. Hunters have the opportunity of killing bucks in velvet, and hunting mature deer that are still on their summer feeding habits. Dressing properly, staying hydrated and using products from Wildlife Research Center to minimize and eliminate your scent will help you fill your tag this season.

Pete Rogers is an award-winning writer, author, and host of Christian Outdoors podcast. He is an NRA Certified firearms Instructor and member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association, Southeastern Outdoor Press Association, and the South Carolina Outdoor Press Association. Pete spends at least 250 days a year afield pursuing his outdoor passions.

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