The late season is a beautiful time to hunt. Fowl is flying, predators are hungry, and big bucks are trying hard to pack fat back on after a hard rut. Don’t let Mother Nature’s worst moods spoil your late-season efforts. Grab these great wintertime items and be ready to dominate the frigid woods.
by Jace Bauserman
The late season is upon us, and this time of year presents loads of challenges for the hunter. The biggest challenges are keeping heat retained and staying warm so you can continue chasing your 2023 dreams.
I’m a late-season nut. From deer to ducks to geese to predators, I spend the winter months outside, allowing me to test a litany of gear items. Here are ?? that you’ll want to snag before Mother Nature brings her final bad mood days of 2023. And, even if you don’t plan to hunt anymore during 2023, these items will serve you excellently in 2024 and beyond.
Sitka Fanatic Series
The Jacket and Bib feature an ultra-quiet and ultra-warm high-loft Berber fleece outer face. PrimaLoft Silver Hi-Loft Ultra insulation and Windproof WindStopper Gore-Tex mean these garments will keep you toasty warm in the worst conditions imaginable.
Big-game hunters will appreciate the body-mapped construction of the Fanatic Jacket. This construction reduces bulk in the draw arm to minimize noise and prevent any contact with thebowstring or arrow. The bibs sport mapped burr-resistant fabric on the leg and gusset. This design prevents vegetation like dried stickers, cockleburs, and other dead vegetation from accumulating.
The gloves and beanie round out the series. The beanie is ultra-warm and features acoustic hearing ports for enhanced hearing. The gloves are constructed from 4-way stretch polyester. You’ll also appreciate the half-finger design on the forefinger and thumb.
ALPS OUTDOORZ Ember Hand Warmer
I don’t care what late-season species are on the menu; I don’t leave home with my ALPS OUTDOORZ Ember Hand Warmer. Wrap this layered-in-DeadQuiet-fleece muff-style warmer around your waist, add a couple of Hand Warmers, and get a furnace that will quickly warm the coldest hands.
The inner membrane is waterproof, and the suede interior provides added weather protection and game-spooking noise control. Fully adjustable, the Ember is fitted with a magnetic (more silence) envelope-style magnetic valuables pocket.
Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 1000
From the Rockies in wintertime to snow-choked dry fields where big honkers like to feed, Kenetrek’s Mountain Extreme 1000 boots are the bee’s knees.
I love the tight-around-the-ankle feel the lace-up system and 10-inch tall leather uppers provide. The 1000-gram Thinsulate adds an appreciated element of warmth without making the boots feel like your legs are hauling cement blocks. Anti-corrosion boot hardware swivels prevent breakage, and I applaud the excellent grip the K-Talon outsoles provide. You can’t beat the traction of these boots. Other hat-tippers include reinforced double and triple stitching in high-wear areas. The 2.8mm premium full-grain leather utilizes a one-piece vamp construction with no seams down the tongue. The rubber rand that wraps the boots prevents damage to the toe and heel areas, and the 7mm nylon midsoles ensure extra support when you have a heavy backpack in tow.
Weston Heated Vest & Heated Socks
If you have yet to take advantage of battery-operated clothing, you’re missing out. Yes, I know some sub-par battery-operated heated clothing is out there, but I’ve been using my Weston Heated Vest & Socks for two years with zero issues.
The vest features eight warming zones for exact heat distribution. Plus, you can select between three heat settings. After charging the battery and plugging it into the vest, hold the button on the vest’s left side. This gives you total control of the heat settings. The vest hugs the core tight and doesn’t create unnecessary bulk.
The Rechargeable Heated Socks are remarkable. I hate frozen feet, and when combined with a quality pair of boots like Kenetrek’s Mountain Extreme 1000s, these socks will keep your feet toasty. Like the vest, each sock has a small battery comportment slot that holds each battery in place, and like the vest, you can select from three heat settings.
LaCrosse Alpha Evolution 17″ OPTIFADE Elevated II 1600G
I don’t always add two different pairs of boots to my must-have lists, but I will make an exception for this late-season piece. If you’re a rubber-boot lover, you can’t beat the warmth, comfort, and lasting durability of LaCrosse’s Alpha Evolution 17″ OPTIFADE Elevated II 1600G boots.
Weighing 6.4 pounds per pair, these 17-inch tall boots have NASA-inspired PrimaLoft Aerogel in the boots’ toe cap for added warmth without taking up space for heavy socks. The PrimaLoft Gold Insulation will perform wet or dry, and when the ground is muddy, icy, or wet, you’ll be impressed with the traction these boots provide.
Blackout Elite Headlamp – USB Rechargeable
During the late season, daylight hours are short. You’ll likely be setting decoys or walking to and from your deer stand in the dark. Enter Browning’s Blackout Elite Headlamp. A USB Rechargeable headlamp, this head-mounted light is a staple in my late-season gear arsenal. Designed to answer the go-hunt call anytime you’re ready, the tank-like aluminum housing with a durable anodized finish stands up to being dropped on the ground, tossed carelessly in packs, etc. Light control is offered at the push of a single button, and with modes of high, medium, and low in white beam and a low-glow green, you can quickly select your night-time light needs.
The universal headlamp operates off a rechargeable Li-on battery. However, will also run on a pair of CR123 batteries. The elastic head strap is adjustable, and with a band that goes around the head and one that goes over the head, there is no frustrating slop.