Cold-Weather Hunting: Is Winter Over Yet?

It's been a colder-than-usual winter, and Sarah Smith Barnum admits that she's more than ready for the spring months to arrive.

Recently I overheard a family member say, "If it snows one more time, I'm going to find that groundhog and …" You can guess where that was heading. I think it's safe to say that there are quite a few people out there that are ready for spring. I know I'm ready—in no small part because that means spring turkey season will be here, too. I'm sad to report that I didn't do half as much hunting as I'd intended to this winter, mostly due to traveling and work conflicts.

Another deterrent for me this winter—and I hate admitting this—was the temperature. Apparently, I wasn't the only one hampered by the weather. According to a recent poll conducted by, 5 percent of hunters in the northeast stayed indoors when temperatures registered between 21 and 30 degrees, and 40 percent called it quits when temperatures dropped to between 1 and 10 degrees. Come on New Englanders, I thought we were a heartier people!

I have tried out a plethora of clothing combinations to attain maximum warmth, all to no avail. At any time—even in 40 degree weather—my hands and feet are too cold for comfort. Next year I may have to try out ThermaCell's heated insoles. Keeping my hands warm, meanwhile, is still a work in progress. HotHands just aren't as hot as they used to be.

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