During the early deer season, whitetail bucks follow predictable feeding patterns. It’s a great time to set up an ambush, but warm temperatures keep us sweating and the bugs active, doubling our chances of spooking deer as we stink up the woods and swat at insects.
The latest lightweight scent-eliminating garments and bug-proof suits help make warm-weather hunting more comfortable and productive. Thanks to moisture-wicking fabrics, lighter charcoal-impregnated liners, and tight-weave mesh that keeps bugs at bay, you’ll spend more time hunting and have a better chance at tagging, instead of spooking, the first good buck you see this season.
Cabela’s Contain CoolMax
$100; 800-237-4444; cabelas.com
• Endurance-sport athletes have long used moisture-wicking CoolMax clothing for comfort in warm weather. Cabela’s went a step further by weaving Contain–an antimicrobial material that retards odor-causing bacterial growth–into a lightweight CoolMax shirt-and-pant combo in Mossy Oak Break-Up.
Robinson Outdoors Labs ScentBlocker Safari Series
$220; 507-263-2885; robinsonlabs.com
• Until now, charcoal-impregnated clothing has been bulky and warm, making it a cool-season option only. ScentBlocker, however, has introduced a new charcoal line that’s 40 percent lighter than their standard. Both the jacket and pants are made of breathable fabric for dry comfort.
Bug-Out Bug Pack
$50-$55; 877-928-4688; rattlersbrand.com
• Mosquitoes, ticks, and no-see-ums can’t penetrate the tight mesh of the Bug Pack, which includes a jacket and pants, both with an elastic waist-band and cuffs, and a head-net with underarm elastic straps for a secure fit all-around. Available in Mossy Oak Break-Up or Advantage Timber.
Shannon Classic DoubleGuard Bug Tamer Plus
$170; 478-625-9290; bugtamer.com
• This outfit both repels insects and reduces odor. First, the twin-mesh design offers two layers of protection against bugs. Second, the jacket and pants incorporate Contain scent-control fibers to help you keep your stink to yourself. Available in Mossy Oak New Break-Up or Advantage Timber.
WALK AND SQUAWK
Wild turkeys are common in most whitetail habitat, and mimicking their noisy fall feeding behavior can keep you from bumping bucks on the way to your stand. Tote a 4-foot stick in one hand, and pop a diaphragm turkey call in your mouth. Every 30 yards or so, stop and scrape the stick in the leaves using a three-scratch rhythm, which is typical of foraging turkeys. Make frequent clucks, purrs, and an occasional yelp on the mouth call as you walk. Do not do this during a fall turkey season, of course. –SCOTT BESTUL