Best Hunting Gloves for Bowhunting, Bird Hunting, Duck Hunting, and More

If you hunt, you need hunting gloves. Here’s how to find the right pair for you.

Gloves are crucial hunting gear, but choosing the right pair isn’t simple. That’s because there are as many kinds of hunting gloves as there are kinds of hunting. A deer hunter has to stay warm, scent-free, and be able to punch a release when the time comes. Duck hunters need waterproof gloves. Upland bird hunters need shooting gloves thin enough so they can handle a gun, but stout enough to protect their hands from brush. Everyone needs cold weather hunting gloves when temperatures fall. Even if the weather is mild, gloves can be a benefit because they help hide your hands from game.

And besides all that, cold hands simply make miserable hunters. Here’s what you need to take into account when shopping for gloves.

Features to Consider When Shopping For the Best Hunting Gloves

Choosing the best hunting gloves means thinking about what you need the gloves to do. Heavily insulated gloves keep you warm, but at the expense of manual dexterity. On the other hand, gloves that offer a lot of dexterity might not keep you warm enough. You might want specialized features, too, like touch screen compatibility, scent-proofing, camo, or a cuff that accommodates a release. Consider your specific needs, then pick accordingly.

Will You Be Moving While Hunting?

Maximize your manual dexterity by choosing the thinnest cold-weather hunting glove that offers enough insulation for the conditions you will be facing. If you’ll be walking through woods or fields following a bird dog, you may need to mount the gun and shoot without much time to prepare, so the gloves should not impede your hold on the gun or your trigger finger. But you’ll probably be encountering brush, so make sure your hunting gloves won’t snag on vegetation and will stop briars from penetrating.

Best Upland Hunting Gloves: Browning Deer Hide Shooter’s Gloves for Men

Tough and Supple

Deer-hide gloves are rugged enough for heavy cover, but very soft and provide excellent trigger-finger dexterity. Browning

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Made of unlined deer hide, these gloves are just heavy enough to turn a bit of chill, and tough enough that you can use them to ward off briars in the grouse woods. Unlike most hunting gloves, you don’t sacrifice a bit of feel when it comes time to make the shot. An elastic band at the wrist helps keep these gloves on and keep twigs and debris out.

Will You Be Hunting in Wet Conditions?

What’s worse than having cold hands? Having cold and wet hands. Moisture robs your body of heat, and if your gloves get wet and allow water to reach your skin, you’ll have to take them off and keep your hands in your pockets. Even if you do have time to pick up your gun in time to take a shot at game, your hands will get cold and possibly get numb. If you’re going to be hunting around water or in very wet conditions, get a pair of waterproof gloves.

Best Duck Hunting Gloves: Drake Waterfowl MST Refuge Double Duty Decoy Gloves

Dry Hands

These waterproof gloves are made extra-long to keep your hands, wrist and sleeve dry. Drake

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Setting and picking up decoys in the cold can quickly numb your hands if you’re not protected, and getting them wet makes everything worse. These hunting gloves guard against that with both a water resistant treatment and a breathable Gore-Tex liner to be sure water stays out. The waterproof gloves also have long cuffs generously cut to fit over a parka sleeve to keep your forearms dry, and have wrist and cuff closures, too. A fleece liner keeps your hands warm without adding so much bulk you can’t wrap decoy lines.

Will You Be Deer Hunting or Using a Bow?

Gloves are important deer hunting gear. If you’re sitting on stand, you need warm gloves to keep your hands comfortable and nimble. They also can inhibit scent, and hide pale skin. That’s important because uncamouflaged hands can spook deer. Besides all that, they need to provide the dexterity you need to make a shot.

Best Bowhunting Gloves: Cabela’s Scent-Lok Full-Season Bow Release Gloves

Designed for Bowhunters

Scent-control enhancements contain your odor, the camo helps keep you hidden, and they’re designed to accommodate a release lanyard. Cabelas

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Whether you stalk or wait on stand, this glove is fully featured to help you get close to game and make the shot. Carbon Alloy enhancements reduce your scent, while a DWR water resistant coating and microfleece lining keep your hands warm and dry. A choice of two camo patterns lets you pick the best hunting gloves that will blend with your woods. The wrists of the gloves have an opening for your release lanyard, and the fingers are touch-screen sensitive so you can use your phone without removing the gloves.

Will You Be Hunting in Very Cold Conditions?

When it’s truly cold, hunting mittens will keep your hands warmer than gloves will during long sits on stand. The mitten’s enclosure retains body heat and allows your fingers to warm each other. Wearing a thin liner glove underneath the mittens will provide some protection against the cold when you pull your mitten off before you take a shot.

Best Hunting Mittens: Burton Men’s Gore-Tex Mitten

Mittens Plus a Liner

Warm and waterproof, these mittens will see you through the worst weather with their Thermacore insulation and Thermex liner gloves. Burton

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Insulated and waterproofed with a Gore-Tex shell, these mittens are warm on their own, but they also come with thin, warm Thermex liner gloves and zippered pockets on the back of the hands for disposable handwarmers. Leather palms improve your grip, and a pre-curved ergonomic shape makes it easier to hold a bow or gun. Wrist leashes keep the mittens from falling out of the stand when you need to pull them off to shoot.

Do You Need Your Thumb or Trigger Finger Free?

If you need skin contact for operating a sensitive trigger or release, or in any other situation in which precision matters, but you still want the protection and camouflage that gloves give you, look for half-finger gloves. These shooting gloves expose only the upper sections of the thumb and index finger, allowing you to operate your trigger or release without impediment.

Best Half-Finger Gloves: Sitka Elevated II Fanatic Gloves

Light Touch

A trim fit, thin material, and a half-finger design make these Sitka gloves a good choice for hunters who want to maintain a skin-on touch. Sitka

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Four-way stretch material and cut-off index fingers and thumbs on both gloves give you the sensitivity you need to feel the trigger break or just to use a touchscreen. Sitka’s new high country Elevated pattern keeps you concealed. Warm enough on their own for the early season, these gloves can be paired with a muff for cold weather stand hunting.

Best Budget Hunting Gloves: What You Get For Under $20

Extra insulation, scent proofing, and waterproofing all add to the price of hunting gloves, but they aren’t necessary on every hunt or for every hunter. If you’re on a budget, or you’re one of those lucky people whose hands don’t need maximum protection from the cold, a budget glove may offer all the warmth you need. Pay attention to the amount of insulation, and be sure that it doesn’t make the glove so bulky it’s an impractical choice in the field. Even some inexpensive gloves offer a waterproof barrier, too. Small features that don’t cost a lot to incorporate, like ergonomically curving the glove, are a benefit.

Best Cheap Hunting Gloves: Hot Shot Defender Gloves

Inexpensive Protection

Thinsulate and a waterproof barrier keep you warm and dry on the cheap. Hot Shot

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Realtree camo on a soft, brushed lining makes these gloves quiet and invisible in the woods. Forty grams of 3M Thinsulate adds warmth without bulk, although you may be wishing for a little more when the temperature drops. Rugged nylon facings on the palms and fingers steady your grip on hunting gear, and elastic cuffs keep gloves on and cold out.

Best Hunting Gloves FAQ:

How do you choose the right size of hunting gloves?

Hunting gloves should be snug, but not tight. If the glove is too tight, you won’t be able to move easily. Gloves that are too big won’t keep you warm, because your body will have to heat up too much airspace around your fingers. The glove will lose heat faster than your hands can heat it. You should have just a tiny air gap between the end of your finger and the inside of the glove.

To measure your hands, lay your dominant hand palm up and wrap a soft tape measure around your hand below the knuckles, not including your thumb. (If you don’t have a soft tape measure, use a string and measure that.) That measurement in inches is your glove size. Round up if need be. Allow some extra room if you plan to wear a liner glove inside to add warmth.

How do you choose the right material for hunting gloves?

The right material for hunting gloves depends on what you will use them for. If you need tough gloves, leather is hard to beat. For wet weather comfort, a nylon glove with a breathable waterproof membrane is best.

A Final Word on Shopping for the Best Hunting Gloves

Different kinds of hunting demand different kinds of gloves. Figure out what features you need in a glove and shop wisely, so cold hands don’t cut your hunts short.