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Do you need a pair of hunting gloves, or can you use any gloves you have lying around? Gloves are a crucial piece of 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 to handle a gun but stout enough to protect their hands from the brush. Everyone needs cold-weather hunting gloves when temperatures fall. Even if the weather is mild, investing in the best hunting gloves can keep your hands warm and functional for the entire hunt.

The Best Hunting Gloves: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Upland: Browning Deer Hide Shooter’s Gloves

Best Upland


  • Materials: Deer Hide
  • Waterproof: No
  • Notable Feature: Elasticized Wrist


  • Low profile for precision shooting
  • Easy care
  • Comfortable, snug fit
  • Durable materials


  • Very breathable; not warm (can be a pro)

Made of unlined deer hide, these upland hunting 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 making the shot. They have a low profile to ensure precision while shooting, and the snug fit prevents finger slips. An elastic band at the wrist keeps the gloves in place and helps keep these gloves on and keep twigs and debris out.

Although they are ideal for upland hunting, they are not very warm, so if you are in a colder climate, you may need a glove with more insulation. However, this can also be a good thing. The glove can be enough to cut an early morning chill or breeze but is breathable enough to wear all day or while hiking.

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

Best Duck Hunting


  • Materials: Refuge HS outer fabric, GORE-TEX membrane, goatskin leather palm
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Notable Feature: Full-Length Gauntlet Fit


  • Excellent coverage
  • Quality fit
  • Effective waterproofing
  • Ideal for cold temperatures


  • Unclear washing/care instructions

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 duck 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.

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

Best Bowhunting


  • Materials: Polyester interlock fabric with microfleece lining
  • Waterproof: Water-Resistant
  • Notable Feature: Touch Tech Fingertips


  • Archery-focused design
  • DWR finish
  • Quick drying
  • Micro fleece for some warmth


  • Limited adjustability

Whether you stalk or wait on a stand, these bow hunting gloves are 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 the 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.

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

Best Hunting Mittens


  • Materials: DRYRIDE two-layer fabric shell, Gore Warm insert, Thermacore insulation
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Notable Feature: Heater/vent pocket can hold hand warmer


  • Vent for breathability
  • Easy to slip on and off
  • Warm enough for most winter activities
  • Glove liner included


  • Best for active cold weather wear, not extreme cold conditions

Insulated and waterproofed with a Gore-Tex shell, these Burton 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 hand warmers. 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.

Best Half-Finger: Sitka Elevated II Fanatic Gloves

Best Half-Finger


  • Materials: Polyester
  • Waterproof: No
  • Notable Feature: Half finger on thumb and forefinger


  • Allows for great dexterity
  • Stretchy fabric
  • Some insulation
  • Ideal for bow hunting


  • Don’t work well in wet conditions

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

Best Budget: Hot Shot Defender Gloves

Best Budget


  • Materials: Polyester
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant
  • Notable Feature: Elastic on wrist


  • Affordable price
  • Decent water resistance
  • 40g of 3M thinsulate insulation
  • Easy cleaning and care


  • Fit runs small
  • Not waterproof

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 wish 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. Overall, these are a decent pair of gloves, and you get a good value for the price. However, they are not top-of-the-line regarding dexterity, warmth, or waterproofing. So, keep your expectations in check when purchasing these.

What to Consider When Choosing 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 touchscreen compatibility, scent-proofing, camo, or a cuff that accommodates a release. Consider your specific needs, then pick accordingly.

Activity Level

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 are walking through woods or fields following a bird dog, you may need to mount the gun and shoot without much preparation, so the gloves should not impede your hold on the gun or your trigger finger. But you’ll probably be encountering brush, so ensure your hunting gloves won’t snag on vegetation and will stop briars from penetrating.

Weather Conditions

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 have time to pick up your gun to take a shot at the game, your hands will get cold and possibly numb. Get a pair of waterproof gloves if you’re hunting around water or in very wet conditions.

When it’s truly cold, hunting mittens will keep your hands warmer than gloves during long sits on a 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 protect against the cold when you pull your mitten off before you take a shot.

Deer Hunting

Gloves are essential deer hunting gear. If you’re sitting on the 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.


If you need skin contact for operating a sensitive trigger or release, or in any other situation where 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.


Extra insulation, scent proofing, and waterproofing 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.


Q: 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.

Q: 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.

Q: Do you need gloves for hunting?

Whether you need gloves while hunting or not depends on the weather and conditions. A good pair of hunting gloves can keep your hands warm and dry while leaving room for necessary hand dexterity.

Best Hunting Gloves: Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all perfect hunting glove. The best hunting gloves for bow hunting will differ from the best for duck hunting. Knowing the level of waterproofing, dexterity, and insulation required to keep your hands warm and dry is a great place to start. The durability of the gloves should also be in question if you hope to use them for several seasons. Discover what features you need in a glove and shop wisely so cold hands don’t cut your hunts short.

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