There are a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to cold weather hunting, especially subzero hunting. The word alone invokes powerful images of punishing cold and impossibilities. But the truth is, you can hunt lots of game very effectively when it’s cold, from deer to goose. On this episode I get into debunking some of the lies surrounding late season cold. 

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Hunting below 0 degrees Fahrenheit comes with numerous challenges and obstacles to overcome. Some are technical, some are physical, and some are simply made up. For some reason mystical qualities are applied to cold weather hunting. The simple truth is that there are people in different parts of the world who live, work, and hunt at temperatures below zero for weeks if not months out of the year. Many people see zero as warmer than usual.

But for those who live in warmer climates, this number is seen as some very important threshold and many myths have crept up around it. But the reality is that nothing magical happens at 0 degrees. The animals keep moving, equipment keeps working, and hunting is very possible. But cold weather hunting is more difficult and requires some special strategies for dealing with the cold across all levels.

You need to make sure your gear is fully operational and winterized. You have to be dressed for the cold, and that means more than just wearing super expensive brands. You also need to be sure you are in proper physical condition or take steps to mitigate your shortcomings, so you are not hindered by the difficulties that come with cold weather hunts.

There are some pros to late season artic weather as well. It simplifies hunting some. Where animals go becomes more focused and predictable. There are fewer options on how and where you can hunt. And while it does become harder, some of it becomes simpler as well. Deer patterns change, goose patterns become more predictable, and small game is easier to spot much of the time.

What you wear matters a lot, but it is more about finding the right types of layers than the right brands. Different materials and garments serve different roles and as long as you have those roles covered, you can hunt very effectively even in cold weather, snow, and powerful wind chills.

In this podcast episode I dive into examine five lies about subzero hunting and how you can overcome all of the legitimate challenges to be successful in the woods.

Is it really even worth your time and energy to hunt deer in the late season? The most direct answer I can give is, sometimes. But it depends more on your willingness to learn and adapt than any particular hunting skill. On this episode I talk about the differences of late season hunting and how you need to change your strategy in order to find consistent success. Anyone can do it, if you have the drive to do it right. 

The biggest problem with hunting in the late season is people have less drive and motivation to put in the effort needed to hunt successfully. They don’t realize the late season is different than the early season or the rut. They don’t realize the deer behave differently, use the land differently, and move to different locations.

If you want to be successful in the late season you need to scout for the late season, prepare for it, and establish hunting spots for it. You almost need to treat it like a unique game/season altogether.  The same spots, tactics, and timing of the early season rarely works here. And the only time you can effectively scout for the late season is during the late season. So very few people have the best hunt they can have at this time of year because do not go to the ends needed to make it work well. But you absolutely can.

People tend to get busier with holidays, family, and work. Also, the excitement of early season and rut hunting wears off, so it becomes doubly hard to muster the motivation to scout and prepare. Weather and gear become an obstacle too. But you can extend the capabilities of your gear with a few tricks and tips I mention in this episode. 

The biggest thing hunters must have is the will to hunt this season. If you can muster that, you can be very successful. There also some significant advantages to hunting in the late season as well. In fact, you can accomplish a lot with minimal time hunting, if you put in all the work needed up front.

The single best piece of advice I can give you is to scout the late season on years when you are not hunting it. When you learn how deer use the land one year, they will very likely use it in similar ways the following years. So scouting when your tags are full is a great way to help you prepare for hunting next year. Time invested now can pay off in future seasons.

Listen to this whole podcast episode to hear all the details strategies about late season deer hunting. 


Are deer hunting myths holding you back and you don’t even know it? On this episode I help you identify and fix some things that can help you be more successful in the woods and help you save time and money. Also, get your free 14-day trial of Aura, the sponsor of this episode:

Almost every deer hunter starts off believing some myths. You just do not have the real-world experience, research, or training to be able to sort fact from fiction. It does not help that many experienced hunters staunchly believe and propagate some of the myths as well. But the good news is that for every myth you can identify and purge from your strategies and tactics, you will steer yourself to more success in the deer woods.

One of the biggest whitetail deer hunting myths is that more time in the woods equates to more deer taken out of the woods. And while it is true that you must hunt to take deer, hunting more does not produce more results than hunting smarter. In fact you can over hunt an area and spook out all the deer you would like to take.

Deer can sense your presence in many ways from the scent of your breathing to the scent you leave behind just walking through or sitting in an area. This means you need to put time and ideally distance between hunts. Let good spots rest and only hunt them when the weather conditions, time of day, and time of season are ideal. You will save a lot of time and energy this way and have much better results.

My goal for you is to have a 50% success rate when in the woods. That means 50% of the time you hunt, you have the opportunity to shoot a legal deer. All of the strategies, tips, and tactics I have published over years of podcast episodes push you towards that goal. If you want to be picky, that is up to you, but my strategies intend to help you put yourself in hunting scenarios that you can have opportunities to take a legal deer on half or more of your hunts. Myths hurts that, which is why we need to get rid of everyone possible.

I shot 4 bucks out of my last 5 hunts when I had a buck tag to fill. Those results come after several years of applying these principles and learning and working the land, but you should be able to get to the 50% success rate.

Listen to the entire podcast episode to learn about all 5 myths and how to do better.



Is battery powered hunting gear the natural evolution in keeping you warm in the deer woods? Is it just a passing crazy? Or is it somewhere in between? On this episode I dive deep into the world of battery powered hunting gear to give some perspective and recommendations. Also, get your free 14-day trial of Aura, the sponsor of this episode:

Heated gear is all the rage today, and many companies are beginning to produce it. However, battery powered gear is not automatically a game changer. There certainly are benefits, but there are cons too. First and foremost, not all heated gear is good. The quality of many things on the market is questionable. The quality of the garment and the quality of the heating system must both be considered. And with new brands popping up overnight trying to get on the bandwagon, this can be hard to judge.

You need to understand what makes good, heated gear and what are the traits of poor-quality gear. The most important thing is the garment construction. You want the gear to be warm, comfortable, and effective when it is off. Too often people are compromising their gear setup for a particular hunt in order to find a way to make their new fancy piece of heated gear work. But if you use the wrong layers just because they are heated, you will not end up further ahead than wearing proper normal gear.

Another big issue with heated gear is the battery life and heat output. Every brand gives you a range of times, temperatures, and power levels. Most of the time it is just marketing nonsense. The most important number is the amount of power the batteries hold. That power directly translates into the amount of warmth the gear is capable of generating. The more powerful the battery, the more capable the gear. Do not settle for tiny little batteries on a piece of brand x gear that promises you the moon.

I have used a heated jacket, vest, socks, and gloves, and had the opportunity to use more still. I would say each of these pieces of gear has a place when they are helpful. But often, if I am being honest, regular gear performs better. Heated gear works best in certain niche situations and in very specific conditions. For most hunters and most new hunters, it is not a priority to get some. But once you establish a complete set of gear, it is worth augmenting that gear with some powered pieces that fit your situation and location well.

Listen to the whole podcast episode to hear it all.

As a note, Heated Hunter and DewBu sent me gear to test which helped me do this show. Thanks to them for their support.

How do you maximize your time spent in the woods? The answer depends on your goals, but if your goal is to take the most deer per hour hunting then this episode is for you. I am going to cover five strategies to help maximize every minute you spend in the woods. Also, get your free 14-day trial of Aura, the sponsor of this episode:

Everyone has limitations for hunting, some are limited by time, some by opportunity and others by desire. If you don’t have the time to hunt dozens of days waiting for the largest buck in the area, you shouldn’t use the same tactics as the big buck hunter either. You need to stack the deck in your favor to maximize the chances of hitting your personal goals.

If your goal is to take a grown deer on as many hunts as possible then you need to create a strategy focused on that. In this podcast episode I give five strategies to help you accomplish that goal. First and foremost, you need to hunt the best times of day for each part of the season. People often hunt the time of day they prefer to hunt. And while that isn’t necessarily bad, it may hinder your ability to get more opportunities on the average white tail.

Generally speaking, deer tend to move more in the evening most of the season. If you love hunting the mornings, you need to weigh your enjoyment of the morning vs. your enjoyment of taking more deer to figure out what is the best fit for you. I personally used to be a morning hunter for years, until I realized I was about twice as successful on evening hunts. Now I hunt the evenings almost exclusively and I have actually grown to appreciate the benefits of evening hunting and I prefer it.

You should also hunt the best weather days for deer movement if your time is limited. Not all days are equal by any means. Days that have a significant relatively temperature drop compared to previous days are likely to prompt deer to move more during daylight because the lower temperatures refresh the deer and make it easier for them to be comfortable while moving during the warmer daylight hours. If you focus on the best weather days and the best time of day for that part of the season it will go a long way towards improving your chances for success.

Listen to the full podcast episode to hear the other strategies to help you take more deer in less time.

Everyone has a worst hunt story, but I hope mine can keep you from ever going through something this bad. Learn from this bad deer hunting scenario and keep from making the same mistakes I did. Also, get your free 14-day trial of Aura, the sponsor of this episode:

Deer hunting, especially in archery season is never a sure thing. Human error plays a part of everything we do and is magnified when the tolerances are tight, and the margins are slimmer.  However, there are many mistakes we can avoid by just knowing better.

This terrible hunting story is not one that resulted from imperfect execution or one bad decision, it was a series bad choices that were all completely avoidable. And hopefully you will avoid them all because of this episode! 


Donating a deer is important and can make a big difference in the lives of many people. But on this episode I am going to share some stories and guidelines for how to NOT donate a deer to a feeding program like Farmers and Hunters Feeding The Hungry or Hunters Sharing The Harvest.

Donating venison is an honorable thing. Foodbanks often supply people in need with canned goods, non-perishables, and carb rich foods but meat of any kind may be rarely available due to the cost. Venison is able to provide people who are food insecure with high quality lean protein. People will often wait in line or check back constantly with hopes of venison becoming available. If the meat portions they receive are lousy because the hunter was careless, we’ve hurt a person we could have helped.

Proper field care is a huge part of bringing back quality venison to donate. But simply being considerate as a human being is needed first. You must not leave a deer over night or for several days in the woods and bring it to donate. These carcasses are unfit and unsafe for human consumption and a good butcher will throw the entire thing away. You cannot bring animals that have been half eaten by coyotes. The bacteria and disease present in these situations makes the meat unsafe almost instantly. 

Just because you’ve eaten questionable meat and been ok does not mean its ok. Children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems can become seriously ill by eating something that your body seems to process ok. And people who are food insecure and nutrient deprived may be at elevated risk levels. You are providing meat to people who due to their poverty may have compromised health.

The deer that we donate should be the best deer we can take out of the woods, not some scheme to get a butcher to cut off the antlers for us for free. In fact the deer we donate should be better than the venison we put on our own tables. Keep in mind someone is paying to have that deer butchered and given to food banks, soup kitchens etc. These are often individual donors, local churches, small businesses and others who pay the financial cost of deer processing, so the hunters do not need to pay money when they donate their animal.

We need to strive to provide the best possible meat for families in need. If you are going to donate a deer, donate your best, not your worst.

Listen to the whole podcast episode for so much more.




The newest generation of hunting ground blinds are see through, semitransparent fabric that appears to be solid from the outside. Are these blinds any good? Do they live up to the hype? You should try one? Well, I took the plunge and got one.  After hunting out of a TideWe see through blind all last season I am here to report on the results. 

I really did not have high expectations for the quality of see through hunting blinds. But after giving them a try, I am impressed with the durability and quality of the material. They do work, you can see through them. But what really left a good impression on me is that they are a good solid hunting blind by any standard.

I go through a lot of ground blinds; I have used some of the top brands in the industry and none have done much to impress me with durability. I did not expect the see through blind to be more than just some paper thin mesh but I was pleasantly surprised. 

For the price, they are as good or better than any other similarly priced hunting blinds, see through or not. They hold up well to inclement weather, and kept me dry across numerous rainy days, with some days bringing heavy rain. The quality of the doors, windows, zippers, and hubs was all very good.

The see through element is very interesting. It was great to be able to see everything around me that was making noise from floor to ceiling. I could see what was a turkey and what was a sparrow. I could see what was a deer and what was a squirrel. I was able to have more advance warning of what was coming and if I needed to, I could have easily shot right through the transparent wall of the blind to take my game if no better shots presented themselves.

I did still open the windows in order to have a crisp long-range view. While you can see through the blind, it is like looking through mesh. So you can only see so far and so clearly. It is perfectly fine for archery ranges, but it would be hard to identify a deer at 100 yards. But the windows give you all the flexibility you need for perfect vision at a distance while still having the situational awareness you need for hunting just about anything that walks on the ground.

I reached out to TideWe and requested a special discount code for my audience so you can save 18% off even sale prices if you use my code GK18 at checkout on TideWe’s website.

Check out my detailed TideWe See Through Hunting Blind Review.

Listen to this entire podcast episode for all the of the details and information.

As a note, TideWe sent me this blind to do this review. Thanks to them for their support. 

Archery deer hunting is growing but there are a lot of people in the woods with bows who should not be there, YET. They are missing fundamental knowledge or skills to hunt deer effectively and reliably with a vertical bow. On this episode I talk about five crucial areas that every archery hunter needs to know about and develop proficiency in before they begin taking shots at whitetails.

Archey is a very fun, challenging, and rewarding pursuit. Hunting with a vertical bow is appealing for a wide variety of different reasons. And most people can learn to do this effectively. However, too few hunters understand the challenges unique to this style of hunting and go unprepared into the woods only to have problems, failures, and worse.  Often, they should hunt with a rifle or a crossbow until they develop the needed proficiencies for a vertical bow.  

Understanding these five things will save you from a lot of difficulties and disappointments. There is no shame in going into the woods with a different tool if you are not ready or able to do what it takes to hunt properly with a bow. We are talking about an investment in preparation, it has nothing to do with the character or ability of the person. Anyone could prepare if they have the time, energy, and health to do so. And maybe they can and will in the future, but for now they should hunt with the tools they are able to use with greater proficiency.

The first and most obvious of the five reasons you should not hunt with a bow is you do not practice enough. This is about skills and conditioning. Proficiency in archery is a perishable skill. It decays quickly with time. A few weeks can cause you to lose a lot of ground. There is head knowledge and skill you will retain for your lifetime, but conditioning means everything when it comes to being able to reliably hit a target under field conditions.

Ideally you want to learn to shoot, from an instructor or expert of some type. Then you need to practice, a lot, and for a long time. You should start practicing around two months before the season starts. Start practicing 3 days a week and then bump it up to 4 or 5 once you get your initial conditioning. These do not need to be long sessions; 20 minutes can be plenty. But you need to shoot often and throughout the hunting season to stay sharp.

This is not just about being able to hit a target but being able to draw even when stiff and cold, under field conditions, with cold weather gear, in a tree, holding a draw for a long time, fighting off nerves, and finally taking an ethical shot. This is taxing on your body. You must practice a lot to able to do it when it counts. If you are not able to practice enough, you should probably use a crossbow for that season. Crossbows require a much lower level of conditioning. 

The most responsible and wise hunters know their limits and deficiencies and takes the appropriate action to make up for them. Newer hunters especially do not have enough experience to know what they do not know. They have blind spots. We all have blind spots at times, but when we are just getting started, they can be very large blind spots. I can tell you from experience, the best and fastest ways to learn is to practice, study, and learn from the mistakes of others. If you want to hunt with a bow, get one today and start practicing. But wait, even till next season if needed, until you are prepared and can check off all five things mentioned in this episode. 

Listen to the entire podcast episode to hear all 5 reasons why you should not hunt with a bow.

Like any tool, there are benefits to upgrading a deer hunting crossbow, but when should you do it and what should you look for? On this episode I give some guidance for when to upgrade a crossbow, what to look for in a new bow, how to make wise budget decisions, and what you realistically will not gain from a new crossbow. 

The right time to upgrade your crossbow often intersects with something going wrong with your current bow or hunting experience. Either you have equipment wear out, failure, or maybe you have a hunting failure that causes you to cast doubt on your bow. Sometimes we get distracted by better bows but usually it is something going wrong that pushes us to make a purchase right away. Be careful in these moments not to jump to conclusions.

Sometimes you can repair a broken bow, sometimes nothing is wrong except your confidence takes a hit and practice may fix that much cheaper than buying a new bow. Be calm, patient, thoughtful, and think about the investment needed to get a bow that is better. Ideally you want a better bow, something with better features that will help you improve your hunting experience. Just replacing a bow may do the job, but you are probably better off with a short-term fix while you look for the right better bow.

A crossbow is a very sophisticated tool that is full of nuances. There are so many things to gain with a better crossbow in terms of comfort, feel, balance, features, ease of use, increased range, and less weight. However, if you have a working crossbow, chances are low that a better one would do much to enable you to take home more deer. A better crossbow makes the hunting experience easier and/or more enjoyable. But it often does not make it more effective.

This puts crossbows into a special category of gear where features have value but in the end they will do little to bring home more deer. That does not mean you shouldn’t upgrade your crossbow. On the contrary, you should simply upgrade with realistic expectations and timing.

I have found the best time to upgrade crossbows is around the end of season sales. You can often get a new crossbow that is very discounted. The trouble is you often cannot find the bow you have your heart set on in this way. It is better to simply follow the sales, look for the biggest discounts on credible brands trying to move last year’s model or clear inventory space and you can sometimes get a bow for as much as 50% off. By doing this you can upgrade a few levels higher in bow quality and function for alot less money.

However, if you have your eyes on one particular bow and you have to have that brand and model, your best bet is to save up your money and wait for even the most modest sale to come along. 

Listen to the full podcast episode to hear alot more about when to upgrade and how to pick a new crossbow.