The Proper Apparel Makes The Hunt Comfortable and More Productive

Most of us would not golf wearing a parka or trout fish in Montana wearing only a bathing suit. Each sport has specific apparel and gear suited to keep us comfortable during our endeavor. The more comfortable we are, the better our chances for success. This definitely applies to hunting and its diverse terrain and weather conditions. Especially during the early hunting season in the Midwest, dressing in layers is important, as fall mornings start off cool and gradually warm up by mid-day. Unlike other sports, there’s an additional aspect to hunting: we must not let the prey become aware of our presence. That’s why today’s hunting gear, from apparel to footwear, features camouflage and scent control, enabling us to blend into the environment.
Apparel Isn’t Just for Appearance
“The most popular hunting prey throughout the world is the white-tailed deer and its best defense is its nose. To give hunters a fair advantage, our company makes superior, scent-control apparel featuring Carbon Alloy Technology,” said Alex Gyllstrom of ScentLok.
ScentLok products found at your local Dunham’s include the Savanna Classic jacket, Savanna Classic pants and the Classic Cotton insulated jackets. To make it easier for hunters to choose the proper equipment based on climate conditions, ScentLok created weather icons (warm, cool, cold) for its apparel.
“Our Savanna products feature incredible price points that deliver superior results to Dunham’s customers. They’re designed to keep hunters cool while controlling odor,” Gyllstrom added.
ScentLok’s Classic Cotton jacket and pants, meanwhile, can be worn during the entire hunting season in our surroundings. Their design helps keep the moisture and wind away and can be layered underneath for added warmth.
Taking a different approach to odor control is Under Armour, the company synonymous with athletic apparel.
“Our exclusive UA Scent Control technology, found in products such as our Ridge Reaper line, features a blend of Zeolite fused with antimicrobial silver that lasts 10 times longer than traditional carbon scent blockers. It’s also lighter and quieter, giving hunters a big competitive advantage,” said Kevin Perry, Under Armour.
The Ridge Reaper line of hunting apparel features the company’s Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish to repel water without sacrificing breathability. It’s wind-resistant, wicks sweat away from the body and features a secure front kangaroo pocket with an internal ammo pouch.
For colder mornings, Perry recommends the company’s Ayton line of hoody, jacket and pants with their 300-weight fleece construction. They include many of the same attributes found in the Ridge Reaper line.
“The Ayton line delivers exceptional performance value for Dunham’s customers, allowing them to get into the Under Armour brand at an affordable price,” Perry said.
Apparel Care Takes Little Effort
The great thing about today’s hunting apparel is that it requires little care. The ScentLok products, for example, are meant to be washed only once or twice a year unless they get visibly dirty, such as getting muddy or bloody. The items have to be washed with unscented detergent or activated carbon detergent.
Reactivating the carbon process requires placing the apparel in a household dryer for 40-50 minutes on high heat. The carbon can be reactivated at any time, though ScentLok recommends doing so after 30 hours. The company also recommends storing the items in an airtight container or bag to ensure the apparel doesn’t pick up environmental odors.
According to Under Armour’s Perry, taking care of his company’s hunting apparel is even easier.
“Thanks to our Zeolite technology, there’s no need to place the items in the dryer to reactivate the scent control, since it’s good for the life of the garment. Simply wash and wear them,” he said.
Footwear to Boot
Dunham’s truly has hunters covered from head to toe, with specialized footwear uniquely suited to the weather and hunt location. As with the rest of the apparel, the footwear features camo and odor-neutralizing technology.
“Our Swamp Walker 2000 boot features 2,000 grams of Thinsulate, which is 10 times the minimum required amount. That makes these boots much warmer during the fall hunting season,” said Marty Lynch of Itasca Footwear.
As Lynch explained, the Swamp Walker 2000 are 17-inches tall, waterproof and feature an ankle-fit design, meaning they will stay on your foot if you have step through mud. The boots are made of print rubber, so they’re scent free. They also feature a slip-resistant outsole and a removable insole.
Also ideal for walking through mud is the Rocky MudSox 7284 camouflage boot. According to Mark Pitts of Rocky Brands, this boot features 800 grams of Thinsulate Ultra insulation and incorporates the company’s SIQ Atomic technology, which helps control human odor on the microbial level.
“Our MudSox 7284 boot is ideally suited for someone moving about. It features a heel kick tab, making it easier to remove the boot,” he said.
Better suited for climbing or sitting in a tree stand is the Rocky MudSox 4784 camo boot. It features 1,000 grams of Thinsulate Ultra insulation for greater warmth, a neoprene liner and a rubber outer shell. It also features the company’s scent control program.
“One nice thing about the 4784 boot is that it features an open-cell foam foot bed that’s removable, allowing the customer to add more cushioning with time. This MudSox boot also has an EVA midsole that takes pressure off and reduces the weight you put onto your feet,” Pitts added.
Yet another rubber boot is Under Armour’s H.A.W (Hurry up And Wait) line. It’s lightweight, water-resistant, and breathable. It features an air-mesh lining that increases airflow and wicks sweat to keep your foot dry. It also features an internal heel lock memory foam that forms to your foot for a secure, customized fit.
“Our H.A.W. boots provides a superior level of comfort, along with warmth and protection. It’s a great boot for tree stands,” Perry explained.
For those looking for a leather camo boot that is waterproof, Dunham’s carries Itasca’s Cascade Extreme and Big Buck Hunter models.
The Cascade Extreme features 400 grams of Thinsulate and features a Mossy Oak camo nylon upper, a waterproof shell bottom, a removable liner, a dual-padded collar and traction rubber outsole.
For those looking for even warmer leather boots, Itasca offers their Big Buck Hunter model with 800 grams of Thinsulate. This waterproof boot features a Mossy Oak camo nylon upper, a removable cushion insole and a non-typical traction rubber outsole.
“Exclusive to Dunham’s is our 8220 Rocky Cornstalker,” Pitts added. “It features a full-grain leather upper, 1000 Denier Courdura nylon, Gore Tex waterproofing, 1,000 grams of Thinsulate Ultra, Cornstalker Bob outsole and Mossy Oak break up camo. It can be used for hunting or work, is an excellent cold-weather boot and it’s guaranteed to be waterproof for one year.”
Another multipurpose boot from Rocky Brands is the 7481 sport utility boot. It features a one-piece rubber outsole and, according to Pits, is popular with the construction industry. The 10” tall boot is dipped in urethane and features Thinsulate Ultra for foot warmth. It’s available Mossy Oak break up camo.
Caring for your hunting boots is easy and it’s a task that can be accomplished in minutes. Leather boots should be occasionally conditioned with leather oil, while rubber boots merely require hosing off any caked-on mud.
Having the proper gear and proper apparel can make any hunt more productive, more comfortable and more enjoyable. Especially if you are new to hunting, be sure to speak with a Dunham’s sales professional to ensure you are properly outfitted with apparel that is ideally suited to your terrain and your prey.
-Deer Abby
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