Hunting on the Snow. Critical Tips
Most hunts prefer to stay at home and avoid bad weather conditions, especially if snowing but even when is less convenient and much more harder, hunting when snowing may give you an edge if you know how to take advantage of that; thus on this post you will find some critical tips to render things in your favor when hunting on snow conditions.
First of all, Assure your well being!
Being out on freezing conditions and alone on the woods may be hazardous if you are not properly prepared, so, success begin at home when preparing your hunting stuff. If you are properly set up, you'd have gained half the game, thus please remember:
1. Avoid stuffed clothes because even when warmer it will be harder to adjust thermoregulation when out; instead prefer multiple clothes layers; this way if you are very warm due to exercise and movements you may take out some clothing layers, avoiding this way extra sweating; afterwards if temperature drops or your physical activity diminish, you may add extra layers of clothes to keep yourself warmer.
2. Remember to bring with you enough water and a good supply of high caloric feed and snacks. Being out there on the cold and snow consumes a lot of calories as well increase your water loses, hence failing to keep you hydrated and with enough energy to move around could end on problems; so be sure to bring with you all you need to guarantee a proper caloric and water intake, especially when you are planning to be out several days. Don't jeopardize your safety!
Now that your gear and clothes are ready it's time to go for the game and there's a couple of thing you need to know to improve your odds:
1. Watch the high country. If there's snow up there, animals will move to lower elevations, specially big games, thus look for those areas with easier access to food and water (if you have previously scouted the area it will be easier to locate such places) and move toward them, your chances to catch something big will be good.
2. Follow the tracks. Every hunter is a tracker, in fact, tracking is an essential skill for success when hunting but when you are out on the snow the job could be easier. Tracks last longer on snow and rarely are deleted, thus you may follow an animal's track for longer distances, more than on any other condition; however there's a couple of things to keep in mind: On deep snow it's hard to determine the movement direction, thus it's easier to follow the tracks on the wrong way! Hence try to correlate the tracks with near food sources as well terrain characteristics in order to determine the proper direction to follow the tracks.
The other thing is that tracks may lasts several days making difficult to know how old they are; nevertheless this is a minor issue since you are not interested on the animal leaving the tracks but on the area where it's headed; if you have success following the track you'll probably will find not only the animal responsible of it but also some others congregated on an area with a more benign weather and easier access to food and water.
Finally you will have a shot! And if the game don't die immediately, snow will give you an edge again since the blood trail will be infinitely easier to track against the white landscape; in addition a snowed terrain where movement is more difficult will pay bill to a wounded game which will have to expend more energy to run away but still will be covering a shorter distance, being easier for the hunter to reach it.
Clearly, hunting on the snow is a demanding challenge, but that's exactly what we are looking for!
A final tip; Be aware of predators! Wolves are very active looking for food under hard winter conditions, hence your catch as well yourself could become a target for pack of wolves, hence be aware of their presence on the area and ready to fight back if necessary; once again remember: Don't jeopardize your own safety!