I have a system for cold weather, that works great and breaks the wind,,,, on top of that I have a great set of bibs I bought last year, that kept me as warm as the hbs,,,,,
If your freezing on 3 pairs of clothing, you have got the wrong system,,,,, but maybe Sept in Oregon, is colder than the far north, I do not know,,,,,,,
Someone asked me to discuss some of the things I do when hunting in very cold weather. Some is common sense, at least to me because I live up here. Others may have some good tips too from cold weather hunting. I'll define cold weather hunting as accumulated snow on the ground, snowing and temps in the teens and below. I'll go in order topics suggested.
Vehicles - I have an F150 FX4 and that gets me most places in the snow up to a foot or so. I have larger tires on it with good tread. Regardless of size, if your tread is worn out or thin, you might get stuck in the snow and ice. I carry a come along a stout tow rope and a snow shovel. Also carry an MRE, water and a blanket in the back seat should I get in a fix. I do all of the routine work on the truck prior to hunting season....oil/filter changes, tire check, brakes if needed, radiator check. Keep an ice/snow scraper in the back too. If it's snowing when you park, your windows will be iced over when you come back if it's snowing. Spray some of that de-icing fluid into your door and cap locks and keep it in the truck. Your locks will freeze when the water gets inside....especially your cap locks. Cold weather windshield washer fluid too. Most of it up here is rated for -20F. They do make some -30/-40 fluid too. Keep a spare set of insulated gloves in the truck in case your first set gets wet. Spare hand/foot warmers too. Oh ya....a wheeled deer cart is useless in the snow. Keep a sled in the back of the truck to help haul the deer out.
Home - I hang my deer in the garage. It is unheated (at the moment). I have one of those cheap 4 x 2 pulley hoists you can get off of EBay for $10-$20. It lifts like 1200lbs. I recommend pulling the hide off as soon as you can not because of spoilage in cold temps but because when the deer freeze's it's a pain to remove the hide because it stiffens up. You'll need to use warm water if you want to rinse out the body cavity. Wear gloves too. Also if the meat freezes it's a pain to remove it AND your fingers will get painfully cold. You do not want your cold hand to slip off the wet knife while cutting....that can be bad. I've had it slip a couple of times with no major injuries. I put down a piece of cardboard under the deer as it drips. My garage floor will get slippery if water/blood freezes to it.
Clothes - I have insulated Predator camo. I wear a quality one-se underneath. Socks are heavy duty wool. Boots are Baffins. I can go a couple-three hours without boot/toe warmers, after that my toes will hurt unless I have warmers. I install warmers when suiting up. I keep my jacket and one-se unzipped while walking to the stand otherwise I will sweat some. Too much sweating is not good when it is in the teens. I wear a heavy pullover full face mask and a beenie on top of that. You loose something like 75% of your body heat thru your head. A note is in order at this point.....your POI maybe off if you have insulated gloves and a face mask on. You should practice with your gloves and face mask on to see what effect they may have on your shooting/POI. I keep spare hand warmers in my pack. Also my water bottle often freezes in my pack. Keep that in mind. If you're dragging a deer, drink water often to keep hydrated. You will dehydrate in cold weather, especially if breathing thru your mouth and sweating in deep snow. I had my eyelashes freeze the other day....not much I can do about that except be careful wiping your eyes so you don't scratch your eyeballs with a frozen glove or the ice crystals.
If snowing, keep an eye on your bow. The snow and ice will accumulate on any horizontal surface. I heard stories of arrows freezing to whisker biscuits....not good. My bottom cam freezes to my clothes if I rest it on my knee. It sounds like velcro coming off. The riser and limbs also freeze to clothing. If a deer is coming in you may want to pull the bow off of your clothes ahead of time. I use a bow hanger. When I see a deer coming in I'll pull it off and get ready knowing it will freeze to my clothes. It's a timing thing at this point. I use a light weight general purpose oil on the cam shafts/bearings. I keep the strings waxed too. The snow doesn't seem to stick to waxed strings.
Guns - All of my primary rifles are stainless, all-weather Ruger MKII's. I still clean them off and re-oil when I get back home. I use Butler Creek scope covers. Teachable moment here....when you bring the rifle up to your cheek for a shot, if you have a full face mask on and exhale during a critical moment, you might fog up your scope. Pull your face mask down or off before bringing the rifle up. Same for bino's. I keep some tissue in my jacket pocket to clean the lenses on my scope and bino's.
ML's - Another teachable moment I was aware of but got lazy on. Back in early December I had my new ML hang fire when I tried to shoot a doe. I was changing the powder daily but inside the house. You need to keep the ML out in the garage or truck. Do not bring it into or leave it in the house when it's cold and snowy. Clean it, keep it and load it at whatever the OAT is. I cut the fingers off of latex gloves and use them to pull over the muzzle to keep the snow out. Back to the hang fire. I was sitting in a ground blind out of the snow. I think the combo of the temp changes and the latex over the barrel caused condensation to form inside the barrel with no way to escape. I had a dandy doe in the cross hairs I was waiting 3 days on to get a clear shot at. When the shot opportunity came, I lined up, pulled the trigger and got a phffft and primer smoke......then a second and a half, two seconds later...BANG!! All I could do was shake my head....I knew immediately what happened and what caused it. BTW...it is a CVA Accura LR with the BH209 breech plug and BH209 powder.
With a rifle, ML or bow.....if you're wearing heavy gloves be careful not to cause an accidental discharge or release. For the rifle and ML....I'll take the glove off when I see a deer and keep it in my pocket with a hand warmer. It only takes a few seconds for your fingers to feel the cold in the air and the rifle. After a minute or two my fingers start to hurt and loose feeling. I keep a glove on my release hand and stick what I can inside my pocket to stay warm.
Treestands - I use sticks and hang-ons mostly. Wear a safety harness and use a safety line every time. The rungs will ice over and become slippery. When stepping from the stick to the stand be careful so you can catch yourself if your foot slips on the frozen stand. If/when it gets windy and snowy while in the stand, I'll use my foot to clear the excess snow off the stand. Your warm boots will melt the snow and it may refreeze to your stand making it slippery. The ice may also pop at an inopportune time. Here's a side view of one of my stands in the tree. With this stand, last year I used some line to pull a jack pine over so it blocks out my lower body. When the snow is on the limbs, it provides great cover and it is hard for the deer to pick me up from the ground. You can see it in some of my vids in the trail cam forum.
If you shoot a deer in the late afternoon, keep in mind the temps will drop as the sun lays down or darkness approaches. Cleaning a deer when the temps are in the teens or single digits flat out sucks. If the wind is blowing it's that much worse with the windchill on wet hands. The blood freezes to your skin or gloves. I normally gut my deer close to the truck and away from the stand area. Once done, I'll use the snow to rinse of my hands. While cleaning, your numb hand/fingers are prone to slip on the frozen knife too....be careful with that so you don't open up your fingers or hand. If you're leaking bad, leave the deer and get out of the woods. You can get it later. Your blood can freeze to your skin and compound things. Plus the blood carries warmth throughout your body. Any free-flowing blood loss should be taken very serious in the cold weather.
I hunt by myself mostly in remote areas. I tell mama what stand I'm hunting that day. She knows where all of them are at. So do some of my neighbors. I let her know when I'm safely out of the woods and driving home. If something happens to me and I don't respond to the text or call she knows something is amiss. Not many folks hunt the late archery season up here. That's good and bad. It's great as you have the woods all to your self. It's bad if you get your truck stuck (or hurt) and have to hike back to a main road.
Keep an eye on the weather. If the wind and/or blowing snow is coming, it maybe a good idea to retreat for the day. That often means a front is approaching. The combo of the windchill and getting turned around in the woods is something to be aware of. The woods look much different when there is alot of snow covering everything. The trees sag, trails are covered, your cat eyes are hard to pick out or covered in snow. If you get off your trail for whatever reason, it's very easy to get turned around....it's happened to me before. I use the sun as a guide. If it's cloudy with no sun, it's compass or GPS time. Also, I spend alot of hours in the stand or blind when I sit. Heavy/blowing snow will accumulate and make the walk out a little tougher. If there was alot of accumulation on the ground when you drove in, there will be that much more on the drive out.
In my normal day pack I keep:
3 flashlights Some line Water Emergency snacks Pull rope Folding hand saw Nippers Two knives (one's a leatherman) Cat eyes Doe in a can band aides TP Piss bottle Latex gloves GPS Two compasses Spare hand warmers Spare readers If a long sit extra food and water I always have my cell phone charged before I go too.
Also....speaking of food, you'll find you're body will withstand the cold longer if you have some food in your stomach before you go. If you go on an empty stomach you'll catch a chill quicker.
Again....these are some of things I do. Other folks might do things in a different way...whatever works and keeps you safe and warm. You're a little more vulnerable by yourself in the bitter cold and snow.....but it can be a blast if you're prepared, keep good situational awareness and don't be stupid. The hunting can be great too.....it's fun seeing the deer at a distance coming in and working a blood trail in the snow.
I do not hunt many tree stands, in late season, I am usually on the ground, because of the cover and terrain I hunt. I have a HBS to use, plus a similar clothing system that I like better..........
I do not hunt as remote as I once did, as I get older, but I do hunt smarter, and have to hunt in wolf country,,,,, when I get one down, most times I will go get my atv, get in there and get it out, whole, without gutting,,,,, no one is out anyway, and the forest service does not really care, as long as I am not trail riding,,,,
when I hang my deer, its in a garage, I have a propane heating system,,, and I have a half cut plastic bear bait barrel under the deer, which all the guts and stuff fall into,,,,, I skin right away, and usually have no issues....
I do not hunt extreme cold, but once it breaks, them deer are out mid day, and I have done very well...... right now conditions are perfect with 7 inches of light snow in the woods,,,, when this cold breaks, by next Friday, them deer will be up, but the racks are already dropping fast....
My partner had a nice 10 in last week, but the other day he got a pass, he came by with a half rack......
I also have natural ground blinds built, and I will have a fire going and it does not bother them deer at all, put some cedar on the flames, for a little nice scent in the air,,,,,
if you are not prepared to stay the night, than do not hunt late season, at this time of year you have to be prepared,,,,,,, I have snow shoes attached both to my snowmobile and atv,,,,,,,
late season can be such a special time, hard to explain to those who do not hunt it,,, also going south to hunt the farm area is always better, but it is not the same as the big woods,,,,,,,
one thing about cold weather, it will keep your scent down on the ground, low humidity is to your advantage, but everything you have better be quiet, NOISE, is the enemy,,,,,,,,,, so your stands should be dead quiet