Best Clothes for Deer Hunting in Illinois

DLIP

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
30
Location
Kansas
To me it doesn’t really matter which lightweight gear you get...

This is about to get really long winded but I don’t get a lot of time to hunt so short of pouring rain, I will hunt no matter how cold or windy it is. In that, I’ve had to try a lot of different methods to find what would keep me comfortable and this is it...

I stand do 10+ all day sits per year and will generally hunt down to single digits in KS/MO.

The spot I hunt the most, I have a 1.1-1.5 mile walk through the flint hills. Regardless of temp I wear jeans and a t-shirt/cotton hoodie during my walk in and I pack in my base layers and outerwear/harness in my backpack(MR Metcalf). I wear uninsulatsd but waterproof hiking boots with a lightweight wool sock.

When I get to about 100 yards from my stand, I strip down and put on all dry clothes then approach my stand very slowly.

For mid/late season I wear fleece(mid to heavy weight) pants and shirt for my base layer with moisture wicking athletic boxers. Next layer is a looser fitting fleece cargo pant and Cabela’s Wooltimate Vest.

That mid layer with a balaclava and hand muffs will get me down to the upper 30’s. If it’s going to stay in the 30’s or below or if the wind is howling I have some old school Cabela’s Outfitter Berber Fleece with windshear bibs and parka that I will wear. That will get me all the way down to zero degrees.

No matter how cold it gets, I still
Wear my uninsulated hiking boot but I will wear a heavier wool sock. When it stays below 40 I break out my Icebreaker Boot Blankets and drop some body warmers in. I also use hot hands body warmers in my hand muffs and will put one on the back of my neck inside my balaclava.

My way might not look as cool as wearing Sitka gear or whatever else is popular now, but I can promise you that when it comes to sitting all day waiting on a mature buck, I couldn’t be any more comfortable.
 

Trey Arentz

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
40
Merino baselayers ( first lite, black orvis, ect.) to start. Then something really warm like the First Lite Sanctuary for a warm over layer. Much else can be filled in with either technical clothing or some fill in cheap stuff. I run a lot of technical gear but for after work hunts I’ll throw on some merino under my Walmart work pants and throw on a sweatshirt. If it gets colder that’s when the warm layers come in.
 

Lxhuntinpa

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2018
Messages
70
Location
Pennsylvania
I have found that burrs are EVERYWHERE in IL. I usually wear my Cabelas Berber jacket and pants when I am out there for Gun season or Early Nov. Archery. I usually pack them in or spend my entire off season picking them out. Weather can range from 90's to -20's with the windchill during that time. Get some hand warmers to put inside your boots. A metal stand will have your toes cold in no time.
 

rootacres

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
97
Location
Illinois
What do you all recommend for a clothing system or systems for Bow-hunting Deer in Illinois from October thru middle of January?
Sitkas Whitetail system is great. I have hunted in the midwest for whitetails since I've been old enough too. Ive spent thousands on multiple different systems before coming full circle and just investing in sitka. Its not hype or gimmicky, you will be able to sit longer and be more comfortable in inclement weather. Especially when the wind picks up. Make sure whatever you choose as a shell has a gore wind stopper membrane.
 

bowtech840

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2018
Messages
116
Heater body suit and inexpensive layering


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Droppndrakes

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2017
Messages
24
Location
missouri
Sitka stratus bibs and jacket. Then throw in some base layers and the fanatic vest or jacket for the cold mornings. For me in central Missouri the stratus bibs are enough for the legs.
 

rth1229

Newbie
Joined
Feb 18, 2018
Messages
2
Location
The great state of Tennessee
I hunted Adams/pike counties two years ago in mid October. Wore my lighter Sitka gear just layer up in the morning if it’s chilly, we had a warm spell while i was there woulda have been better off hunting in a T-shirt in the afternoons
 

RiverRun

Newbie
Joined
May 9, 2018
Messages
6
Location
Georgia
As Lamont said, the Woodbury has been a lifesaver for me with proper layering. Pant choice has always been the issue for me.
 

magstar67

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
14
I bought Sitka Fanatic setup a couple years ago and it’s great if you have the budget but good baselayers are key and something that’s blocks the wind on top of it’s cold.

I run and gun most of the time on public land so no ATVs, if that’s your scenario just walk in with light clothes on and put your heavy stuff on after you get setup and cool down. The biggest thing that will make you cold is sweating up your next to skin layer them sitting for hours in the cold. Last year I started wearing two base layers and once I got setup I take them off and put the dry layer next to skin them out my heavy outer layer on after I cool down.

If it’s really cold I wear a Heater Body Suit, they are awesome but haven’t used it as much since I bought the Fanatic stuff.
 

Chowell

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
14
I never bought into high dollar hunting clothes. Then last year I started with first lite base layers fuse and furnace then started buying more and more of their stuff. It’s honestly mind boggling how warm I can be and still move from half amount of layers as I use to.
 

Boarmaster

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
216
Location
Fort Myers , FL
Like everyone has mentioned. IMO Most of us eastern hunters probably started in Army surplus etc with hoodies and Carhart jackets. If you’re sitting all day in a stand 20ft high on a ridge in winter though you’ll appreciate good layering and wind blocking. I’d not advise any newcomer to buy premium camo from the beginning as they may not like it enough or have enough sits to really need its benefit. For archery it’s crazy how much easier it is to draw your bow etc in well designed camo, for rifle doesn’t matter much. if you love it or are experienced at hunting and looking at doing some eastern white tail (which is what I presupposing) you’ll end up with it eventually. I can’t say though I foresee any use for my Fanatic stuff for elk. It’s not very packable and way to warm for active hunting.
Also I’d second hand warmers are clutch ! Almost as much as a thermacell in early archery season lol
Your right about that old surplus stuff. My gang all used it. Fun to look back at them old pics. At 25 we thought nothing of it and was darn glad to have it. At 57 I wouldn't get out of the truck if I had to wear that crap. LOL.
 

Boarmaster

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
216
Location
Fort Myers , FL
To me it doesn’t really matter which lightweight gear you get...

This is about to get really long winded but I don’t get a lot of time to hunt so short of pouring rain, I will hunt no matter how cold or windy it is. In that, I’ve had to try a lot of different methods to find what would keep me comfortable and this is it...

I stand do 10+ all day sits per year and will generally hunt down to single digits in KS/MO.

The spot I hunt the most, I have a 1.1-1.5 mile walk through the flint hills. Regardless of temp I wear jeans and a t-shirt/cotton hoodie during my walk in and I pack in my base layers and outerwear/harness in my backpack(MR Metcalf). I wear uninsulatsd but waterproof hiking boots with a lightweight wool sock.

When I get to about 100 yards from my stand, I strip down and put on all dry clothes then approach my stand very slowly.

For mid/late season I wear fleece(mid to heavy weight) pants and shirt for my base layer with moisture wicking athletic boxers. Next layer is a looser fitting fleece cargo pant and Cabela’s Wooltimate Vest.

That mid layer with a balaclava and hand muffs will get me down to the upper 30’s. If it’s going to stay in the 30’s or below or if the wind is howling I have some old school Cabela’s Outfitter Berber Fleece with windshear bibs and parka that I will wear. That will get me all the way down to zero degrees.

No matter how cold it gets, I still
Wear my uninsulated hiking boot but I will wear a heavier wool sock. When it stays below 40 I break out my Icebreaker Boot Blankets and drop some body warmers in. I also use hot hands body warmers in my hand muffs and will put one on the back of my neck inside my balaclava.

My way might not look as cool as wearing Sitka gear or whatever else is popular now, but I can promise you that when it comes to sitting all day waiting on a mature buck, I couldn’t be any more comfortable.
That hiking in and getting sweated up then sitting still all day is what kicks a lot of hunters butt. I have a similar hunt in Southern Ohio where its a very steep walk up and in then you sit in the wind and cold a day. You move you lose. Im dang near down to my long handles walking in. I have my base and mid layer on the bottoms and just the base on top. When
I get to my spot I dry off a bit then put on my layers. They all work to wick moisture away from my skin. That windstopper has been a God send for me. I recently switched to merino from polypropylene. They both work for me.
 

Dooger

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
30
Agree. No Sitka for the Midwest. I’m in the Upper Great Lakes region where it’s cold and damp. I layer under cheap cotton camo and have a packable rain jacket/pants that I use to stay dry or keep the wind off when needed.

IMO, a lot of the lighter weight Sitka gear to too noisy anyways...for the Midwest. I do use FL merino long underwear.
 

Dooger

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
30
Should have mentioned I pack in Cabela’s Berber fleece pants and jacket with Windpro when it’s really brutal.
 
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