I hunt elk in South West Montana and have hunted till the end of November the last two season. Wore the same pair of 5.11 nylon spandex pants the entire rifle season with a pair of OR gaiters once there was snow on the ground. I'll be doing the same this season except I'll be wearing eddie bauer guide pro pants since those 5.11 pants have been retired. Keep in mind this is mostly day hunting and my legs don't seem to get as cold as other parts of my body. But if I was worried about it I'd put on a pair of long johns underneath or pack them in my pack. Good luck
I'm not a fashion cloths guy so most won't like what I have to say but here goes. I hunt in a pair of 5.11 Taclite pro pants when its warm, my every day summer pants or a pair of 5.11 original pants when its cold my usual winter everyday pants. As the temp drops I put on a pair of long underwear and if theirs snow or rain I wear a pair of gaiters. If it is really cold I have a pair of Cabela's insulated pants with there breathable waterproof membrane in them.
My top layer consists of a tee shirt, Carhart short or long sleeve shirt depending on temp and a button up camo shirt. For a coat I have a polar fleece jacket and a Cabela's waterproof shell. I mix and match the shirts, polar fleece and shell to match the temps.
I just don't get the camo industry and people spending 100 of dollars on these camo clothes, were hunting not in a fashion show. Ya I know what do I know right? Well considering I spent 20 years working in the woods I know that I don't need $1000 worth of clothes on my body to hit the woods and stay comfortable no matter the weather plus when I tear up my pants or shirt in the brush I'm not out a bunch of cash.
keep on rocking your cotton of that's what you like. No one here stopping you. But, don't get on here and criticize the choice of others on what they choose to wear. When you start paying my bills, then you have a say in it.
I just see new people getting on here asking questions and guys are directing them to high dollar clothes like its something they just have to have to hunt when its not. I feel bad for the new guy that thinks he has to purchase all this to hunt and fall into the old wives tail that cotton sucks. I would say I have more time in the woods then about anyone else and never had a problem with cotton anything as long as precautions are taken like having a cheap set of rain gear in the pack. Heck I work around 100's of guys that go in the woods everyday no matter the weather and none of us fill the need to wear $100+ pants and shirts.
You can kill animals in anything, and I too have done more than my fair share of hunting in jeans, but you can pick up a cheap pair of wool pants for the same price as a pair of jeans. Wool is better than cotton anyday.
I gather the original poster is coming to our state from some where else. This is probably a once in a lifetime hunt or close to it. Why would anyone want to go on a hunt like that and be uncomfortable in cotton? If you hunt around you can find quality clothing for affordable prices. Huntoftheday.com, camofire, Kuiu's discounted page, and the classifieds here. Of course if you waltz into your local store and buy a pair of Sitka pants for retail it will be expensive. You can also run backpacking clothes in Earth tones. Don't worry about the camo as long as it's comfortable. Personally I sweat so much even in the cold I can't wear anything but Merino Wool. Anything else I'll get chilled so bad.