October 30, 2013
This is the eighth and final in a series of eight articles on Bassmaster Elite Series angler Brent Chapman’s best bow hunting tips
Click here for Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII
It doesn’t matter what type of hunting or fishing you take part in, there are elemental rules that will help make you more successful by the end of the day.
You can scout for weeks or months, make all the right moves and then when things start happening, if you aren’t prepared it doesn’t work out the way you planned.
Brent Chapman pays attention to details. He spends February to August on the lakes and rivers of the country, then the rest of the time in a deer stand. One of the things he sees hunters and fishermen overlook consistently is how they dress.
Click the image to see photos of Brent’s Bass to Bucks
“You have to be dressed properly,’’ Chapman said. “Just like fishing at Grand Lake during the Bassmaster Classic this year. It snowed and rained and sleeted and it was in the 20s.
“I was never that cold out there fishing because I know how to dress for it. It’s the same with deer hunting. The guy that’s out there comfortably dressed and he’s not freezing cold, he’s more apt to stay in the stand. His toes aren’t freezing cold or his hands aren’t cold. So being dressed properly is a huge deal.
“One of my best friends is the throw-away hand-warmers. I go through a ridiculous amount of those every year. I buy then by the case. More of those are better than not enough. I go through them and they make the little toe warmers and all of that.
“I've kind of found that I don’t care what pair of boots it is, how it’s made, I don’t care if they tell you they’ll keep you warm until it’s 100 below. I have yet to find a pair that will keep your feet warm without some help. It’s so hard for me to stay warm out there, so hand warmers and I are best friends.
“If you are dressed properly, there isn’t a bad time to be in the woods. If you have a time to be in the woods, it may not be the best optimal conditions, but if you have an opportunity to be there you’ve got to be there.
Everybody thinks the best time to fish is first thing in the morning and first time late in the evening. To me some of the best times of the day to catch big fish is between 11 and 1.
“It floors me the more time I spend in the woods, especially in those weird times when you think they should be bedded down, or the rules say they should be bedded down, or on days when it’s windy.
“I remember a time if it blew over 15 miles an hour I didn’t go hunting. I've learned that is so not the truth. Those deer still have to live out there and they have to survive. There are days I get out there and don’t have high expectations because maybe the conditions aren’t right, it’s too hot or too windy or raining. But those animals are still out there and yeah, maybe your odds aren’t as good as if it’s the optimal conditions, but some of the crummiest of days have turned out to be some of my best times. Same thing in fishing.
“Along with being comfortable is eating and drinking properly. Staying on the stand and being out there is crucial. I always take a little bit of food and water with me. I keep some of that in my pack, just little, dried, crusty boring granola bars.
“I'm an advocate about eating breakfast in the mornings, a good breakfast. If I come in in the middle of the day I try to eat good and then even at night because if you’re out there and you get hungry or cold, then you’re more apt to get off the stand.
“You can’t catch a fish if your lure isn’t in the water. You can’t kill a deer if you aren’t on the stand. Not being there because you are cold or hungry are variables you can control.”
Go to 2013 Deer Camp