South Texas Hunt Report: Clothing
By Chuck Hawks
In June of 2006 Guns and Shooting Online staffers participated in a hunt on the Double C Ranch in South Texas. The daytime high temperatures were just under 100 degrees F, and fell to a low of 73 degrees at night. To my mind, that constitutes warm weather hunting!
Where I live (in the Pacific Northwest), the intent of good quality hunting clothing is to keep you warm and dry, but in South Texas the problem is quite different and more akin to hunting in parts of Africa. The goal here is protection from the heat of the sun.
The Double C ranch guides suggested that we wear camo clothing, since red or blaze orange colors are not required. Whatever is worn should be lightweight, loose fitting, and porous. Long sleeves are desirable.
We found that the Remington brand "Rem-Lite" #17142 long sleeve camo hunting shirt made an ideal upper garment during our South Texas ranch hunt. This shirt is manufactured for Remington by the Brinkman Company and features a porous synthetic fabric with back and underarm mesh vents. (See the complete review on the Clothing and Outdoor Wear Page.) There are two large front pockets, and they are generous enough to accommodate a pint bottle of water, compact camera, laser rangefinder, or all manner of other fairly sizeable items.
For pants, lightweight khakis worked well. Mine were Timber Creek brand by Wrangler. These are lighter, looser, and cooler than jeans. Rem-Lite #17144 6-pocket camo pants would work just as well and possibly better, but are much more expensive.
You are on your own as regards underwear, but I can recommend Cabela's Ultimax socks. These wick away sweat and keep feet comfortable in a wide range of conditions. (There is a review of Ultimax socks on the Clothing and Outdoor Wear Page.)
Over my socks I wore my old Browning Featherlight lace-up hunting boots. These long discontinued leather boots are lined (not insulated), and they are easy on my feet. Another good choice would be ankle height leather "desert boots" of reputable make.
A lightweight, ventilated hat and sunglasses are reasonable accessories. The hat should have a wide enough brim to protect your face, neck, and ears. I wore a lightweight crusher with mesh crown vents, actually a fishing hat, that I bought from Cabela's. The style is unimportant, only adequate protection from the sun matters. Of course, you must be able to shoot a rifle while wearing whatever hat you choose.
I carried my small sundries in a Wilson leather fanny pack. Leather is quieter than Cordura in the woods. On the fanny pack belt I hung a spare cartridge holder with 5 cartridges, hunting knife, and compact binoculars.
The high temperatures during the summer in South Texas render a jacket or outer garment unnecessary, day or night, so the items above will pretty much cover your needs as well as your body. But be sure to bring some OFF or other insect repellant and some high number sun block lotion. You're going to need them!
Copyright 2006 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.