Warm weather is certainly beginning to creep upon us, but winter's last grasp can be relatively stubborn. If you've ever tried to hit the outdoor range or decide to take a weekend and hunt in winter conditions, you have noticed a few differences. Weather does affect many things, including shooting. So here are some quick winter weather shooting tips to keep you prepared in case old man winter sneaks up on you.For Your Guns
Keep them dry. If you've ever tried to hunt through thick spruce forests after wet snow, you know everything you own not just your gun, will be wet. If you start to see water droplets on your gun, you will likely start seeing those turn to ice on the exterior in colder temps. If the exterior is freezing, internals are probably freezing too.
If you're using your gun in the cold, we recommend leaving it out in the cold. If you bring your gun into your warm tent or lodge from the winter temps, you'll allow condensation to settle in. This encourages rust and greatly increases the risk of rendering your gun inoperable. So do your best to keep your gun dry and its temperature steady if it's been exposed to freezing temps.For Your Hands
Might seem like a no-brainer, but if you weren't sure, when your hands begin to get cold, you lose dexterity and fine motor skills. Buy a box of hand warmers and keep them in your mittens, or make sure you use a fantastic set of insulating tactical gloves.Avoid Smoking, Drinking, or Too Much Caffeine
While we're not going to tell you to entirely give up on your morning cup of coffee, we are going to recommend you be aware of what your vices can do to your body. Smoking, drinking, and caffeine are all capillary restrictors, which means less blood circulation to the finger and toes. That means hands and feet get colder, faster.Layer
To prevent body heat loss, dress in layers. A base layer, a mid-layer, and an outer layer. Your base layer should be of a material that wicks away moisture, the second is for insulation, and the third outer layer should be what protects all layers from elements such as wind, rain, and snow.
These basic tips can mean the difference between hitting the target every time or encountering frustrating misfires or worse. Stay safe out there, no matter how cold with our winter weather shooting tips.