Does a wet day mean canceling hunting plans? No way! While we humans contemplate changing our plans because we might get wet, the animals that we hunt have different worries. Any hunter has to choose the right attire, pack a kit and ensure that he/she has all the equipment needed. We leave a fully-equipped house and sit in a car to get to the hunting spot. Obviously life for a deer is a little different! Deer hunting becomes easier during rain for several reasons, so instead of assuming that rain will bring down your dreams-read on and find our whether deer move in the rain and wind, and maybe you will be deliberately planning the next trip during the rainy season.
Deer in the Rain and Wind:
After waiting for a whole year when you go deer hunting during prime season, a rainfall can crumble your dream of winning a trophy! Not only does the ground and camp get wet, but so do your dreams! Hey, wait! Instead of packing up to go home, wait and see what happens during the rain! You will start to believe that this was a blessing in disguise.
All year round, deer look for food and settle down in herds to rest. These days include snow, wind, rains, and hot summers when the sun is shining brighter.
Deer hunting may be a problem for you in rainy conditions, but animals are outdoor creatures, and they know how to pull through such climatic shifts.
If you read on about deer activity in rain, you will want to pick a wet day for your hunting adventures. It is always better to hunt deer in the rainy season, and there are many reasons.
While you may only struggle to find a clean and dry spot, these animals have to worry about getting food. Whitetail deer have thick coats and can adapt to harsh weather as well.
The fast metabolism allows deer to withstand cold climates, and the rainy season brings certain energy for them. The waterproof deer coat enables them to move about, unlike you, because they don’t care if they get wet or not! So does that mean the deer is active during the rain? The answer is yes.
Wet, drizzly, and dreary weather might put you down, but these animals are accustomed to these outdoor challenges. Whitetail deer are not disturbed by rain because they are used to harsh weather conditions all year round.
Deer movement during rain
Rain increases day time movement of deer, so hunters should benefit from this. Deer do not have homes where they can lie on the bed and watch the downpour from their window! They need to move around and look for food, or there is no meal for the day!
Deer movement during rain remains good, and the best thing is you might catch a lot of them up and about looking for food. Perhaps setting up a feeder and waiting for them to come when it rains is also a good idea.
However, whitetail deer might have improved movement during rain.
Deer have the metabolism to enable them to withstand cold temperature and rain, and their coat is also thick, so they don’t feel cold.
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Where can I find deer during rain?
The truth is that deer activity does not change during the rain. Humans have believed that since we have a problem with staying outdoors during rain, all deer herds will too!
Deer do not move in herds, but they do have settlements, and you will see them up and about, looking for food during rain just like any other day.
All animals have a sharp sixth sense that allows them to assess if a storm is coming. Under poor weather conditions, deer feed actively before the storm as they might not get a chance to move around during the storm.
However, the bedding areas of deer do not remain full during seasonal rains.
Hunting tactics changing during rain
Now we know that deer move around during rain and resume their daily life normally. This might allow you to spot deer even more frequently, but what about your chances to hit the target and bring down a wet deer?
During rain, hunters will have to change their tactics to improve the chances of shooting on target. Wind, rain, and the visibility factor change the game for even the most seasoned hunters.
For every strike, you will need to assess the wind direction, rain intensity, and of course, you will need a better bow sight too!
Compound bow hunters must keep a rangefinder, binoculars, arrow rest, and a keen eye to spot deer, take aim and then shoot for success.
What happens to deer during rain?
Deer become more vulnerable during rain. This is the simple answer to the question, and there are many reasons why! Firstly the pitter-patter from the rain will make deer less alert or suspicious towards any noise made at the hunters’ camps. The clicks, ticks, and light movements become undetectable by an intuitive animal-like whitetail deer.
Moreover, deer lose their sense of smell considerably. The presence of humans in the area might become undetectable as their sense of smell and hearing are compromised.
Just as the heavy downpour keeps you from spotting the animals, deer also have difficulty spotting you! On the contrary, light rain may only dampen the ground and dried leaves.
This dampening results in providing a silent ground for deer, and hunters might not be able to hear them move around too!
Rainy season comes with an advantage-disadvantage deal. It is a good thing for you if you can maximize the advantages like deer’s compromised sense of smell.
However, if you maximize the disadvantage of hearing their movements or the inability to see them, that can turn the story around!
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Why is the rainy season a good idea for hunting?
Animals have an amazing sixth sense when it comes to weather. Whitetail deer and many other animals can sense when a storm is approaching. As they predict poorer weather, they start eating more to keep themselves ready for days when they might not be able to find anything to eat.
One can expect to find deer herds close to their bedding during rains, but such rains would be harsher for you, and you might decide to head back home. Autumn rains and drizzles do not affect deer at all. So, let’s assume from here that the ‘rain’ we are discussing is not a heavy pour but a tolerable rainfall.
Deer are fast, quick to respond to sight or sound, and they leap off into the woods while you keep wondering what gave you away!
During the rainy season, sight and sound are both compromised. Yes, hunters may have to concentrate on their vision, but deer is relaxed as they hear the pitter-patter of rain more than the swooshing sound of the arrow leaving a crossbow!
Deer have an exceptional vision as they can see a full 314-degrees on both sides, making it difficult for hunters to find a blind spot. However, the real advantage of hunting in the rain is sound. It is a researched fact that whitetail deer can hear the slightest sound in a broad range.
However, the ability to hear better high-frequency but poor low-frequency makes deer remain on the move. Like turkey, deer tend to move around when they get confused by the constant noises around them.
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Few factors to consider:
More than the activity of deer, hunters will have to worry about their safety. For example, if you are setting up a tree stand, will it stay? Is there any chance of slipping? Here’s a list of factors to consider before you decide to go hunting on a rainy day.
• Tree stand safety: Hunters must prioritize their safety, and the first thing to check is whether the tree stand will remain in its place or not. If the trees are smooth and the rain has made the trunk wet, there may be a chance of loose grip. Check the tree stand many times before you climb up and remain conscious of it too!
• Hunting tactics: While rain may hamper deer’s vision; your vision may also not be at its best! Rain can reduce visibility, and therefore, you will need rangefinders and binoculars to spot the deer. Moreover, your arrow may move left or right as it leaves the bow due to wind and rainfall. You must calculate the distance, wind direction, and then shoot so that success becomes inevitable.
• Retrieval of the animal: Carrying a trophy is always a moment of pride, but it may get difficult when it rains. The mess that is caused must be anticipated so that you prepare for it beforehand.
Where to hunt?
Deer remain active during rains, but if the stormy season lingers on, you might be able to locate hotspots. These hotspots include the trails, bedding areas, and feeding areas where deer are found in herds! If you decide on your hunting trip, plan around noon so that you can catch deer when they are least active.
Set camp near river crossings, or fields where moose might wander about for food. The best places will be from the necessary ‘trips’ that deer will have to make during the rainy days. While you might not find deer going around without purpose. However, the period of exposure may be limited to stay ready and prepared at all times.
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Rainy season might seem like a put-off for hunting but that is only applicable to humans. All animals are used to the commotion and disturbance of water, and resume their daily routines the same way all year round. Deer can move during rains as they don’t stay in houses or undercover, but there are many things to consider while hunting deer.
You might be happy with your hunting trips once you try your luck during rains. Many hunters believe rain is a good time to hunt, and yes, it can be, only if you follow a few things correctly and make sure that you play the advantages of rain rather than the disadvantages. Deer remain active in rains as they have basic needs of finding food and little socialization. Find a perfect spot, keep a few hunting tricks in mind and shoot away!