Are Deer Active in the Rain?

Does a wet day mean canceling hunting plans? No way! 

While we humans contemplate 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, but deer herds have no such ease!

Deer in the Rain:

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.

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. 

Also Read: How to cape a deer for taxidermy

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. 

Also Read: Gifts for Deer Hunters


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. 

You might be happy with your hunting trips once you try your luck during rains. 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! 

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