Does a wet day mean canceling hunting plans? No way! While humans contemplate our plans because we might get wet, the animals we hunt have different worries.
Any hunter has to choose the proper attire, pack a kit, and ensure all the necessary equipment. 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 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 humans in challenging weather conditions, but animals are outdoor creatures and know how to pull through such climatic shifts.
If you read on about deer activity in the 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 for that.
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 freezing climates, and the rainy season brings specific 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 if you are asking if the deer remains active during rains, 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 incredible 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 prepare themselves for days when they might not 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’ that we are discussing is not a heavy pour but a tolerable rainfall.
It is common knowledge that 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 will also be 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.
This works in favor of deer hunters as the target remains on their feet for a more extended period, out in the open, they feel they can look around.
Another reason for hunting in the rain can be that deer lose their strongest defense against predators: smell! Rain can help wash away human scent, making it easier for hunters to open up, move a bit and aim better. Deer can smell intruders from a decent distance but not on a rainy day.
When the defenses are down, deer hunting can yield better results for all of you, and who knows, you might even want to go hunting only on rainy days from then onwards!
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. It would be best to calculate the distance, wind direction and then shoot to make success inevitable.
• Retrieval of the animal: Carrying a trophy is always a moment of pride, but it may get tricky 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, and feeding areas where you can found deer 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.
At the same time, 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.
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!