Hunting on a rainy day? Challenge accepted!
Many hunters see rainy days as a total waste of time and energy. It probably is in many cases, but definitely not in deer hunting!
During rain deer become very active, for one reason or another. If it’s pouring, they will most likely look for a place to hunker down and that will be that. However, if the rain is light, deer will tend to move around seeking for food and places to refuge. not only that, they will also move with less hunter pressure, because the fact is that during rainy days there are considerably less hunters on the loose!
All of these aspects lead into thinking that deer plus rainy weather equals the perfect target. That is, in most respects, a true statement. However, there are some very important details to take into account before venturing into a wild and wet deer chase.
Rule number one: personal safety! Nobody wants a cold, feverish hunter around, so best pack up your waterproof gear and a consistent lunch – you might be out there the entire day! Deer movement on rainy weather is rather unpredictable, it doesn’t keep up to an eat-play-sleep type of schedule, so it is better to be out there from morning to evening. This means that you need very good equipment to keep yourself warm and dry and enough supplies to last for more than 4-5 hours.
In terms of gear, rubber boots are highly recommended. They keep your feet dry when walking through mud and puddles and are an incredible help in scent control. Rain has a powerful effect upon our smell, pushing dust particles down to the ground and making all breathers more scent-aware. This helps the hunter to orientate, but it’s of much better help to the deer for them to hide. Be careful on what you touch and what traces you leave behind, so as to not scare off the deer.
The wet and mushy leaves will help you move around with considerable less noise, which should allow a close, clean shot. You don’t want to spend your time tracking down the deer, as the rain washes away the blood trail. It is much better to get as close as you can and take a high probability shot. It saves all the later trouble. However, if you don’t get this chance and take a smart shot instead, make sure the right amount of time passes before you start following the blood trail, or you might risk bumping the deer. Try putting a visual mark on the place you last saw it, take your time, and then start tracking in concentric circles, starting from that visual point.
Bad weather is often seen as a mood killer, but it turns out that in many cases weather conditions such as rain can help a lot. The opportunity to catch an exposed deer at a close distance should be enough argument for you to leave bed and take out your hunting rifle whenever rain is forecasted.
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