If you’re not sure if you should hunt ducks in the rain, the short answer is that you definitely shouldn’t let the rain stop you!
You just need to ensure that you’re well prepared for it so that you increase your chances of hunting success.
While you might assume that when the weather is clear and sunny, that’s your time to bag more ducks, this is actually a misconception. It can make your hunting more difficult.
When you’re dealing with clear, wind-free, and warm weather, the ducks fly around more and are more active. Sunlight also reflects off you and your gear, making you more detectable.
How Does Duck Hunting In Rain Differ?
Although duck hunting in the rain can prove successful, it does come with some pros and cons, of which you should be aware. Let’s check them out.
- Many hunters stop hunting when it rains and return when the weather improves. This means less competition for you.
- It’s easy to tweak your clothing a bit (we’ll explore the hunting gear you’ll need in the rain later on).
- Rainy weather decreases your visibility. This makes you less detectable by ducks.
- The ducks might seek refuge. However, the rain might not prevent them from being out, so you’ll get a variety of situations in which to hunt them.
- Ducks can fly in the rain but they tend to fly lower. This works to your advantage.
- Really bad weather conditions, such as lightning and thunder, aren’t safe to hunt in and will force you to end your hunt.
- You will have to change your hunting setup. For example, you will have to set up your blind so that the rain is behind you.
- Even when you’ve got the right gear, you might feel miserable, cold, and uncomfortable.
- If the rain is heavy, you might not even see many ducks. This means that the decoy spread you patiently and carefully set up won’t be used.
Do I Need Different Equipment?
When hunting ducks in the rain, you’ll have to ensure you bring different clothing and equipment to suit the weather.
Here are some tips to bear in mind so that you make the day a success.
Wear Protective Clothing
You should wear these items of clothing to keep you warm and dry when duck hunting in the rain:
- Rain jacket. This will keep you warm and dry, look for one that’s waterproof. It should also be camouflaged so that you won’t be detected. Sitka Men’s Hudson Waterproof Insulated Hunting Jacket is made with merino wool and nylon and has a hood that rotates to prevent impaired visibility.
- Boots. There’s nothing worse than cold feet from walking around on the wet or cold ground, so invest in waterproof hunting boots. This is especially important if you have to enter the water to grab ducks. TIDEWE Rubber Hunting Boots contain cold-resistant insulation and cinch buckles to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.
- Down vest. This vest will insulate your body while ensuring you can move around without feeling restricted. Sitka Men’s Fahrenheit Windproof Insulated Hunting Vest has a Windstopper membrane that gives you warmth without restricting your range of motion.
- Waders. These should be insulated but breathable so that they protect you against the harsh weather while still being comfortable to wear. The Gonex Neoprene Chest Waders come with insulated boots and contain three layers of fabric, which include a waterproof yet breathable membrane layer. They also have seams that are stitched, glued, and taped for greater durability.
Using The Right Equipment
The weather will impact how you use your hunting equipment, so you need to ensure you ensure the following.
Invest in a blind that has a waterproof base as this will prevent moisture from entering it. If you don’t want to have to purchase a separate blind, you could consider setting up a permanent blind instead, which will protect you from the harsh elements.
If the weather is going to be windy, your regular duck decoys may get swept away, causing you much frustration. Therefore, invest in field stakes to give them more stability.
Stay Light On Your Feet
When there’s harsh weather, this will throw off the ducks’ usual movements. The ducks might not be in their regular places, so you should always take the time to scout them and see where they go when the weather’s bad. You will have to be light on your feet to explore their new locations.
Decoys Placed Differently
You can still use decoys when hunting ducks in the rain, but you need to put them in different spots. If the wind’s blowing from east to west—the ducks are likely to sit on the water on the east side because the upwind side will be less windy.
It’s a good idea to focus on placing decoys in smaller bodies of water, such as ponds, as ducks will go there to gain cover from the harsh weather.
The benefit of using decoys in the rain is that the ducks are likely to land on your spread faster, simply because they will be searching for safe areas. The rain could also cause them to not be as fussy about where they land.
Bring Your Own Binoculars
If the rainy weather has caused fog, you’ll need to ensure you have a pair of binoculars so that you can increase your visibility when scouting the hunting area.
Download A Duck Hunting App
To keep abreast of weather conditions, you should always ensure you have an app on your device. Duckr gives you a 10-day forecast, featuring wind, rain, and snow cover conditions.
Here are the answers to two frequently asked questions regarding hunting ducks in rain.
What are anchor stakes and do you need them?
Anchor stakes help you to secure your hunting blind, giving it greater stability in harsh weather. If it’s rainy and windy, they are worth using.
Where do ducks go during a storm?
Ducks that tend to sleep near water will try to find a sheltered area during a storm, but some will stay in the open water. Waders like to head to vegetation that will protect them from the harsh weather.
If you planned to go hunting this weekend but the weather forecast says rain is on its way, you might not have to change your plans and take a raincheck.
As long as you have the correct clothing and hunting equipment, you’ll be able to enjoy a hunting trip in the same way you do when it’s sunny.