Every deerstalker has a faint idea of the deer’s movement patterns during the rain, which sometimes decides to pour unexpectedly.
However, most hunters are still highly unfamiliar and uninformed about the exact deer behavior patterns during rain, winds, and storms. It is safe to say that bucks do not seem to like or dislike winds or showers on the surface level.
But what about the little nuances and changes when heavy rain is involved in the picture?
Thus, with the help of our professional experience, tips, and behavior study patterns, we would like to help all the hunters bag the most prominent game, even during bad weather.
Do Deer Enjoy The Rain?
Hunters worldwide have cited a moderately increased activity of deer in the rain which has led people to believe that deer like the rain.
However, the exact behavior pattern of deer depends on two factors: the severity of the rain and the location where the herd is situated.
On the contrary, many hunters have noticed that heavy rain usually alters the deer’s sense of smell while the noise in the ambiance can obscure the signs of predators and other threats.
Thus, to keep themselves safe and increase their field of vision, deer situate themselves on relatively open ground to watch the surroundings and the predators.
Therefore, it is safe to assume that while few deer enjoy soaking in light rain, most of them hide or rely on open ground to get a better vantage point for detecting predatory activities.
Where Usually Do Deer Hide During Rain?
Any deer’s hideout depends on the intensity of the rain in the surrounding areas. However, in most cases, when faced with an intense and heavy downpour, deer seek shelter under forest canopies.
Their most preferred spots are overgrowth, trees, and bush that form a protective barrier against the natural elements. On the other hand, bigger bucks will always have their backs against any structure or tree, enabling greater security.
It also provides them with a good vantage point for predators. If you are eyeing a big buck, we highly recommend searching open grounds, trees, overgrowth, and bushes.
What Does A Deer Herd Do When It’s Raining?
Most bucks will likely care less about hiding themselves from the predators during light rain or mild weather, and they usually soak in the shower and graze on open grounds.
There is little to no change in their movement during light rains; however, these deer prefer to hide as quickly as possible for torrential downpours.
You shall notice a little chaos and increased activity right before a heavy rainfall as the herd tries to find a decent spot for their cover.
This time can be an excellent golden opportunity for hunters because of the deer’s overwhelmed senses and less attentiveness.
Do Deer Prefer To Come Out In The Rain?
The deer come out in the open fields for self-protection during light rains and mild weather. Since deer have an oily coat, it helps them stay safe during calm weather conditions.
But as their fur isn’t dense, it doesn’t give much thermoregulation protection meaning they often feel cold in heavy rain or colder climates. Thus, they tend to hide to regulate their body temperature and be safe from predators.
Otherwise, they prefer to come out during drizzles and minimal wind.
Do Deer Prefer To Come Out When It’s Raining At Night?
Most deer prefer to stay in their hideouts to keep themselves safe. If the rain is on a lighter side, you will notice almost no altered behavior from their side as they will be busy finding a shelter at night as usual.
We recommend that most hunters follow up on the weather pattern to understand the deer’s potential movements.
For instance, if it had rained the whole day heavily, the deer might not have left their hideout during the day, so there is a high chance that they shall come out at night to forage irrespective of moderate/high rain winds or snow.
Also Read: Where Do Deer Sleep?
Do Deer Bed Down When It Rains?
Yes, you will mostly find deer bedding down irrespective of the weather. However, the timing and location are highly dictated by the rain pattern. Rainy weather always keeps a buck or deer to their bed, making them easy prey for hunters during nighttime.
As the deer can sense the storms and heavy rain, they spend a lot of their energy foraging for food in the daytime, making them vulnerable and tired at night.
In addition, hunters might even find them bed down early at night due to the shorter daylight hours during rainy days.
Some hunters do risk hunting a deer when they are bedding. The whole situation might feel quite exhilarating but ensure that it isn’t dangerous and you have a high percentage of a clean shot.
Do Deer Move When It Rains?
Yes, hunters can usually spot a herd of deer roaming in the forest or hunting lands, even in wet weather conditions. As deer need to eat and socialize, especially during the rut season, they are often seen during the day.
That said, the rain’s intensity mainly determines its movement. These animals can move quickly without fear during light rain as their senses can still detect any potential threat.
The light rain enhances the grass’ color, and the rainwater makes their food more delicious. However, during moderate rainfall, the deer’s reflexes gradually dwindle, so they prefer hiding in a safe spot and sometimes enjoy bedding down early to keep themselves safe from predators.
Soon after the rain dies, you will quickly notice them on the hunt to forage the food. If you want to catch these deer while moving, consider approaching their habit during light showers or before a heavy storm. These are the times when they are seen as the most active.
Where Do Deer Go When In Storms?
Like many species in the kingdom Animalia, even deer are afraid of the storms. However, no deer or herd has a specific place where they travel and hide to keep themselves safe. Instead, they are always on the lookout for different hideouts.
Hunters must note that deer can effectively sense oncoming storms, making these animals more active in the hours leading up to the storm. As soon as they notice a storm approaching, these deer go on a hunt to forage for food before they bed down.
The time frame between the bedding and during the foraging is the best time to hunt deer. Soon as the storms approach, these deer often settle in deep wooded or densely covered areas to gain maximum security.
They usually stay far from water bodies and move towards forests, bushes, and overgrown fields.
What Happens After The Storms?
Hunters willing to bear the storm have a high chance of catching a big game after the storm. All veteran hunters agree that after storms is a perfectly reasonable time to hunt bucks.
The main reason behind their activity after a storm is their hunger. Most deer follow the ritual of grazing right before a heavy shower and then bedding till it blows over.
Therefore, soon as the storm dies down, the deer are ready to go on a food search nearby for their next meal. If all novice hunters wish to bag a big buck on their hunting expedition, we suggest waiting till the storm blows over.
Is Deer Hunting In The Rain Productive?
The mere thought of hunting in rough climatic conditions with extreme cold, windy atmosphere, and continuous rain may not be the most appealing prospectus.
But, with a bit of dedication, you can instantly increase your chance of bringing home a deer compared to hunting in average weather conditions. That said, hunters must note that not every rainfall hunting expedition is bound to be 100% successful.
The success of a hunting trip largely depends on the type of climate, rain severity, topography, deer species, and your knowledge.
Light rain usually gives a moderate success rate as deer graze in the open fields. As rain muffles their sounds of the movements, deer feel more confident moving around such areas, soaking up the shower and moist climate.
On the other hand, a slightly heavy rain pour often means deer bedding time. Deer during that time usually decrease their movements and prefer to bed till the weather clears out.
However, if you are inclined to wait out the storm, soon you will notice famished herds of deer coming out of their hiding spots looking for food. That can be an excellent time to hunt without them following for a considerably long time.
Thus, we are highly optimistic that hunting in the rain can be productive given the right circumstances and a hunter’s will to track these deer for hours on end.
Can You Bow Hunt Deer In The Rain?
Yes, many professional hunters vouch that bow hunting in the rain can be highly worthwhile. Hunters will have a considerably better chance of hitting the deer in the rain because of the ambient noise.
In addition, the rain covers up the sound of the hunter’s movements and bow’s shoot, which encourages the deer to put their guard down.
Light rainfall is considered the best time to hunt using a bow as deer are constantly grazing on open grounds instead of being in some hidden or obscured area.
However, hunters need to be extremely precise with their aim as the biggest issue with a missed hit is the washing of the blood trail.
As rainfall washes away the injured animal’s blood trail, hunters have a hard time tracking that deer. Thus, we suggest archers aim extremely precisely and try to hit the aim on the first try.
Hunting In The Rain (Using Bows Or Rifles) – Yes Or No?
You must have already understood that hunting in the rain, irrespective of your hunting style, can be exceptionally beneficial, especially after storms and during drizzles.
However, one other advantage to hunting in the rain is the less competition. Since most hunters decide to pack up and go home, hunters who stay during the shower have the whole hunting ground all by themselves.
If you live in a location with a big rush of hunters, hunting in the rain might be an excellent time. Moreover, animals will surely be less wary and put their guards down in front of fewer hunters.
One other factor to consider while hunting in the rain is the deer’s compromised sense of smell. Rain dissipates the scent molecules of the hunters, which makes it challenging for the deer to notice your presence.
Lastly, the natural rain sounds often hide the noise made by hunters from stepping on the leaves or sticks. These positives make rain an excellent cover for hunters to check trail cams and set up their position without spooking any potential target.
Calling Deer In Rain
Hunters need to be wary that they need to put in the effort during the rain. They sometimes have to rely on calling to lure these deer into the hunter’s shooting range.
Hunting calls for deer in the rain shower usually require the same strategies as one needs in dry conditions. But be highly cognizant that the sound would not travel as efficiently and crisply in the wet conditions as it will on the dry and sunny days.
The deer and the hunter usually lose their hearing edge on such rainy days. So using your scope and binoculars to keep an eye on the nearby movements come in handy.
Lastly, grunt calls will always get you a response from curious bucks, primarily when used during the right time of the year.
Strategies For Hunting In Rain
- Consider setting up the tree stand near any easy food source when the rain/storm clears out. Pay attention to the weather forecast to help you plan the camp after the rain.
- If you are hunting during the rut, the chances of a buck coming out of its hiding spot to refresh the scrapes are very high. Keep an eye on the herd and follow their tracks after the rain tapers down.
- Opt for rain-proof hunting clothes and Gore-Tex hunting gear to make the hunting during rain easy and manageable. Clothes that allow the water to seep inside will risk the hunter’s health and body temperature and, in some cases, can give rise to hyperthermia.
- Pay utmost attention to your feet. Ensure that your hunting gear involves waterproof boots and an extra pair of socks.
- Keeping your hunting gear in its prime is equally essential, as prolonged exposure to water can cause the steel body to rust and the wood stock to swell. Consider investing in waterproof scopes and rub your instruments with a thick coat of wax.
- We recommend staying in the forest for the entire day. Most whitetail deer hunters prefer hunting in the early morning and late evening, but because of the erratic behavior of rain, you might spot a few bucks running away or grazing at odd times of the day.
- Investing in a tree stand umbrella for your treestand will ease your waiting period, especially if you plan to stay there for an entire day.
- Since blood trails disappear pretty quickly, avoid shooting a lousy shot. We recommend shooting when the target is reasonably nearby, and you have 100% confidence that it is a neat shot.
- Even if you’re using archery gear for your hunts, maintain the entire instrument to keep it safe from the rain. Even if the body is made from rust-free material, you can always risk losing your gear to rusted screws or bent arrows.
- Practice shooting in wet clothes before coming on your hunting expedition. Most hunters feel a lot of resistance and inaccurate shots because of the added weight of the clothes and overall temperature.
Quick Still-Hunting Tips
- Still-hunting deer during the rain can be challenging, so taking very slow and intentional steps are necessary.
- Follow the easy method of S&L (stop and look) every time you take a step in the rain. Then, take action, stop for a few solid minutes, and look at the nearby movements using binoculars. If you are positive that there aren’t any deer in the vicinity, consider taking the next step.
- Find areas like field edges and food sources like crop fields, food plots, acorn flats, and apple trees, as the deer will typically hang around such sites longer during rainy days.
With that, we can have reached the end of our topic. While almost all animals seek shelter during rain, deer usually see it as an opportunity to graze, stay hydrated, and learn about the weather’s intensity.
This behavior helps hunters have the upper hand over the situation during their hunting expedition. We hope our guide helped novice hunters realize the importance of hunting deer in the rain and the nuances attached to hunting them during storms and heavy rain.
Once hunters understand the deer’s move on the property, they can easily pattern their post-storm movements and get ahead in the line for a clean shot.
As long as hunters keep themselves and their gear dry, they can successfully hunt bucks without worrying about the rain.