Hunting in the Rain

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Singing Bridge
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Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:46 am

What's your advice on hunting in the rain on public land? Has anyone had success or viewed some big buck activity?


DevinJD2007
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby DevinJD2007 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:31 am

I never do see alot of action in a down pour. But on the other hand if there is a light drizzle or a mist or right after it get done down pouring i have seen some of my best action at those times.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby dan » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:34 pm

I believe a rainy day not only can get a buck moving a little early... But it can really nice to get what I call
"a free hunt"
A free hunt refers to the rain washing out your scent and the bucks never knowing you were there... ;)
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby PLB » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:18 pm

DevinJD2007 wrote:I never do see alot of action in a down pour. But on the other hand if there is a light drizzle or a mist or right after it get done down pouring i have seen some of my best action at those times.

I agree Devin! :D Never had luck in a downpour though either
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Singing Bridge
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:35 am

dan wrote:I believe a rainy day not only can get a buck moving a little early... But it can really nice to get what I call
"a free hunt"
A free hunt refers to the rain washing out your scent and the bucks never knowing you were there


Great information Dan- Sometimes I'll use rainy days in-season to scout new areas or carefully hang a stand, too.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby big v » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:02 am

I agree with dan a "free hunt" is nice bonus but recovering animals in the rain can suck! I like to use rain days for in season scounting.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby dan » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:49 am

Most of you probably already read this, but this story is about my best buck taken in the rain...


Big 8: by Dan Infalt
It was a hot, Saturday evening in mid-July. All of my buddies were getting ready to go out. They asked me to go with them for a fun night of drinking and card playing. "Go with them?" I thought. "What a silly question!" This late in the summer and I still did not have a solid lead on a shooter buck. Partying would have to wait.

As the sun set on the summer sky, I sat with my back to a tree, glassing a river bottom for whitetails. Just before darkness, I noticed two deer emerge from the thick bedding cover. One showed himself right away. He was a 2 year old 8 pointer with a 12 inch wide rack. The other deer, however, had my full attention. I could tell by the difference in body size he was an older buck. It seemed like forever, but he finally lifted his head and showed off his great rack. He too, was an 8 point, but this 8 point was sporting 13 inch tines. I still have the image of that huge buck lifting his head burned into my memory.

I kept a distant watch, but I only saw him one more time just a few days before the opener in the same spot...right under a big willow tree with a nice natural platform to stand on.

I had dreams about sitting in that tree with "Big 8", as I had begun to call him, walking underneath me and the arrow flying true.

I hunted that stand opening day in the evening. I had stayed away until now, never once letting temptation make me wander over and look at the setup. That would have surely scented the area and relocated the buck before the season even began.

I slipped into the tree and quietly clipped a couple small branches. Then I just waited. About an hour before dark the 2 year old 8 pointer emerged and I prepared myself for Big 8 who would surley follow. Big 8 didn't show. I did not want to overhunt that stand and ruin it. I had seen the Big 8's tracks coming out of other bedding areas and some big rubs had showed on the other side of this bedding area, telling me that he might be staging on the other side for now. I certainly had plenty of options to keep my hunting spots from getting burned.

I hunted every day. I went out before work. I went out after work. Pretty soon the rut had arrived, and I had gone over a month without seeing Big 8.

This is when most hunters whack the little 8 point that keeps coming out under the same tree. Most hunters faced with a 1/2 empty glass either give into temptation, or they just give up. My glass was not half empty though... I keep mine half-full. Every time you choose a stand or ambush is like playing your next chess move. Once you have sat in most of the spots in the woods, you can narrow your selection.

One afternoon a heavy rain began to fall. I had narrowed it down through tracks and stand sitting that Big 8 had to be bedding in the thicket behind the willow. This rain would allow me to get in close, undetected and not leave any scent! Don't you just love windy thunderstorms?

I decided to try the backside of the thicket where I had seen the rubs. I sat in that rain, wind, and thunder until last light. By the time I got home, I was feeling ill. I started developing a cold. My wife asked me if I was insane when the alarm went off at 3am and between coughs I got ready to go back out in the storm.

The wind had grown to gusts of more than 40 mile per hour and the rain continued to pour down, but my glass was half-full! It had stopped thundering, and I was going to be able to sit the willow tree without leaving scent. Indeed, life was good! Halfway to my hunting destination I had to make a quick stop at the 24 hour gas station as my "cold" turned into a full fledged flu. I walked quickly past the attendant and straight into the restroom.

I made it to my tree but was completely exhausted. As I stood in the tree waiting for light, getting hammered by horizontal rain, I did not dream of Big 8, or fantasize about him walking under the stand. My only thought was getting home and calling in sick for work. I'm never too sick to hunt.

It finally started to crack daylight but the storm pounded on. I was having a hard time watching for Big 8 because it meant staring into the wind and rain. Finally, I glimpsed up and saw him walking by. The wind and rain made it impossible to hear him coming and by the time I noticed him he was passing by at 10 yards. The bow was raised, drawn, and fired just before he entered his secure bedding area. Big 8 bolted into cover.

I went home and laid down for about an hour before returning to search for my obsessive addiction. I was worried because there would be no blood to trail, and I was unsure of where he was hit. But Big 8 lay only 50 yards into the cover from the willow tree. He dressed out at 207 pounds. Time to find another sickness.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:27 am

Dan,

Great story! I actually love to hunt in the rain. For some of the same reasons that have been mentioned, but also because on heavily-hunted public land those deer know that rain typically means no hunters! This past season we videoed two nice public-bucks that came by us in a downpour and high-winds. I knew that the bucks would move before dark (it had been raining all day and just like us - they don't want to sit in a nasty puddle all day) and would get up and stretch. They did - just outside of bow range!

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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:48 pm

Great input on some BEAST BUCKS in the rain, all! Dan's big 8 illustrates the dedication it takes to achieve that kind of success. 8-)
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby Mountain Man » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:14 pm

DevinJD2007 wrote:I never do see alot of action in a down pour. But on the other hand if there is a light drizzle or a mist or right after it get done down pouring i have seen some of my best action at those times.


I agree with Devin. I try to get out and hunt if there is a light ran/drizzle or if that is the weather forecast. I have seen a lot of nice bucks moving in that kind of weather.

Dan's "free hunt" and scouting in the rain is also a good plan.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby WiBowhuntress » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:03 pm

I'm with most of you on this...hunting in a heavy rain sucks. Besides the fact that I hate getting my hair wet. ;)

But seriously, I love hunting in a very light rain, or especially right after it rains. Makes it super easy to sneak in without making too much sound, and alot of times bucks will re-freshen their scrapes right after a good soaking. Definately one of my favorite times to hunt.
And isn't that what they make rain gear for? :D
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby PredatorTC » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:22 pm

Im a fan of hunting in the rain..... opening morning two years ago i was able too catch two 3.5 year old bucks going back to there beds about an hour after light which was amazing for these two deer that i had watched all summer.... Then later that season, my younger brother scored on a nice 3.5 year old in a pretty decent downpour. It just seemed to be moving earlier that night than the times it had been on the trail camera....

And like singing bridge said, i had a spot on a logging road where a good buck was crossing...this buck always rubbed where he crossed. This buck would start to use a specific bedding area during the pre rut. SO on rainy days i would always go up the logging road and see if he was making his rubs. Once he started rubbing like the previous season, we set up the day after the rain. And to my amazement we had an encounter with this buck on his way to that bedding area because i knew it was being used.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby Liberty-Hunt » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:24 pm

WiBowhuntress wrote:I love hunting in a very light rain, or especially right after it rains. Makes it super easy to sneak in without making too much sound, and alot of times bucks will re-freshen their scrapes right after a good soaking. Definately one of my favorite times to hunt.
And isn't that what they make rain gear for? :D

So do I!!!!
And for Roe Deer, they usually go out of bedding site right after rain To dry itself...
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby dan » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:37 pm

Deer do seem to bed down in a heavy rain most of the time. That is likely because they loose a lot of there senses. Smell, vision, and hearing are all dampered in the rain.
But, this is still a good time to hunt if you adapt to what the deer are doing at this time.
Stalking a buck in his bed is a lot easier in rain and wind, and if your not successful the rain washes away your scent as if you were never there.

Another thing about the rain... Heavy rains in the evening that break into calm mornings are great mornings ( after the rain ) to hunt... The bucks will remain bedded in the evening / nighttime heavy rain but will start there night time routine after the rain lets up. I believe this puts them behind schedule and they arrive at there beds later in the morning. Mature bucks seem to have a tendancy to bed before morning light so this is a huge advantage to someone who knows where the big bucks bedding.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby Arrowbender » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:01 am

Yup, light rain good.
Heavy rain bad.

Too bad many times light rain turns into heavy rain. Which can mean good blood trails turn into no blood trails and dry truck interiors turn into wet and stinky truck interiors.

Delinetly doesn't stop me from the hunting the rain cuz I love it.
Just Sayin'


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