Hunting in the Rain

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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:32 pm

I love hunting in the rain. Definitely a quiet thing, Just like Sherry said (a fellow quiet freak).

I do like a little harder rain and wind just to cover sound. But if you are on stand, you better have your eyes peeled and be alert, cause it covers our senses too.

Also love walking/stalking right after a good rain.


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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:48 pm

I have probably had more encounters with quality bucks in the rain (light rain) than any other condition. Bucks that have made it a few seasons come to the realization that they don't see humans out in the rain and here's the other catch we don't often consider.....they don't smell man right after the rain! It is a clean slate and anywhere they walk the "stinky man" smell doesn't permeate their noses. I think (since they can't logically reason or deduce like we can) they believe that the rain creates safety since it rains and then all is clean - no more man smell equals no hunters. my 2-cents

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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby dan » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:56 am

Interesting theory Troy...
Last year hunting public land in South central Wisconsin It started raining and I had been hunting "Bump and dump" style over a bed that I jumped a good buck out of the day before. It got to be late morning and I had lost my confidence that the buck would return so with the rain I decided to get a free scout / hunt and cruise slowly with the wind in my face into the bedding areas. It was an area I had not pre-scouted ( a road trip ) so this was a great way to get to know the area without leaving scent and I had pretty good chance it the quiet rain of slipping up on a nice buck.
I only got about 1/4 mile and I slowly came around a large rock outcropping and immediately saw a large 10 pointer cruising in my direction about 60 yards out.
I dropped to one knee drew the bow and waited as he closed the distance. At 40/50 yards he had turned broadside and then suddenly locked up and went alert. I had the wind in my favor, but reckon he caught a swirl among the twisted hill country and rock outcroppings. He had stopped behind a couple trees and I had to shift over a little. I watched my arrow fly true, and thought I killed the beast. But unfortunately he was not recovered and it appears that I hit the shoulder. The arrow hit exactly where I was aiming, I must have perceived something wrong.
Off the subject slightly, I can't tell that story without stating how that deer reacted to being shot. He bolted straight a way from me, and I went over and tried to pick up sign. I was having a hard time finding exactly where he was standing, or ran.
After about 15 minutes I picked up the trail, marked it and went back to get Carol and drop some equipment off... When we followed the bucks blood trail and running tracks it was amazing he ran in a huge circle till he crossed my trail I used to sneak around the rock outcropping. He then tracked me to within 10 yards of where I kneeled down to shoot him and bedded. The true significance in what Im telling you is that with the deer running almost that whole distance, at the time frame he bedded where I shot him from, I would have still been where he was when I shot. So he ran in a complete circle and bedded watching and smelling me tracking him... He used those wet quiet leaves to sneak in on me too...
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:38 am

dan wrote:Interesting theory Troy...
Last year hunting public land in South central Wisconsin It started raining and I had been hunting "Bump and dump" style over a bed that I jumped a good buck out of the day before. It got to be late morning and I had lost my confidence that the buck would return so with the rain I decided to get a free scout / hunt and cruise slowly with the wind in my face into the bedding areas. It was an area I had not pre-scouted ( a road trip ) so this was a great way to get to know the area without leaving scent and I had pretty good chance it the quiet rain of slipping up on a nice buck.
I only got about 1/4 mile and I slowly came around a large rock outcropping and immediately saw a large 10 pointer cruising in my direction about 60 yards out.
I dropped to one knee drew the bow and waited as he closed the distance. At 40/50 yards he had turned broadside and then suddenly locked up and went alert. I had the wind in my favor, but reckon he caught a swirl among the twisted hill country and rock outcroppings. He had stopped behind a couple trees and I had to shift over a little. I watched my arrow fly true, and thought I killed the beast. But unfortunately he was not recovered and it appears that I hit the shoulder. The arrow hit exactly where I was aiming, I must have perceived something wrong.
Off the subject slightly, I can't tell that story without stating how that deer reacted to being shot. He bolted straight a way from me, and I went over and tried to pick up sign. I was having a hard time finding exactly where he was standing, or ran.
After about 15 minutes I picked up the trail, marked it and went back to get Carol and drop some equipment off... When we followed the bucks blood trail and running tracks it was amazing he ran in a huge circle till he crossed my trail I used to sneak around the rock outcropping. He then tracked me to within 10 yards of where I kneeled down to shoot him and bedded. The true significance in what Im telling you is that with the deer running almost that whole distance, at the time frame he bedded where I shot him from, I would have still been where he was when I shot. So he ran in a complete circle and bedded watching and smelling me tracking him... He used those wet quiet leaves to sneak in on me too...


This is an excellent old thread that has quality information from Dan and others. This buck Dan posted about- circling and attempting to monitor him- is fascinating... to see a buck actually do that through a learned behavior or instinct.

I have watched deer in a single hunt that went through the gamut- I was on an evening hunt and set up outside a bedding area thicket on a river bottom in farm country. With a light rain falling, two mature does, a couple of fawns and a yearling fork horn slowly meandered by me toward the alfalfa field about a quarter of mile away. Then, with the light rain continuing, I saw a decent 8 for Michigan step out of the thicket and approach my tree. He was about 40 yards away when the rain really started coming down hard. He paused for about a half minute before turning and going back to the bedding thicket. Over the next few minutes, with the heavy rain continuing, all of the other deer returned and passed my tree on the way back to the bedding thicket. I got a first hand view of how much rain coming down these deer wanted to put up with.

A few minutes before dark, the rain slowed to a slight drizzle. The does / fawns and young bucks went right by my tree once again... but it was dark immediately after their passing and the buck didn't get that far.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby PK_ » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:54 pm

Have to hunt in the rain because as soon as it stops it's GAME TIME!
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby Stanley » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:55 pm

I killed a buck in the rain 3 years in a row 2009, 2010, 2011. I really don't like hunting in the rain but it can be productive. Now lightening is a different story I'm outa there. I have huntied during a thunderstorm a few times but is was a complete wash out, literally and figuratively.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby BassBoysLLP » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:27 am

I'm a big fan of hunting in the rain. Its cold, its miserable...however, its quiet, ground scent is being washed away, and all the fair weather hunters are at home. Needless to say, I've seen some of my best bucks in the rain. In fact, there is one very large mature buck in SW public that I've only seen in the rain (or snow)...and I've named him appropriately.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby E72 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:30 am

Very soon after a good rain stops or slows in October or November is GOLD! Only thing is , you have to be waiting in it to be there right when it's over! :). The best time for deer activity is after a big multiple day rain event 3-4 days. We had one in early October 2009 . High Temps were in the 40s. When the forecast called for it to slow down one Thursday evening, I left work at noon to get an early start. I snuck in and setup on a large breeding scrape between two thick bedding areas that I'd found the week before. Killed the slob in my avatar pic , scent checking behind a doe right to that scrape. What really clicked for me about that evening was was the amount of deer that were out feeding in fields /crossing the roads on my way to pick up my buddy and back to help recover the buck. The deer activity was like I've never seen.

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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby tim » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:04 am

if you dont hunt the rain you are doing yourself a disservice. it can be great hunting . i always joke when im headed out in the rain----i say well i should have the woods to myself today. cause so many people just arent willing to get wet. one time i met the town police officer at my car cause my family thought something must have happened to me cause noone in there right mind would sit out in a downpour :oops: that was when i first started bowhunting and a little crazier, i dont purposley do that anymore.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby JoeRE » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:07 am

I like hunting in a long light rain and have had lots of big buck encounters during that. In the 6 or so hours before a long heavy rain moves in you see a flurry of feeding activity, as well as after a long heavy-ish rain stops.

One thing I have learned to pay attention to is if livestock - or small game like squirrels - are out feeding in a rain. If cows, sheep, chickens etc are out ranging around in a light rain deer are probably too. If livestock are huddled together/seeking shelter then deer movement is probably at a minimum but might be good once the weather lets up. I find this surprisingly accurate...
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:28 am

JoeRE wrote:I like hunting in a long light rain and have had lots of big buck encounters during that. In the 6 or so hours before a long heavy rain moves in you see a flurry of feeding activity, as well as after a long heavy-ish rain stops.

One thing I have learned to pay attention to is if livestock - or small game like squirrels - are out feeding in a rain. If cows, sheep, chickens etc are out ranging around in a light rain deer are probably too. If livestock are huddled together/seeking shelter then deer movement is probably at a minimum but might be good once the weather lets up. I find this surprisingly accurate...


I think that is a fair assessment and something I will pay closer attention to. Like you, I have noticed this to be true but I didn't really let it influence whether I hunted or not.

As in so many other aspects of deer hunting, being prepared to hunt in the rain makes a big difference as well. Thinking through what equipment you will need as well as any adjustments to your normal routine you will make... all ahead of time, will give you more confidence when faced with this situation.

If you are on the road, that would include being able to take care of all of your clothing and equipment when it is soaked in a prompt fashion. At home, everything is already at your disposal.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby Ruger » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:07 am

I like to come in on the backend of a fairly heavy rain. Rain will muffle the noise you might make getting into the area. After the rain slows, bucks will be up to "freshening" up their scrapes.
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:29 pm

Ruger wrote:I like to come in on the backend of a fairly heavy rain. Rain will muffle the noise you might make getting into the area. After the rain slows, bucks will be up to "freshening" up their scrapes.


right on... the rain can really quiet down a stand approach that is littered with dry crunchy leaves. I have used this approach to get near buck bedding more than once.

of course that goes both ways... I have had a target buck slip up on my stand from behind- I nearly could have spit on him- before he picked me off with scent and took off. game / set / match
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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby bigwoodsmn » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:17 pm

Nothing like a light rain to hunt ruffies or get off a stand and go still-hunting ...

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Re: Hunting in the Rain

Unread postby bdaybuck » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:01 am

Preparing for my PM hunt with a for sure rain headed my way. Good encouragement not too couch it.

I'm a bow hunter, so I like many of the positives in the thread.
One concern I have is losing the blood trail in the rain. Has that been an issue for any of you?
Dan, do you think that the rain contributed to you not finding the deer you mentioned?

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