Does rain cover up our scent ?

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Hodag Hunter
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:34 am

Like I mentioned before with guys that have hunted with dogs....high humidty or a very light rain will intensify the scent.

Heavy rains will dilute or wash scent away.......as also confirmed by the link Ken posted.

Ken just needed to read a little further what the posters where "saying" ;)


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kenn1320
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby kenn1320 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:51 am

I read it and the majority said it doesn't affect their dogs. Keep in mind these are dogs of different skill levels and can sometimes not be into it for whatever reason and the owner has to try and interpret that. When your talking a wild animal that is trying to survive, they are always on their game. Did you read the post where the guy said his dog could smell tracks that were under the water? Dan said he saw deer find corn that was under water.
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Hodag Hunter
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:27 am

If a tracking animal has intent to tract/trail and is "looking for the scent" vs just crossing paths it is more revelent.

I've had dogs(beagles) bust loose on a cottontail by sight and blindly go chasing, lossing sight very quickly of the bunny. :lol: In the process they jump an additional bunny and don't give two rips about the fresh hot trail from the second rabbit and not having a clue where the first cottontail even is....

I'll call the dog over and push him on the "hot" second trail and then they will take off after that track after my prodding.

How does this relate to deer hunting? All my opinion by the way, if I'm in the woods checking cameras/hanging stands in the woods during a good heavy rain and a deer comes by hours later there is a good chance the deer will miss the minute amount of scent that may be on the ground. But and a big "but" factor, lay your scent by a bait station, or regular "human trail" where deer expect to pick up scent they may check that area over thoroughly catching your recent activity.

I have seen deer walk over my fresh scent trail and not pay attention to it all.......but again have seen deer freak out over my scent trail that was "walked" hours ago. (No rain involved in either case)

Bottom line, with my past experiance, if a guy needs to go in the woods for some reason, it is better to do so with a heavy rain vs just picking any old day.
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kenn1320
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby kenn1320 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:55 am

The rabbit dogs assume the one they see is the one they were just smelling and all predators will switch to sight if they can. If you word it that way (have to pick a day) I also would pick a rainy day. I doubt it would make a difference though. I just don’t want people thinking it’s going to rain tomorrow, I can go walk in and see if that buck is using that bed. I don’t believe that our scent particles or dust for a lack of a better description dissolves into nothing when it gets wet. It likely collects and could possibly concentrate that scent. As one of those guys said, a light rain actually improves the dog’s ability.
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby KBhunt » Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:44 am

I know this is an old thread but doing some research on scent and what happens when it rains ive come to this conclusion

We see alot of good bucks in the rain all different times during the day some of my best hunts were in the rain. From my older perspective this was bc a buck felt safe thinking the rain killed most scent the buck didnt smell any threats. But after all of the reading ive done as of late on tracking dogs, which deer have a far more sensitive nose, shows that dogs do the best on cool days with no wind and moist ground because the scent stays lower to the ground and can stay longer so long as its moist. The best place for dogs is shady moist grass and vegitation ie where we see the deer mostly. This changed my thinking. Im starting to belive that the deer move in the mornings bc of the dew and the cool weather helps the smell the area better and same with the evening along with the eye sight working best at those times. On days where its 80-90f and windy the sun burns the scent up and wind disperses it quickly. Now im not a scientist nor an expert more going off what ive read and putting it together from personal experince in the woods..wet days they can sneak better smell better (old scent is revampt from days prior) and its usually cooler all helping the deer stay out of sight and out of danger..somthing to think about. Maybe trail cams in a non hunted area where you frequent and know deer pass thru could shed some light on this with controlled testing by purposely leaving a cloth with scent on it on periods of really hot arid days compared to cooler humid/rainy days could help determine a concrete answer

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BigCedarJack
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby BigCedarJack » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:37 am

After years of hunting with dogs I know my favorite time to go was when it was moist. Dry and frozen was always slower. Almost melted snow was heaven! From that I took away that deer could smell better during moist times too. However, I think their reasons for being out in regard to smell is at least two fold. I'd guess both are correct.

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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby BHC » Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:31 am

I think:
1. They smell better when there is moisture.your scent particles are held in place with a little water and disperse less.
2. A heavy rain will wash your scent out, basically cause extreme dispersion of scent particles.
3. My dog could probly track a deer in a decent rain, so I dunno....

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Stanley
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby Stanley » Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:53 am

I have talked about this before. There is difference in mass scent and ground scent. In other words if you walk on the ground and leave some scent a good rain will wash this away. A light rain/mist will not. Now if you have mass scent like a dead body, a heavy rain will not wash this scent away.

If you have a flake of scent a deer won't be able to pick this up 100 yards down wind. If you have a human body (mass scent) a deer will be able to pick this up 100 yards down wind. All scent is not created equal. :think: And all scent is not detectable. :think:

Another example if you have an eyelash on the ground or a bucket of hair on the ground will a deer be able to pick up that scent equally?

Now as for rain washing away scent, think of it like this a mist will not wash the dirt off your car. A heavy rain will. :think:
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby mauser06 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:08 am

I know I've have MUCH better luck with hanging/checking cameras in/right before a heavy rain than hanging it when it doesn't rain for days...

I have had then not come to a corn pile in the dead of winter for 3-4 days till the snow covered up my tracks...if I am there when it rains they are there usually the same night maybe a night later..


I do hunt with a coon dog. I know about scenting conditions...I've hunted in several inches of standing water during a continued heavy down pour and not seen much issue with the dog...

Give him a super dry fall day and its over till he finds one in a creek ...


Other conditions is heavy leave drops..there is usually a few nights a fall that are about horrible...

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mainebowhunter
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:36 pm

Very interesting stuff with the dogs and the rain. I started poking at this when I heard someone mention the rain does not wash scent away. I know that we as hunters always seem to depend on the rain washing scent away.
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby wrusch » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:45 pm

I wouldn't say the rain completely washes the scent away but instead dilutes it making it harder for a deer's nose to pick up the scent off the ground. Great time to check cameras or scout imo.
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby checkerfred » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:11 pm

I had a 6 pt two years ago walk arms length by me in a rain...not a soaking rain but a steady light rain...not mist....I walked in a valley up a drainage ditch then sat on the ground just off the ditch about 1/3rd from the bottom of the ridge. he came from exactly where I walked and at arms length never alerting. Last year I killed a 7 pt on public in the rain....it was again a light to moderate but steady rain....i walked in and after 2-3 hrs the rain let up and had 5 deer come the same way I entered on my exact path...never alerted UNTIL they got upwind of me. then shortly after the 7pt came out the same way. So I think the rain does dilute or even wash your ground scent away but not your overall scent while on stand.
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby oldrank » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:08 am

I had almost exact opposite happen then above post. I hunted in a steady rain last fall. Entered my stand in rubber boots. 3 hours later a spike came out of the thicket and hit my entrance trail.. He froze in his tracks, spun around n quickly trotted back where he came from. This was in a steady heavy rain. It never stopped from my entrance till I left.

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cedarsavage
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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby cedarsavage » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:08 pm

I always thought rain would wash it away, but my beagle goes crazy smelling things when I walk her during or after a rain

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Re: Does rain cover up our scent ?

Unread postby Bayshorebuck8 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:42 pm

This is a great thread.

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