Any special tactics for hunting deer in the rain?


November 21, 2007, 10:36 AM
Well, the sad news is that the weather forecast for at least the first 2 days of Pennsylvania deer season is RAIN. DO you have any special ideas or tactics for hunting in the rain?

The only thing I can think of that is positive is that maybe the sound of the falling rain will mask hunters' noises. Maybe somehow it will effect scent disposition as well?

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November 21, 2007, 10:52 AM
I've never had much luck hunting in the rain. OK, I've never had ANY luck hunting in the rain, so take this for what it is worth.

Down here in TX, when it rains, the deer just belly up and hide. The only exception seems to be if all the browse is already gone, they will move a little in slack periods between heavier downpours.

You are right about the noise and scent suppression. I'd say use the opportunity to get into the thick stuff where they hide and see if you can't catch one stirring when the rain lets up a bit.

Let us know how it comes out.

November 21, 2007, 10:54 AM
I brought a GI rain parka when I went hunting in Missouri last week, but the guy I hunted with (I'm not a hunter) says you almost never see deer in the rain. I think the idea of using the lull to get a good position is probably well taken.

Harve Curry
November 21, 2007, 11:15 AM
The noise of rain works to get closer to elk, it should work or deer to. The ground is wet and quiter then when it's dry. Plus the noise of the rain. One September day I had to empty rain out of my parka pockets twice. Glass if you can, go to places they bed down in. If there is a breeze keep it in your favor. Lightning keeps me in though.

November 21, 2007, 11:30 AM
I love hunting whitetails in the rain. I see more deer movement with off and on drizzle or light rain, and less deer movement with steady heavier rain. Gusting wind that changes directions also seems to prompt them to move much more.
Hunters that say they never see deer during rain are probably sitting in the truck. get out and hunt.

November 21, 2007, 11:32 AM
+1 to what kingcreek said. Off and on showers and/or light mist are great. Heavy rain and/or steady rain and they tend to bed down. If you know where they bed, try to stalk in there, the rain will help cover your noise.

November 21, 2007, 12:10 PM
I have had reasonably good luck seeing deer in the rain. I think it helps if the wind is a bit gusty as mentioned. I believe there is no way to truly cover your scent, and the gusty wind seems to confuse deer as to where the scent may be coming from. The woods will be quiet (quiet for you and quiet for them) and you will need to keep your eyes open and scan your shooting zone frequently. They will sneak up on you much easier in the rain and your vision is a bit reduced. Stay alert!

Heavy rain really sucks and deer will often bed down as mentioned.

Without wind or a light breeze, your scent will tend to be more confined to your immediate area. So, read the light wind direction and stay alert!

I wear a camo parka with a cheap walmart orange vest over the outside to stay legal. Make sure it is oversized and fits. Sometimes I tie a tarp between some trees and get under it if you are hunting on the ground and mostly stationary. But you don't want it flapping around making a lot of noise and movement. Even a little protection is often welcomed.

I find if it is breezy and still hunting (stalking) suits you, it is a good time to carefully make your way through the woods very quietly. You have to be even more alert.

If you are hunting state game lands or national forest, there will be lots of hunters and remember they can't see you as easily, so be careful.

November 21, 2007, 12:57 PM
I shot my best buck last week right after about 4 hours of heavy thunderstorms. Ran out to the stand when it let up and was there 9 minutes when the old boy jogged by. I believe the deer like to move after a rain especially if it's been real dry previously. They can move around a heck of a lot quiter then

oklahoma caveman
November 21, 2007, 10:58 PM
iv had good luck during on an off rains as stated by others. heavy rains il usually see nothing til it starts slacking up

November 21, 2007, 11:02 PM
Heaviest buck I ever shot I shot in the rain--more of a mist, really. On-and-off drizzle is fine. Makes it quiet moving, and also reduces scent. But in my experience, hunting in steady rain isn't worth the effort. As far as tactics go, I don't change mine much. Like to find a good stand overlooking travel ways between bedding and food areas. On rainy days, I still mount a stand, but strap an umbrella to the tree!

November 22, 2007, 12:29 AM
I love a wet woods for gun deer hunting if I have enough room. I'll still hunt, 10-15min to go a 100 yards, maybe longer. I jumped a nice doe, got up 20yrds. away, this way and shot her last year. Several years ago up north in the big woods had a small doe on the other side of a pine tree getting out of dodge from my partner, never knew I was there, that is fun.


November 22, 2007, 01:07 AM
Nice nylon strap a 1 1/2 wide several feet long is real handy dragging a wet deer especially a doe out with. Wet hair is hard to hang on to.

November 22, 2007, 10:50 AM
One downside to hunting in the rain is having the blood trail disappear pretty quickly.

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