Most hunters don’t like hunting during the rain, but it can be a good and productive time to go. You must be prepared and dress for the occasion, or it will be unpleasant. Plan to hunt inside shooting houses or blinds; tree umbrellas work well for tree stands.
Vegetation and leaves on the ground will be wet, so your walk in will be silent. The rain will wash away any scent you leave behind entering hunting territory. What you’ll discover is that the deer, for the most part, will lock down during the rain.
“I think deer normally bed up during the rain,” said hunter Preston Dean of Monticello, Miss. “However, that being said, I do believe on occasion and specifically during the rut, bucks will move in the rain.”
There will be minimal movement, especially if the rain is heavy. But once the rain breaks, deer will be on the move — especially if skies clear. It’s one of the best times to be in the field. If you’re sitting at camp and wait until the rain stops before getting on your stand, you’ve waited too long. You’ll bump deer on the way in. You’ve got to be there and wait it out.
“While hunting a few seasons ago, I noticed a spot where I hunt that always had fresh tracks after a rain. One day while hunting, it started to rain, and I headed for that spot. The deer were already there and saw me — I was too late. I think after the rain is best,” said Dean.
Plan your hunt with the current weather forecast, and plan to be in the stand when the rain is predicted to end. Many times in the fall of the year, the rain precedes cold fronts, and a strong, cold front after a rain can yield great results.
One more thing to remember in relations to approaching fronts: it’s great hunting after the front has passed and it has turned cooler — it can be just as good before the weather front.
Deer sense oncoming drastic changes in weather, and it triggers a feeding frenzy.
Whitetails will feed like crazy right before a front moves through, then they bed down during any wind and rain, and they’ll come out quickly when the front passes. Plan your hunts with this in mind, and you are sure to be successful.