Where To Hunt Deer In The Rain

 Deer hunting in the rain can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. All is not lost when a heavy downpour is forecasted for your hunting weekend! It would be best if you took the time to learn how rain affects deer and how you can effectively hunt deer in the rain. Let’s take a look at some useful tips. 

Deer in the rain 

 Deer move around in the rain, but how much depends on whether it’s a drizzle or downpour and what time you’re hunting. 

Let’s break it down. 

Do deer move in light rain?

 Light rain barely affects deer movement; they seem to ignore it.  Heading to the woods when there’s a drizzle or precipitation can be beneficial. 

Tactics for deer hunting in the rain

You can take a deer down from your treestand on a rainy day, but deer woods are also good to explore on drizzly days. It’s easy to slip through the woods unnoticed when it’s wet out,  as you make less noise and spread less of your scent in rainy conditions,  helping you to remain undetected. 

Still hunting tips

  • Even if it’s a quartering wind, always keep the wind in your face. 
  • You’ll need to move very carefully and slowly for still hunting, take one step at a time and spend time looking over everything carefully with binoculars. 
  • Be sure to keep an eye on your back trail as well. I have shot several nice bucks that came in behind me while still hunting.
  •  Try to stop up against a tree or some cover. It makes it easier for you to blend in and gives you something to lean on; it can be hard to stay still for a long period if you’re uncomfortable. 
  • Still hunt around food sources such as apple trees, food plots, and crop fields. Deer will hang around for a while on rainy days. 
  • A blood trail is challenging to follow in the rain, so don’t bank on having one. Take high percentage shots.

Hunting with a partner 

Two-man still hunting is great fun, particularly on a rainy day. If you do it right, it’s a deadly tactic for whitetail deer hunting. Hunting 400 yards or so apart, using the damp ground to your advantage, is a great tactic. You should go slow, attempting to spot a deer. If a deer spots you, he’ll likely run to the other hunter. A big buck has often snuck away from my hunting partner right into my sights. If you have a buddy who’d like to partner up to hunt in the rain, it’s a great way to make your hunt more effective. 

Do deer move in heavy rain?

 When it’s raining heavily, deer can’t smell or hear well, and they feel more vulnerable, so they tend to play it safe; consequently, deer activity reduces. They’ll seek shelter until it becomes clearer and dryer. During the rut, this doesn’t happen. Deer move in heavy rain when pursued by a rut-crazed buck, but deer movement is often reduced heavily in the rain. But all is not lost; you can still hunt whitetails in these weather conditions. 

Do deer move after rain?

 One of the best times to hunt is immediately after the rain has stopped because deer will start moving right away. The problem with this is you can’t go out to hunt after the rain stops because the deer will already be moving, and you’ll spook them.

It would help to wait until the rain was forecasted to stop within a few hours and go out to your treestand. The rain will wash away your scent molecules and obscure the deer’s sense of smell, making this tactic even more effective. It can be uncomfortable, but it can pay off. 

Tips for deer hunting in the rain with a bow

  •  Buy the best Gore-Tex rain gear. 
  •  Purchase an umbrella for your treestand. A treestand umbrella will keep you more comfortable while you wait. 
  • Consider ground blinds keeping you dry and warm in the rain. 
  • Only take a shot when you’re sure you can land it – a blood trail is useless on a rainy day. 
  • If you’re bow hunting, dry your bow well after hunting. Rust and corrosion can make quick work of even the best archery equipment. 
  •  Crossbow maintenance and bow maintenance will prevent rain damage. 
  •  Practice makes perfect – hunting in the rain can be a challenge. 

Calling deer in the rain

Calling deer is one of the best hunting tactics; it’ll work exceptionally well in light-medium rain. But calling them in heavy rain can be tricky. 

Still, the same rules apply in the rain. 

Grunt calls will usually get a response from bucks at the right time of year – they can be deadly. 

 Calling deer in the rain can be challenging because the sound doesn’t travel very well in wet conditions. You lose the edge of hearing the hooves approaching; wet leaves are harder to hear. Calling deer requires you to be more vigilant, as you won’t be able to listen to them coming. 

Gear for deer hunting in bad weather

Hunters that complain about bad weather usually have one thing in common; they came unprepared. A significant factor in hunting success is the correct gear. You’re not going to last very long if you’re wet, miserable, and cold. 

One of the first things you should buy is a good set of waterproof boots. I prefer solid rubber boots to reduce the scent trail. 

It can be expensive, but you’re going to want to purchase something sturdy that’s likely to last a few years. 

Next, you’ll need a solid set of rain gear, including a rain jacket and waterproof pants. You’ll want something relatively easy to move in but sturdy and waterproof.  Gore-Tex is a reliable brand. 

You should also consider a treestand umbrella if you’re going to be using a treestand; it’ll keep you dry and comfortable. 

Check out our top tips for deer hunting here

Wrapping up

Whitetail hunters can have success in any type of weather, except for torrential downpours. Very few hunters will plan for rain, hoping for perfect weather. Rainy day hunts are often overlooked, though. 

When I plan a hunt, I’m happy to enjoy a hunt during a storm or a little rain because I can take advantage of those conditions to take down a mature buck. Hunting pressure is reduced on rainy days as most hunters prefer clear days to hunt. If you’re allowed to go deer hunting while it’s raining, you can use these tactics to hone your skills and increase your chances of success!  


About the Author

Trey is a lifelong hunter and avid camper. He lives outside Denver, CO with his wife Kaci and their lab mix Ziggy. They spend as much time as possible outdoors - hunting, fishing, and camping.

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