A heavy Illinois rain that was moist snow stored the writer out of the woods for a full day. When the rain/snow combine stopped, the bucks have been on the transfer.

Mom Nature wasn’t being pleasant. The Illinois rain was blowing sideways in heavy sheets. Smartphone in hand, I stared out the lodge window, swapping glances between the panorama and the radar on my cellphone.

It wasn’t getting any higher. It was getting worse. I used to be younger — early in my whitetail profession — and I could not stand it. I did not need to wait. I wished to be within the woods.

I requested the clothes shop to take me to the stand. He checked out me, giggled, and requested, “Are you critical?”

When he realized I used to be, he advised me that he admired my pluck and would take me out, however that it was raining too arduous.


He was proper. I sat 20 toes up a hardwood for six depressing hours. The rain was so intense that I could not see at occasions, and my rain gear failed the stay-dry take a look at. I used to be soaked chilly, and I did not see a single deer.

Am I telling you to not hunt within the rain? No, I’m not. I’ve had some exceptional hunts during times of sunshine moisture and on the heels of heavy rain occasions.

What I recommend is you be taught to learn the rain. Rain may be a superb whitetail ally, however like all issues in life, you will need to know when to carry them and when to fold them.

Let’s dive in.

The Mild Rain

In keeping with most climate apps, rain is available in three varieties: gentle, medium, and heavy. When the rain is weak, I need to be within the woods. Drizzly rain will get deer on their toes. Rain cools the earth, which prompts deer motion.

I haven’t got knowledge to again this up, however I additionally really feel like gentle rain appeals to the olfactory system of deer. Deer take pleasure in fragrant smells. This is the reason they rub sure timber and bushes greater than others. A light-weight rain makes in-the-woods aromas come to life.

I’ve had a few of my finest deer searching days, particularly throughout afternoon hunts when the precipitation is gentle, and the air is cool. Plus, I like how precipitation coats the forest ground with moisture. It quiets my entrance and exit, washes away any left-behind human stink, and, when you have good rain gear, is a blast to take a seat in.

When the rain is gentle, get within the woods.

The Medium Rain

As rain intensifies, deer motion minimizes. I am a rain magnet. It appears anyplace within the nation I’m going, it rains. Will I sit in a medium-rated rain? Sure. Nonetheless, there are some downfalls to think about.

First, as rain strikes from gentle to medium, the noise within the woods cranks up. Rain falling on leaves and vegetation can trick your ears into pondering a deer is coming.

Second, a medium-rated rain will wash blood away rapidly. After I resolve to hunt in something over a light-weight rain, I hunt extra open areas the place I do know I can see deer journey after the arrow impacts. I do not like searching tight, heavy, thick cowl throughout rain occasions. A marginal hit that is deadly however requires leaving the deer for an prolonged interval might result in you dropping that deer. Be sensible!

This buck was harvested throughout a average rain occasion. The hit was good, however the rain washed the blood away. A monitoring canine was introduced in, however it was too late. The coyotes obtained their first.

Third, please be secure. Rain creates slippery conditions. Three years in the past in Nebraska, whereas inching down a steep creek financial institution after a average rain storm, I fell arduous. I did not see a covered-by-brush log that had no bark. The log was like ice, and I fell arduous after which rolled a number of yards earlier than stopping.

Ladder steps, climbing steps, and so forth., additionally get slippery. In the event you’re not utilizing a lifeline, you have to be. By no means depart the bottom with out being related to a lifeline.

During times of average rain, I’ll hit the woods if the radar reveals the rain will reduce or cease altogether.

The Heavy Rain

No thanks! I’ve hunted in torrential downpours too many occasions. Throughout these hunts, I’ve seen three deer. Two got here screaming over the hill — one thing spooked them — and the opposite was bedded in some hinge cuts 50 yards from my stand.

When the rain is violent, keep residence. When it stops, although, and that is true of any rain occasion, get your butt in a stand or blind. An hour earlier than your favourite climate app predicts the rain will cease, be parked in your hunt space, and be able to go.

In the course of the pre-rut, after a rain occasion, bucks cannot wait to get on their toes and verify and freshen scrapes.

Deer mattress down throughout heavy notion occasions, and the longer the occasion, the extra keen these deer are to stand up and eat and transfer round. In the course of the pre-rut, when bucks are scraping arduous, get on a group scrape after a rain occasion. Bucks will need to stand up and freshen rained-in scrapes. One in all my favourite occasions to hunt is after a heavy rain passes by.

Be Good!

Typically, particularly early within the fall, rain occasions include lightning. There is not a deer on the earth price dying for. Use your climate app, and if lightning is within the space, keep out of your treestand till it strikes off.

Different Wet Day Goodness

Average and heavy rain storms that settle in and final for twenty-four hours or extra aren’t ineffective. You need to use lately to your benefit.

A rain occasion is a good time to wander into the woods and verify or transfer path cams.

I stay in a state that requires mobile path cams to come back out of the woods 48 hours earlier than searching. When the season begins, I change to straightforward digital cameras. A average to heavy rain occasion is a superb time to slide into the woods and verify your cameras. You may be quiet, hardly ever stumble upon deer, and, most significantly, the rain washes the whole lot clear. Verify these path cameras throughout a rain occasion in case you’re apprehensive about leaving human stink behind.

Remaining Ideas

Relating to rain and whitetails, moisture is mostly an ideal factor. Nonetheless, just like the outdated Kenny Rogers music, Gambler, you gotta know when to carry ’em.’ You gotta know when to fold ’em.’

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