As the hot summer days start coming to an end and low-pressure systems start moving in, experienced deer hunters realize the benefit of gearing up when the rest of the guys head to Denny’s.
Here’s a six things to remember when you step out into the storm.
Wet weather and wind impacts deer senses
Moisture and wind are incredible helpful to hunters. When it’s rainy or even snowy, the moisture not only dampens the dry ground (making stalking easier), it holds your scent to the ground. Typically in a storm, the wind blows from the same direction and you can mask your scent by hunting into the wind. Also, wind makes the forest noisy which will help mask your sound.
Less light equals more stealth
There’s nothing like popping up over a ridge when the sun comes up and highlighting yourself to the dark forest below. You might as well wave an advertising sign. It’s dark and sometimes foggy during storms which makes it easier to move without being seen. Deer also utilize the darkness and tend to move around more in search of food.
Migrating bucks usually migrate during the first autumn storm
It’s important to recognize whether you have resident deer or migratory deer in your area (sometimes you have both). Some blacktail deer spend their whole lives within the same few miles while other’s head for lower ground. During a migration, large herds will travel together, making your chances better. You can call your region’s deer biologist and get great information on the area you plan to hunt.
Being wet sucks
There’s always one guy in the group who refuses to shell out the bucks for good rain gear. He’s usually the guy you want to skin by the end of the day. Then there’s the guy who squeaks his way through the woods in his rubber cammo. He’d make a good stew on a cold day. It’s well worth it to buy some good, silent, breathable (Can’t beat Gore-Tex) rain gear. You’ll be glad you did!
Scopes and binoculars get foggy and wet
The last thing you need when you finally get a shot is a foggy scope. Might as well pick up a rock and throw it at your buck. Always use your scope covers and stop frequently to check for fog and moisture. As funny as it sounds, there’s a product called “Cat Crap” that works well to prevent your optics from fogging up.
Hunt right before or after rain
Deer are also very active right after or right before a storm and if circumstances are right, you can’t beat a morning hunt right after a rain or an evening hunt right before. Either way, it’s a great opportunity to get some action. Even if you have to brave the storm, you won’t be disappointed as long as you’re prepared. Also, you’ll probably have the place to yourself.
Photo credit: Public domain pictures