Do deer feed in the rain?

In bow hunting by hooversoutdoors2 Comments

If you’ve ever considered going hunting but saw rain clouds on the horizon then you’ve asked yourself that question. Maybe you’ve even stayed home and decided to skip a day because you weren’t sure if you would have any success what so ever. Well I enjoy bow hunting tremendously and the one advantage to bow hunting is it gets you closer to deer and you really learn their habits and characteristics more than you would gun hunting from a distance. So I want to take a moment to answer your question.

Deer do feed in the rain.

In fact the biggest buck I have ever killed was during a slight rain. You are just as likely to kill a deer during rain as a sunny day, and 100% more likely than if you stayed home. While most hunters are not willing to literally weather the storm during a downpour, if you can safely hunt through a storm the absolute best time to be in the woods hunting is right when it ends. This doesn’t mean leave your house after the rain. This means staying in your stand through the rain and being there for the after effects.  All your scent is washed away, the woods are calm and the deer seem to walk a great deal more during this time. But you must be in your stand as the rain is still coming down to take advantage of this opportunity.

Remember, deer live in the wild. They eat sleep and drink during whatever mother nature throws at them. So if you want to chase the big bucks this year you cannot let rain keep you out of your stand.

Safety concerns

Always remember that lightning is a serious concern when you are not sheltered. Being off the ground in a tall tree is the last place you want to be during a heavy thunderstorm. So take my advice and if lightening starts cracking get out of your stand if you are off the ground. use good judgement when in a ground blind as some can be hazardous due to falling trees. If you have a well-built ground blind and are clear of trees then stay at your own risk but also remember without risk there is hardy ever any reward.

Have a suitable stand

I have one area in particular that I really love hunting. I have enjoyed my secret spot for the last three hunting seasons and have killed many deer out of it. However, I have more than one stand along the same Oak tree head. Do not limit yourself to having just a climbing stand to hunt from. If you want to hunt rain or shine, buy yourself a cheap Ameristep ground blind like this one on amazon and keep it ready for the rainy days. Not only will you be able to stay dry, but it will keep you low to the ground. For less than $100 it will keep you in the woods even during a rainy day.

Why does it matter?

Hunting has a lot to do with how quiet you are, choosing the right spot, and developing your skills. Hunting is also a numbers game. The more often you are in the woods, the more deer you will see in a season. The deer are always in the woods so getting yourself into their habitat as often as possible is absolutely critical to success. Living in a state like Florida it rains almost every day during bow season so skipping every wet one would truly limit your success.

Make yourself comfortable

The key to hunting during rainy days is staying as dry and warm as possible. This starts with a dry place to hunt from. If you’re limited to a tree stand I recommend a cheap purchase from Amazon called a tree stand umbrella. For less than $40 it will absolutely make your rainy hunt a better experience. If you have a few good spots picked out and can set up a ground blind I recommend the you get one with a waterproof shell to keep you and your gear free from water.

Gear you should consider

Waterproof boots should be in every hunters closet. They can be purchased at every sporting goods store or Wal-mart in America. But how do you keep your feet dry on a “shoestring budget”? I have always just used Kiwi Camp Dry waterproofer on my boots and it will do just fine. Anyone can tough out a 4 hour hunt with wet cold feet but why should you? For around 15$ you can waterproof your current boots and be more comfortable and therefore able to sit still for a longer period of time.

Keep a camo poncho in your hunting gear. Spending a huge amount of money on clothing that is waterproof will only hurt your wallet. I recommend just keeping a cheap camo poncho in your truck or hunting pack to wear until the rain stops or if it catches you by surprise. This will prevent water from soaking you to the bone and making it difficult for you to stay in the woods. Remember, the longer and more often you sit in that buck’s habitat the more likely you are to get a shot on him.

Get prepared now

One thing I can guarantee s that sometime this hunting season it will rain. The time for you to prepare for it is now so that when you wake up to go hunting and see the weather report you don’t think twice about going. If you are prepared and confident in your decision I have no doubt that you will be successful hunting during the rain while most people will stay home. Choose to be a hunter among hunters and not be left at home while the big bucks are walking.


  1. Pingback: Bowhunting in the rain: gear and tips - Hoover’s Outdoors

  2. Thanks for all your great info! My next two days off and it will be raining and I hate missing an opportunity to sit in the woods. Thanks again.

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