Bow Hunting In The Rain (Full Guide)

Posted by Andy Ryan
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If you are going bow hunting in the rain and are wondering if it`s a good idea, this article is going to break down all the tactics and tips that you need to be an excellent hunter in the rain. I have been hunting for a while now and I really do enjoy it, but what I enjoy more is hunting in the rain and that is for a good reason, let me explain

Why You Should Bow Hunt In The Rain

Bowhunting in the rain has enormous benefits. First of all the sound of the rain makes a great cover for any sounds you make while moving and getting ready for your shot. Sound is one of the strongest sense of many big game animals and having the benefit of making this very important sense less effective makes the pain of sitting in the rain worth it.

If that were the only benefit of the rain, I would be perfectly happy, but another great reason to hunt in the rain is that deer feel more confident in the rain, the benefit that gives you is that deer move a lot more when it is satisfied with its environment.

The Most Important Action To Take When It Starts Raining

The most important thing to do when it is raining is not to stay inside and go outside and start bow hunting! There have been several times where we have been on a hunting trip at a cabin and the guys I was with decided to stay inside because it started to rain.

Well, they didn’t do that the next day, because I came back to the cabin with two tags. If there is anything that you need to remember after reading this article is that when you hear the rain starts dripping down, take your gear and go hunt.

Different levels of rain – The Difference and which One You Should Bow Hunt In

There is a difference in the amount of rain that pours down, and it affects the deer differently as well. This article has stated a lot of great benefits that you can encounter by hunting in the rain, but there are a few downsides as well if there is too much rain.

You will learn this with some experience, but most often than not hunting in the rain is great, but when it rains cats and dogs you should stay inside because the deer and most big game animals are doing that as well.

The same goes with a lot of wind and a lot of heat, those are the three things that will make the deer around my spot to not return at their usual hours.

Using A Ground Blind For Cover

A smart thing to do is to look at your phone and check out the weather. By looking at this, you can see if it’s going to rain heavily the rest of the day or if it’s going to slow down and drizzle. If it’s going to be raining cats and dogs the whole day, it doesn’t matter if you stick it out, because the deer will most likely not. If you see on the radar that the rain will stop within time, then you can stick it out and see what happens.

What I usually like to do is to go down to my ground blind and sit there when the heavy rains come instead of sitting in my tree stand. The ground blind can be a great cover from the heavy weather and can you make your time in the rain a little more enjoyable. If you don’t know what a ground blind is, how to use it, and hunt from it, you can read this article where it’s all broken down for you.

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Theory Of Big Game Animals Movement In The Rain

The theory that has been made by a professional hunter Tom Robins does make a lot of sense to me. He concludes with the same thoughts that I have reached in my mind throughout my experiences with hunting in the rain. Tom mentioned one of the animals’ senses that I didn’t think would be impacted that much by the rain, and that is the scent. When he said it, it made perfect scents(pardon the pun).

How The Rain Affects Animals Scent

What he mentioned was that the rain decreased their ability to scent areas and field edges resulting in that they have to move closer to the fields to be able to smell for possible food. This makes them more vulnerable and makes it a better time for us to hunt.

Decreased Vision In the Rain

Tom Robins had some fascinating thoughts about the eyesight of the animals as well. I have known for a while now that rain was an incredible miracle, but Tom gave me many good reasons why that was.

Tom mentioned that the drizzle of the water prevented the deer and other big game animals from having the sight they need to move as usual and resulting in more movement because they have to walk around more to get more vision and look for food areas.

The increased movement of any big game animal has a high impact on your chances to have a successful hunt. The reason for this is that there is a more significant chance for the animals to pass your hunting area.

For many bowhunters sitting in one spot and scouting areas where the targeted animals usually hang around is a common tactic and is one I typically use myself. The worst thing you are worried about is that they won’t be any animal in sight. This is something you don’t have to worry about if you go hunting when it rains. This is maybe an over-saturation, but I do want you to get up off your couch when it rains.

Noice – The Sence Of Hearing

He touched on a point which I mentioned briefly at the beginning that is their ability to hear you is minimized. The rain creates a natural cover he states, the rain makes a lot of sounds, not just from falling, but from falling down the trees, splashing on the leafes and the ground.

This adds up to a lot of distraction and noise that you can take great advantage of. You can make bigger movements and sounds without it damaging your possible score. Don’t overdo it, because it won’t make you invisible, but just a tiny bit more stealthy.

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How To Bow Hunt More Effectivly With Silence

There are several things you could do to make yourself more stealthy regarding decreasing noises that you make. These tips do not only apply for hunting in the rain, but also on sunny days. What is essential is to remove sticks and objects around you that can break or move resulting in noise. Remove everything around you besides the essential things you need to tag and bad your target.

Another thing to do is to use clothes that make minimal noise. Most hunting clothes have this feature, and the material for these are suited for minimal noise, but I know several hunters that have on occasion chosen clothes they liked and later on in the woods figured out they sounded like a fully dressed decorated Christmas tree.

The last time I want to say is to stay in one place and look in one direction. This is what I usually do when I bow hunt from the ground. If you sit on the ground in an open area and you start looking around in other directions because you are curious if there are any animals beside you this will cause noise and instead of shooting one deer you will see many, but you won’t shoot anyone because you are making all this noise and movements.

Bad Things About The Rain And What To Do About It

There aren’t just bright sides to hunting in the rain. The hardest part of hunting in the rain is to track the deer or any big game animal after you have shot it and it’s leaving a blood trail. Because if it’s pouring down rain the blood will vanish in second leaving no trail for you to follow. If it’s drizzling rain then the blood will most likely last for a longer time, maybe an hour depending on the amount.

This makes it very important to keep an eye on the deer after you have taken the shot. Follow it with your eyes and see where it could potentially be laying. This is something you would usually do as well, but it’s crucial to do when it rains.

Another thing you have to do is to decrease your range and angles. When shooting in the rain, you can’t shoot at the distance you are regularly using because you have to make a perfect shot to ensure a quick death. If you don’t it can result in a long treasure hunt.

Tracking Your Target In The Rain – Tips

Make a mental note on where you last saw the deer or the big game animal. Remember this spot and use it as a starting point when you start your search.

Kick up the leaves to look for tracks and direction; this can usually tell you what you need to know. If this is not for you I would suggest you “think like your target” what I mean with this is to walk the path he would most likely take. For example, dears usually move towards the water when they are wounded; they also don’t like to run in uphill or rough terrain when they are in bad shape which makes sense

Use these three-pointers to help you out finding the deer or animal. If you didn’t find it by using this, I would suggest you to do a thorough search with your friends to find it. Either by walking in line or using a drone if its open landscape.

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What To Wear When Bow Hunting In The Rain

Hunting in the rain can take a toll on your stamina if you don’t wear the proper clothes for the conditions. The clothes you wear can decide if your bow hunting trip will be an enjoyable one or one that you don’t want to repeat ever again. I recommend you buy high-quality clothes that are 100% waterproof and test them out before you decide to hunt in them.

There are several brands that produce hunting clothes, but not all work equally well. We all have different likes and dislikes so to find one that fits you I recommend buying either on trusted websites like Amazon where you can return it if you don’t like it or a pro shop if you have one close by.

Purchase one from a good brand and test it by using it while your climb your tree stand and doing things you would usually do on your hunting trip. Make sure it feels good and doesn’t make a lot of noise when you move around.

This is the rain suite I use (Link To Amazon) It has made my life hunting in the rain 10 times easier. I have my regular hunting clothes and I just simply use this as well when I am hunting in the rain. It’s easy to use and a fraction of the cost of new hunting clothes that has the same waterproof level as these.

Wear Proper Clothes For Hunting And Walking In The Rain

In addition to good clothes, you need good shoes and warm clothes underneath if it’s really cold. Make sure to not wear the same amount of clothes when you are walking to your spot and sitting down.

Dress down and take off warm clothes before you start your walk, this will prevent you from sweating which can spread your scent all over the place. So to avoid that use fewer clothes when walking and when you are sitting down put on some wool clothes and wait for the deer to come.

Using Hunting Umbrella In Tree Stand

If you can, purchasing a hunting umbrella to have over your tree stand can be a great investment. This is the one I use (Link To Amazon) Its really cheap and works great. Still, if your clothes are waterproof it’s nice to have something over your head.

What Not To Bring When Bow Hunting In The Rain

There are a lot of things to bring to a rainy hunt, but there are more to leave behind. Hunting in rainy conditions is very different from warm and shiny days. You can think of hunting in the rain like a minimalist hunt. You don’t want to bring anything besides what you really need in order to tag and bag your target.

All electronics should be left behind. Still, if you have a waterproof backpack or any preparations you make bringing expensive electronics is not a great idea when the rain starts pouring.

Bring the essentials and not any more than that.

Frequently Asked Questions

How active are deer in the rain? Deers are very active in light to medium levels of rain. Their senses are impaired so they have to move around more to see more and find potential food spots. In heavier raining conditions, the deer will find shelter because of the harsh weather conditions.

How do you stay dry when hunting in the rain? To stay dry when hunting in the rain you need to use waterproof clothing. In addition to this, you can use either a hunting umbrella or a ground blind which can protect you from getting wet.

Is it good to hunt in the rain? Yes, hunting in the rain is very good. Because most animals start moving around more because their senses are impaired resulting in more movement because they have to find food. Since they don’t see or smell that well when it rain they have to move more to get the same overview.

Can deer smell better in the rain? No, the deer smell less when it is raining. The rain washes away a lot of the scent and the rain also impairs their sense to smell.



Andy Ryan is the founder of ArcheryPower and has been in the archery industry for many years. He is an instructor and maintains a certification. His mission is helping more and more people each year with archery and bow hunting.

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