Let’s start by asking a question. Should I bow hunt in the rain?
Answer: ABSOLUTELY. Although bow hunting can be difficult in bad weather, it can also offer incredible opportunities.
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There are many things to be aware of when you consider all the possibilities.
This topic has been covered in great detail elsewhere. Click here to see our complete guide to hunting in the rain. But, if you are heading out in stormy weather, here are some tips.
Read up on the weather before you go
Although this sounds obvious, it’s surprising how many people forget to check the weather before they go on a hunt. Make sure you check the weather forecasts before packing your gear.
Light Rain Might Provide Unique Hunting Opportunities
Although there isn’t any research available, we have anecdotal evidence that light rain doesn’t seem to hinder deer. Deer will most likely hunker down when it rains heavily, but they will get up and move about during light showers to search for food.
However, light rain will not stop other hunters. This can make it possible for you to hunt alone in the woods. Rain-hunting is possible if you have the right gear and are willing to endure some discomfort.
Heavy Rain can also provide unique hunting opportunities
Remember how we said deer would hunker down in a downpour? After a downpour, deer will need to get up and search for water, food, and other necessities. After being so still for so many hours. This environment will be wet, mushy, and muddy. That’s why mud boots or rubber boots are great. However, this kind of weather will also scare off many hunters. There are many opportunities for those who are willing to get dirty and muddy.
It’s a smart decision to invest in some waterproof hunting boots
You don’t have to say “Trust me on this one” because almost everyone who has spent time outdoors has seen wet feet and knows what misery it can bring.
If you are outside for long enough, your feet can become “uncomfortable” and “dangerous.” We’ll talk more about that shortly.
Keep your feet toasty and warm. If you’re looking for some ideas, we have a list of our top rubber hunting boots.
It’s a smart decision to invest in a hunting umbrella
It’s a good idea to have your camera with you, even if it’s 72 degrees and sunny. It’s a miserable experience to sit in a treestand with the sky pouring down on you. An umbrella is a great option for comfort. An umbrella on a tree stand is even better!
Hunt From a Ground Blind If You Can
Although we know not everyone can afford to have a blind, it is possible to have one if you own land or lease land. Although you may not hunt regularly from a blind, a blind is a good idea if there are frequent heavy rains.
You can hunt from a treestand if you don’t want to use the ground blind.
Please be careful when you get up into your tree stand (and all the time you’re there).
In most cases, it is best to stay away from trees that are standing in wet or rainy conditions. The risk of falling and slipping is too great.
Take Control of Your Shots!
This is one of those “bow hunting under the rain” tips we hope you will take to heart. Have faith in your hunting bow but be aware of the weather’s impact on your ability to connect to your game.
We have yet to see a hunter say that rain improves his/her accuracy. So only shoot shots that you are very, very confident about. This is doubly true for bowhunters. You might reduce your comfort zone to 25 or 20 meters if it is more than 30 yards. You’ll find it harder to put down your game in the elements. Also, blood trails will disappear much faster in the rain so you’ll have to be quick after connecting a shot.
Make Yourself Waterproof
Waterproof gloves, coats, and hats are worth the investment. If you hunt in areas that receive frequent rain, a rain suit is a great addition.
No matter what you choose, ensure it is breathable. Garments that aren’t breathable can make you sweaty.
Hot Soup can be Heavenly
A thermos filled with a hot savory soup can make you feel great when you are out in the woods, sweating, and your teeth chattering. We were recently told by someone that thermoses are “an old man” thing. We’re sorry that they will never experience the joy of warm soup on a rainy and cold day.
Let’s end with something really important…
HYPOTHERMIA DON’T ACT ONLY IN THE FRIZZING COLD
Hypothermia is when your body loses heat quicker than it can make. This belief is false. Hypothermia can happen in rain, and it can also happen indoors if you aren’t paying attention. Wear appropriate clothing, keep dry, and don’t leave the house for too long. Look out for signs of hypothermia such as nausea, dizziness, or slurred speech. If you are hunting with a friend, tell them you need to return. If you are alone, you can use the communication device that you brought to reach someone.
This sounds easy, but it is worth noting: Pay attention to how your body feels. We hunters often get so focused on the game that we forget about our physical condition. Be aware and mindful!