Do deer move in the rain – Do they survive in the rain?

Most hunting plans have been affected by rain and have left several hunters wondering if deer move in the rain. I have seen the question “do deer move in the rain” raised on many hunting platforms by hunters who have had several experiences of going home early from a hunting trip just because the rain was predicted.

While it is possible for rain to affect hunters, rain hardly affects deer, except it is heavy or stormy rain that’d require that the deer hide until it is over. On a normal day with drizzles or showers, deer carry on with their normal routine without hindrance. The only issue might be the hunter considering his health and the safety of his gears in the rain.

In the rainy season, rain does not stop a deer from moving about in search of food; neither does it cause a deer to change its habit. In some cases, rain makes a deer more relaxed as it saunters around the wild, probably because it knows that it is safe from gunned hunters, but on second thought, it might be due to the gloomy quiet of the wild then, plus the frequent movement of leaves and twigs.

On clear days, deer are more alert and jumpy, glancing here and there for reasons to flee but rainy days seems to give them fewer reasons to worry as they feed without a care in the world.

However, when the rains are heavy, just like humans are prone to laze on the bed with blankets wrapped around them, deer will also seek shelter in the woods to keep safe from the storm and heavy drops of rain. Usually, deer feel when a storm is close and becomes more active in the hours before the storm.

Also, they search for food during these active hours and fill themselves up before finding comfort in deep woods when the rain comes heavily. This food keeps them filled in case the rain doesn’t let up soon enough for them to go in search of more food.

A hunter may find his best game in those hours preceding the heavy rainfall or storm. But if you have been discouraged at the onset of the rains, you might have lost your chance at getting a big game. While many hunters believe that deer would not move around in the rains, it is the other way round for deer depending on the rainstorm.

It has been observed that deer love light showers just because it softens the ground, making them less obvious when moving around and keeping safe from predators. Deer also love that their scent does not travel far in the rain, which means they cannot be trailed and thus evade predators.

For deer, rainfall is more like a blessing to them in many ways. However, since deer also detect danger by smelling it from afar, rains could hide a predator’s scent from a deer until it is very close to danger.

So as a hunter, if you have the nerves to hunt your big game in the rain, be prepared to get soaked and be seated for a long time while you wait for the deer to make an appearance. Be sure to come packed with weather-proofed gears, as this will be one less worry for you while you hunt in the rain.

do deer move in the rain

Do deer come out in the rain?

It has been established that deer come out in the rain as long as the rains are not torrential or are backed by storms. Deers love to move around when they can sense everything around them and know that their scents cannot easily give them away.

Rain provides these two privileges, so you will see deer in the rain as long as it is not a downpour. Big buck moves right immediately; the rain stops, or the showers are mild. They move about as a family and fawns leading with the bucks coming behind in their protective gait.

Rain is one of the few conditions that will make deer move in the daytime instead of their nocturnal activities. As you realize this, it will help you take advantage of this period to catch the buck you’ve been targeting on your trail cam. Also, maybe by instinct, deer knows that hunters may feel unmotivated to hunt in the rain, so if you’ve observed them, you’d realize they often move with their guards down in the rain.

The deer is at an advantage during a rainfall- suppressed scent and less noise due to wet ground, but you can also take advantage of this as a hunter.

Do deer move in the snow?

Just like the rains, deer can sense a snowfall long before it begins to fall and, therefore, will be more active before the snow just to gather some food while it snows. The best time for deer hunting will be before and immediately after the snow.

The deer tend to be hungry and can’t wait for the snow to let up so they can go in search of food. However, during a snowstorm, bucks will be mostly found bedded deep down in their home, in secluded locations, or, depending on how heavy the snow falls, in the thickest vegetation you can find around. They often prefer remote locations because they believe it offers protection from hunters and predators after a long time of trying to escape them. Even a deer needs its privacy and time.

Read also: Do deer decoys really work? 

Where do deer go when it rains?

Most hunters have discovered that deer go out in search of food in light rain, especially if they anticipate a bigger rainstorm. They love to have enough to feed on while they wait in hiding for the rain to let up.

The nature of deer in the rain is also much dependent on the type of deer and its location. The whitetail deer follow their normal routes to graze in open fields. They are less tensed and jumpy because they feel less threatened under dark or gray clouds.

Blacktail deer, on the other hand, are usually not bothered by rain except if followed by thunderstorms. The blackatil deer is more active in the rains browsing leaves and twigs undisturbed, and may find shelter in dense thickets or forest if rain becomes heavier.

A mule deer is a little more domesticated and can be found in backyards and neighboring gardens, especially if it leads to the woods. However, mule deer are found in places with fewer trees in the rains, though they may need one to provide shelter in a heavy downpour.

So, it can be said that deer do not have a particular place they go in the rain asides from going about their normal businesses on clear, dry days. They search for food, stay away from predators and go back to their homes to rest.

Do deer move in the wind?

The wind has also been discovered to cause a movement trigger in deer. A significant change in wind motion may cause deer to be on the move. For instance, a heavy wind blowing hard for days without letting up will find deer in their hideout waiting until the wind speed drops.

A drop in wind speed will cause deer to move in herds and as fast as possible, which may be a perfect moment for your hunting. The truth is deer are always waiting for when the weather condition is right to allow them to feed without pressure or disturbance, and this happens to be when the wind speed is normal.

They are less active in the first few days of a high wind, but if the wind continues at that speed, deer brace up to face the wind and move majorly because it has to feed.

However, this is not always safe, so when the winds become too high, they can break trees or snap branches, deer will remain in a place to wait it out to stay safe and protected. These high-speed occurrences don’t usually last for longer than a day.

They tend to avoid moving during periods of high winds because, like the rains, wind hides their predator’s scents, and they tend to be more alert and edgy when the wind blows as they do not know what direction danger is lurking. High wind makes it difficult to identify and detect predators as the scents are split in different directions.

High winds make it hard for deer to perceive a nearby predator due to the rustling leaves, moving foliage, and clapping tree branches. However, on less windy days, especially with the wind coming from a direction, they tend to be move more actively and feed with less anxiousness.

They leverage on the steady breeze to move towards their food source while on the lookout for hiding predators, and their stealth movement is further encouraged as the rustling bush or leaves caused by the wind cover the sound of their movement as they go about.

Where do deer go when it rains at night?

Deer goes in search of food as they need to stay feed. While waiting for the rain to lighten up (depending on how long it lasts) deer may be very hungry and take advantage of the first rain stop to browse for food. These animals have little worry about getting cold, as their coat which is a little oily, offers them protection from the harsh weather.

Since deer are naturally nocturnal and move about at the wee hours of the night, little rain does not deter their movement unless it is a very heavy rainstorm that will require them to go into hiding.

So, the movement of a deer when it rains at night depends solely on the severity of the rainfall; otherwise, nighttime is the perfect time for them to go about their business foraging as they can’t during the day.

Where do deer go to when it rains or snows?

This depends largely on how bad the weather is. Mild weather will not deter deer from moving about doing their business, neither will you recognize any alteration in their movement. But when there is a heavy rainstorm or snowstorm, you will see them moving from all directions trying to find a safe place to hide or find cover.

This may mean finding large trees or overgrown bushes to hide. Although for bigger bucks, they prefer the end of ridges or hiding with their backs against a tree to get a better view of what is going on around them and detect a predator before it locates them. They move fast from their hideout once they sense a predator close by.

But then, what humans consider a heavy rainfall maybe just slightly to a deer, and they may keep moving in it. They are protected from the cold by the hairs in their coat which gives them good insulation that keeps them warm even when the hunter may be shivering in his hideout.

Bow hunting in the rain – is it a good thing to do?

Bow hunting in the rain may be one of the best adventures as a hunter. Not only because you get to see deer move out in search of food and find your target, but also because it gives you more leverage to hunt thanks to the weather unnoticeably.

Asking if bow hunting in the rain is a good thing to do is quite tricky in the sense that while a good catch is guaranteed on clear days, there is a higher chance of catching a good buck in the rains, especially if you have it all planned out well.

Bow hunting in the rain makes you invisible, and the animals are unable to pick your scents in the rain. The most important thing is for you to plan how to get the game once you successfully hit the deer; considering that blood trails are easily washed off in the rain, you can’t depend on trails.

As you prepare to hunt your game, be ready to sit and wait for a long time as deer are rather unpredictable. Their movement may be immediately and sometimes could take hours. As you pull the trigger and are certain that you hit the buck, pay attention to every slight movement as that is your cue on what direction the hit animal is headed.

Your game will not run too far if you get a clear shot, so you might decide to wait a while for the buck to fall, or you follow it immediately.

Every successful bow hunter knows that rainy seasons are good opportunities for them, so they don’t sleep in or get discouraged when it comes pattering on the roof. Besides, it is a less popular time of the year to find many hunters in the wild, giving you an extra edge over those who wouldn’t dare.

Be mindful of one thing if you are bow hunting; make sure your judgment is right and precise, especially in calculating the wind in your aiming trajectories, as doing this wrongly may cost you a clean kill. Be sure to have your arrowheads razor-sharp and lethal enough to make a one-time hit.

Do deer move after it rains or snows?

Yes, this is the best time to find deer on the move, especially the big bucks. If it has been raining for so long, there is the likelihood that the animals are hungry while they wait out the rain. Since they have been hiding before the rain started, what is on top of their mind is how to get out in search of something to eat. Deer needs to eat as much as they can and cannot stay for so long without food. This is usually the best time for hunters to get their target. It is a strategy most hunters use nowadays.

Should You Deer Hunt in the Rain?

Every serious-minded hunter should know that by now, deer hunting in the rain is a blessing. So, instead of snuggling deeper into your blanket at the first drop of rain, you should rather get dressed and prepared to go out in the rain to witness the movement of deer.

However, it is important to note that the heavier the rain gets, the less likely you’ll find deer moving around. The best window period for every deer hunter to get a good sight of a buck is a few hours before the rain, during light showers, and immediately after heavy rainfall.

These are the times when deer are getting stocked up on food to keep them during the rain or to feed on after waiting for so long for the rain to stop.

Asides from the perks of sighting big buck movement after heavy rainfall, you also get the benefit of having the forest all to yourself since only a few hunters can brave the weather in search of bucks.

This means fewer hunters, less noise, and movements that could scare off your target, and the most important is that there will be less scent for the animals to pick on and scurry to their hiding places. You may also get to identify your target easily and on time.

Additionally, as it just rained, it becomes more difficult for deer to perceive you since the rain or snow has dispersed your scent from being concentrated in one part of the wood, which means that you can remain undetected by the deer for as long as you are scouting.

So, instead of waiting for the deer to come to you, why don’t you go to the deer? This time is the best opportunity to sneak in on the deer and get the best of them. As a hunter, you should know when the odds are in your favor regardless of the conditions.

How to hunt deer in the rain?

Let’s focus on the hunter first because your wellness and stability are needed to get a good game in the rain.

To deer hunt in the rain, first, you must be well suited for the weather. This is because while you are shivering and shaking off the cold, a deer is better insulated to stay in the weather in search of its food. You may need a thick winter jacket and a rainproof coverall to avoid getting all soaked up in the rain while you wait for your target to be in sight.

Also, trying to move hunting gears in the rain can be difficult, and you may need to ensure you keep these gears dry. You need to be sure you have warm waterproof boots on your feet. Wet feet are no fun while hunting in the rain. Your hunting rifle also needs special care as you risk it getting rust if frequently exposed to water. Be sure to get waterproof scope caps and wax your weapons to keep them polished and protected from water.

Be sure to be set up before the rain stops, as it will be a huge mistake on your part to start setting up after the rains when the deer are coming out to eat. You will end up spooking the deer if you wait till the rain stops.

Be sure to set up your hideout somewhere near a food source as it puts you at a greater advantage since this is the first thing the deer are coming out to get. Hunting in the rain may be a bit tacky and requires lots of planning and attention to detail, but trust me, the result is mostly worth it, and you’d be glad you didn’t stay in.

Read also: 15 Inexpensive way to feed deer in 2021


Do deer move in the rain? I believe with every point raised and discussed above, and we can conclude that rain does not hinder deer movement. However, heavy rainfall may cause them to go into hiding. As a deer hunter, rather than avoiding bad weather, you could instead leverage on it as it could be one of your best hunting opportunities to catch the biggest buck.