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Bowhunting in the rain?

Tjraley2

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Joined
Feb 21, 2018
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597
Location
Stoughton, WI
So Wisconsin’s opener is going to be a wet one. 100% chance of rain tomorrow, and they’re calling for it to be a “steady” rain much of the day. I’m not afraid of getting wet, but I am afraid of losing a deer. So here’s my question:

Should one bowhunt in the rain? Do you?
 

Newhunter1

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Dec 20, 2018
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1,488
In Michigan we all have couches/Lazy Boys in our deer blinds.
See...some yahoo would comment about being on a couch hunting deer. :tearsofjoy:


Back on topic, I killed two giant bucks last season in a torrential downpour and watched them fall within 50yds.
Everytime I've been out in rain, the deer will move as soon as it stops.
 

Gator

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May 20, 2019
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1,048
Location
Virginia
I don't normally hunt on days you are describing but the deer will move at some point. I just have plenty of days with more comfortable weather to hunt than to sit out in the rain on purpose. Plus the blood trail goes away quickly in the rain.
 

trailblazer75

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Dec 24, 2018
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886
Location
Springfield, MO
It'll also cover your movements well in the beginning because the trees will be moving as the rain hits and moves the leaves. Which is kinda nice but it can also trip you up and make you see movement of animals that aren't there.
 

Shakeyyjake

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Aug 21, 2020
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6
I took my first deer last year on a rainy day. It was my first hunt ever. It probably masked a lot of my noise/scent control mistakes.
 

TNbowhunter

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Mar 12, 2019
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662
Location
Middle Tennessee
I prefer to avoid hunting in the heavy rain because deer don't seem to move nearly as much, and I don't want to risk the blood trail washing away. I really like hunting in light rain that's supposed to let up during daylight, as I find deer move a ton right after the rain, and I'm able to sneak into my spot with very low impact. As others have said, shot placement is critical, and I wouldn't shoot at any animal unless I considered it a "slam dunk" kind of shot. Along those lines, you might want to sit out the opener if you haven't shot your bow in the rain/when the strings are wet. Even at 20 yards, shooting a wet arrow with wet bow strings can change the point of impact by several inches, which could lead to a bad hit and a long, washed-out blood trail. If you've practiced in those conditions and know where to aim/how to adjust, then I say go for it!
 

redsquirrel

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Feb 19, 2014
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NJ
Hunting in the rain is tough. The deer will move and I have no problem doing it because we get limited time in the tree. Blood trails are the limitation. 2 years ago I shot a doe and a totally unexpected rain shower popped up and washed the blood trail away. It took me 3 hours to find a deer I double lunged that ran off into some thick stuff. I got lucky because after I did find some traces of blood and followed as much as I could I lost it again. I searched and searched and finally went back to last blood and was on my hands and knees. I happened to look up and the underside of the brush's leaves was covered with blood and gave me the direction and she was just another 7 yards away.

Last year I shot another doe, similar situation. I knew the shot was perfect but couldn't see her go down as she ran into some thicker stuff. I got down right away and started tracking as the rain was washing away the blood. I found her right away.

Long story short, even with a good shot in the rain you risk losing a deer that you would otherwise find. Take good shots so you can track immediately, although it's bowhunting so there is no such thing as a gimme and any time you loose an arrow you risk not finding that deer, even more in the rain.
 

boyne bowhunter

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Aug 17, 2016
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Michigan
Hunting in the rain is tough. The deer will move and I have no problem doing it because we get limited time in the tree. Blood trails are the limitation. 2 years ago I shot a doe and a totally unexpected rain shower popped up and washed the blood trail away. It took me 3 hours to find a deer I double lunged that ran off into some thick stuff. I got lucky because after I did find some traces of blood and followed as much as I could I lost it again. I searched and searched and finally went back to last blood and was on my hands and knees. I happened to look up and the underside of the brush's leaves was covered with blood and gave me the direction and she was just another 7 yards away.

Last year I shot another doe, similar situation. I knew the shot was perfect but couldn't see her go down as she ran into some thicker stuff. I got down right away and started tracking as the rain was washing away the blood. I found her right away.

Long story short, even with a good shot in the rain you risk losing a deer that you would otherwise find. Take good shots so you can track immediately, although it's bowhunting so there is no such thing as a gimme and any time you loose an arrow you risk not finding that deer, even more in the rain.
The first deer I shot with a bow was in the rain and I tracked it exactly as you describe. I discovered if I crawled under the ferns shining the light up I could see the blood on the underside of them. It's the only way I found that buck. It's a tactic I'll never forget.
 

Torque_tune

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Jun 6, 2020
Messages
76
its so tempting to hunt on rainy days. like others have said , its such a high probability chance of movement if the rain stops or even slows down real good. the blood trail thing is serious though. also wet deer on wet leaves, when its raining is like trying to catch a fart in a tornado.
 

Allegheny Tom

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Feb 4, 2018
Messages
4,177
Location
Western Pennsylvania
I have used luminal to follow a blood trail in the dark while rainIng.
Im surprised that it took 18 posts for someone to mention luminol aka Bloodglow, aka Bluestar.
The stuff is amazing. Rain cannot wash away the hemoglobin in blood which is what luminol detects. Hemoglobin remains for a long period of time even after inches of rain. In fact luminol works better if the blood has been rain on.
 
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