So have had this morning's hunt on my work calendar for the past 2 weeks. Was one of those rare days when I don't have conference calls starting at 7:30 and with the Daylight Savings time change, I was going to be able to get a good 3 hours in the blind before I had to get back to pouring over PowerPoint slides and spreadsheets. Woke up at 5:00 to the sound of rain that started as a sprnkle, but quickly became pretty much a downpour. Since I am now sitting at my computer drinking coffee instead of staring with anticipation through a blind window, I got to wondering if braver souls than me might be out in the field right now.
So the question is, do you hunt in the rain and if so, how do you do it successfully?
If you wait for it to stop raining on the west coast, you might miss the season. Glenn St Charles built a center back quiver with a hood. Soon after Bear made a model like it to sell, and it replaced a leather model with a removable hood. Catquiver 2 is my go to quiver for bad weather. Safari Tuff makes a nice quiver. There are several sprays for clothing, and tents that will work on feathers. I prefer to wear wool, but there are other options.
I remember hunting for predators in the rain with a buddy, when a fir tree shaped like a teepee looked like a great shelter for an animal, I lifted a bough and a doe jump out within a few feet. Sometimes animals want to get out of the rain, and will head for the dark timber, or thickets to stay dry. If they are not feeding or moving, look for their bedding areas, your luck might change.
Mr Bisch, you are in TX, its a dry rain, remember.... forget everything else, just remember a hard rain screws up blood trails. A long trail is much more likely to become coyote food. Chip shots or no shots. All the rest is negotiable.
I have occasionally continued to hunt after unexpectedly finding myself in a rain that was not forecasted. I have seldom hunted in the rain. I hope that my following observations might still possibly be interesting to some considering hunting in the rain.
I have bare-shaft tuned arrows in the past, but I currently only tune fletched arrows. I always hunt with fletched arrows. I do not hunt with bare shafts. Due to curiosity, I have shot some almost completed arrows (even with the wraps) prior to the final step of fletching those arrows in order to see how these arrows flew without fletching. They flew surprising badly. They were visibly angled a bit side-ways as they flew through the air towards the target. They still seemed to hit where I aimed at short distances (18 yards or less). They later flew great with fletching. I wondered whether I could be in trouble should my fletching become wet.
I have read that rain adversely affected medieval archers during warfare due to wet fletching. I have read that the possibility of encountering wet fletching is a reason that one should bare shaft tune.
For the last couple of years I have very regularly (usually at least once a week) gone stump shooting/roving with a friend on his 20 acres. Fairly often we now have first started by placing a couple dozen water balloons plus a couple dozen dog-toy foam footballs all around his property at strategically interesting places (e.g., to mimic a rabbit hiding within brambles and such). We shoot at all sorts of random various distances. We will shoot up to 40 or even 50 yards just for fun, but we normally shoot an estimated 20 yards or less. After we started using the water balloons, our fletching would become thoroughly wet. We initially thought this would greatly affect our accuracy. Neither could notice much difference, if any, at 20 yards or less. It seemed that the wet fletching still added enough drag and stability to the arrow flight to be pretty insignificant. Sure we received an unwelcomed shower for several shots, but no problem hitting targets at 20 yards or less. One day just being goofy for fun, we shot at his 15 yard range targets for a while followed by soaking our arrow’s fletching submerged in his nearby pond. We then shot at the 15 yard targets again. Not much effect.
I don’t really want to hunt in the rain, but I no longer worry about my fletching getting wet.
These are just my experiences. Your mileage might vary.
Also, i guess it depends on where you live, here in TN it rains 120 days a year according to the all knowledgable google
I’ll skip the rain 99% of the time. If I go an a paid hunt where I only have a set amount of days, I will go out in the rain, but I don’t like shooting critters in the rain. Too much can happen bad to a blood trail.
If I do hunt in the rain, I want to be in a box blind. I don’t care to sit in a tree or ladder stand and get soaked!!!!!!
I agree that it's even more important to get the chip shot during a rain, or pass up the shot. I've certainly been caught in heavy downpours, which I sat through in the hope bucks would be freshening scrapes immediately thereafter. And, I do go out after a heavy rain. But if a heavy all day or several hour rain is predicted, I now stay in.
Never had trouble with arrow flight during the rain. If the arrow is well tuned, very little fletching is needed. Matted down wet feathers equals very little fletching. Never made enough difference for me to worry ab out it.
I’ve hunted in the rain all my life. From light drizzle to downpour. I find game seems to move freely during light rain and during the rut bucks are on their feet right after a heavy rain eases up to visit and freshen up scrapes. I’ve killed my 3 biggest bucks on days 90% of the hunters would never step outside. Biggest key is to not take chances on a bad shot. I would rather let a deer walk and take only what I consider chip shots for myself during these conditions. I know unforeseen things can happen when it comes to make a shot but I can honestly say I have never lost a deer because of blood trail washed out. I’ve never hunted from an enclosed blind or “shoot house” of any kind. I don’t have a problem with those that do but for me I feel it’s part of my ethics to be out and endure the same elements as my prey. A lot of guys are gonna flame away at me for saying that And that’s ok. We all have our beliefs on what is fair chase and what is not. Hardest thing is keeping your fletch dry. I try to keep my arrows in a quiver with a hood of some kind and not keep an arrow on the string till I need to. I’ve treated feathers with different things over the years but prefer to just keep the fletch covered till needed.
Im a young guy, i was fully prepared to hunt in the rain last night, I didnt have to tho as it blew over. but i have some light weight rain gear I can pull over my clothes. its just grey nothing fancy. I dont know about successfully or anything. Im figuring that part out in good weather. the deer hear move just fine in the rain. Unless it's too cold to be safe I'll get out in it. I get cold really easy tho so that means something different to me than most folk. I guess thats what being 5'11'' and #145 gets ya. I should pack it on in the late summer like bears I guess.
As a young guy, I hunted in the rain and never thought twice about it. The older I got the more I preferred dry weather. Now I don't go out if there is any likelihood of bad weather.
I'll hunt in a light mist, and will sit through a light rain, (this is without a blind) but when it rains hard, I pack it in. I'll sit out a heavy rain in a turkey pop-up blind, but likely wouldn't shoot at a bird then if I ever had the opportunity. A hard rain washes out a blood trail pretty quickly.