Skip to main content

'Weather' or Not You'll Bag a Buck

'Weather' or Not You'll Bag a Buck
From wind to rain to temperature, we often always have an excuse of why we are having a “tag sandwich.” But you can't kill them sitting inside. In the end, most research indicates that average weather elements have little effect on deer movement overall.

There might not be any worse weather element I hate hunting in than wind. Whether it’s because I can’t hear anything else other than the wind, or because I’ve never had success when it’s windy, the bottom line is when wind is in the forecast, I cringe. I almost feel defeated before the hunt even begins.

For me its likely more superstition, than it is actual truth. Although a large percentage of Pope & Young harvests have been taken when winds fall from above 20-30 miles per hour to around 5-10, according to some data I dug up. Some hunters can’t stand to hunt in “still” conditions, as they believe deer are too spooky and tend to be harder to kill.

So is there any real link to weather and your chance at tagging a buck?

Some recent research in Oklahoma on GPS collared bucks showed that very few conditions affected deer movement overall. In fact, the most influential was humidity. The more humid it was, the less deer moved. It makes sense, I mean whether it’s the heat of summer or the dead of winter , moving around in humid conditions is not fun.


Now as a biologist and hunter, I find it hard to believe temperature does not affect movement. If we hit 70 degrees in the North during December, deer are not going to move a whole lot. It would be like us running around with a full wool suit on … not very pleasant. The only time I can see bucks doing this is during the rut, when they have their minds on other things.


A lot of hunters hate cold, rainy conditions. I’m the complete opposite. Although my senses may be dulled, it is my experience that some of the biggest bucks move during these times. Whether it is because scent is washed away, hunting pressure is non-existent, or just because they like to move during these conditions; I have no clue. But I have encountered some absolute giants during cold rain.

In fact, just a few weeks ago I was in Kansas bowhunting. I sat all day only to have a wicked cold front blow in the area. I could deal with the temperature drop into the high 30s and even the cold rain, but like I said above, I hate wind! So when the sustained 25-plus winds hit, I was ready to call it quits. Of course, I just got to my vehicle when my cellular trail camera a few hundred yards away sends me a picture of a nice buck, cruising by.

Really!? But that’s been my luck all year, however, why that deer moved in those conditions blows my mind. He wasn’t with a doe; he just was out for a stroll in cold rain with 40-mile-per-hour gusts.

We will all continue to look at the weather and visualize how the hunt will go. Even 7-10 days out, we start to predict the success or failure of a hunt. However, in the end, the deer will do what they want and we can only play “weatherman” for our hunt. I’d say there’s a 50-percent chance you’ll shoot a buck next time out, and a 50-percent chance you won’t.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Understanding Reel Retrieve Ratios and How it Affects Lure Presentations

Understanding Reel Retrieve Ratios and How it Affects Lure Presentations

Increase a lure’s effectiveness by pairing it with the ideal reel speed.

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows

New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows

New for 2021, here's a look at the new Rage Trypan NC, Nockturnal Shift Nock, Carbon Express Maxima RED Contour and D-Stroyer PileDRIVER arrows.

Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months

Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months

This one simple trick will trigger more bass strikes on a jerkbait during the fall months.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

With the Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system, anglers have ultimate kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and the ability to move their boat in any direction desiredAmazing Kayak Power and Control: Hobie's MirageDrive 360 Propulsion System Other Fishing

Amazing Kayak Power and Control: Hobie's MirageDrive 360 Propulsion System

OSG Editorial Staff - November 01, 2020

With the Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system, anglers have ultimate kayak control...

Anglers can find catfish in practically any freshwater system in the South, but some waters really stand out for monsters.The South's Best Waters for Trophy Catfish Catfish

The South's Best Waters for Trophy Catfish

John N. Felsher - August 21, 2020

Anglers can find catfish in practically any freshwater system in the South, but some waters...

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.10 Recipes for Your Backyard Get Together Wild Game

10 Recipes for Your Backyard Get Together

Game & Fish Online Staff

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.

This Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe makes the perfect wild game sandwich. Elk burger patties are accompanied by melted Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and Thousand Island dressing and then pressed in between two toasted and golden brown pieces of rye bread.Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe Wild Game

Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe

Kristy Crabtree - October 27, 2020

This Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe makes the perfect wild game sandwich. Elk burger patties...

See More Trending Articles

More Whitetail

How to pick a fight with a do-it-yourself set.Deer Skills: Make Your Own Rattling Antlers Whitetail

Deer Skills: Make Your Own Rattling Antlers

Terry Madewell - November 30, 2020

How to pick a fight with a do-it-yourself set.

Don't let deer hunting's prime time pass you by. Head to one (or all) of these hot spots for a shot at your biggest buck ever.Rut Road Trip for Big Whitetails in the Midwest Hunting

Rut Road Trip for Big Whitetails in the Midwest

Mark Kayser - November 13, 2020

Don't let deer hunting's prime time pass you by. Head to one (or all) of these hot spots for a...

The region is unique, unforgiving and loaded with such a variety of game a hunter might need three trips to fully appreciate the bounty.Destinations: Great Plains, Great Game in Nebraska's Sandhills Hunting

Destinations: Great Plains, Great Game in Nebraska's Sandhills

Josh Dahlke - December 16, 2020

The region is unique, unforgiving and loaded with such a variety of game a hunter might need...

When it's cold and miserable, and the rut is pretty much done, it's still one of the best times of the deer season for a trophy.Late-Innings Whitetails: How to Rally for a Southern Giant Whitetail

Late-Innings Whitetails: How to Rally for a Southern Giant

Doug Howlett - November 24, 2020

When it's cold and miserable, and the rut is pretty much done, it's still one of the best...

See More Whitetail

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now