'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

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

Multiple time FLW Costa winner Jessi Mizell is no stranger to catching big Florida bass on a popping frog. As he tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, with the new 13 Fishing Omen Black baitcasting rod, the job just got easier.

Berkley

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

Simms

Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor Hoody

John Frazier of Simms Fishing Products helps OSG's Lynn Burkhead understand the new features of the new Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor sun protection hoody.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some strategies. Catfish

Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures? Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a species Catfish

10 Biggest Catfish World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - December 08, 2014

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a...

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

10 Recipes for Your Outdoor BBQ

Game & Fish Online Staff

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

See More Trending Articles

More Whitetail

Amid CWD concerns, the evolving regulation of attractants may change the way you hunt. Whitetail

Deer-Urine Bans: The New Normal?

Carolee Anita Boyles - March 27, 2020

Amid CWD concerns, the evolving regulation of attractants may change the way you hunt.

Here's a look at the regs and arguments about using bait while whitetail hunting. Whitetail

Baiting Deer Continues to Dwindle in Midwest

Patrick Durkin - December 11, 2019

Here's a look at the regs and arguments about using bait while whitetail hunting.

A shot commits you to finding the animal. Your success depends on how you read the hit and the track. Whitetail

Aim True, Track Smart: Harvest Recovery

Wayne van Zwoll - December 26, 2019

A shot commits you to finding the animal. Your success depends on how you read the hit and the...

Become a better poor-weather deer hunter. Whitetail

Make Bad Weather a Deer-Hunting Bonus

Terry Madewell - November 27, 2019

Become a better poor-weather deer hunter.

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

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