John's Journal...

Click to enlargeHow to Know When Bucks Move

Times to Hunt in the Rain

EDITOR’S NOTE: You have no way of knowing what day you’ll see a buck of a lifetime during deer season. But you can pinpoint which days to hunt to increase your odds of sighting one. By hunting on the days when deer tend to move the most actively, you’ll have more deer sightings and a greater chance of taking that buck you’ve wanted all season.

“Rainy days also make good hunting days,” Bo Pitman, the lodge Manager at White Click to enlargeOak Plantation in Tuskegee, Alabama, mentions. “However, you have to know what time of the day to hunt. If the rain has fallen all night and day, and you can tell when the rain will stop by observing the weather map, go to a stand near a bedding area in the rain about an hour before the weather clears. Deer tend to move as soon as the rain quits, especially during the rut.” In the rut, bucks actively work scrapes and chase does. Deer have their own vocal and non-vocal language. They communicate by a method scientists call sign-posting. The deer in the area leave messages for one another at scrapes, rubs and licking sticks. Dominant bucks, sub-dominant bucks and does communicate by leaving their scents in and around a scrape, using it like a community bulletin board. When rain passes through a section of land, it washes all the messages off this bulletin board. Click to enlargeDoes want to breed during their estrous cycle, and bucks need to know the locations of the does. To communicate this information to each other, they must reestablish the message center at the scrape. After the rain stops, bucks have to reinstate their scrape lines quickly by revisiting their scrapes to set up the information centers not only for the does but also for other bucks in the region. Often you can expect maximum deer movement immediately after the rain stops. Although I’ve found no scientific research to back up this theory, I believe dominant bucks often return to scrapes immediately after a rain to let other bucks and does on the property know, “Hey, I’m here. I’m still the king of the kingdom. None of you other bucks better chase any of my does. If any of you does have come in estrus, I’m looking for you.”

Click to enlarge“Going to your stand in the rain just before it quits will provide you with another hunting advantage,” Pitman advises. “The rain will wash away your odor and prevent any bucks that come along your trail from becoming spooked.” Many times you can hear the deer moving because of the stillness and quietness of the woods when the rain stops. To drastically increase your deer sightings and opportunities for taking a buck:
* watch your TV weather map;
* determine the speed of a rainstorm moving through your area;
* go to your stand before the rain stops; and
* look for your buck as soon as the weather clears.


Check back each day this week for more about How to Know When Bucks Move

Day 1: The Vietnam Stand Buck
Day 2: Best Days for Bagging a Buck
Day 3: Times to Hunt in the Rain
Day 4: The Worst Days to Hunt
Day 5: The Deer That Move the Most in Bad Weather



Entry 336, Day 3