It’s always a good time to go deer hunting — unless you’re Danny Dillard.
Dillard is extremely selective when choosing times to hit the woods, and one of his favored times is right after a rain.
No, Dillard’s not all wet. In fact, his strategy makes perfect sense. Rain, it seems, creates a “perfect storm,” if you will.
First of all, a wet woods is a hushed woods. The sounds of rustling leaves and cracking sticks and twigs are muffled, which can work both for and against a hunter.
But there’s no doubt that deer — and big bucks, in particular — feel more comfortable moving around in such conditions.
Such was the scenario when Dillard bagged an Anderson County buck that qualified for the Boone and Crockett Club’s all-time record book in 2009.
“I hadn’t been in there much, because I didn’t want to disturb it, but with all the rain I knew I could slip in there quietly, and my scent wouldn’t be as bad,” Dillard said. “The key is to be near a scrape line when the rain stops.”
Dillard was there at the right time on that fateful day and has attempted to replicate that strategy ever since. He said bucks have an irrepressible urge to check their scrapes after they’ve been bedded down for a while, particularly after a heavy rain.
“I compare it to a teenager going on a first date or to the prom — he wants everything to be just perfect,” Dillard said. “If he hasn’t been out there in a while, and he thinks his scrapes aren’t perfect, he’s going to come out there as soon as possible and start checking scrapes and making sure they’re cleared out.
“I try to be there when he’s doing that.”