From the beginning of deer season until its Jan. 1 close, the weather will vary from scorching, 90-degree days to bone chilling-winter mornings with frozen precipitation all over. Changes in weather conditions will play a strong role in deer movement throughout the season, and hunters looking to score during the last few weeks, scheduling hunts around specific weather patterns will increase their chances of an intimate encounter with their prime suspect.
Pro hunter Chad Weatherford of Loris watches the weather religiously when planning his time in the woods.
“I always look for weather changes, such as going from hot to cold really quick,” said Weatherford. “When the temperature drops five to 10 degrees, deer movement is going to increase.”
Deer movement is the key to big-buck encounters. As long as deer are moving and hunters are seeing them, that’s about all anybody can ask for. But when does get up to feed, bucks will respond immediately.
Rain is another factor that controls deer movement; they don’t like to walk around much in rain, especially in cold weather. They will bed down and seek protection most of the time.
“I have messed up multiple times in the past by showing up an hour after the rain stops; it looks like the deer just threw a block party and I completely missed it, or you will see a buck of a lifetime bounce by your stand as you get close to it.”
Weatherford checks the forecast hourly during a storm to figure out when the rain is going to stop.
“If it is raining and I know it is going to stop at a certain time, I will get into the stand about 30 minutes to an hour before the rain stops,” he said. “The deer will stop moving immediately after a rain event.”