WIth the Carolinas facing a winter storm this weekend — snow is predicted across much of the Southeast on Sunday and Monday — savvy deer hunters know to get in the woods before it gets there.

Just like people clearing grocery store shelves of bread and milk with the approach of a storm, deer prepare for a big weather event by packing on the groceries, and hunters need to be in the woods during the 36 hours in advance of the front, and after the front has passed.

Most big southern snow storms come after deer season, so if one shows up in early December, take advantage of it. Like most animals, deer can read the falling barometric pressure and know trouble is on the horizon; they’ll feed up, knowing their usual feeding patterns will be interrupted for at least one daily cycle, and if the snow is deep, perhaps longer.

Deer will bed down during the actual storm; you should, too, especially if the storm is accompanied by strong winds. Deer will stay idle as long as a strong breeze is blowing, usually when the weather front arrives and is pushing through an area. Once the front moves through and the winds fall out, get back in the woods as soon as you can. Deer will leave their beds as soon as it’s practical; usually when the storm has passed and winds have slacked off.

If the weather front is accompanied by a big temperature drop, it may take deer an extra day to unwind and get back to feeding.