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Soggy Day? Hunt Anyway!

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As I sit here at my desk, the big topic of conversation amongst my family and friends has been the opening day of archery season here in Zone C. Saturday the 17th is the big day and most all of us have a game plan, but nobody knows for certain yet what sort of weather we’ll be in for. I’m going to go way-out on a limb and trust the ten-day weather forecast according to the website www.weather.com, which is telling me to be ready for a warm and soggy day. So, that begs the question, if it’s raining and wet, do we hunt or do we stay home and wait until dryer weather? I can guarantee you one thing, this fat, little bowhunter will be in the field!

Now, the rain can really be an asset to a hunter in a few different ways. Firstly, it washes the air and makes it very difficult for the deer to use their noses to detect our presence. Secondly, it masks the sounds of our entry to the stand site. By fooling both of their top defenses, the deck will slightly become stacked in our favor. Thirdly, it feeds them. That’s right, the wind often associated with the rains will knock acorns, pecans, persimmons, and other favored foods from the treetops and the deer will want to be up moving in order to take advantage of that.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Just slip out in a rain storm and fill your cooler with fresh, quality venison for your table, right? Well, it’s not…. For each advantage we gain, we gain an equal disadvantage to overcome as well. One such disadvantage, I especially prepare for, is the cold. It may be hard for some of you to believe that you can get cold in the rain on an eighty-degree day, but you can. Once we’re wet, our bodies begin to cool quickly and the usual lightweight camo clothing we wear during the early season is insufficient. That’s why I carry a long-sleeved camo sweatshirt in my pack. I don’t bother with ill-fitting and noisy rain gear as a personal choice; I’d much rather add an extra layer of clothing and remain warm, quiet, and comfortable.

Another new obstacle the rain can throw our way is maneuverability. Roads and trails can become mighty soggy and difficult to get around on. You’ll never get that cooler filled if you get your truck stuck in the mud or find a flooded and boiling creek between yourself and your stand site. So bear that in mind when selecting a location to hunt, knowing the rains will come. Have a sure and certain path in and out that you can travel with confidence.

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Another highly recommended item is a good pair of muck boots, or even better, waterproof snake boots. When your feet get wet and all wrinkly and soggy in your shoes, it makes for some mighty uncomfortable hunting. I am very cautious to keep my feet comfortable and healthy. A new set of blisters to your feet slopping around in wet shoes on opening day can really wreck your hunting for a while.

As always, I thank you for the opportunity to visit here in this column and if you have any questions or feedback, give me a shout at [email protected]. God bless and good hunting!

Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America. Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.
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