Thursday, May 20, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Bad Weather Hunting -- and Why it Works

by Naomi K. Shapiro

When inclement weather strikes, 90 per cent of hunters in the woods will turn tail and run for home. On the contrary, guide Phil Schweik says. Unless the weather is life threatening, it's the best time for you to be in the woods. Phil says that he has taken more deer, wild turkey, and other game animals in adverse weather conditions than when it's "blue sky and apple pie." First off, take wind out of the equation. If it's blowing like a "nor'easter," the animals will hunker down – and that's when Phil heads for a local diner and enjoys a cup of Joe, keeping his eye on the weather. We're talking about hunting when there's rain, snow, or an incoming or outgoing storm or front.

Watch The Video and Listen to this bird gobble at the thunder durring a rainy day hunt.

What happens when you have fronts or weather systems coming into an area is that the animals sense that and they become far more active. Now, unlike people, who look for cover and shelter, the animals move around in the woods. The savvy hunter who understands this prepares himself (or herself), and who can withstand the weather conditions can take advantage of some of the best hunting of the year.

Take into consideration adverse weather when choosing clothing and gear. Take QUIET rain gear so you're silent and blend in with the environment. Then, use a ground blind. You're out of the weather and still can hunt very capably. Indeed, hunters will stock up with vittles and NON-ALCOHOLIC liquids, bring along one of those little portable heaters, and sit out the storm in comfort, waiting for that big buck to come in.

When there's nice weather, there are lots of hunters in the woods... deer recognize this and hunker down. When it's adverse weather, the deer sense that people go home, so they move around since there is a lack of human presence. And Phil Schweik says, "the worse the weather, the more animal movement there is." If a deer senses an incoming storm, it will want to immediately stoke up on food and be prepared to hunker down AFTER it feeds. It's nervous. It doesn't want to be deprived of food. It moves around scarfing down what it can find, and to heck with everything else. That's when YOU want to be "right there."

Another thing to note is that bad weather means cloud cover and darker conditions during daylight hours. Deer normally move early morning and early evening, when "low light" is their backdrop. With a storm rolling in or present, it's darker, so the envelope for low light deer movement exponentially increases.

Then, use your common sense. If you see a front or storm moving in, set up in your most opportune hunting spot and "wait." Don't be moving around looking to set up once the storm has arrived. Do it beforehand and you'll be ready for that biggest buck in the woods to make a mistake and meander into your area – and Phil Schweik says it happens all the time -- usually to the savvy hunter who knows about the positive results of being out in adverse weather.

So, next time you see bad weather coming in, forget the comforts of home or the corner bar, and don't turn tail and run in. Everything will still be there AFTER you've nailed that trophy buck. Remember, bad weather is one of the best times to be in the woods.

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