Despite all the strategies, calls, scents, gear, and equipment that modern-day deer hunters have access to, there is still nothing that can affect deer movement and your success in the woods as the weather. You can sit in your comfortable stand with the latest gear and camo clothes, but if the weather is too warm and the situation not right, you’re not going to see many deer. But if a front blows through, every deer in the woods will soon be moving.
That is just what happened to a Georgia hunter this past week. Earlier this week brought much-needed ample rain to the south, but chances are not many of us were deer hunting, and those that were probably didn’t see many. But if you were there when the rain stopped, it was a magic time in the deer woods. Any time you can hunt right after a rain, your odds go way up simply because deer move radically after the rain.
Curtis Kitchens knew this and asked his boss if he could get off work a bit early in order to race to the woods. He had trail cam pics of a good 8-pointer, including the one shown below, and an abundance of sign around his stand. On his way in, he passed by about 20 fresh scrapes, which amped up his anticipation. After he set up, the skies released some more rain and then finally stopped. Kitchens describes the hunt:
“As soon as it stopped raining, the deer started moving. First, three does fed behind me, then five bucks came through the bottom I was in. With two shooters in the group, one of the shooters went in the direction the does went. The others bucks came in my direction! The smaller bucks started feeding, but when the big eight point came in, they scattered to get out of his way._ While all the commotion was going on, I had a chance to draw my bow. Once I got it back, I took a glance at the screen on my Sony camcorder to see that the buck, at 26 yards, was still in frame. When my 20 yard pin settled a little high on his shoulder, he took a step and quartered slightly to me. I let the Muzzy-tipped Carbon Express 250 go and the buck bolted. I didn’t really know where I hit him, but after he bounded away a short distance I heard the unmistaking stop and crash.”
Kitchens was able to harvest this handsome eight-point buck in mid-September mainly because a rainy front blew through and he was there to intercept the action. It’s still a little early for major rut sign, but as Kitchens observed, there were numerous fresh scrapes made just after the rain stopped. No doubt the cessation of the rain made the deer move, which also prompted the bucks to get out and lay down some sign.
Archery season is open in South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, and parts of Florida and Louisiana. Hunters are seeing deer near prime food sources–and, of course, anytime a rain front blows through.