There are many questions that can be answered about deer by observing and understanding their behavior. One question hunters and others often ask is “Where do deer go when it rains?”. Understanding the answer to this question can help you locate deer in the rain.
While you probably already have speculations that deer bed down and seek shelter during rainstorms, you may be surprised to learn that in many cases this is not the case.
In this article, we will be discussing everything there is to know about deer and their behavior when it rains.
It is important to know how rainfall may affect your hunting or deer watching activities, so let’s get started.
Do Deer Move Less When it Rains?
The simple answer to this question is: yes, but not by much.
Unlike humans, deer are naturally hardwired to be able to withstand some of the harshest weather conditions. What is considered heavy rainfall to human beings may be nothing but a light drizzle to deer.
If the rain is coming down at a steady rate, you will still be able to find deer moving in the rain – unbothered and grazing as they normally would.
What is Considered “Heavy Rainfall” for a Deer?
Again, the standard of “heavy” rainfall will vary between different deer species.
Generally, harsher downpours accompanied by strong winds will do the trick and send deer into hiding.
In terms of seeking shelter, deer have a unique way of doing so.
Most species find an outcropping or ridge to hide under, but deer do their best to be alert at all times. When seeking shelter, they are always well-positioned to stay on the lookout for predators.
Are Deer Active in the Rain?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, but generally the answer is yes, they are active and like to move when it rains.
In the food chain, deer are prey. As such, their every movement makes them increasingly vulnerable to predators, especially those with heightened senses.
Heavy rainfall is an ideal time for deer to travel from one place to another. They can do so without being detected. Predators will write-off the noise of deer moving through the brush and forest as part of the storm. As a result, deer can more easily go unnoticed by predators as they move during rainfall.
On another note, deer are also reported to show more movement after a storm has calmed down.
How Do They Survive?
There are many different types of deer. Each live in different parts of the world, mostly residing in wetlands, grasslands, forests, and the mountains. Unforgiving conditions when a storm hits are common among all of these terrains. So this leaves us with one main question: how do deer survive during a storm?
We already covered that deer will find shelter under severe weather conditions. However, there are still a few loose ends to tie up such as what they eat during extreme weather.
Deer have an innate ability to actually sense when it is about to rain, prior to the rainfall. If it’s a big storm, then they can usually tell about a day beforehand. This signals them to load up on food before the storm actually comes so that they will be prepared.
Severe storms can last a few hours or a few days. During that time, it will be harder for deer to find food. Stocking up prior to the storm will keep them full and alert for the next few days until they are able to feed like normal again.
Where Do Deer Go When it Rains for Shelter?
While rainfall has little impact on daily movements of deer, it is a different story when it comes time to bed down.
Deer don’t mind standing out and grazing in steady pouring rain, but settling down to sleep is different.
Generally, deer will want to bed down in a secure location where they are relatively dry and safe from predators.
Final Thoughts About Finding Deer in the Rain
Deer are an interesting species in terms of their rainy weather habits.
While many animals seek shelter immediately when it rains in the forest, deer see it as an opportunity to move undetected, and can even gain important hydration as they graze and browse during a rainstorm.
But when it comes time for a deer or herd of deer to bed down, they will seek shelter under a rocky outcropping, or under a stand of pine trees where they’ll stay dry and have a clear view of approaching predators.
Now that you understand the answer to the question where do deer go when it rains you’ll have a better game plan for hunting deer in the rain, or if you simply hope to observe deer during rainy weather.