Larry Weishuhn is one of my favorite writers and I consider it an honor to join him in on one of our favorite topics – hunting in the rain. The seeming discomfort is enough to keep most hunters out of the woods and that alone gives me an advantage. Last year I arrived in our annual turkey camp with a dreary forecast that nearly soaked the sun the following morning. After breakfast, a dozen buddies decided to clean their gear and wait out the storm, yet I had good rain gear and knew that gobblers tend to stand in the open during inclement weather. I wasn’t gone from camp 20 minutes, when I eased over a small rise and spotted a gobbler slowly pecking in the soggy grass. I made a careful stalk, aided by the soft ground, and crested the ridge to find an entire flock at 25 yards. BOOM!
Weishuhn shares a number of successful hunts on rainy days including his favorite gear to keep dry, yet I’d like to highlight the safety element of hunting in the rain. First, be sure to tape your muzzle with electrical tape to prevent mud or other obstructions from clogging rifle barrel. In wet soggy ground, its easy to slip and poke your shotgun or rifle in the mud. Secondly, be extra cautious about heavy rain. Several years ago, I camped along a small stream in Southeast Alaska. The creek was so shallow, we had to ferry our small Lund skiff and tied it up for the night. We slept in a state sponsored cabin, high above the water. At dusk rain began to fall and pounded the roof throughout the night. By morning, the small stream was a torrent, nearly washing our boat out to sea. Had we been camping near the stream level, w’ed have been overwhelmed by the flash flood. Unfortunately, extreme downpours have become common and hunters, campers and fishers, must always keep an escape plan in mind.
If I haven’t scared you into staying indoors in bad weather, check out Larry’s post on the North American Hunter website for a rainy day’s silver lining:
The symphony played by rain drops on the tin roof initially sounded like a lullaby, but after a while…. It had been raining “solidly” for two days without let up. Staying in camp had been fun. J. Wayne Fears and I had not yet told all our hunting stories to those in camp, but, we were thinking of ways to “repackage” some of them. It was not that I was opposed to hunting in the rain, even though everyone in that part of Alabama said it was a waste of time, problem was, the creek between camp and the hunting grounds was raging, well above flood stage and there no way to get to the hunting area.