John’s Note: Rain, sleet, snow or hail will keep most blackpowder hunters at home and from hunting deer. On the days the weatherman predicts wet weather, I know the lands I hunt will have less hunting pressure from any hunters, particularly from blackpowder hunters. I’ll also have better odds of seeing a deer. During bad weather, I do lose my ability to hear deer walking in the woods, crunching acorns, sparring or grunting – some of the best ways to find deer on still, calm days. I also lose some vision because during rain or snow I usually can’t detect a deer’s tail or ear twitch. However, on rainy days, deer can’t hear, see or even smell as well as I can. Rain provides the best conditions for me to stalk. Deer rarely like to move in the rain. Although I hunt in the rain, I usually hope the rain will stop at some time during the day. When the rain quits, even if only for 30 to 45 minutes, I know the deer generally will move then.
I’ve even hunted with black powder during Noah-like flood conditions. Bucks tend to sleep in on bad-weather days, waiting for better weather, especially after an all-night rain that continues into the next day. However, if the rain doesn’t stop by mid-morning, 9:00 or 10:00 am, the deer usually still get up and feed in the rain.
Once again, bagging a buck during bad weather relies on your waiting in your stand before the deer decide to move. If rain has fallen all night, and the weatherman predicts rain all the next day, I’ll get up before first light. I’ll go into the woods and climb into my tree stand. I know deer won’t move until much later in the morning, but I also realize that when deer do move to feed, I’ll already be waiting on them.
How to Hunt in the Snow for Deer with Black Powder
Most sportsmen don’t like to hunt in snowstorms. Although we won’t admit it, many of us fear we’ll get lost in the snow. I’ve gotten lost in the snow before and found a white-out a scary experience. But in a moderately-falling snow, you may find deer hunting with your blackpowder gun very productive.
Hunt the snow as you do the rain. Go to your stand during a snowstorm, if it hasn’t created a white-out, and wait for the snow to stop. As soon as the snow quits, deer will move. You can hunt the deer at scrapes and at sites where they get food through the snow or on the edges of thick cover as they move to search for food.
However, tracking provides one of the best tactics I know for hunting deer in the snow with a blackpowder gun. As the snow lightens, and fewer flakes fall, deer will start to walk. You can pinpoint fresh deer tracks easily. Once you discover fresh tracks in the snow, you can move . . .
* quietly and cautiously into the thick cover to take the deer before he spots you, if the trail goes into thick cover; or
* quickly and circle the track, try to get in front of the deer and allow him to come to you, if you think you know where the deer will come out of the thick cover.
These tactics will aid you in hunting deer in the snow. But if snow has fallen all night and all day, you may have to go to your stand and wait for hunger to drive the deer out of their thick-cover hide-outs to the food.
You’ll learn more deer-hunting information and tips from hunters in John E. Phillips’ Kindle, CreateSpace and Audible books. Go to http://johninthewild.com/books/#deer to purchase and download to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer. You also can go to Nook Books at www.barnesandnoble.com to buy. Also you can download free books by going to http://johninthewild.com/free-books.