Picture this – you’ve been eagerly anticipating opening day with your buddies. You’ve gathered your gear, secured your license, and even got a quick refresher in our guide to duck hunting for beginners. But as the big day is approaching, you check the forecast and see the last thing you were hoping for: rain. Should you reschedule for another day? Or, is duck hunting good in the rain?
Contrary to what you may have initially thought, a dreary, drizzly forecast can actually be a good thing. In fact, some of the best days of hunting are in wet conditions. With a bit of extra planning, you can enjoy your most successful hunt yet in the rain. However, not all rain is created equal. There is a fine line between a fun day splashing around in the rain and too much rani – and at a certain point, it will become unsafe out there. Being able to distinguish between these circumstances is part of what separates the best hunters from the rest.
In this article, we will help you gain an understanding of whether or not duck hunting is good in the rain – and what the ideal conditions for hunting ducks actually are. We’ll also provide you with some important tips for duck hunting in the rain. Let’s get right into the pros and cons of rainy day duck hunting.
Is Duck Hunting Good In The Rain?
So, is duck hunting good in the rain? If you ask a group of seasoned hunters, you may get different answers. Some people claim that duck hunting isn’t good in the rain – but they’ve never even tried! They check their forecast and call it quits because they want to stay warm and dry at home. On the other hand, those who are willing to brave the elements say that rainy days actually create the perfect conditions for helping you meet your bird limits. To accurately answer this question, we’re going to compare the advantages and disadvantages of duck hunting in the rain.
Advantages Of Duck Hunting In The Rain
Spoiler alert: the advantages of duck hunting in the rain outweigh the drawbacks. Here are all the reasons we love duck hunting in rainy conditions:
- Less competition – As we mentioned earlier, some hunters refuse to even try hunting in the rain. Their loss! Because these fairweather (pun intended) hunters are staying home, you’ll have more ducks to yourself. This makes for an easier hunt as there is less noise and commotion near your hunting location.
- Better camouflaging – The rain makes it easier for you to remain undetected by ducks while in your blind on the ground. The birds can’t see as well in the rain, allowing for easier camouflaging.
- Ducks fly lower – While ducks don’t necessarily seek shelter from the rain (at least, not usually), they do fly lower during the rain. And they are more likely to land and sit still in rainy conditions than in sunny conditions.
Drawbacks To Duck Hunting In The Rain
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to duck hunting in the rain. There are a few reasons some people are deterred from hunting in the rain. However, as you’ll soon learn, these aren’t really drawbacks once you start to break them down.
- It’s uncomfortable and wet – In our opinion, this is a fake concern. Why? Because with all the duck hunting essentials, you’ll stay warm and dry no matter what conditions you’re hunting in. A little rain is no match for a quality jacket and some waders. And even if you do get a little bit wet – that never hurt anybody!
- The ducks are nowhere to be found – It’s true that an outright downpour is not an ideal hunting condition. If the weather is extremely rainy and windy, the only thing ducks are going to do is seek immediate shelter. You won’t have droves of birds flying in to settle around your decoys. However, this is only the case with extreme weather. More on that in the next section.
As you can see, there are really only two drawbacks to hunting ducks in the rain – and one of these is a non-issue. The other drawback only applies to extreme rain – not a drizzle or light rain.
Duck Hunting In The Rain Is Good – But…
All things considered, the answer to the question – is duck hunting good in the rain? – is a resounding yes. With that said, it is important that we touch on a few caveats. First and foremost, it is important to be able to distinguish between light rain and a heavy downpour. As we said earlier, the extent to which it is raining will dictate whether or not you should hunt.
Use your best judgment. If you are dealing with 30 MPH winds and are expecting 6-12” of rain, you may want to stay home. The same goes for storms. If you hear thunder or see lightning, or are under a tornado watch, it’s probably best to stay home.
But if conditions are simply a bit dreary and light showers are expected throughout the day, you can safely hunt – and you may just find that these conditions are your new favorite to hunt in! However, we want to leave you with a few tips for your next hunt in the rain.
Quick Tips For Duck Hunting In The Rain
Keep in mind that duck hunting in the rain can be downright miserable under the wrong circumstances. But with these tips in mind, you’ll be prepared for a fun, successful, and most importantly, safe/comfortable day of duck hunting in the rain. Let’s start by explaining how to factor the weather in when planning your hunt.
Carefully Plan Out Your Hunt In Accordance With The Weather
Being able to get inside the mind of a duck and accurately predict how it will behave separates the best hunters from the rest. And when it comes to rainy and windy conditions, you need to know what to expect. This will allow you to prepare your decoys accordingly and increase your chances of packing up your blind and heading home with a bag full of birds.
First and foremost, remember that birds fly into the wind. This is something that will not change in the rain – so make sure you set your decoys and your blind position accordingly. However, it is important to note that the wind can change directions more frequently and unpredictably during extreme weather. Keep track of how the wind is acting and adjust your position/decoys accordingly throughout the day as necessary.
And during rainy and cold conditions, you’ll always want to prepare a blind directly on the ground. This will help you keep warm. You’ll also want to have the proper clothing – but more on that in the next tip.
Finally, take the time to gain an understanding of ducks’ weather-driven migration patterns. During rainy conditions, ducks are more likely to settle on a small pond or along a stream. They’ll gravitate towards locations that offer some degree of protection from the rain – such as a line of trees or some bushes. You want to be sure you are in a position to shoot into these areas and have a clear sight line of the birds.
Dress For Success: Wear These Essentials For A Comfortable Experience
When it comes to cold, rainy, dreary hunting conditions, your best defense against the elements is your wardrobe. To stay both warm and dry, you need to know what to wear. There are a few essentials we recommend you have before venturing out in the rain:
Waders: waterfowl waders are perhaps the most important piece of clothing you can have as a duck hunter – especially for rainy days. If it’s cold and wet, stick with breathable insulated waders. If it’s a bit warmer out, but still raining, uninsulated hunting waders are the better choice. You may want to have both in your wardrobe so you’re prepared for any conditions. Rain jacket: This one is pretty obvious – but you’re going to want a waterfowl jacket to keep yourself dry. These offer protection from the rain of course. But, they also offer protection from being spotted by the birds – keeping you camouflaged and hidden so you can take your shot. Waterproof boots: if it’s raining, then the ground is going to be wet. The last thing you want is soaking wet feet as you walk through puddles all day. And if you have to enter the water to grab your birds, you’re going to need some waterproof boots anyways! Down vest: While you need to stay dry, you need to stay warm, too. A proper waterfowl vest is an essential to keep your core insulated without restricting movement to your arms. After all, you still need to be able to take that shot!
There are other things you can consider adding to your duck hunting wardrobe – such as a hat or balaclava (great for protection from wind and rain) – but these are the must-haves for hunting in the rain. Grab them today at Texas Fowlers for the best prices, selection, and service in the entire waterfowl industry!
Is Duck Hunting Good In The Rain? Final Thoughts
So, you know now that duck hunting is good in the rain. Not only will your competition be wasting a lazy day at home, but the birds are going to be flying lower and looking for a place to weather the storm. And, their vision will be impaired – presenting you with more opportunities to come home with a full bag than ever before!
As long as you deem the conditions to be safe – and not too extreme – you can have a successful, comfortable day of hunting. Just follow the tips above and never worry about mother nature putting a pin in your plans again!