Risks to keep in mind when you are hunting under the rain
Hunting during a rainy day it's a challenge that pays. If you are able to deal with bad weather, wet and cold, at the end of the day your effort will end on good results and probably a good trophy.
Many hunters are aware of this and are willing to take the challenge going out to the bushes despite of rain or bad weather. If you pertain to this group, that's a wise decision because rain may become an ally giving you an unexpected edge but, it also may be your worst enemy because of the risks implied on a rainy day hunt.
Let's see what to expect and how to minimize risks when we are out for a game in the middle of the rain.
1. Watch your step
Walk and hike through the bushes uses to be hard but during a rainy day it's even more difficult. Changes on terrain level, holes and tree roots may be hard to see because of mud and water, so every step is a risk for you.
Keep your eyes wide open and try to move along your best known areas, this way it will be harder to get caught by an unexpected terrain accident.
2. Fall are your major enemy
The combination of wet terrain, water ponds and slippery surfaces is the perfect mix for a fall, specially if you are dealing with heavy equipment.
A fall may produce bad injuries and even death, particularly when you are hunting on tough terrain with cliffs and streams. If you are hunting on this particular type of terrain the most important thing is NOT GOING ALONE.
In case of an accident you will need help from a hunting fellow, so don't hesitate to invite a trustworthy companion to your hunting expeditions, especially under rain and storm conditions.
3. Everything slips
That's particularly truth when you are hunting from a tree stand and even a blind, but stand are the most dangerous apparels when you are hunting under the rain.
Just a missed rope and you will fall badly. Ladders tend to be slippery despite of security materials and cold numbs your hands and fingers impairing your grip. That's the best mix for a disaster if you fail even on a minor step.
Under such circumstances the best choice is to use a security rope from the moment you begin to climb until the time you are done, back on land. Security ropes are always important, but under rainy conditions they become vital.
4. Keep hypothermia in mind
Probably you won't notice hypothermia until it's too late, so the best way to prevent it is being aware of the risk of hypothermia and how minimize it.
Have enough clothes layers to keep you dry and warm and in the case of getting wet, try to keep as warm as possible, furthermore, try to remove wet clothes as soon as possible.
Movement is the best way to keep your body heat, so walking will prevent hypothermia, however if you are hunting from a tree stand or a blind, being still for long periods will increase your odds of hypothermia.
Being aware of early hypothermia signs and how to treat such a potential deadly situation is the only way to identify and correct the problem before it's too late.
5. Getting disoriented
Vision impairment due to rain and noise from thunders combined with low light conditions may disorient you, especially if it's a new hunting ground, you are tired or hungry.
In fact, disorientation is a major risk during bad weather, so being prepared to deal with it remains paramount.
One might think that a GPS is the best solution but with bad weather loosing the satellite signal is a feasible. On the other hand batteries performance during wet, cold days tends to be impaired too, so your GPS might become useless if the worst case scenario appears.
The best way to deal with disorientation if to count with the old compass and map method plus a couple of hunting fellows to get out of such a bad situation.
However if it's not possible and you feel lost, don't try to find the way back home hungry, cold and under bad weather conditions; instead find a proper refuge, start a fire, stay safe and try to find help using your radio or cell phone.
Don't panic, if it's no possible, remember to save battery in order to try later after the weather gets better. If you behave properly, the bad weather will end, help will arrive and you'll be back home safe and in one piece; perhaps with a cold, but healthy.
Certainly hunting under the rain is risky, but using common sense, being cautious and behaving properly will keep you, your hunting team and your hounds safe and ready to get paid for your effort.