Do Deer Move In The Rain? Fascinating Facts On Deer Movement Revealed!

Nidhi Sahai
Feb 29, 2024 By Nidhi Sahai
Originally Published on Nov 02, 2021
Fact-checked by Vikhaash Sundararaj
A young deer staring straight back at the camera
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.3 Min

Light rain and winds do not disturb deer and do not always disrupt their travel habits.

In severe rain, however, many deer may bed down and seek cover in evergreen forests to protect themselves. Deer do not appear to mind or detest the rain, and hunters have learned how to take advantage of it.

If there is only a little bit of rain or wind, deer do not appear to be disturbed by the change, and it has little effect on their movement patterns. Deer have an ability to sense any upcoming storm and prepare to forage for food and become more active. Deer move to the woods when it rains heavily but tend to stay out in the drizzle. Most hunters usually prefer this time to hunt for a deer or a buck. The whitetail deer is not much bothered by the rain if it is not a storm or heavy rain. Whenever you spot a deer in the rain or on a rainy day, it will most probably be hiding in the canopy because of the unfavorable weather conditions. Rainy days are bad for deer but an opportunity for whoever likes to go deer hunting. Deer hunting in wet and cold weather is often considered a sport by many.

Deer have modified their behavior which helps them to protect themselves from some natural predators, they also know some tricks which help them avoid a hunt. Because of the hunting season, these animals shift their regular bedding areas and prefer going to denser and darker places deep inside the woods. A hunter can be camouflaged by hunting blinds which usually trick the deer and hence they get shot and hunted down. Deer have to face a high degree of hardship to hunt in the rain when they come out of the shelter or woods.

If you want to know more fun facts about these herbivorous animals, you can check our Pere David's deer facts and do cows sleep standing up articles right here on our website.

Why do deer move in the rain?

Deer move differently on rainy days and the intensity of rain decides the movement of deer and bucks. In general, rain doesn't have much effect on the movements of deer. Deer can move in the light rain as they can still detect any potential danger to them. In their minds, it is worth the risk to be active, move around, and feed during light rain.

It is common to see a deer move on to highways as the grass turns green with light rain, and the rainwater acts like a salad dressing on the grass on which the deer love to forage at this time of year. Deer, in moderate rain, move slowly as reflexes become harder. Deer tolerate the rain up to a limit as the movement of deer reduces drastically. To enhance their chances of survival and gain an edge against predators, while their senses are essentially worthless, they will deliberately bed down in order to get some type of advantage over hunters. After the rain, deer come out of the woods to graze on fields. Many other animals like chipmunks, squirrels and other birds also come out after a fresh rain.

Where do deer go when raining?

Deer usually seek shelter under heavy rain and most of them like to hide under either big trees or a forest canopy. Deer spend most of their time in grasslands when it is not raining. They have to eat whatever they find at that very moment and have to come out again to hunt. So, during the rainy season, when they come out, hunters take this as a golden opportunity to hunt them, as the rain somewhat hinders their defense mechanisms. Deer have to face a high degree of hardship to hunt in the rain when they come out of their shelter or woods.

However, when it rains heavily, most deer seek refuge under large trees or forest canopies. Mule deer, on the other hand, live in areas where these types of woods are uncommon. Deer simply roam more in daylight hours and extend their dawn and dusk routines because there is less daylight. The animals feel less threatened in periods of low light. They prefer to move when the sky is clear and not raining.

Rains bring with it hunters and the whitetail deer is the preferred species to hunt as they are found everywhere in abundance. But because the whitetail deer have incredible vision biologically, the whitetail deer can see at nearly a 314-degree angle and it means a whitetail can see almost anything behind them. The position of their eyes on the sides of their head allows whitetails this ability, plus the structure which is dichromatic gives a whitetail deer the uncanny ability to see even the slightest of movements. Hunting whitetail deer after heavy rain can be very productive as whitetail deer have been confined to dense forest areas for long hours and when they have empty stomachs, they come out of their bed areas to splurge on food and refill their bellies.

Roe deer running fast across green field in rain

Does rain stop deer movement?

Rain hampers deer movement a lot and it becomes difficult for a deer to venture out in the open to gorge on grass or wet leaves and has to wait for the rain to stop. Light rain is not too big of a hindrance to the free movement of deer. You can very easily spot a deer walking peacefully on the side of a highway during light rain. These kinds of grasses are among the first ones to turn bright green which attracts deer. Even during the hunting season, light rain is not much of a big problem for deer movement, they still can sense danger effectively.

During moderate rain, the free movement of deer can get hampered to some extent. Because of the increased intensity of the rain, a deer might lose its unique ability to detect danger through the senses of smell, hearing, and sight. You can notice the edgy behavior of deer when they move during moderate rainfall, they tend to get pressurized easily during this time.

Heavy rains or thunderstorms cause hindrances and whitetails have to bed down in the woods or shelter under trees. Any high winds or rain will also discourage their movement. Since light rain doesn't affect a deer's activity, heavy rain does and this is the time when predators and hunters move and trail the whitetails who are feeding in the grassland. But because of their ability to notice any scent, they go for cover and bed themselves in the woods eating wet leaves. Even in moderate rainfall, deer may keep moving. The hairs in their fur are hollow, which provides excellent insulation in the cold, keeping them warm and they can graze even in rain or snow. Deer have specific behavioral patterns that maximize their safety, and because of this reason, they always prefer to travel among the thick bushes and avoid scrublands. This type of vegetation gives them the cover they need from a hunter and also the food for sustainability.

Do deer travel the same path every day?

Deer can be called creatures of habit. Deer have adapted over time to protect themselves from predators and hunters and do not abandon a path. Whitetail deer like to travel in darkness and low light of dawn and dusk, as early as four a.m. Whitetail deer use the advantage of having a good retina to stay safe from predators and hunters.  In the daytime, a deer likes to stay near its bedding area, but this also depends on the age of the deer. In the evening, around four or five, these deer also go for looking some food which is also known as their second trip to forests. They don't go for longer distances during this second trip.

There are several factors that play a key role in deciding the path of the deer at a particular time and day. During the mating season, these animals move very fast. Deer are very cautious when they travel with their young ones. They stick very close to their bedding areas during any storm or high rainfall conditions. They make sure to eat more food than usual before any storm so that they don't need to go out later in the bad weather. After the storm, they again feed heavily so that they can fulfill the amount of nutrition they missed during the storm. One behavior that is very useful for deer hunting is the tendency to walk during strong winds.

Deer can travel and hunt for food during light rain or drizzle. They can only tolerate a limit of bad weather conditions to maintain the same path. The fur and hairs present on the body of the deer keep them warm under cold, wet, and rainy weather conditions. Every hunter has an idea of the particular path of a deer, and that's what helps them to get a good shot of deer whenever a hunter goes on a hunt. Deer also have a scent that they leave while feeding outside in a warm environment, and that scent marks their trail.

When deer leave their place to look for food, they prefer to just go up to a place where they know they can feed well and then come back. As long as they feel the place is safe enough for them and they won't get hunted down, they keep visiting that place only each day. It is very unlikely for deer to leave a particular path and go for different ways frequently.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'Do deer move in the rain? Fascinating facts on deer movement revealed', then why not take a look at 'Anaconda vs python: fang-tastic snake difference facts for kids' or 'How does rice grow? Amazing grain crop facts that kids should know'?

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Written by Nidhi Sahai

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

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Nidhi SahaiBachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Dedicated and experienced, Nidhi is a professional content writer with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality work. She has contributed her expertise to esteemed organizations, including Network 18 Media and Investment Ltd. Driven by her insatiable curiosity and love for journalism and mass communication, Nidhi pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, graduating with distinction in 2021. During her college years, she discovered her passion for Video Journalism, showcasing her skills as a videographer for her institution. Nidhi's commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond her professional pursuits. Actively engaging in volunteer work, she has contributed to various events and initiatives throughout her academic career.

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