A calm, dry day definitely makes for the most pleasant experience in a deer stand, but you could still enjoy success when conditions are less than perfect.

Wind

We all know wind can kill us if we’re not completely scent-free or sitting in the right stand, but a moderate breeze can actually work to your advantage.

Between 8 and 15 mph, wind can make deer more relaxed and help you get away with the smallest sounds that would normally tip them off. Anything above that, and deer are on high alert. Anything below that — especially when winds are variable — and deer are extra wary. They can hear every noise and could ultimately jump the string if you manage to get a shot off.

In any case, it’s important to be extra cautious with your scent control, take note of wind direction, and only hunt stands that are well-suited for those conditions.

Rain

Even if you’re sporting rain gear, sitting through a soaker just isn’t fun. It makes your treestand slippery, and if you do shoot a deer, it could wash away your blood trail fast.

But sometimes precipitation can work in your favor.

A light rain can help mask any sounds you make while climbing in, help neutralize your scent, and minimize hunting pressure around you. And deer will still be moving.

In a heavy downpour, though, deer might hunker down.

So generally, a drizzle shouldn’t keep you out of the field, but torrential rain is a good excuse to sleep in. 

If rain is coming down constantly and wind is swirling early in the season, I’m probably sitting this one out. But even if the weather is less than ideal during the rut, you better believe I’m out there every chance I get.