If the weather forecast is to be believed, then the opening day of 2020 whitetail bow season in Michigan is going to be cool and rainy. The good news is that this should be perfect weather to see a lot of deer movement. However, while sitting out in the rain for hours on end it is important to stay comfortable and as dry as possible. Here are some tips to take advantage of the great deer weather without becoming wet and miserable.
If you don’t have rain gear yet you need to get some. You can start with poncho or windbreaker like material. Even a clean trash bag could work in a pinch. The important thing for the early season is to have outer layers that are either waterproof or very water-resistant without insulation. Gore-Tex is the best material with the bonus of being breathable, however, a good set of Gore-Tex rain gear can cost as much as $350 per piece. At the bare minimum, you need a rain jacket, but if possible rain pants are awesome as well. I’ll assume you’re already sporting waterproof boots, but if not get some of those too. Rubber lacrosse or muck style boots are great for whitetail hunting because they do not hold scents like leather footwear does.
A couple of great pieces of rain gear you may not have considered are waterproof gloves and a baseball cap. You can pick up a cheap Gore-Tex ball cap and gloves for as little as $20 each at Cabela’s. The hat with a bill will help keep the rain off your face and waterproof gloves will help keep your hands dry and warm.
Shooting Your Bow In The Rain
A modern bow or crossbow is perfectly fine to use in the rain with several caveats. For starters, you should make sure that you have waxed your bowstring before you head out to the woods. The wax will prevent the string from absorbing as much water and will make it last longer. After you are done hunting for the day, use a towel to dry off your bow—especially any metal parts. Leave it out to make sure it is dry before putting it away in its case. After you are sure it has dried, wax the string again so it is ready for next time. It is a decent idea to practice at least a few times in the rain just so you are used to it. The grip can be a little more difficult to hold when wet.
Climbing a tree and hunting from an elevated position always carries with it a certain element of risk. However, add rain to the mix and that risk can intensify. Most treestands and climbing sticks are all made of metal which can become extremely slippery when wet. Rubber boots, which normally provide great traction do not work nearly as well in the rain. Always use your lineman’s belt while climbing and your tether while in your stand. Also, consider wrapping the platform of your stand with paracord or adding on some type of grip tape to help maintain traction in wet weather.