For hunters, preparing for different weather conditions is essential. And the preparation goes well beyond choosing the right clothing – you need to know how different conditions affect animals, what to expect from the hunt, and how to make the best out of any situation. To see what that means in different countries, we spoke with three hunters – Martin Brožek from the Czech Republic, Julia Nowak from Poland, and Joel Henrysson from Sweden.
Martin: My most favorite one is the rainy weather with mild constant rain and a little wind. You could call it the British weather.
Julia: I really like the time just after the rain, the smell of rain in the air, the feeling of everything calming down, but, on the other hand, that’s when the movement starts around meadows and forests. And, of course, who does not like sunny weather while being outdoors?
Joel: It depends a bit on what game I’m after. For fallow deer, I want bright sun and nice weather – that usually brings them out in the sun. For wild boar at nighttime, preferably cloudy so the moon doesn’t stop them from going out on the fields. A light but firm breeze as well to keep the wind from spinning like crazy.
Martin: Rain creates a natural hunter’s hide. The ground gets wet, leaves don’t crumble, your steps are way more silent, and all noises around are muffled due to the rain barrier.
Julia: Talking about the time just after some stronger rainfall, from my observations, that’s when wildlife is getting more active. For example, if I want to hunt wild boars in the fields or meadows in the spring, the moment after the rain stops in the evening – that’s the perfect time to be out because probably the boars are also out!
Joel: It can make a huge difference. In bad and stormy weather, for example, the animals in my area are very skittish and rarely go out, and if they do, they are on full alert. On the other hand, just like Julia said, a clear sunset after a day with rain usually pushes them out on the fields.
Julia: I think every hunter is aware that hunting means being outdoors in different conditions and also exposing your equipment to those conditions, so I would say the basics are always the same – good water- and wind-proof clothing and shoes, binoculars, rifle and then, depending more on the exact conditions, either night or thermal vision.
Joel: The main thing I change is my clothing to stay warm and dry. Other than this, my gear setup is actually mainly the same.
Martin: I do the homework before. I get ready to be in the rain in the first place. All that effort pays off in keeping me comfortable and ready to hunt. Every piece of my equipment – including a rifle, shoes, top shelf, and, of course, my binos, thermal monocular, rifle scope (digital or thermal) must sustain constant rain. I need ultimate trust in devices to perform in low temperatures and under bad conditions.
Julia: I really enjoy hunting wild boars with Digex C50, as the image quality is brilliant. But when it’s very foggy, the night vision usually stays at home, and then it is the time for thermals.
Martin: I go for the same all the time – trustworthy digital or a thermal scope and a handheld thermal monocular or bino. I’m glad Pulsar did the hard part preparing the devices for the bad conditions for me, and I don’t have to worry about this aspect. My all-time favorite is Axion for its portability, ergonomics, and resistance to water and mud.
Joel: I don’t change units either, however, I alter the settings a bit for the occasion. If the humidity is high, it’s raining, or there is some light fog, I crank up the power a bit, and we are good to go again.
Martin: With rain, I have more chances of stalking roe deer and wild boar. They even get off the cover earlier when it rains.
Julia: Agree – as I mentioned before, after rain, there is a lot of movement; animals go out to the open areas to get dry and because it is more difficult to listen inside the forest, as raindrops fall from the trees. Also, when it is too dry, wild boars don’t like to feed on sowed fields. I have also noticed that deer, especially red or roe, don’t like it when it’s windy, so if there is strong wind, you should look for them in more covered areas or valleys. I have also observed that often when the weather is about to change, there is not much movement. Additionally, after a fresh snowfall, we usually say that it is good to wait a day if you want to stalk on tracks
Martin: First of all, they are sensitive to atmospheric pressure. If the changes occur, they change their behavior, e.g., the time of leaving their hide. With rain, they feel safer – I believe it is their experience about people being inside during rain as well as due to less noise from all around the country. The rain curtain creates the false anticipation of safety.
Julia: Hmm… if it’s too bright, then there is a small chance for wild boars to go into the open areas, especially if you count on meeting a big, old male boar in the fields. Bright moon night is not the best. During moonless nights? Everything can happen…
Joel: Nights with a full moon in southern Sweden, where the hunting pressure is high, are not easy conditions for wild boar either. On these nights, they usually lay low and barely move. If they move at all, it is rarely out in the open.
Martin: With all that being said, my experience also shows that too dark a night is not good for the animals, either. They need some level of light source, plus they are more cautious about sounds on really dark nights. Most preferred from a hunter’s point of view are the waxing crescent and waxing gibbous.
Martin: Wind is a chapter for itself. No wind is bad; strong wind is bad. Hunters are taught to keep off the scent side, but this is very difficult. First of all, you need to consider local conditions – some areas create local wind phenomena. This is heavily linked to the temperature and the atmospheric pressure. If you see the wind forecast, you can never trust it. Of course, avoiding a scent side is a good idea, but you need to know your hunting grounds to understand what it means to you.
Joel: I like a firm gust of wind to be sure of the wind direction and, also, a huge bonus, then there are no mosquitoes. I also find it a bit more forgiving as nature itself makes some sound and movement, giving me a chance to make a move.
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