When you’ve been planning a day to go hunting, sometimes you feel like nothing can stand in your way—not even Mother Nature. If there’s a storm brewing, you may not necessarily need to call off the hunt as long as you make significant strides toward staying safe. Read on to discover what to know about hunting deer in a winter storm.

Before the Storm

In the lead-up to a storm, you can expect to find deer feeding up until the snow begins to fall. A few hours before meteorologists predict the storm will arrive, be sure to check feeding areas.

However, remember that the wind can shift drastically, so you will need to plan a careful route to ensure they do not catch your scent. The shifting winds may require you to relocate if you sense that the wind is changing.

During the Storm

While deer won’t balk at soft snowfall, you can expect them to hightail it out of there when the snow really starts coming down. Where do they go? Deer will seek sheltered areas, and they’re going to stay there throughout the storm. They often seek hollows and hills that offer protection from the wind as well as overhead cover—look for areas like these if you want to find deer.

After the Storm

When a storm provides a few inches of snow and calm conditions, you can expect to find deer out of their hidey-holes and feeding. You’ll be able to track deer easily through the freshly-fallen snow, although tools such as night vision scopes and red hunting lights will offer unique advantages. Keep an eye out for food sources and tracks—you should be able to find deer in no time.

Now that you understand what to know about hunting deer in a winter storm, remember that the most important thing is to stay safe. As fun as it may seem to track down your prey in wintery weather, keep in mind that ice and snow make the outdoors inherently more dangerous.

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Dianne Pajo

Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.