Small Game Hunting Weather

squirrel eating 1Small game animals react to varying weather conditions, and so a keen eye on the weather can pay off when hunting.


Rabbits hole up when it’s stormy, but as the barometer rises and the sky clears, they are out feeding again. Like deer, the best time to hunt rabbit is just before and after a storm, as they are less wary during these times. Rabbits are rarely seen during the day, but very active at night. Dawn and dusk are good hunt times.


Squirrel behavior in relation to weather has been studied, and it has been found that during the first 2 hours of daylight the gray squirrel does nearly half of its entire day’s activity. So be in the woods just before dawn. Squirrels also increase their activity before a storm, but when the wind gets above 13 miles per hour, they head for their holes. They become inactive when temperatures rise much above 70 degrees or below 15 in the cold months. When the barometer is above 30.2 inches and the relative humidity is 60 to 90%, it’s a good time for them to be on the move.


Duck hunters must really rely on the weather for success. Duck weather consists of spitting rain, fast-moving low clouds, and gusty winds. The ducks are thinking, “this weather stinks, let’s go south,” and are on the move. They can’t fly high because of the low colds, and they use rivers for navigation. At night they look for grain fields to feed on before continuing the long hard journey south. So, be at the right place at the right time, and it’s duck for supper.


Wildlife photographers can also take advantage of animal behavior. Normally reclusive birds can be seen before storms, because they lose their caution before bad weather.


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