Is it unethical to hunt in the rain?

Is it unethical to hunt in the rain?  That is a question I pondered this weekend sitting in a tree stand during a steady but slight rain.  This is a question that I have heard many times over the years.  Some guys say it is unethical especially with a bow and arrow and others say it is completely acceptable. 

So what did I decide?  I don't know if I came up with a definite answer.  I don't believe that it is unethical to go out in the field in a rainstorm to see what happens but pulling the trigger or releasing an arrow on an animal is a different story.  To me, that question can only be answered on a case by case basis. 

More info on my hunt.  During the morning that I went out in the rain I had went hunting the night before and decided to hang out and then go out in the morning.  The weatherman called for rain but not until the afternoon.  I love weatherman don't you.

Anyways, when I woke up in the morning I thought I heard rain.  Sure enough, I stepped outside the house to a light rain.  Even though I usually don't bow-hunt in the rain, I decided to go sit in the stand to see if the rain would stop.  I was hoping that after the rain stopped, the deer would start moving.  Neither happened. 

Although I did not have to make the decision to fling an arrow I am of the belief that you shouldn't shoot a deer with an arrow during a rain storm.  If the storm is lifting or has stopped, that is a gut decision.  I would have to assess the situation before flinging an arrow in this case.

Why shouldn't you shoot a deer in the rain.  Shooting a bow with an arrow is never guaranteed that you will down the animal immediately.  Most of the time, you have to track the deer.  Blood trails and rain do not mix.

Hunting with a gun is another story though.  If I am hunting in the rain with a gun, I will pull the trigger if I have a good close shot.  However, I will not take a risky shot or a longer range shot in the rain.  Although buck fever tempts most hunters to do some pretty stupid things!  I try to discipline myself though. 

That is my take on hunting in the rain.  If you find yourself hunting in the rain this fall, it is best to do a risk assessment before deciding to pull the trigger or release an arrow.  Ask yourself how confident are you are in your ability to drop the animal you are targeting and what is your game plan for retrieving that animal after the shot.

Good luck out there this year!

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