Falling or Low Barometric Pressure



 

 



A falling barometric pressure will usually produce some form of precipitation. As storms approach the air pressure will start to fall quickly and wet and/or windy conditions will prevail. A Low Pressure system is measured at 29 and below on the barometer.  



 

 



Rising or High Barometric Pressure



 

 



After the storm from a Low Barometric Pressure System leaves, the air pressure will gradually begin to rise. This is a sign that the weather is going to be good for possibly the next 24 hours as high air pressure is usually associated with clear skies. Also, a High Pressure system typically reads at 31 and over on the barometer.



 

 



Hunting High and Low Barometric Systems



 

 



So, just how does all of this information relate to the whitetail hunter? Well, for the most part a change in the weather (good or bad) brings about an increase in whitetail activity. However, my guess is (like me), you don’t have an unlimited amount of days to spend chasing deer each year. So, if you want to maximize your time afield it’s important to understand which days are best to hunt.  

Deer are a lot like us when it comes to their activity pre and post weather front. However, while we rely on a weatherman to tell us what’s going to happen, deer just naturally sense it and when they do they change their activity.

Hunting just before a storm (low barometric pressure system) rolls in is an excellent time to be afield. Deer understand that impending weather is on the way and as a result they begin to feed in order to survive hours (or days) of inactivity and/or limited food.

As a hunter it is important to understand exactly when the barometric pressure begins to drop and head to the stand. The danger in waiting too long is that while the pressure may be falling, the weather has reached the point that the hunting is no longer good.

For example, while a falling barometric pressure is ideal, heavy winds associated with the storm are bad. High winds stifle deer movement and the ones who do choose to move are more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. That makes them even harder to kill.

So, it is important to hunt the “beginning” of a low pressure system when the storm is knocking on the front door rather than when it is coming through the door.

Conversely, hunting after a storm passes (high barometric system) is also a great time to be in the whitetail woods. But again, timing is everything. You want to be out there as soon as the pressure begins to rise. Just like with a falling pressure system, if you wait too long you will miss the really good stuff.

I often prefer to ride out the tail end of a storm system if I know it is going to pass during legal hunting hours. A really good example would be a storm (rain or snow) that has hammered the area most of the night and is expected to pass sometime in the early morning hours after sunup.

I will almost always head to the treestand, deal with the weather and then reap the rewards of increased deer sightings when the weather breaks. Although both scenarios are good, it has been my experience that hunting after a storm passes is even more productive than hunting while a storm is approaching.



 

 



Putting It All Together



 

 



Armed with this knowledge it is a good idea to stay abreast of the barometric pressure in your hunting area and adjust your time afield accordingly. Without a doubt, knowing what the pressure in your area is doing in a quick and timely manner can definitely increase your chances of success by maximizing the time you spend in the deer woods.

And if you want to see bucks, the ratio of bucks to does sighted when the pressure is between 30.00 – 30.40 is a staggering 1 to 1!  When it drops and is between 29.8 and 30.00 there were a third as many deer spotted and with that figure your chances of seeing a buck drops to 1 in 3.

There is a sweet spot within the pressure scale that I have found and it seems to be at 30.20 to 30.30.  There will also be a difference in sightings depending on if the pressure is rising or falling. Rising pressure right before its peak is best.





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