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Here’s How El Niño 2015 Will Affect Deer Season [PICS]

Game and Fish Mag

El Niño 2015 is coming. Better start preparing now for deer season. 

All indications of the El Niño 2015 weather event, currently shaping up out in the Pacific Ocean, looks like it’s going to be a bad one. Some experts are predicting that El Niño 2015 is going to even be worse than the event that happened back in 1997, which was considered the worst in history.

For us hunters, this means we are going to have one messed up deer season.

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Just how messed up is it going to be? Well, the temperatures are being predicted to have pretty rapid swings and precipitation is going to be through the roof.

It’s going to be different for everyone depending on where you live, but until this event gets closer, here’s what we know for now.

As you can see in this prediction below from Geo Engineering Watch, this is what a strong El Niño pattern typically looks like.

Geo Engineering Watch

The West is going to be very wet and stormy. Just like back in ’97, when floods rampaged that region. Be sure to pack rain gear every time you head out to the treestand.

The Midwest is going to be have a wet winter. However, where they normally get snow, they’ll get plenty of rain, and probably ice will be in the forecast. Don’t expect a white Christmas this year.

The South is also going to be very stormy, wet, and warm. Again, pack the rain gear.

The North and East will, more or less, be business as usual. By the the time the El Niño stream makes it to you, it will have petered out. However, rapid swings from winter to spring-like weather will be the norm.

This whole event may make it very tough to predict the rut this year. Warmer weather will have deer moving more at night when they have traditionally moved during the day as the rut starts to kick in. Rain may make more deer bed down longer in the day with shorter periods of activity.

As you can see in this picture below, the El Niño from ’97, and the current one shaping up, look an awful lot alike. What you are seeing are the relative ocean temperatures.

These warmer ocean temperatures warm the air. The jet stream then takes this warm air across North America creating warmer weather with lots of rain over the course of winter.


Another positive from this warmer, wetter weather pattern to the North is that Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota won’t have their typical winter die-offs from harsh weather. Look for deer numbers to have a strong rebound come deer season 2016.

On an even broader scale, harsher weather keeps a lot of would-be hunters home. If El Niño 2015 is going to be as bad as they are currently predicting, harvest numbers may be down all across the country due to lack of hunter participation. Overall, this could be a boon to deer herds everywhere.

The weather is going to do what the weather is going to do. All we can do as hunters is make the best out of a possible miserable hunting season and do our best to be in our stands when deer are moving.

Anything beyond that is a forecast that the best weather man couldn’t hope to predict.

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Here’s How El Niño 2015 Will Affect Deer Season [PICS]