Bird Scent in Rain


Active Member
#1 it harder for a dog to track a bird scent in a torential down pour? I've been told 'tis true', however, my logic makes me believe opposite. You put water on anything: leather, chocolate lab, etc. it smells more!

Needless to say this all stems from my old man telling me that it was a bust to go to the release site this weekend because the rain washes the scent of objects, and the birds 'bed down' and don't move.

Any opinions?

I have seen the same thing happen. I have had better luck later in the day, versus the morning with my setter. Fog, dew and morning wetness suppresses the scent cone around the bird ao the dog literally has to walk on top of the bird to smell it. Not to say it can't be done. It just is not the best conditions for the dog. That being said, overly dry conditions arent good either.

my .02's

Itchy Dog

Some call me Kirk Werner
It's never a bust to go hunting on a release site or in the wild. Different scenarios will all serve to educate your dog. If a dog puts up a bird that it doesn'st sniff out easily, it learns to work and work an area until it does put up a bird. Tough conditions, I think, lead to a stronger work ethic.
I love bird hunting when the birds are wet! They stink more, run less, hold tighter! However, I prefer to hunt after the hard rain once the birds are moving again. During a huge downpour they may hold so tight your dog won't be able to track them.

Kaari White

Active Member
It goes both ways. A drizzle is OK, a downpour is very bad. A light rain or wet ground will make scenting conditions better. However, a little goes a long way- a steady light rain or harder rain is very bad for scenting- it washes the scent away- both from the ground and from the air.

I've seen my dog step on hen pheasant when it's raining. If a bird is bedded down in the rain and hasn't moved, the scent doesn't have anywhere to travel and a dog won't pick up on it until they're on top of the bird.