Of all of the things that can (and often will) go wrong during a deer hunt,the most common is the wind. Our ENTIRE plan for each and every hunt starts with the wind.
Which direction is it coming from? How fast is it? Is it swirling? Does it think this camo pattern makes me look fat?……………..
Ok,maybe that last one is just me. Either way,here are some wind tips we employ (or at least try to) during each and every deer hunt we go on.
Wind Direction: This is generally the first thing I look at when getting ready for a hunt. Wind direction completely dictates how and where I decide to setup. Check out the example below.
Wind Speed: This is certainly one that needs to be paid attention to. You can get away with a lot when you have a 1-5 mph quartering wind. That same direction wind at 10-15 mph can be much more of any issue. No matter the speed,it’s always best to position yourself downwind of where you think the deer will be coming through.
Swirling wind and Thermal’s: No, not the long underwear kind. Thermal’s are something that have been known by hunter’s for a long time,but I;ve only recently started noticing the effects of them. The basis is simple: Warm air rises. Warm air comes out of the valleys and up mountains/hills. Therefore,be careful when hunting in those hardwood bottoms. If you’re not,there’s a chance that ol’ buck will slip up above you,catch your scent,and sneak by before you even have a chance to put eye’s on him. Thermal’s can also work in your favor,for two reasons. 1- Some of your scent is carried up and away from your stand site,so if you have a deer patterned to be walking a particular bottom,thermal’s can help get your scent out of your hunting area. 2- During rut,buck’s will cruise ridges,checking bottoms/valleys in the terrain for hot doe’s. He’s able to cover an entire hill/mountain by walking one trail. If you were smart and laid out a scent trail on your way in (soon to be covered in another post),then you just may pull him down close enough for a shot.
Swirling wind doesn’t need to much explanation,other than it can ruin a hunt quickly. Generally it is very hard to plan for, so your best defense against it is to use good scent control on yourself and your gear before and during your hunt. A bit of luck helps as well.
The best way to beat a buck’s nose is to stay at the house! Most of us are to hard-headed for that option, so hopefully some of these tip’s will help. Good Huntin’!!