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#3244650 - 05/12/13 12:37 AM Playing the wind?
BHC
6 Point


Registered: 09/16/11
Posts: 800
Loc: Wayne Co. , Tennessee

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The way I see it there are two ways to hunt based on the wind.. 1. You can hunt with the wind in your face or just not blowing in the general direction you expect the deer to come. With this method you have to almost assume deer just travel and smell what they smell, with them not using it to their premeditated or instinctual advantage at all. 2. You can hunt deer based on them always using the wind to their advantage, traveling into the wind, walking a cross wind to scent check scrapes or a field, etc. Be it for breeding, feeding, or caution using this method you basically assume their is usually a wind driven reason a deer is moving in the direction he is. This method is likely only used by hunters in pursuit of mature bucks for the most part. With this method you likely can rarely hunt with the wind in your face and is probably used by the fewest hunters..

So which do you use and why what's you opinion on how a deer uses his nose in regard to the wind?
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#3244686 - 05/12/13 06:35 AM Re: Playing the wind? [Re: BHC]
plinker22
16 Point


Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 12150
Loc: Mountians of East Tennessee

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IMO, deer always use the wind... and the successful hunter will too.
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#3244698 - 05/12/13 07:14 AM Re: Playing the wind? [Re: plinker22]
boweye91
6 Point


Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 612
Loc: Tennessee,Kentucky

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I agree plinker
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#3244813 - 05/12/13 11:29 AM Re: Playing the wind? [Re: boweye91]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65387
Loc: Nashville, TN

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I've always questioned the concept of deer only traveling into the wind or even quartering into or crosswind. If that were the case, deer would only have a 180 degree possible direction of travel. What if the wind blows from the same direction for several days? Deer would end up a long way from home after awhile!

From the GPS collar data I've seen, deer don't appear to alter their daily routines due to wind direction. That said, I do believe deer will choose travel routes that provide the best micro-scale wind advantages, such as terrain features that produce very localized differences in wind direction. I also believe deer play predictable daily changes in small-scale thermally driven air flow.
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#3244822 - 05/12/13 11:42 AM Re: Playing the wind? [Re: BSK]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65387
Loc: Nashville, TN

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As for hunting the wind, if you're lucky enough to hunted in mixed fields and woods, where deer movement is more predictable (deer stay out of the open habitat), and if you hunt flatter terrain, playing the wind and travel bottlenecks is much easier.

However, if you hunt hilly hardwoods, "playing the wind" is extremely difficult, as the terrain will greatly alter wind flow near the ground's surface. In combination with rapidly changing thermals as the sun's position changes throughout the day, the airflow across steep terrain often means the wind can blow from every direction near a stand site during a 3-4 hour sit. In that situation, staying as low-scent as possible is your best bet, as well as trying to understand how terrain and thermals direct localized airflow.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3244866 - 05/12/13 12:56 PM Re: Playing the wind? [Re: BSK]
BHC
6 Point


Registered: 09/16/11
Posts: 800
Loc: Wayne Co. , Tennessee

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I see what you mean BSK, about deer traveling one direction like that. But I believe it a defense used more by mature deer, and mature deer have a idea of where they are headed and use the wind as best they can to get there. It may mean if they cannot move into the wind they wait until dark or hold tighter to cover. It may not be upwind from A to B, however they may enter a hollow into the wind walk perpendicular with the wind and then circle down wind of an open field to enter so technically the direction of travel wasn't upwind, but they walked into the wind before stepping into any new types of cover or into the open?... What's your thoughts?
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#3244879 - 05/12/13 01:54 PM Re: Playing the wind? [Re: BHC]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 16587
Loc: Franklin TN

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I try to play the wind but it always changes from pre-dawn to sunrise and then to later in the morning. Up in a tree I am not too worried about it I guess. From the ground I know they can smell me a lot better
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#3244989 - 05/12/13 07:14 PM Re: Playing the wind? [Re: catman529]
Vermin93
12 Point


Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 5739
Loc: Dallas, TX & Signal Mtn, TN

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I read a deer hunting book two years ago that was written by a deer researcher in Virginia. His research indicated that deer most often travel with the wind quartering off their left or right hind quarter. He essentially says that deer most often walk with the wind rather than into the wind. He said the reason for this is because they can use their eyes and ears to detect danger in front of them and their nose to detect danger coming from behind them.

I have no idea if there is any truth to his analysis or not. Just relaying what his findings were and what he wrote in his book.
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#3245066 - 05/12/13 08:24 PM Re: Playing the wind? [Re: Vermin93]
Mr.Bro
10 Point


Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 2837
Loc: Hendersonville Tn.

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 Originally Posted By: Vermin93
I read a deer hunting book two years ago that was written by a deer researcher in Virginia. His research indicated that deer most often travel with the wind quartering off their left or right hind quarter. He essentially says that deer most often walk with the wind rather than into the wind. He said the reason for this is because they can use their eyes and ears to detect danger in front of them and their nose to detect danger coming from behind them.

I have no idea if there is any truth to his analysis or not. Just relaying what his findings were and what he wrote in his book.



Dont know about the traveling part but i have noticed this to be true in bedding areas.The deer quite often bed where they can watch the open ground and depend on their noses for detecting danger from the thicker areas.
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#3245082 - 05/12/13 08:48 PM Re: Playing the wind? [Re: BSK]
WestTn Huntin'man
16 Point


Registered: 11/19/06
Posts: 11979
Loc: Benton Co.

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
As for hunting the wind, if you're lucky enough to hunted in mixed fields and woods, where deer movement is more predictable (deer stay out of the open habitat), and if you hunt flatter terrain, playing the wind and travel bottlenecks is much easier.

However, if you hunt hilly hardwoods, "playing the wind" is extremely difficult, as the terrain will greatly alter wind flow near the ground's surface. In combination with rapidly changing thermals as the sun's position changes throughout the day, the airflow across steep terrain often means the wind can blow from every direction near a stand site during a 3-4 hour sit. In that situation, staying as low-scent as possible is your best bet, as well as trying to understand how terrain and thermals direct localized airflow.

I hunt Hilly Hardwoods a lot. I've always wondered how anyone could hunt the wind with so many changes and shifts.I get to my stand quickly and use different routes as much as possible.I also try to get high enough to be above many of the shifts and out of line of site.
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