Help me understand the wind

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poorhunter

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Hickman county
I don't have a lot of experience hunting hills and hollers since I come the flat land of Indiana. The swirling unpredictable winds have no doubt cost me many a deer I've never seen, much less those that I have seen. Yesterday morning was a prime example. I hunted a spot that is a great pinch point leading from the ridges down to a wide creek bottom that is both pastures and periodic flooded timber. This spot is a draw that opens up and ends right at the creek that is a natural crossing where I often see deer. I now have permission to hunt this property. The draw runs west to east, and the wind yesterday was from the south. The side of the draw are pretty steep, and I was in a tree about a third of the way up from the bottom of the draw. I get set up in my climber, and it feels like the wind is blowing from the east, and it sure enough does the whole morning, right down the draw. I climb down when I'm done hunting and go up to the top to check things out, and the wind is blowing straight out of the south! :bash: Is it the "norm" that when the wind blows perpendicular to a draw that it will turn 90^ and shoot right down the draw? How the heck am I supposed to hunt the wind? I don't know how many times I've gone out to hunt a spot according to the wind direction, only to have it be swirling in every direction or like yesterday just blow 90^ to what it's supposed to be. I've just about given up figuring it out, but I also know that figuring it out is probably the BEST key to successful deer hunting. Any tips or things to keep in mind would be greatly appreciated!
 
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TheLBLman

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Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN
Some of the time, the wind will have a near steady, sustained direction and velocity. This is the time you can really "hunt the wind" and use it to your advantage. It also seems to be the wind conditions deer prefer most for moving. But other circumstances (other than the wind) typically contribute more to deer movement, or lack thereof.

More of the time, the wind will constantly be changing directions,
making it very difficult to plan your hunting, based on any presumed wind direction.
You can see this by simply sitting around a campfire, and note how often you need to move from one side of the fire to the other, to escape the smoke.

Most days, my best method of dealing with the wind has been these two things:

1) Be as scent-free as possible ---- go to extremes in reducing your human/foreign scent to your hunting area.

2) Hunt from as elevated a position as is reasonably possible wherever you hunt.
------- Often, your scent will blow over or above close-by deer, and will be more diluted by the time it gets to more distant deer. You will never totally eliminate your human and foreign scents, but deer will tolerate (without being alarmed) up to a certain level. That tolerance level is lower with older deer, higher with younger deer.
 
fairchaser

fairchaser

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Either stay out of the bottoms or play the wind off the terrain features. Those are your only choices. Being scent free is great but it’s not going to make up for the wind. Part of learning your property is understanding how the wind works in certain areas. Once you get in your tree, start educating yourself on the wind for that spot. Use a puffer or better yet those wind drifters. Notice where you get busted and you don’t. Then take some notes for the next time you have that wind. Also notice how the deer move for that wind. Once you figure the wind out, you can hunt with more confidence and you will see more deer.
 
Spurhunter

Spurhunter

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Munford, TN
LBL man is spot on. I'll add a few things. Some of which sound like common sense but judging by what I see, aren't. Don't fuel up on the way to hunt. Truck or ATV. Nothing smells stronger or more unnatural than gasoline. I believe in Scent Away scent neutralizer and if you are hunting around pines, B.A. Tree Pine cover scent is excellent. I'll drive my truck to my parking spot for the stand I'm hunting over my four wheeler a lot of the time. Especially if there isn't much wind or variable winds. If I can smell ATV exhaust fumes on my clothes I know the deer can. I always chuckle at the guys at the gas station fueling up ATVs, smoking cigarettes, and shooting the bull during bow season. Honestly if I do the common sense stuff, air my clothes out, use Scent Away and B.A. Tree, and use the wind when I can, I rarely get busted.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 
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Mike Belt

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Lakeland, Tn.
Think of wind as water like when a damn breaks. The rush of water will take the least resistance. When it does hit resistance it will alter the direction of flow. Over simplified but basically the same outcome. An east wind blowing perpendicular to a north/south ridge may deflect off that north side and change the direction of air flow FOR THAT PARTICULAR location to a more northerly direction. Get up on top of that ridge and the flow may very well be easterly again. Much of this depends on wind speed though. With higher, more consistent wind speed as those ridges deflect direction they suck the air from the hollow creating a vacuum. Something has to fill that void and that is air being drawn back into that void and in all likelihood, from another direction opposite that of the actual wind direction. Again with those higher wind speeds this often creates a backflow of air. When this happens you could be sitting on the side of a ridge, let's say the north side as in the above example with an east wind blowing in your face. You think you're hunting the right wind for seeing deer towards the ridge south of you. What could be happening is that the wind is bouncing off that north ridge above and behind you and towards the top it's curling up and back over sending it a completely different direction headed back and over that south ridge and dropping your scent exactly where you don't want or expect it to be. When hunting ridges and hollows it happens all the time that you may have a "ground" direction and a completely different upper wind direction. Ever wonder why deer are blowing from upwind of your location?

It's actually easier to make a hunt plan with consistent higher winds than light winds. They are more predictable. Light winds seem to change directions more often and in part are influenced by thermals. Say you're hunting inside the edge of timber and watching a field with a 1-4 mph wind blowing from the field into the timber. As the sun rises heating the open ground in the field before that in the timber that warm air rises. With little wind that rising air may actually be stronger than the predicted wind speed. Even though the wind is from one direction it may be "sucked" into another opposite direction because of those rising thermals. The same thing happens in the timber at various locations more apt to being warmed first by the rising sun.

As you can see wind directions can be misleading but all is not lost. They can be predictable. Wind reacts to "likewise" areas basically the same no matter where you're hunting. It just takes a little practice and observation to foresee those outcomes. I always carry a small tube of floaters releasing some of them at different times and after having done so for years I'm still surprised at times as to how wind reacts in different circumstances. I like these over powders simply because they can be seen from longer distances.

It pays to know how winds and thermals work but after all is said and done I'll throw this in the mix.... Sometimes we can tend to overthink deer hunting, lol.
 
S

Smo

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North of Al. & South of Ky.
Hunting in areas with hills and hollows can be tricky business .

I have an E/W running main ridge across my property.

Along the main ridge are several finger ridges running off of it .

These form several draws and saddles. From these areas the wind will shift in various directions.

I noticed with a strong North wind the deer want to travel and bed along the South side of the main ridge.

The opposite with a S or S/W strong wind. Strong being steady and 5-15 mph.

Anything stronger they seem to seek heavy cover and bed down.

The best info I could share is to stay clean, keep the hunting area clean.

I don’t do a lot of scouting during the season, I ride to the parking spot and go straight to the stand.

No peeing or spitting in the woods!

Especially if you take meds!

The other tip would be to hunt from as high an elevation as possible in the mornings.

I like be out on a ridge top watching over a good crossing /saddle.

The thermals will lift your scent as the morning progresses on the less windy days.

I’m a believer the higher up a tree the better off you are.
 
M

Mike Belt

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Lakeland, Tn.
Smo brings up a good topic related to wind direction. With the wind blowing from a certain direction are the deer more apt to or not to travel through a certain area?
 
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poorhunter

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Hickman county
Don't own a 4-wheeler. Always use scent killer. Never do any in season scounting, only cyber scout and then walk in and pick a tree. Most of the farms I hunt I've only hunted for a couple years so I don't have a "feel" for what a particular wind will do.
 
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TheLBLman

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Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN
Most days, you will have less negative effects from the winds during the mornings than during the afternoons.

This is mainly because morning air tends to rise, while evening air tends to fall,
but also because morning winds are usually less intense.

So, if you're hunting very high in a tree at sunrise,
and have minimized your human/foreign scents,
you should normally not have deer be alarmed by your presence,
typically, no matter whether they're downwind or upwind or crosswind.

Sometimes hunters think a deer has smelled them and taken off running spooked,
but often it's more a case of that deer hearing or seeing the hunter,
and then being more sensitive to trace amounts of foreign or human scent.

Trace amounts of foreign/human scent will normally not cause deer to alter their travel.
If it did, most deer would never move.
 
W

Winchester

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In these hills and hollows of much of TN the only locations where the wind is predictable is high on the ridges and even on the ridgetops. I learned long ago once you get even 1/4 of the way down a ridge the terrain will then affect the wind currents and thermals. Most locations have their own quirks with the wind and until you become intimately familiar with certain areas its impossible to simply guess how the wind will be affected. I see so many posts on here where people say oh you cant hunt the wind here as it swirls all the time, which is true for many areas but there is always a pattern in every location for different wind directions and speeds, just takes figuring it out. Any areas you are not familiar with I would advise starting out hunting as high as you possibly can in each instance until you start to figure out how the thermals react in different areas. Milk weed pods work great as you can see them for long distances once turned loose in the breeze in different areas and you can learn a great deal using and watching them travel once released. I remember reading this almost verbatim in a popular hunting book, I think it was "Mapping bucks" or something like that I read many yrs ago and thought this guy has spent his time in the woods for sure. I dont have nearly as much trouble figuring the wind out in areas where the hills are much smaller and the land is much flatter, it simply blows like you think it should.
As for always having the perfect setup with your stand facing into the wind and a old buck sauntering along with the wind at his back, GOOD LUCK with that, rarely happens for me anyway! You have to take whats given and many times im hunting a cross wind at best or even a quartering wind hoping I can cut him off before he hits my scent stream. Rarely do old bucks give you much to work with especially when it comes to their nose.
 
7

7X57

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I would invest in a Scent Lok suit and learn how to properly care for it and use it. I dress in the field after putting my Scent Lok gloves on first before handling any outer garments. I don't worry about the wind anymore.
 
Rackseeker

Rackseeker

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7X57":1kduql7o said:
I would invest in a Scent Lok suit and learn how to properly care for it and use it. I dress in the field after putting my Scent Lok gloves on first before handling any outer garments. I don't worry about the wind anymore.


Scent lok suit is fine but what do you do about your stand, gun, bow, backpack, breathe, etc. There isn't a way to get totally scent free. Winchester is spot on about thermals and wind. If have found alot of times in the steep mountains the wind can be in your face and deer up wind will still smell you. The thermals can do some weird things with your scent in steep terrain.
 
MUP

MUP

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And on top of all this excellent advice on hunting wind directions, continue to watch downwind of your stand, and all around for that matter. If I've learned anything from years of hunting, it's that a buck can show up at any time, from any direction. I've been fortunate enough to catch a couple of bucks just as they caught my wind, some got gone, and some I was fortunate enough to get on them and get a shot before they ski-daddled.
 
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poorhunter

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Thanks for the advice y'all! I think it'll just take time to get to know each stand site. Best advice I've read in this thread I think is the milkweed puffs...THAT I think will help.
 
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fishboy1

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Warren Co
Keep your booger pickers off things in the woods. I see people taking pictures of rubs with their hand on the tree to show the size of the rub, backpack leaning against a tree next to a scrape and breaking twigs and branches for shooting lanes at nose level. Guess what, you just left concentrated human scent at a high probability location for a deer to put its nose.

If you cant keep your hands still, wear CLEAN gloves going in/out of the woods.
My deer sightings went up dramatically when I started keeping my hands off stuff in the woods.
 
W

Winchester

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fishboy1":h12poy2n said:
Keep your booger pickers off things in the woods. I see people taking pictures of rubs with their hand on the tree to show the size of the rub, backpack leaning against a tree next to a scrape and breaking twigs and branches for shooting lanes at nose level. Guess what, you just left concentrated human scent at a high probability location for a deer to put its nose.

If you cant keep your hands still, wear CLEAN gloves going in/out of the woods.
My deer sightings went up dramatically when I started keeping my hands off stuff in the woods.
Good advice and a pair of latex gloves will help as much or more than a pair of rubber boots when you get in bedding areas or high travel areas moving through or hanging stands. Your body is constantly shedding off dead skin particles and scent but the oil from direct contact with skin on limbs and such will last much longer than a glove brushing the same limb.
I would save my money on the scent proof clothing, been proven time and again its throw away for the average user once contaminated, simply no way to reactivate, as the military uses once and throws away. Try to kill/eliminate as much scent as possible and do the best you can.
I promise the milkweed pods or even the synthetic pods now for sale will work best.
 
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poorhunter

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Winchester":24kybpeu said:
fishboy1":24kybpeu said:
Keep your booger pickers off things in the woods. I see people taking pictures of rubs with their hand on the tree to show the size of the rub, backpack leaning against a tree next to a scrape and breaking twigs and branches for shooting lanes at nose level. Guess what, you just left concentrated human scent at a high probability location for a deer to put its nose.

If you cant keep your hands still, wear CLEAN gloves going in/out of the woods.
My deer sightings went up dramatically when I started keeping my hands off stuff in the woods.
Good advice and a pair of latex gloves will help as much or more than a pair of rubber boots when you get in bedding areas or high travel areas moving through or hanging stands. Your body is constantly shedding off dead skin particles and scent but the oil from direct contact with skin on limbs and such will last much longer than a glove brushing the same limb.
I would save my money on the scent proof clothing, been proven time and again its throw away for the average user once contaminated, simply no way to reactivate, as the military uses once and throws away. Try to kill/eliminate as much scent as possible and do the best you can.
I promise the milkweed pods or even the synthetic pods now for sale will work best.

Even if I could afford ScentLock, I think it's a gimmick to make money.

I feel like I'm as careful as anybody at keeping my scent "footprint" at a minimum, I'm just amazed at what the wind does in these hills and hollers.
 
S

Smo

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North of Al. & South of Ky.
I think people overthink Hunting .

Stay as scent free as possible.

Hunt ridge tops in the am and bottom land in the pm.

Sit a quietly as possible and limit movement .

I try to let my eyes scan the woods or field prior to turning my head.

Then I turn it sloooooowly!
 
Mudbone

Mudbone

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Old hickory Tn
I’ve put cigarettes out to shoot deer with a bow.
I know I know.
I was just saying.

And yes, one was a large mature deer this year. a rutted up idiot I guess. Lol
 
7

7X57

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Rackseeker":pwvvbfho said:
7X57":pwvvbfho said:
I would invest in a Scent Lok suit and learn how to properly care for it and use it. I dress in the field after putting my Scent Lok gloves on first before handling any outer garments. I don't worry about the wind anymore.


Scent lok suit is fine but what do you do about your stand, gun, bow, backpack, breathe, etc. There isn't a way to get totally scent free. Winchester is spot on about thermals and wind. If have found alot of times in the steep mountains the wind can be in your face and deer up wind will still smell you. The thermals can do some weird things with your scent in steep terrain.

It's not possible to be completely scent free. You can certainly minimize scent to a level that deer aren't bothered by or think you are further away than you really are. It definitely takes a lot of effort on the part of the hunter but is well worth it. Your hunting items aren't putting out the amount/type of scent as your body. Most people I know that own a Scent Lok suit do not care for it or use it properly. They then label it as ineffective.
 

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