If you have ever been deer hunting, even once, you probably know just how important the wind is. Deer have some of the best noses in the entire world, and if you are not aware of the wind and what it is doing, it is very easy to scare off any nearby deer and never see them. While deer have excellent vision and some of the best hearing around, their noses are what continue to keep them safe from most of their predators.
As deer hunters, we are constantly reviewing the wind, what it is doing, and how we will hunt depending on the wind, what it is doing, and what direction it is blowing in. So how do you play the wind and use it to your advantage? Here are a few simple tricks to help you play the wind and find more deer hunting success!
How to Hunt with the Wind
Some studies have shown that deer can easily smell you from 300 yards away. I would argue that they can do it even further than that. But no matter how good their nose is, they cannot smell you unless the wind carries your scent particles to their nose. So as long as you stay downwind of the deer, they cannot smell you and you can use this to your advantage. While this concept may seem simple, I am always surprised at how many hunters fail to keep this in mind. This leads us to our first tip, which is:
Always know which way the wind is going.
Weather reports, apps, and many other things will tell you which general direction that the wind should blow on a given day, but you should always keep a wind checker handy and know for sure which way it is going. This will allow you to stay downwind of potential areas that you suspect deer might be in, as well as know when to completely change areas or stands to avoid blowing the deer out of the area.
Wait for the wind to change.
Keep in mind that wind does and will change directions. From slight changes in direction to complete 180’s, things like the sun warming up the hillside will cause thermals to change the direction of the breeze. Knowing and understanding these occasional changes can help you plan your hunt. Depending on these changes, you might choose different hunting spots, different approaches, or different times of day to hunt.
It takes a lot of practice to get good at anything, and learning how to properly hunt with the wind is no different. A simple little breeze can quite easily ruin an entire day’s worth of hunting unless you come prepared and know how to hunt with the wind, and not against it. Always keep that wind indicator at the ready, and learn to start using the wind to your advantage to finally kill that next big buck you have your eye on!
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