If you’ve ever been hunting yourself you know just how difficult it can be to find just the right spot for you or you and your family and friends. You probably already know some of the most important things to watch for, like finding an area away from other hunters or campers and finding an area that hunting is legally allowed. But there are other things that play a factor in how and where you want to hunt and one of those things is the wind in the area that you’re hunting in, so make sure you’re paying attention.
Why Wind Hurts
Deer have a very sensitive sense of smell. That means they can smell the feed and the bait that you left out for them from a good distance away. They can also smell the trees and the water around them. But they can also smell you. That’s one of the reasons that you probably spend some of your hunting money on different things that will mask the human smell. You use sprays and soaps that are intended to hide your smell or entirely erase it. But you can only do so much in that respect before you have to look into other methods to help you as well.
The wind is one of those things that’s going to hurt or help you. When the wind blows over you it blows your scent a whole lot further than if the wind is still. When you sit downwind from where you think the deer are coming you’re going to be setting yourself up for more success and a better chance of actually getting that deer to come your way. That’s because the wind is blowing your scent away from them and they have to get a lot closer in order to actually pick anything up.
What To Do For Hunting Deer In Wind
There are a number of things that you need to do in order to make sure that you’re sitting in the right location when you’re hunting. Sitting in the wrong location could cost you that deer, after all, and that’s not something you want to risk. That means you need to consider where you are before you decide to set up your station. It means looking at not only what’s in front of you but what’s behind you as well, and it definitely means monitoring the wind conditions in your area.
First, make sure that you know what way the wind is coming from and going to. You can check this information online but you’ll also want to check it out for sure when you get to your spot or a place you think is a good area. Your best bet is going to be having some type of wind floater going at all times to make sure you know which way it’s coming or going and you can choose the exact spot you want to be when you settle down.
Don’t rely on just one method of recognizing the weather. You don’t want to only trust the online source you chose because your area could be slightly different from what you thought. If you aren’t clear on reading your wind floater it could also cause you some problems so make sure you’re looking around and getting as much evidence as you can. That’s going to make it easier to hunt and more likely you’ll get something good. Also, you won’t have to spend a lot of your time setting up your spot only to have to move around and make some changes before you can actually hunt.
Another important factor is to watch what’s around you. This isn’t just about the wind, though it’s important for that purpose too. What you want to do is see what’s going to be behind you when you sit down and start hunting. If there is a big trail (an animal trail not a human trail) behind you then that’s not a good place to be, even if there’s another trail in front of you. Your best option is to look for an area where you will be facing into the wind and your scent will be blown backward into an area where the deer won’t be.
You’re going to want to keep that wind in mind no matter what you’re doing as well. When you’re in the stand it’s important of course, but it’s also going to be important when you’re heading into the woods and out of the woods. You don’t want to scare off the deer before you even get there or have them too scared to come back the next time you’re hunting. So you want to keep an eye on the wind and make sure you’re using that to your advantage when you’re heading in or heading out.
First, you want to make sure that the way you walk isn’t going to put you in the midst of any heavily traveled deer trails or bedding grounds because you’ll leave your scent behind no matter what you do. Next, make sure that you’re walking downwind the entire time so you don’t end up leaving your scent at your blind and messing up your chances of getting anything. You want to keep in mind where your blind is and where you’re going at all times so you know if you’re heading the right way and how you’re going to keep your blind from getting hit with your scent.
Where You Won’t Find Deer
For the most part, you’re not going to find deer near a cliff, within any proximity to a manmade road, in open fields or near ponds. Now, you might see them in these areas at times, but for the most part they’re going to stay somewhere that they are well hidden and protected from … well from you. If the back of your blind or stand is towards one of these areas you have a lesser chance of a deer almost sneaking up on you and then catching your scent.
Upping Your Chances
There are a number of products that you can use to help with your playing of the wind as well. For one thing, you want to get rid of as much of your scent as you possibly can, which we’ve already touched on a little at the beginning of the article but it’s important to go a little further into it. You want to make sure that you’re using as many scentless products as you possibly can when it comes to heading to your blind and attempting to get anything, because of those sensitive noses.
There are scentless products for just about anything you could need. Whether you’re looking for scent-free laundry detergent, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo and even body and clothing sprays. If you use all of it, you can pretty much eliminate anything that the deer may be able to smell on you and that means you’re going to have a much better chance of taking them by surprise. After all, they rely very heavily on what they can smell in order to let them know if there is some kind of danger, so keeping your scent off is going to help you immensely.
Deer in the Wind
More mature bucks, meaning the ones that have been around a lot longer, will take their time when approaching a new area. They’re also quite smart and will make sure that they are as safe as possible before stepping foot in any area they don’t know well. That means they’re actually more likely to come from behind you if you’re downwind because they want to make sure nothing can sneak up on them (like you). They walk into the wind, your scent blows downwind and before you know it the deer is off and running without ever coming close enough for you to know.
When a deer beds down for the day they will also take a quick sniff around to make sure everything seems safe. They may even walk around their ‘bed’ to make sure there’s nothing in any direction before they decide to lie down and relax. This can make it a whole lot more difficult for you to take them by surprise because your planning puts you right in the middle of the way, where they are going to smell you and take off fast.
What you want to do is make sure you’re not directly opposite of the area that you think the deer are going to be. Imagine there is a line where the deer trail is. Now imagine a line directly next to that one, where you would think the best spot for your blind is. The two lines should be parallel and you would expect to be head-on with the line for the trail. What you want to do instead is draw in a box. Connect your two lines and what do you have? A square (or rectangle) with four corners. Instead of being directly opposite the trail, you want to be in one of the further corners (not sitting on their trail).
By sitting in a corner of the right area instead of dead on you’re going to be a little less detectable by the deer. They won’t be able to smell you as easily and they will be coming from directly behind the wind. That means you being slightly offset is going to keep them from picking up whatever traces of scent you may still be giving off (even after you use all of your scent-free items to get rid of it).
Getting That Deer
If you’re really looking to get a deer you want to make sure you do everything you possibly can to improve your chances. It’s going to require you to take care of your scent most of all, but if you’re willing and able to do everything possible to get rid of it you’ll have a good chance. Your scent and the sounds you make when you move around are really the only things that a deer has in order to sense you. In general, they’re not going to see you because you’re already in camo, so you want to work on the other senses instead.
It’s about time to really start looking at your scent gear and it’s going to depend on a whole lot of factors as well. Cutting down on the scent you give off and making sure that you have even less you need to hide is going to be the first part, and using scent-free products is really the best way to go. You’ll be able to get yourself off to the right start and you’re going to find it a whole lot easier to hide your scent as you’re walking too.
Once you’ve got the basics down you’re going to see that your chances of getting a deer, and at least your chances of seeing something, are going to go up immensely. Before you know it you’re going to have deer around your blind and you’ll have the chance to really start looking at what’s out there and really start having fun. Even if you don’t shoot a deer, at least being able to see one will improve the experience and make it a whole lot more fun to be out there in the woods all day. At least there will be a chance, right?
Why wouldn’t you want to make things easier on yourself when you’re trying to get that deer? If you just walk right up to the blind without taking any kind of precautions then chances are the deer is going to smell you or see you or even hear you, but if you’re careful and you do what you can to keep yourself covered, you’re definitely going to have a better chance of keeping yourself from being discovered and definitely a better chance of coming home with the deer you’ve been hoping for. It’s going to be a great experience if you know what you’re doing.
My name is Walter Williams, and I’m a bowhunting addict. That’s right, I said addict. After my father gave me my first Samick Sage bow at age 17 my love for this hunting discipline has continued to grow.