Circumventing a whitetail deer’s keen sense of smell can be challenging for a hunter even on a good day. On a windy day, however, avoiding detection becomes the exigent order of the day. Of course in order to take such action, hunters must familiarize themselves with the types of winds and currents that they are likely to encounter. With that said, I thought that I would rundown the types of winds and air currents that many hunters are apt to be faced with this fall. Here they are:
Many seasoned hunters are already well familiar with prevailing winds. Prevailing winds is a term that is used to describe the direction in which the majority of an area’s winds are traveling. It is important for a hunter to know what the prevailing wind direction is for two main reasons. First, most animals prefer to travel in the direction of the prevailing winds. Second, the prevailing winds are apt to carry a hunter’s scent. Therefore, in order to avoid detection, hunters should make sure that they and their deer stands are located downwind.
Prevailing winds are not the only winds that deer hunters will need to concern themselves with this fall. There is also the issue of thermal air currents. Thermal currents are updrafts and downdrafts that are caused by temperature differences between the ground and the air. They can carry a hunter’s scent just as well as a prevailing wind. Although thermal currents may occur year round, hunters are most likely to encounter them during the pre-rut around sunrise and sunset. In general, the updrafts tend to occur at sunrise. Downdrafts are more apt to occur at sunset. Hence, I have found that the best way to avoid detection is to position myself on a ridge during the morning hours and in the valleys during the early evening hours.
Deflective currents can also help or hinder a deer hunter’s chances of success. They are caused when wind hits an object like a stand of trees or an old stone fence. In my experience, deflective currents are also some of the most difficult to deal with because of their unpredictability. The unpredictability is caused by how the air behaves when it meets with an obstacle. The impact can cause the currents and the hunter’s scent to veer off in a multitude of directions. Hence, there are three ways that hunters may opt to deal with deflective currents. The first way to deal with the situation is to avoid areas known to be prone to such air currents. The second way to deal with the currents is to alter the terrain by removing the obstacles. The third way to deal with deflective currents is to study how the air moves in a certain hunting area and just work around it.
Wind Related Resources for Deer Hunters
Hunters that want to study the winds typically found in their favorite hunting areas should consider checking the wind rose data available for those locations. A wind rose is a meteorologist’s tool that is used to understand wind patterns in a given area. Data gleaned from that tool is accessible through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s website. The NASA Ocean Motion website and the Intellicast website are also helpful in understanding prevailing winds and wind speeds. After all, wind speeds also play a role in a whitetail deer’s behavior. In general, winds that rank a 5 or higher on the Beaufort Scale tend to make the deer skittish. Depending on the wind’s intensity, some may also seek cover. Other wind related tools hunters may want to consider using are wind detection powders and electronic wind detector devices like Firefly.
Source: Personal Experience
Killeen Gonzalez has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. She frequently enjoys the great outdoors with her family.
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