Deer Hunting: How to Hunt the Wind

Are You Playing It Right?

By: Realtree Staff

You can't ignore the wind. Period. You can often get away with a little noise. A deer might even stick around if it catches you moving. But if it smells you, the game is over, every time. Learning to hunt the wind is among the most fundamental skills for a deer hunter to learn.

Carry a wind-checker and use it often. (John Hafner photo)This video, from the staff at Whitetail Properties, will help you. These guys know their stuff when it comes to killing big deer, so take a few minutes and listen to what they have to say. And afterward, remember these three things:

  • Plan your hunting wind. Check and re-check the forecast wind direction for the day you're planning to hunt. When you're on stand, your wind cannot be blowing toward where you expect deer to come from, nor can it be blowing toward where they're going. This can seem problematic when you're set up between a feeding and bedding area, but keep in mind, the wind doesn't have to be in your face to be favorable. A stout crosswind blowing your scent into a "dead area" near your stand is often best. 
  • Plan your entry wind. The wind may be perfect for your stand setup. But it does no good if you alert all the deer while walking in. If you can't access your stand without sending your scent into the bedding area in the evening, or out into your food plot of a morning, consider an alternate route of approach or a different stand for the day.
  • Consider the thermals. A deer can bust you on a calm day. In hilly country, warming and cooling air causes thermals to rise and fall. Although your wind direction may seem favorable, understand that certain areas, like river bottoms, are notoriously difficult to hunt due to thermals and swirling air currents. That's not to say you should avoid hunting these areas, but proceed with caution. In general, thermals rise in the morning as it warms up and fall in the evening as it cools down.

Additional Wind Reads:

  1. How to Hunt the Wrong Wind
  2. How Mature Bucks Use the Wind
  3. 5 Things You Don’t Know About Deer Senses
  4. 8 Ways to Beat a Deer’s Nose

Don't Miss: 20 Deer Hunting Lies Your Granddaddy Told You

Editor's Note: This was originally published on September 4, 2013.

Are you a deer hunter wanting to learn how to accomplish your goals? Check out our stories, videos and hard-hitting how-to's on deer hunting.

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