The Importance of Hunting with the Wind

Learning to hunt with the wind is an essential skill for any hunter.

If there were rules on how to be successful when hunting, I think hunting with the wind would be the number one rule to follow, yet I also think it would be the one that is broken the most. Hunters need to realize that most big game animals trust their noses more than any other sense when avoiding danger, and that is why it is so important to learn how to hunt with the wind.

Hunting with the wind is not just for the hunter who is hunting from the tree stand; it is for every hunting scenario. When calling a big game animal, you always have to remember that the animal is going to try to come in downwind from you. That is why it is always best to try and set up in an area where your wind can blow out over the water or open space, and why you should always check weather sites before you pick where you want to hunt because it will allow you to know what spots work best for the wind that is in the forecast. Another thing to remember is not to just look at the current wind, but also at what the wind will be doing for the next while, because it could change and you will want to be prepared for that.

Even if you have checked the wind before you went to your spot, you should always be prepared to check while you are hunting. The weather networks are not always right, so you will want to be prepared if the wind changes. There are a few things that you can use for this, but the two I always carry with me are a puffer with non-scented powder, and milkweed or the dried inside of a thistle. The puffer works great for seeing what the wind is doing close to you, but it does not show you how your scent will travel in your area. If you use milkweed or thistle, you can throw it out there and watch it travel in the wind, and see exactly where your scent is going. The other great thing about the milkweed or thistle is you can see what the thermals are doing.

When you are deciding on what tree stand to sit, you need to always remember to have the wind blowing to a dead area. You never want the wind going to the area deer will be coming to or going from. Having multiple stands for different winds is always a great idea, but if a stand is not good for a wind, don’t be afraid to set up on the ground, where the wind is good.

Travel routes are another important thing to remember. When you are walking into your spot, you do not want your wind to be blowing into the area you expect your game to be in. The same should be thought of when you are leaving. The more often the animals know you are in their living environment, the harder they will be to hunt.

Learning to hunt the wind is an essential skill for a big game hunter to learn. You beat the animal’s nose and you increase your chances of filling your tag!

About Keith Beasley

Keith Beasley was among the first Canadians to be elected to sit on the prestigious Board of Directors for the U.S.-based Quality Deer Management Association, and in addition to his field experience as a whitetail hunter, the insight and educational exposure he has had to whitetail deer and whitetail deer management through the QDMA is second to none.

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