The weather conditions deer confront have a significant impact on their movement. If you comprehend this connection, you’ll have a far better chance of success. But how much wind is too much for deer hunting?
Hunters will benefit from the wind. A gentle breeze will be sufficient to move things along. The consequences are usually more apparent in bucks than does. When the wind is between 5 and 15 mph, you’ll get the best hunting opportunities. Deer will slow down when the wind exceeds 30 mph, making hunting much more difficult.
The wind’s strength might determine whether it’s a good day to go hunting or if you should stay at home. Before you make your decision, read on for some additional information.
How Deer Use Wind
Before we look at whether deer move more on windy days, it’s important to understand how significant it is in their daily lives. First and foremost, it’s the most effective line of defense for deer. They rely even more on their nose than their eyes or ears. It’s vital in so many ways.
Deer are highly vulnerable to wind, which has a major impact on where and how they bed, as well as how they travel from one point to the next. Deer don’t always follow the wind. This is false. They do, however, almost always sleep with their backs facing the wind.
Their eyes can now be used to search for downwind and crosswinds, as well as upwind with their nose. Their ears stay in motion, and when a twig breaks, their eyes focus on it no matter what direction it’s going.
Apart from their agility, bucks and does living in bachelor groups or doe groups bed with one another to improve their chances of survival. And given that deer spend more than 70% of their time resting, it’s no wonder they’re so difficult to kill.
Deer will use the wind to their advantage even if they don’t walk straight into the wind when on their feet. They’ll circle downwind of locations they’re unsure about, hold back until it’s dark to move when the wind isn’t in their favor, and so on. They manipulate it to their advantage when bedded and while traveling from one point to the next. The only time they aren’t reliant on their nose is when they’re out in the open, but even then, they make use of it.
Why Does Wind Affect Deer?
While there is growing evidence that deer will travel more frequently in strong winds, researchers are still trying to determine why this occurs. However, there are a few ideas floating around.
It has been suggested that it is related to their capacity to sense danger. They are better able to hear potential warning signals in light winds. They can’t, however, in stronger winds. As a result, they might have to spend more time searching for threats while moving about throughout the day.
It has also been linked to larger weather events. When a front is approaching, deer tend to be more active. This is their signal that food should be obtained before they have to seek refuge. High winds are frequently associated with the approach of these fronts.
In High Winds, How Can You Hunt?
Regardless of the cause, high winds may be a great hunting opportunity. But how can you make the most of it?
You should first consider how you will modify your approach. When hunting, most individuals prefer to use a tree stand. However, during a period of high wind, this may not be the best alternative. The shaking of the stand will make you more noticeable to deer if the tree causes it to shake. It becomes a safety hazard as well. The last thing you want is to fall out of your perch.
Next, consider where the deer will be heading. The majority of deer will move to a more tranquil area as a result of the wind. As a consequence, you may want to seek natural windbreaks. The lee side of a tree, for example. You should also look for any marshes in the area. Thicker tree stands can sometimes provide some shelter. It’s a good idea to study maps of the region to get some creative ideas.
A light breeze, on the other hand, can instigate a flap of wings and alert deer to your presence. We mentioned that strong winds during the night might curb the activity. Deer will want to eat much more the following day as a result of this. This may be an excellent chance to seek out feeding areas in this situation. If the wind is in sync with a weather front moving in, this can be extremely profitable.
Deer are easily distracted by the wind. Deer have keen noses, and they can smell a person from afar. They will leave if they detect your scent. The good news is that you may use the wind to remain hidden. Your aroma will be carried away if you are keeping downwind. You may use white chalk to notify you what direction the wind is blowing. This ensures that before the deer can smell it, your scent is dispersed.
However, if the wind is only mild, you must be cautious. On these days, you’ll need to make sure you’re using an odor-neutralizing spray. If you don’t use one, your fragrance will spread throughout the air. Any deer in the area would be able to smell you approaching and flee the area.
How Does Wind Affect Bowhunting?
The wind is often more of a problem for bowhunters. If the wind is too strong, it might unintentionally push your arrow off course, forcing you to miss the deer. There are a few things you can try to address.
To begin, you should attempt to approach the target before firing. This will reduce the chance that the wind’s trajectory will be altered by getting closer to the deer. One of the benefits of hunting on a windy day is that you’ll have more leeway to move about and smell, allowing you to get closer to the prey.
It’s also crucial to practice in strong winds before you go hunting. This will help you determine how you’ll deal with these circumstances. It may also be a wonderful approach to figure out how far away you need to be in order to hit your target. If it is raining, you should wear goggles or glasses to protect your eyes. While aiming, this prevents mud and other debris from entering your eyes.
Another good choice is to use a bow with greater draw weight. This will allow you to put more power behind the shot. The faster an arrow flies, the more difficult it is for the wind to redirect it. A heavier arrow can also be beneficial. This increases velocity even further, requiring even more force than before to alter its course.