One thing that is always in the back of a public land whitetail hunters mind is the wind. What is it going to do today? How does it affect my stand locations? What is it supposed to do tomorrow? Why does is keep changing directions? To help you understand the wind and how it affects stand locations, here’s a closer look at how we approach it when we hunt public land.
Don’t let other hunters affect your hunting
A lot of times on public land we will see other hunters not taking the same wind and scent precautions that we might be taking. You might even ask yourself the question, “why should I practice scent control and look at the wind if the guy I parked next to doesn’t?” The answer is to not get caught up in what the other guys are doing. Using the wind and scent control is an important aspect of hunting mature whitetails, whether it is on public land or private land.
Wind should never blow your scent into bedding areas-when walking or sitting
This is something you need to do as much as you can. Obviously, this can’t be done 100% of the time, but try to accomplish this as much as possible. A lot of this can be planned out using aerial photos and plotting your entry and exit routes before you do any “boots on the ground” scouting.
Make sure you look at how it might affect the approach to your stand
This one kind of builds off the one above, but make sure to not only look at how the wind affects your stand location, but also how it affects your approach to that stand. The wind may be perfect for your stand location, but if they bust you on the walk in it does you no good.
How does a certain wind direction affect deer movement?
Try to have an idea of how a deer might travel the property or approach your location during certain wind directions. For example, let’s say your stand is setup for an east wind and is overlooking a food plot. You also know where a buck is bedding and that he is most likely going to travel along the edge of a ridge to get to your food plot. But what you failed to look at when you scouted was that he probably won’t travel that ridge with an east wind because then the wind is at his back and he can’t scent check the food plot for danger as he approaches. So, essentially you have a stand setup for an east wind, when a buck traveling to that stand setup wants a west wind. You’ll end up hunting when that buck is probably not going to be there.
Have multiple stands
One way to make understanding and using the wind easier is to have multiple stand setups. It is a much easier decision to decide to just hunt another stand then it is to decide to not hunt at all.
What if your hunting with limited time or just use one stand
It’s easy, hunt! But know your odds are better if you can try and play the wind to the best of your ability. Try doing some “hang and hunts” if you have the option or setup in a high traffic area or funnel.
Sometimes it might mean that you just can’t hunt a certain stand
Sometimes things just don’t work out and there is no way around it. It might be best to find another stand location.
Understanding the wind and how to use it to your advantage is difficult, but hopefully the above bullet points give you a bit more understanding on how we approach the wind and treestand locations on public land.
For more information listen to episode 10 of the Whitetail Instinct Podcast for more information on this topic.
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