Wind, and other difficult hunting conditions:

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by kat in the hat, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Wind can either hurt you, or help you while deer hunting. A blessing, or a curse. This season, for me, it has seemed to be a curse...at least that is my theory.

    The farm that I hunt on is almost 1 square mile. 3 large fields divided by a creek lined with large, old timber, and 2 ponds. Just great territory for deer to thrive, as it is nestled in the middle of a very large section of farm land and timber that stretches for several miles. There is hardly a square yard on the property that you can't find deer tracks. There are many rubs. Some of them on pretty big trees. No doubt there are plenty of deer there. Last year, I sat in a chair in a field, and shot a small buck about an hour after sun up while smoking a cigarette. Several times, I have hunted there, and just watched does and small bucks all day long waiting on a biggun. Never had a problem seeing deer.

    This year, there were at least 8 other hunters on the property opening weekend, so I opted to hunt elsewhere. Didn't see anything. Wednesday, I returned to my spot. That morning was cold and WINDY. I sat on the same hump beside a low-water crossing between 2 fields from about 5:30 am, 'till about 11 am. The wind got the best of me, and I hadn't seen anything but a squirrel, so I got up, stalked around a pond, and headed back to the truck, went to town and had lunch, then headed back out.

    I ran into the farmer that afternoon, and chatted with him for a bit. He said that there had only been 1 deer killed on that property this year so far. I mentioned how windy it has been, and he said that isn't the problem. Said the deer are scared, and only coming out at night. I can see that affecting the mature bucks...but the young, dumb bucks, and does?

    So, I think it's the wind. I think they can't hear, or smell as well, so they just lay down somewhere. That is what I think. Otherwise, folks woulda filled their tags Saturday morning before they had a chance to get spooked.

    Later that evening, I sat in a stand that had not been hunted from yet this year that is set up where the creek splits between 3 fields. A deer super highway between feeding, and bedding areas. Deer trails going in all directions. Sat there from 2 pm 'till 5:30. Didn't see a thing. I don't quite know what to think. I know you can't expect to get a deer every time, but dang! It's like the deer were abducted by aliens, or caught up by the deer rapture or something. I'm still blaming it on the wind, and holding on to hope that Sunday, they will show up.

    What do you think? Any thoughts on wind, or other adverse conditions that stop deer movement in their tracks?
     
  2. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    ...And I wasn't smoking this time. I sprayed my clothes with acorn spray, and threw them in a bag with fresh earth wafers a couple days in advance. I like the acorn spray. I have sprayed it on my boots, and watched deer follow my foot steps. I think it's kinda strong, but from what I've seen, they seem to like it. Gotta be better than smelling like a stinky ol' human being.
     

  3. ozzy

    ozzy New Member

    Messages:
    3,936
    State:
    Lost Wages
    Im not a deer but I can smell a cigarette 100 feet away outdoors since I quit smoking 2 years ago, not kidding at all. If it makes me sick Im sure the deer will run like crazy at couple hundred yards. Hope this helps.
     
  4. Mike81

    Mike81 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,260
    State:
    Alabama
    My experience has always been that deer are scarce when the wind is blowing alot. At least where I hunt. In states where it's windy all the time maybe different. Like you said, when they can't hear or smell well they are nervous and hunker down. I'm with ya Kat....
     
  5. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Hunting between that bedding and feeding area will eventually be a good spot Matt. If you can find a funneled down spot between them its just a matter of time with the rut going on. Use the wind to your advantage to remain sent free and wait them out. That big ol moss horned buck will be crusin. Hope you get him bro....
     
  6. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    What kind of terrain,? Are you hunting with shotgun or rifle,? Is there a predominate scape line near the super highway at the forks of the creek, any thicket or under brush around the edge of the big timber, Is there fences around? Is the wind constant from one direction or is it devil wind from all directions??

    Concentrate on the super highway at the forks of the creek, and the scrapes. Chances are real good that the scrapes are down wind of the super highway at the forks in the creek. Now look close at the scrapes, Do they run in pretty much a straight line? If so that is a primary scrape line. the super highway at the forks of the creek is traveled mostly by does and lesser bucks the bigger more mature bucks will be traveling a lesser noticeable trail at the scrape line or a bit down wing of it. I would pick me a spot whether tree stand or blind with the scrape line between me and the super highway at the forks of the creek and be there as early as legal. Stay there till last legal shooting light. Take snacks and drinks and whatever to stay as comfortable as possible. HOPE this Helps. If you want shoot me a PM.
     
  7. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    Deer Rapture...:smile2:, I just watched an episode on the outdoor channel where this guy was hunting the same conditions you are except in 20-30 mile an hour winds. He did manage to rattle in a decent buck but he had to be downwind and he beat the snot out of the rattles for a long time before a response. If I were you I would see where the wind is coming from and get into the lee side of a hill near the bedding area and start making deer sounds...deer dont prefer the wind but they do prefer to eat and will not venture too far away from their bedding areas in order to get a necessary snack. I believe the key strategy here is persistence, I am not one to sit in a stand all day but that may be the only chance you've got...especially during rut when the boys run all day long.

    Good Luck
    Bill
     
  8. kennylee

    kennylee New Member

    Messages:
    271
    State:
    Missouri -
    Kat, I don't know where you are in MO but I hunt in Macon county and the mass acorn crop was a bust this year, and that moves the deer to the ag fields this time of year, and like most ag field hunting you see them early in the morning and late in the evening. Also when the wind is blowing look for deer on the sheltered side of a hill (wind is coming from the west hunt the east side of the hill ect.) I usually find them on the sheltered side of a hill in or near bedding areas. Hunt the down wind side of the bedding areas and watch for bucks using the wind to locate does. Good luck this weekend if your going out, and if you put in the time your going to get a shot at something.
     
  9. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Thanks fellas for the great replies! Wednesday night was the first time that I had to choose a plan B., and go to the back of the property. Normally, I would park just inside the gate and walk maybe 200 yards, and see deer. There has only been 1 time that I have been on that property, and not at least seen deer.

    The terrain is flat. Some terraces in the fields, but mostly very flat. I hunt with a .300 mag., and can see several hundreds yards in any direction for the most part. I usually just sit in a discrete area where I can watch the bottoms where the drainage ditches lead to the creek. Usually, that is where the does will come into the fields for a snack.

    Here's a pic of the farm. Right now, on the east side of the creek is soybean stubble. The west side is milo. Most of it has been harvested except for a margine along the creek on the east side if the field. On the northeast part of the property, there is a strip, and a large patch of prairie grass. The red dots are areas that I have sat.

    On the back end of the property, I haven't really scouted, or paterned anything because I have never had to go back there, but it is full of sign. I don't know the configuration of the scrapes really.
     

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  10. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    Don't give up. personally i would hunt where the most sign and less pressure is at. Sounds like your a lucky man to have access to that much ground. You'll blow the dirt dobbers out of that 300 any day i'm sure.
     
  11. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Here we go: My opinion is If the land owner has no problem with it, looks like a situation that you could use a climbing tree stand to get some elevation near one of the red dots at the northern part of the property.
    So you can watch the prairie grass and the strip. If you can get a position 10 to 15 yds inside the edge of the big timber to put your stand up16 to 20' sent will not be an issue. In an elevated stand near the edge of big timber the wind will lift when it hits the edge of the tree line carrying your sent and smoke to the top of the timber. There is a good chance that the deer are bedding in the prairie grass or the stripe through the day while under pressure. Try to position yourself so you can see as much of the terraces in the field as well.
    Now for plan B:: Wind is going to play a big part in how you hunt the area. Try to enter the property as much as possible from the down wind side even if that means skirting all the way around the fence or property edge. Try to use the company of the other hunter to your advantage by getting in there as early and quietly as possible and let them move the deer your way.. Hope this is some help to ya.
    If you can find a topo map of the property it might help you as well. I do a lot of scouting if hunting a new area right where I'm sitting now.
    Here is a link to a topo map sight.
    http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx
     
  12. catoon

    catoon Board Clown!

    Messages:
    1,387
    State:
    whiteville
    dont know sir i aint to good of a hunter
     
  13. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    I don't know much about your terrain, but here in the mountains, deer will stay low when it is real windy. I hunt the bottoms of hollows, not the ridges. They also will tend to bed in wide open places where they can see all around them. I was reading an article in Field & Stream the other day that included an aerial picture showing two big bucks in Missouri bedded up in a huge open field. In wind, rain, and when pressure makes them nocturnal, (by the 3rd day of gun season), I don't do as much sitting. I go find the deer, with a 30-30 or a shotgun full of buck shot. I watched three deer yesterday for 1 1/2 hours. The first one I saw was a young buck. He stood in one place staring down into a hollow for 20 minutes without moving at all. Then he moved about 5 yards and stood there for another 20 minutes. He was joined by another small buck and a doe. They were all real skittish. They didn't move from the thick hillside until just before dark, and then they were sneaking along right under me, extremely cautious the whole way. That tells me it is time to start jumping them up instead of sitting on a stand. We have two weeks of gun season. The second week I usually put away my 30-06 and take a shotgun or a 30-30 with open sights.
     
  14. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Got 'er done! FINALLY! I ended up sitting in my a chair in the intersection on the north east side of the property. I had a feeling someone was gonna show up, and hunt from the stand...and they did, so I just found a cozy spot in the brush and sat down. I brought my chair just for that reason.

    So, about 6:15, or 6:30, 4 does came barrelling across the wheat field to the east. Straight down the tree line towards me, and ducked into the trees about 50 yards away, and stopped. I couldn't get a shot, but they stayed right there. I made a pitiful attempt at a bleat sound with my mouth, but they hung tight.

    Maybe 10 minutes later, a big bodied spike buck walked right up to me through the tree line from the south. He walked to within 10 yards of me or less, and stopped. He eventually spotted me, and moved on. Didn't spook though. Just kinda wandered off. He's gonna be a big deer in a couple of years. Had a big, thick neck. We have an antler restriction, so he was safe. I probably wouldn't have been able to get the drop on him anyways...with a scope and all.

    Finally, the does got their courage up, and walked out in the field right in front of me maybe 50 yards away. Luckily, they were walking this time instead of running. I could tell they were all young, but I picked the biggest one, put the crosshairs behind her shoulder, and let it rip. A cloud of steam rose into the air where she stood as I jacked another shell into the chamber, and I could tell it was a solid lung shot. I tried to find another in my scope, but they were too quick. They all ran off, so I sat down and fired up that victory smoke as I waited for her to expire.

    I did have to track her for about a hundred yards. Apparently that is as far as she could run while holding her breath, because her lungs were both liquefied.

    I'm happy I got the deer. Meat was my main objective, and after not seeing any on my previous hunts, it was a relief to finally bag one. I did feel a bit bad though because a man, and his kids...who also had permission to hunt there all abandoned their hunt to come see what was going on. Their hunt was over for the season as well because they have to return to school tomorrow. In one hand, I would have been just as happy to see one of them get a deer, but on the other hand, they hunted there opening weekend, and a couple of days during the week, and had their chance. There was really no reason for them to abandon their hunt unless they didn't have phones. I think the guy thought his daughter shot a deer. He wasn't mad, but I know they were a little disappointed. Bittersweet....that's all I'm sayin'. Now, who wants some jerky? :big_smile:
     

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  15. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    Happiness is a warm gut pile! :smile2::smile2:
     
  16. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    On one hand, hunting in open fields, it wouldn't practical to not have a scope and a good rifle that can reach out and tag something. On the other, I have yet to take a shot over a hundred yards, and like today, sometimes they walk right up to you. That coulda been a bruiser, and I'm not possitive I could have got a shot off on him. One of these days, I would like to get a .44 mag Super Blackhawk just for that purpose. I would just feel naked if I didn't have a long gun, and couldn't shoot across the field if I had to.

    I have another tag...my buck tag, but my huntin' partner wussed out on me for the afternoon. I don't like to go alone. :sad2:
     
  17. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Congrats on the venison Matt!! I knew you could do it.
     
  18. derbycitycatman

    derbycitycatman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,299
    State:
    Kentucky
    Name:
    your first name
    Dont worry Im on my way.:smile2:

    Congrats on the meat Matt!!!
     
  19. billNpam

    billNpam Active Member

    Messages:
    622
    State:
    Alabama
    Just some fuel to the fire. It was very windy here this weekend and where I have my ground blind l was getting the crap kicked out of me by the wind. So I gambled and went down into a revine that blocked the wind pretty good, (I have never saw deer in) and set on the ground with my back against a tree and saw eight deer in a 2 hour period. So I would say get out of the wind and the deer will be there.
     
  20. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia

    I had a hunting partner for several years that would not hunt in the wind. He couldn't hear deer coming, the deer didn't move as much, the tree shook too much; one excuse after another. Year after year I took deer when he wouldn't hunt. Wind eliminates half of the places to look for deer, and groups them up in the places that are left. Wind hides your movement and makes it easier to get close.