Pro Tips: Deer Hunting in Wind
October 17, 2022
Plan to be out deer hunting on windy days? Hunting the wind is easier when you use these pro scent control tactics and tips for how to play the wind.
These tips on how to hunt the wind come from Kirt Connelly, a seven-year veteran of team Redmond Hunt. Besides his family, the outdoors is Kirt's passion and what he loves and lives for. It led him into the outdoor industry early in his career where he worked as a hunting consultant and owned several outdoor companies before joining Redmond. He brings the same passion to customers through Redmond’s quality deer mineral products and hunting services.
Wind is the four-letter word in hunting. It’s the invisible enemy that can ruin your day in the stand or even foil an entire whitetail season. Wind is fickle and contrary, and wise hunters learn to play by its rules or go home empty-handed, without the buck you’ve been banking on all summer.
You’ve probably had it hammered home to hunt with the wind in your face and stay downwind of your target. Sound advice. But simply hunting into the wind and hoping for the best is not enough. Success requires strategy, and here’s why.
Deer’s Sense of Smell
Whitetails are extremely territorial. Deer also have an amazing sense of smell and can detect anything unusual on the wind. They know their area, its sights and smells inside and out, and can pick up scents a quarter mile away or more.
When deer come into a baiting or mineral site, they’re on high alert and usually only 10-20 yards from your tree stand. That’s close enough to sniff the cherry ChapStick you put on that morning. If a wary buck gets even a subtle whiff of your scent and doesn’t like it, he’ll be gone, and there goes your chance to harvest—potentially for the season.
6 Tips for Hunting the Wind
Once you learn to respect wind, you can outsmart it and your target—and even use wind to your advantage. Successful deer hunting in windy conditions really comes down to planning, preparation, and minimizing your scent. Check off the steps below to counter the wind before and during your hunt and you’ll be cranking.
1. Choose a Good Site
This is the step before all others: knowing where to put a tree stand. Set up your stands and baiting sites with wind in mind. Having at least two stands at your site will help accommodate for wind coming from different directions. When you’re ready to hunt, choose a stand that's downwind and works to your best advantage based on weather conditions.
If the wind throws a curve ball and comes in a direction that doesn’t suit either stand, a mobile climber stand comes in handy. Keep one stowed in the back of your truck for flexibility to change your hunting strategy on the fly. A climber stand will allow you to hike into another area more suitable to wind direction and saves money if you don’t want to spring for multiple stands.
2. Download Weather Apps
Technology can also help you prepare. Helpful weather and hunting apps (like AccuWeather or Weather.com) predict wind direction and provide accurate forecasts. Once you’re at your site and before you trek to your stand, make sure the wind is still moving the way it was forecasted and you planned for. If it has shifted, rethink your game plan.
3. Practice Hunting Scent Control
You can never eliminate all your scent. It’s impossible, and anybody who says otherwise is lying. Your body is always producing scents from hot spots on your head, hands, feet, and armpits. Just breathing produces scent not normal to an area. You can, however, minimize your scent.
Here’s a checklist of things to do to reduce human odor before you head into the woods. I do every step before every hunt—no buts. Seem a bit OCD? Sure, but added together, each of these scent control hunting measures amounts to points in your favor for nabbing your target.
- Wash hunting clothes in scent-free detergent.
- Place clothing in a scent-free bag or locker (like Scent Crusher) to transfer to your hunting location.
- Shower with scent-free body wash and shampoo and use scent-free deodorant and other self-care products.
- Dress in hunting clothes at your site, outside of your vehicle, and before you hike into your stand.
- Wear a facemask, gloves, and calf-high rubber boots to control scent.
- Spray your bow, pack, boots, etc., with a scent killer.
4. Use a Deer Cover Scent
Let’s say you’re sitting in your tree stand and the wind shifts. What now? You can’t climb down and you can’t redirect the wind. Redmond Apple or Cherry Bomb Spray is truly the bomb for moments like this. It’s a high-powered, sweet-smelling hunting field spray that covers scent and draws deer in—and can be used in several ways. When I’m within 50 yards of my stand, I begin spraying Cherry Bomb in my boot tracks to my cover scent. If I’m already in my stand and the wind shifts, I squirt it in the air to both mask smell and entice deer in.
5. Try an Ozone Generator
There are arguments about whether this next scent management tool is legit, but at Redmond, we use and support it—and some of our Hunt team swear by it. I’m talking about an ozone generator for hunting like these from Ozonics.
It’s an in-field device that attaches to the tree above your stand and breaks up scent molecules in the air. The science says it creates a stream of ozone above your head that destroys scent so deer and other animals can’t tell you’re there—regardless of wind direction. Is it worth the $300-$500 sticker price? Your call.
6. Know When to Say No
The last tactic for deer hunting in the wind may be the hardest for hunters to swallow—and follow. Know when to say no and take a day off. It takes control not to sit in your stand because of a high or swirling wind you can’t predict. But patience pays off and waiting often wins the day and your target. Remember, it’s better to ground yourself for a few hours than risk an erratic wind that blows out that big buck.
You’re now ready to play the wind! Just remember to respect and work with it by planning ahead and carefully managing your scent. Good luck and remember, in the case of wind, it’s truly the sum of the parts that matter. Doing each of the steps discussed will help you hunt intelligently and may ultimately be the difference between a busted deer or tagging the buck of a lifetime.
If you need a deer cover scent and attractant for your upcoming hunt, we’ve got you covered. Click below to learn more about and purchase super effective Redmond Cherry or Apple Bomb field spray.
© Redmond Hunt 2022. All rights reserved.
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