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Phunnyfarm

Hunting deer in strong winds

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My 2015 hunt will be limited to Thursday-Friday of this week, so obviously I've got my work cut out for me with the forecasted system blowing (literally) through.  I started to do some research about hunting tactics in strong wind conditions, and I had to share with you guys an article that actually made me excited to hunt in the wind!

http://www.mossyoak.com/our-obsession/blogs/cuzs-corner/2012/11/20/20-years-of-deer-research-on-deer-movement

It's a few years old, but the research and findings are definitely interesting.  

Do you guys think it's true?  Anyone out there bag a big buck with 15-20+mph winds?  Did you sit and have them come to you, or did you get up and stalk?  

Good luck out there!

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I love strong winds during the rut (which is now).  The bucks can't smell or hear in the wind, but the rut still keeps them moving.  When the tree gets rocking too bad, I climb down and sit in a ravine and let the sea sickness pass for awhile.

 

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If you have the option to stalk small patches of grass or brush, give that a try. Brushy fencelines and small groves of trees are good as well.

My experience is that deer do not like being in heavy timber on windy days. (As an aside, this goes double for turkeys.) The wind cuts down on their ability to use their ears to detect threats, so to make up for that they move in to smaller and/or more open patches of cover where they can make better use of their vision.

If you happen to be the only person (for safety) with access to standing corn, and the wind is blowing down the long rows, stalking the corn can be very effective, especially if conditions are still damp from a rain or snow...so long as you are OK with walking sideways. :lol:

As for hunting on stand, yes, it can be effective in wind, but the older, smarter deer you see are going to be extra vigilant, because they know how strong wind hurts their ability to smell, hear, and see potential danger. Yes, "see" potential danger. When the wind is blowing everything is moving: brush, trees, grass. That makes it more difficult for deer to pick out small movements, like rubbing your nose at the wrong time, that they otherwise spot from two hundred yards away on a calm evening.

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thx good topic.  

im not sure what i think of strong winds,  ive had good days and bad days with strong winds.  

i have still hunted into the wind many times and  done pretty good. 

a dwnside for me is just having to endure the wind.   seems as tho the wind knows exactly which direction im facing at all times.  ive literally changed stands only to have the wind change directions on me smh

i do like to be able to hear the deer but its not that important cz 99% of the time its just squirrels anyhow.  lol

its kinda cool to have a deer literally pop out of nowhere, as if it was air dropped or something

 

 

Edited by Mr Special

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i sat with my daughter one youth hunt season. it was rainy and high winds out the north west of 35 mph. the rain came down side ways. we seen 16 deer we counted crossing a feild. when i figured we would see zilch.  ya just never know. but ya wont if ur on the couch.

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I'll be out Thursday and Friday, wind or not.  Hoping the colder temps help more than the wind. 

Couldn't agree with you more!!!  I am also hoping the 20 degree temp drop over 2 days leading into will be the motivation they need to move around.

Rain or shine, wind or no wind...I'm ALWAYS happy to be out there deer hunting!   

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In early November I have not noticed much of a difference between windy and calm days.  The deer are going to be on the move either way. I hunt in hilly terrain so a good steady wind helps alot. Anything less than 10 mph or so and it swirls pretty bad. When the wind is really ripping I prefer to be down in the valleys versus up on hilltops and ridges. 

When I gun hunted years ago I did OK still hunting into a strong wind. Now that I strictly bow hunt I prefer to get up in a stand and wait for a mature buck to make a mistake.

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Many years ago I woke up during deer hunting in early Nov, the wind was roaring and it was about 10 degrees out. To heck with hunting I said. About 15 minutes later, couldn't get back to sleep, thinking about hunting, said to heck with and went hunting. Found a stand in a tree grove on the downwind side, shot a neat spike buck that morning, no brow tines, just two 8 inch antlers curving upward.


Lesson learned. You can't shoot a deer lying in bed.

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Went out this morning in the strong winds, sat from 6:30 to 10:30.  From 6:30 to 7:30 there were deer coming and going all the time.  Saw at least 10 deer including a very  nice buck that I could not get an ethical shot at. After 7:30, no more deer.  I would have liked to have sat all day.  I think even in the wind I would have seen more deer.  I was in the bottom of a bluff over looking a meadow, It was windy down there but nothing compared to the roaring wind I was hearing through the trees on top of the bluff.   I'm optimistic about tomorrow. 

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I have had quite good luck hunting in strong wind, but it has to be the right place in my opinion.  I have spots that are really protected with various winds.  Here's two examples:

A really strong NW or WNW wind I have a spot at a friend's place that I can only bow hunt that is virtually a guarantee to see deer if it's blowing at least 15mph.  The spot is on the East edge of a woods with a high hill top about 50 yards NW of it.  I can see the tree tops on the other side waving all over in a 25mph wind & the leaves on my side are just fluttering a bit & it's quiet.  Of course the deer know where that place is & it's about the only place they'll come out on a night like that.  You still may see less deer than on a better night, but you will almost always see some & very few aren't in bow range.  This year I sat there 3-4 times & saw for sure 13 deer, maybe more, every one of them was 30 yards or less at some point, most were under 20.

My place is setup perfect for a strong SE wind.  The entire woods basically starts at the top of a hill & slopes N down to where it flattens out on the field edge.  The edge also bends around to the NE creating a natural lee side.  Again it can be howling out of the SE & be virtually calm by one or more of my stands.  That I noticed over time by watching deer from my house & seeing a lot more on nights with the wind from the SE.

I've also noticed as the thousands of pines that I've planted have grown there are new spots that are protected from different winds where I don't have a stand yet.  I'm working on it, but have used ground blinds effectively in the edges of pines that are too big to see over or through, but too small to hang stands in.  By next season there will be a box on legs there somewhere.  My plan is to put it on heavy runners so I can move it as necessary, probably anchor it down with wires & stakes, but of course it will be pretty protected inside the pines.

Edited by bigbucks
grammar

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We used to see deer in a patch of pines on public land when it got windy.  The area of pines sits in a large depression with tall hills on 3 sides, the open side is the east side.  Then 2 years ago they came through and logged sections of the pines cutting 20-30 yard wide paths through the pines removing the trees in those strips.  The rest of the pines they came through and took all the limbs off of them so they are stall skinny poles with just a few branches at the top.  Now a west wind comes through there and whips through like crazy.  I sat in one spot that I though was a bit more protected over part of opening weekend and nearly got bucked out of my tree by the winds.  Saw lots of deer sign in the pines but with those winds didn't see a thing.  I'm sure they headed into an old overgrown clear cut either to the north or west.  Its way to thick and nasty to even walk through there let alone hunt it.

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I also have been very successful with seeing and taking deer with strong winds. Lots of times I have seen them going with strong winds at their backs. Find a field corner or protected woods clearing and you have a good chance of seeing deer there.

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My experiences if it's warm and windy forget it. If it's cold or weather change windy get out there. Always keep this in mind one very warm windy day (who's staying home really) but the wind all of a sudden died at 4:30, 4:35 I dropped one of my better bucks ever so look at if the wind is supposed to die off also, sometimes it does and magic can happen shortly after, good luck, I'm going tonight in the blustery west winds, maybe wind direction means a lot also where you're hunting.

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my group also hunted thursday 11/12

as ive stated before, im personally am not a big fan of windy days, ive had mix results . just not the funniest time to have wind in ur face all day.

THIS  YEAR has changed my thought process,,, I LOVE WINDY DAYS
my group of 4 was very very fortunate and were tagged out by 230pm when i got my buck.  
 
while changing from a morning to an afternoon stand, i was still hunting, moving only when the wind was going and i was able to sneak up within 15yrds of a few does.  

im sure it was a combination of things such as temps, rut phase,LUCK... but  that thursday was the most deer ive ever seen deer hunting in one day. all in all i saw 21 does and 4 buks that day

 

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