Editor’s Note: Dr. Robert Sheppard of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is the supreme student of deer and their habits. He approaches deer hunting scientifically and enjoys nothing more than gathering information about deer. This week he’s sharing with us how winds and thermals affect deer and how that impacts your deer hunting.
My friend, longtime deer hunter, Ronnie Groom of Panama City, Florida, always sets-up more than one tree stand in a region he plans to hunt. As Groom told me, “If I hunt a feeding site, I generally will set-up three stands in various trees around that feeding spot. Then no matter which way the wind blows, I can approach one of those tree stands from downwind, climb in and hunt into the wind and not alert the deer that I’ve arrived. While on my stand, if the wind continues blowing from the wrong direction for 15 minutes or more, then I’ll come out of the tree and move to another stand site I can hunt with that particular wind direction.
“Because the direction of the wind may switch, and a hunter may have to change his stand site to work with the wind, I believe hunters should number and list their stand sites on index cards or in a GPS to take on hunts. Next to each stand site the hunter can make a notation to let him know what wind direction he must have to hunt from that stand. For instance, if a stand faces north, you can hunt with a wind that comes from the north, the northeast, the northwest, the east or the west, but you can’t hunt with a southern wind, a southeastern wind or a southwestern wind that will blow your human odor toward the deer you want to take. I place a listing of the favorable wind directions on the index cards and in my GPS. As soon as the wind changes direction, I take out my index card or GPS and look for the closest stand site I can hunt with that wind.”
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