Deer are susceptible to weather conditions. Any slight change in atmospheric pressure can significantly influence how a deer moves. When you practice deer hunting, the direction and strength of the wind are critical to having a good or bad day. Expert hunters recommend that the wind be directly in your face so the deer can’t smell you. But what is the right wind strength for us? How much is too much wind for deer hunting?
The right wind can be convenient for deer hunters. According to experts, the best hunting conditions occur when the wind blows between 5 and 15 mph. Once the wind exceeds 15 mph, hunting becomes more difficult. The wind can have a more significant impact on bucks than on does.
Many hunters believe that in high winds, deer stop moving and seek shelter. Despite this widespread belief, there is no scientific evidence to support it. On the contrary, several studies show deer will move more when the wind blows with a specific force. What is a fact is that the strength of the wind will determine whether it will be a good hunting day or whether it will be better to stay indoors. But before you make this decision, there is a lot of exciting information on the subject that we will explain below.
Answering the question of how much wind is too much for deer hunting can be complex. There are many streams of experts presenting contrary opinions. However, we can say that most qualified hunters indicate that wind more significant than 15 mph may be too intense for deer hunting. It should be clear that wind affects several aspects of deer hunting, mainly affecting the animal’s behavior, the accuracy of the shots, and even the safety of the activity. For these reasons, you might consider winds above 15 mph too high for deer hunting.
There are several elements to consider when we go out hunting, and the weather greets us with moderate winds of up to 15 mph.
One of the reasons why a strong wind of up to 15 mph is favorable for hunters is that it limits the deer’s scent capabilities. This phenomenon occurs because winds carry different types of scents in multiple directions, making it very difficult for deer to track predators.
High winds can be good news for hunters, but only partly. When there are winds at or above 15 mph, it’s a given that deer will change their behavior. It is likely that instead of moving to forage for food, deer will prefer to hide in their shelter, at least during the day. Deer may move again in the early morning and at dawn but change their usual routes.
When a deer changes its route due to wind, it relies primarily on its sense of sight rather than smell. The problem with this situation for the deer is that, as it explores new and unfamiliar territory, its level of protection from predators decreases significantly.
It is proven that when winds exceed 15 mph, deer will alter their mode of travel and final destination. This fact can mean that our lookout stand is entirely inefficient. When hunting in relatively high winds, one recommendation is to change schedules. If it is very windy, the deer will shift their travel time to a time they consider safer. The hunter should also adjust their schedule to account for the deer’s change in a rut.
The closer the shooting distance, the less effect the wind will have on the bullet’s trajectory. However, it is pertinent to know that even at short distances, the wind can deflect the bullet by at least 10 centimeters from its original trajectory. This principle means that the farther a bullet travels, the more force and resistance it will receive from the wind and the more deviation it will experience from its trajectory.
Wind harms the accuracy of shots when hunting. When the hunter decides to hunt in windy conditions, he must get as close as possible to his prey so that the shot can be accurate.
It is essential to consider all the elements we will encounter and the variations in the hunting routine we will experience when strong winds blow. Suppose, despite these conditions, you decide to continue with your hunting day. In that case, it is convenient to follow some recommendations to make the hunt productive.
- It would be best to forget about setting up a lookout when there are high winds and make sure you are walking. Watching deer from your stand when the wind blows hard is not realistic.
- Walk slowly and against the wind. When the wind hits your face, what will happen is that all the sounds you make will travel backward and away from you. In addition, your body odor will also move away from you.
- You should check the environment very well; when there are strong winds, the deer could be crouching down as a way to take shelter. It is essential to check areas with tall grass or wooded areas because they are a favorite hiding place for deer.
- As we already know that wind can change the bullet’s trajectory, experts recommend selecting high-precision bullets and looking for flat trajectories. When the bullet is heavier, the wind has less impact, especially if it has less travel distance.
- Regardless of wind intensity, deer will need to eat and rest. Deer generally eat at night, at the beginning of dawn and dusk. Take this into account to choose the most strategic time to take action.
- When the temperature rises, deer tend to move to higher elevations. When the temperature drops, we may find deer in lower areas. This behavior means we should be hunting the ravines in the late afternoon and the peaks or ridges in the morning and early evening.
Bowhunters are the most affected when there are changes in wind speed. When the wind is strong, the arrow’s trajectory can deviate significantly, which will cause us to lose the prey for the rest of the day. However, there are ways to do bowhunting despite the wind.
One way to hunt using a bow in high winds is to get as close as possible to the target and shoot. By getting closer, we lessen the effect of the wind on the arrow. We can also use the wind to cover movements and scents, allowing us to get closer to the deer without automatically fleeing.
Another excellent recommendation is to practice a lot. Before going out hunting, it is essential to practice in strong winds. This practice will give us an idea of how we can handle this condition and the level of deflection that the arrow will have. In addition, it is an ideal way to calculate how far away we should be to make accurate shots.
Experts advise using heavier bows and arrows. These bows will allow us to add more strength and speed to the shot. The more speed the arrow has, the more difficult it will be for the wind to displace it from its trajectory.
Regardless of weather and wind conditions, deer will keep moving. Many studies confirm that this weather condition could favor deer hunting if the hunter adjusts their routine.
It is essential to be clear that winds between 5 and 15 mph can be beneficial for hunting. However, speeds above this range may be too high for successful deer hunting.