There are few constants in a hunter’s life that are a source for more debate than death, taxes and fickle fall winds.
The simple answer is, well, there is no simple answer. It has to do with the Earth’s tilt on its axis, the amount of moisture in the air, the cooling and the heating of the Earth’s surface throughout a 24-hour period, the terrain you are hunting and the amount of vegetation around you. All of these factors decide how and where the wind will blow.
Frustrating isn’t it? I said there was no simple answer.
If you do get a strong enough wind to be constant, in most areas that wind is too strong and will cause deer to stay bedded. In heavy wind, a deer’s senses of hearing, sight and smell are being bombarded and oftentimes they will just bed down in a safe location to ride out the windstorm.
In the end, we are all forced to hunt the fickle winds of autumn. Instead of cursing them like many hunters do, learn how to use them your advantage and a to a buck’s disadvantage.
With the rut starting, bucks will be up and frantically searching for the first hot doe they can find, and keep searching until every doe in the area is bred. This is to your advantage, and signifies it’s time to use those fickle winds to his demise.
While these bucks are roaming, they use their nose to the full advantage. They are trying to pick up the slightest scent of an estrous doe, or any doe that might come into heat soon. They are also less inclined to let subtle scents of danger change their course. This doesn’t mean you can avoid being scent responsible. Spray down often and try to remain as scent free as possible whenever you are in the woods.
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Hunters have figured out that if we put out scent from an estrous doe, bucks will come investigate it. The problem is, most hunters put out just one scent dispenser with this liquid gold in it.
Multiply the scents
While putting out some is always better than none, you really are putting all of your eggs in one basket. Use those fickle winds to your advantage. Hang five or six of your favorite scent dispensers around your stand, all within bow range, and try two different scents as well. Experiment to see which has the best draw and which does not. If you’ve ever been downwind of a truly active scrape or shot a rutting buck, you know the odor they put off. Even with our weak human noses you can smell it from fifty yards away.
You can even put non-estrous scent in one and buck urine in another. Set the scent stage for a roving buck to let him think another buck has found an estrous doe in his area and he is too late. By putting out multiple scent dispensers with different scents, you are actually using those swirling winds to your advantage. One minute the wind may be blowing your estrous scent out one way, and the next it could be the buck urine scent that is riding the air currents.
You never know what will click in a buck’s mind this time of the year, so why limit yourself to just one?
Fickle fall winds will remain a constant, but instead of cursing them, use them to your advantage. Let your scents do the long distance calling work for you.