Think///Think

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Bowriter, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Bowriter

    Bowriter Member

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    Of Scents and Wind:


    In 1995, in the canyon country of New Mexico, outside Tierra Amarilla, I bugled a bull in across a canyon. He was over 300-yards away and we were bowhunting-making a video, “Double Teaming Bulls.” No question-no doubt, at 300-yards he winded us, left the area. The wind was in our faces.


    Four days later, outside Oak Creek, CO, we called a bull in from directly downwind. I shot him at 22-yards. The wind was steady, right in his face. He never smelled us…me, two cameramen and a guide. He came in on a string.


    What was the difference?


    Don’t confuse scent with wind direction. Think of scent as a tendril of pasta-small, thin, bent and twisted. The wind may be straight from the west. The animal may be due east. That doesn’t mean it can smell you. But how do you know? Obviously, you can’t.


    A good number of hunters, think you can climb high enough to defeat a deer’s nose. Meadow muffins. The higher you climb, the farther away they are likely to smell you. Scent sinks…at some point.


    Deer Hunters-think, use some common sense. Quit believing all the pfaff outdoor writers spew. Experiment with wind. Use your head. THINK. What is scent to a mature whitetail? Give that question a lot of thought.


    I have not killed a room full of huge-racked bucks. But I have killed my share of book bucks on public ground. I have screwed up a lot, missed some and gotten old with a room full of heads that are great memories. Today, my jollies come from experimenting and research. What did I learn? I did it wrong for a long time. Don’t please…don’t buy into commercial B.S.
     
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  2. swat1018

    swat1018 Well-Known Member

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    What makes scent sink? Is it heavier than air, LOL. You are wrong...
     
  3. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    One or two anecdotal instances does not prove or disprove a theory. The bull might not have liked your calling, or any calling at all. The bull who came in from downwind may have just been in the throes of love.

    If the thermals are strong enough, scent won't sink for possibly several hundred yards. That's why mountain hunters hunt down in the mornings and up in the late afternoons. Introduce a creek bottom and it's anybody's guess what the wind will do, it largely depends on the surrounding terrain and the wind speed. I learned this first hand.

    Here's an anecdotal instance for you. On a deer lease in Central Texas, we had a doe that was a nervous wreck. Two guys swore that she couldn't be bow killed. I hunted that 12' tripod stand one afternoon where she had busted the previous hunter the afternoon and morning before. He has probably bow killed more deer than I have. She made a complete circle around me and when she finally got back in front of me, I ran a Muzzy through her. We all used the same "scent control" and the wind was SE as it normally is for both of us. The stand was in a flat area with a slight rise to the E. She busted him twice but not me. Why ? I say luck ! Her bad, my good, but luck nevertheless.
     
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  4. Bowriter

    Bowriter Member

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    Scent sinks due to downward wind current. It also rises, goes straight up and swirls. Use smoke bombs or puff balls and study scent. It will drive you nuts. There is no set, firm formula as to how, when or at what point a deer can smell you. It can be at 300-yards across a canyon or it may not happen at 30-feet directly downwind. That is what I was trying to point out. Most hunters, never think of scent in that way.

    Wind is out of the west, hunter thinks, I need to hunt a stand with deer approaching from the west. Not wrong but neither is it right. Much would depend on if it is a ridge or bottom stand, time of day, humidity, temperature. Just think about it a little.
     
  5. pinetag

    pinetag Well-Known Member

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    I learned more about scent direction this year than I have in the last 10 years of hunting by using tiny pieces of ripped up cotton ball. I basically used a take off on the milkweed seed trick.

    I always check the weather forecast for the predominant wind direction before making a stand choice, but I noticed this season that your scent does not necessarily go straight "downwind." Sometimes it swirls and shifts. A good example of this was one morning I let out one of those little tufts of cotton and it initially started flowing with the predominant wind, but after about 10 yards it shifted and started going perpendicular. At one point it even turned slightly into the wind but then ultimately drifted back with the wind. So within a 40 yard span it changed directions multiple times. I also climbed down early and moved locations because my scent cone shifted and started consistently blowing straight into my hunt (against the predominant wind). I've even watched a tuft (on calm mornings) go almost straight up with the thermals as well as had one linger basically right around the tree and go almost nowhere except drift slowly to the ground. It has truly been an eye-opening experience about the wind for me this past season and I'm excited to learn more in the coming years.
     
    Lewi B likes this.
  6. Bowriter

    Bowriter Member

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    Pinetag-Exactly. You are dead on. If you have them area, cattails make superb wind checkers.
     
  7. Tap

    Tap Well-Known Member

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    The factors that make wind do what it does are so fricken complex, and sometimes really hard to predict, but often easier to understand when you are in the situation and utilize floaters. It's amazing how often wind, in a tiny location, is doing the exact opposite of what the prevailing wind is doing. 99% of the time, when opposite wind happens, you are in a wind eddy. It's a low pressure area on the leeward side of a ridge or other structure. It's exactly the same as an eddy down stream of a rock in a river.
    But, just like a river, as the angle of the current changes, or water volume changes, the behavior of the flow changes. Wind does the same thing. I leaned a lot about wind behavior from reading (and 1st hand experience) about whitewater paddling. The amount of crazy stuff going on with water current is very comparable to wind current. Friction, whether it's in the water along the shore line, or wind along a tree line, creates little micro eddies and speed differentials. As soon as one segment changes speed, it effects the behavior of the adjacent water or wind.
    Not tooting my horn, but I could write a book on wind behavior. There is much more to how complicated it is than what can be put in a post. But there are patterns. If I can learn them then anyone can. It's just a matter of observation. Few guys are truly observing what is going on around them. They think they are, but, just checking the weather/wind forecast when you get up in the morning isn't really paying attention.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
    Mennoniteman likes this.
  8. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Just the other day you were saying wind isn't very important...
     
  9. Bowriter

    Bowriter Member

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    What I said, Mennoniteman, if you read, is, wind is not important to ME. I then explained why. And Tap is dead on.
     
    Tap likes this.
  10. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    You are correct, that's exactly what you said, which validates my point. Just like in scripture, any principle of hunting that is overemphasized at the expense of others ultimately leads to error. Might you be overemphasizeing rubs and scrapes at the expense of wind direction and intruding into deer sanctuaries too often?
     
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  11. Bowriter

    Bowriter Member

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    No. There are many facets to deer hunting. The most important, in my opinion and speaking now, of killing a mature buck, is probably weather. You can have all the other facets covered but if the weather is not right, you probably won't be successful. But no matter how well, you play the wind or how scent free you may be, if your stand is in the wrong place-no good. Your stand may be in the right place but if deer don't move-no good.
    Now. How do I consider the value of rubs? They are, for me, the single most valuable tool in deciding where I am going to place a stand for a mature buck. You see, I do not do any supplemental feeding and I do not own a trail camera. But even if I did, the knowledge I gain from rubs will dictate where I put the stand and to some degree, what time of day I will hunt that stand. BUT...with the stand in place, weather will dictate if I hunt it or not. Rubs do nothing to help you kill a mature buck. They help you put the stand in the right place. Once that is done, then, the rest of the facets come into play.
    I hope this explains it better.
     
  12. Bowriter

    Bowriter Member

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    Mennoniteman-Let me add this. I spend a lot of time consulting on land I have never seen before. Most recently, by coincident, in the Mennonite country of KY. When taking a land owner over his land, the number one thing I look for are traditional and signpost rubs. From those we can plan travel pattern and stand locations. This is in spite of the fact, baiting is legal in KY and this guy has feeders and cameras, everywhere. Two things that quickly tend to make a mature buck, notcturnal.
     
  13. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    I'm very familiar with the mennonite areas in Kentucky, known many ppl there and even have relatives there. Those guys are harvesting some big bucks on the backside of their little farms, often adjoining managed hunting grounds, much to the displeasure of the managers. Some have even fired warning shots at the mennonites on their own land.
     
  14. Bowriter

    Bowriter Member

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    My landowner bought his farm from a Mennonite and used them to build his house there. He gets along with them very well. They did all of the stone work and much of the trim and log construction. If it will show, this a view of one inside wall. It is a beautiful place. He and I have worked together on management projects for close to 35-years. Nope, won't upload.
     
  15. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

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    If the file size is too large it don't load on this forum. See if you can downsize the file and see if it will upload then.
     
  16. Tap

    Tap Well-Known Member

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    Tapatalk auto resizes and allows up to 9 pics per post.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
  17. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    I have gotten it to do 11 but mostly I load 10...
     
    Tap likes this.
  18. Bowriter

    Bowriter Member

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    Tried downsizing, didn't help, Some upload, some don't Please explain what you mean by "upload 10 or 11?" I have no idea what that means. I don;t own a cell phone, either. :)
     
  19. Tap

    Tap Well-Known Member

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    Tapatalk is an app that, as far as I can tell, is geared toward forums. It also allows you to post pics with it on forums because it auto resizes them. Tapatalk allows multiple pics to be quickly and easily added to a post. My phone always shows I can do up to 9 pics, but I never tried more than 9 so I can't say how/if that works.
    I assume that Tapatalk can work with tablets, and computers,I don't know that for sure because I've never tried installing it on my laptop.

    As far as not owning a cell phone...I hear ya. All this crap is a PIA, but the stuff that you can do with them is so helpful. Cameras are priceless. I photo everything from pics in the woods (weeds, tree and plant ID-ing, rubs, dead deer, trespasser's license info, and things I want to explain to someone where a pic is worth a 1,000 words), to things like serial numbers, shopping lists, directions, Google Earth images of properties I hunt, etc, etc. The list of stuff that need to be photographed is endless. The more I use it, the more stuff I realize how handy having a camera is.
    I also like some of the weather apps. Having access to radar while on stand and I hear nasty rumbling in the distance is priceless. I really don't shoot deer just before a torrential rain if I know it's minutes away. Radar can show me if it's coming my way or gonna skirt me by a mile.
    I used to be a phone resister, too. There's a lot more great things about them than things that are annoying about them.
     
  20. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

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    Good post Tap. I use my phone to get a picture of items I buy repeatedly. Just got my dog's food at Tractor Supply and use the photo on my phone to get the right bag. I buy when I get my 10% discount for being in their club. I hate all the passwords the various devices need. Gets harder to keep those straight.

    I am not a Tapatalk person. Guess my age is a clue.
     

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