How far downwind is far enough?


Active Member
At what point downwind of a stand are you no longer worried about deer catching your scent? Or walking on the upwind side of a bedding area for access? I am planning access routes and stands but I don't know what I can and cannot get away with. My goal is to get stands and access far enough from bedding areas that I don't have scent blowing into them, but I don't know where to start.
It depends what your goal is. To not be winded by a deer wandering by or to not blow out a bedding area. I think sent if continuously blowing while sitting in a stand for hours could easily travel a couple hundred yards if not more.

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One of the things I am trying to do is establish more bedding on the property. My issue is that one of the areas I have to establish bedding areas is downwind of my access route to one of my stands. I guess my biggest question is not to get winded by deer in a bedding area that I'm going to be walking past the upwind side of. I am looking for how far back from my access I need to start establishing bedding.
I think different days are going to bring different results, according to wind speeds, humidity, etc. It’s a known fact that the more humidity, the better animals can smell. When I had quail to hunt, and a place to hunt them, we always liked the most humidity to hunt birds. Those cold, low humidity days were tough on the dogs.

My personal opinion is that a steady wind of 5-10 mph will carry your scent farther than a gusting wind will, but I can’t prove that. Charlie Alsheimer raised deer for years and I remember him writing about his bucks walking the fence looking at a timberline a quarter mile away and pretty soon a few does would come out of the woods. His theory was that the bucks were smelling the does and I find that plausible if conditions were right.

My own observations of seeing bucks pass a couple hundred yards downwind of a doe group, hanging out in the brush a while, and then moving on tells me they were sorting out the scents looking for a hot doe. help from me:D
I've always heard to figure a quarter mile too. If that's the case, if you have a 40 acre block, your scent could carry all the way across it.

But, I don't think they'll blow out of their beds if you don't pose a threat and they feel they're safe. I think deer use their noses like we use our eyes. They can tell direction of travel and how close you probably are.
On my farm, if it's blowing on my land, it's not good. I hunt my land from the outside in, accessing it from the perimeter. A few times a year, on the right days and wind, I may venture to the interior.
On my farm, if it's blowing on my land, it's not good. I hunt my land from the outside in, accessing it from the perimeter. A few times a year, on the right days and wind, I may venture to the interior.
I too am a ultra low pressure hunter. I just don’t have the experience hunting deer in locations where I can see their reactions moving downwind of me. I would love to have perimeter access on this property, if just isn’t possible with that particular stand. It isn’t an issue so much as the property is currently laid out. But I had thought of creating some bedding cover on the eastern edge of the property (wsw predominate wind direction). I just want to know if there is a distance that I can keep between myself and the deer to keep them from winding me when I walk in
To throw yet another variable at you I strongly believe it depends on the particular animal as to what level they are ok with. As a general rule the older deer are likely less tolerant than the young. More specifically each individual will have their own level of tolerances. A few years ago I witnessed this first hand. I had two twins (button bucks) upwind of me, they both passed downwind of me about a hundred yards away. One of the twins was obsessed with figuring out my scent, stomping, nose in air, coming back toward me...the other acted as if I were not on the planet.
Probably safest to keep the wind in your face if possible.