During windy weather whitetails will still be on the move, but that doesn't mean that you should climb into your favorite wind-blasted treestand. Instead, when the wind pics up during the rut or any other time of the hunting season, choosing a stand where deer can escape the wind, can yield a great deal of windy weather success.
What is the best way to hunt whitetails in the wind? To get out of the wind! While whitetail studies have shown a slight increase in deer movements when the wind pics up, that doesn't mean that your favorite rut stand on the top of a ridget that is exposed to 50mph gusts, is a great place to hunt! That's where any whitetail weather wind study can be highly misleading. Wind equals stress in the form of movement, scenting conditions and noise. When the wind kicks up I have experienced incredible results by locationg concentrations of whitetails that have obviously seeked quieter conditions, in favor of much lower stress levels. Do you want to shoot a giant, rutting buck when the wind conditions are less than favorable? You may find it pretty predictable to do so, by hunting locations of the habitat where the winds have been reduced or even completely eliminated.
WINDY WEATHER WHITETAIL HUNTING STRATEGY
Will whitetails move during windy weather? Most likely, however, that doesn't mean they necessarily like to move in the wind. Make sure the next time you head to the woods during high winds, to make sure that you place a priority on locations that are sheltered from the winds. The downwind side of cornfields, cedar swamps, and pine thickets, as well as the lee side of major ridge systems, are all great spots to find concentrations of shelter seeking whitetails. However, during the annual whitetail rut the opportunity is even more greatly magnified!
What happens when you combine the annual whitetail rut with high winds? A recipe for an explosion of concentrated whitetail mayhem. When whitetails become blown off exposed portions of the habitat in favor of quieter conditions you can expect a great deal of wind-induced movements. However, when you lump rutting bucks together with a greater number of whitetails per acre within wind-free pockets of quiet cover - watch out! This tactic has produced a great number of mature buck kills for me personally, and is one of the main considerations for my own target buck plan of attack.
You can potentially shoot the oldest buck in the neighborhood during any condition. However, the odds can range from 0 to 100%, depending on the weather conditions for any given stand location, for a particular day. If you choose the wrong day for the wrong stand, you risk burning out that stand location and destroying potential, before a great day ever even shows itself. Playing the wind is no different, when it comes time to choose between a wind blasted great stand and a calm and quiet average stand. My bet is on the low stress average stand every time, if it means that you can avoid high winds and the level of various stressors that excessive wind can contribute to. When you seek calm, concentrated and sheltered whitetail herds during the rut - enjoy the show!