© Othmar Vohringer
The number one defense of deer is their nose and it is the hunter’s biggest enemy. More hunts fail because deer got a nose full of human scent than by anything else that could go wrong. When I hunt, the wind is always foremost on my mind. I am very particular about checking the movement of the air flow regularly around me.
Before a hunt I check the local weather station to find out what the prevailing wind directions are. I do not own a smartphone but for those that do there are various applications available that provide you with regular updates on wind directions, wind speeds and other weather conditions.
I am old fashioned and check the wind and air currents with the aid of scent free chalk powder. I purchase the chalk that commonly is used for chalk line boxes. This fine powder comes in various colors and is cheap. A big one pound bottle of that stuff lasts me usually up to two years. I prefer the red colored chalk that I fill into a small nasal spray bottle that I can carry in my shirt or jacked pocket. A squeeze of the bottle releases a small cloud of red chalk into the air that, because of its coloration, I can watch for a very long distance drifting in the air current. This provides me with a good indication of what the wind does around me and further away from my stand.
I also use quite often seeds of plants such as Milkweed, Dandelion and other seeds that float in the air and make perfect wind movement indicators that too can be seen for a very long way floating in the air. This becomes particularly important in hill country where the wind is often subject to changes of direction and swirls back and forth.
Regardless of what you use to check the wind, important is that you make a serious commitment to continuously check the wind during your hunt. If you want to become more successful as a hunter you have to pay close attention to the wind and use any available method to check the wind, be they high-tech or old school. Never underestimate a deer’s nose, because it will detect your scent even if you wear scent blocking/absorbing garments and boots.