MIDWEST WHITETAILS and THE WIND
MIDWEST WHITETAILS and THE WIND
|Hunting by the wind can and will be a confusing concept to both new hunters and even some seasoned hunters. How to properly use the wind has been and still is the subject for many
arguments amongst hunters at hunting camps across the world. But to give you my insight on understanding how to have more success on seeing, experiencing and/or harvesting more
Illinois whitetils based on wind direction. In my experiences that actually means that the hunter has to first "Understand how the animal is actually using the wind".
So when it comes to whitetails and the wind? Just keep in mind that (as with allot of big game animals) mother nature has perfectly designed the whitetail in a way that it will never change
the way that it uses the wind to live. A whitetail (buck or doe) will always trust its noses to stay alive before it trust its eyes and/or their ears. Through hearing whitetail hunters from the east
coast of Maine to the southern coast of Louisiana, all the way back up to the big woods of northern Canada. Hunters have to first understand that the terrains in all states and/or geographical
areas are different in many ways. And because mother nature new this, she was already way ahead of our game by making sure that the whitetails for that area had the ability to "ADAPT" to
their current situation in order for the animal to have a high chance for survival while living in that area.
Now because (unlike whitetails) we as humans trust our eyes before we trust our noses or our ears. Therefore when it comes to hunting new/unfamiliar areas. Hunters have more of a
tendency to immediately defeat themselves in their mind when what they see "visually" has drastically changed and does not match what they are used to looking at back home. Example:
You take a guy from the north woods of Maine where the woods are thicker than molasses on the north pole. That hunter has developed and/or become used to hunting the big woods of
Maine based on the methods needed for hunting that area. And up there...? that means becoming a skilled woodsman as they will need to literally track down a deer to kill it. So what I am
getting at is hunters that are used to hunting in and/or see nothing but miles and miles and miles of woods everyday are adapted / developed with a mind set of ...."I need to have allot of
woods to find a deer" and for those areas that is 100% fact. But put big woods hunter that is used to hunting whitetails in terrain that looks like this?
And then bring him out here to the Midwest for their first time and put them into a whitetail hunting situation that looks like this!!
Lol.... and "I promise you" he WILL start looking for the first group of trees or the heaviest piece of woods they can find to hunt a deer. That is
simply because that is what he/she is acclimated too / "MOST ADAPTED" to / familiar with looking at while hunting back at home.
So for the hunters that are not used to looking at that the open terrains of Illinois where there are more wide open crop fields than there are patches of timber. You may have to humble yourself to the whitetails
just a little bit as they have already adapted themselves to the wide open terrains of Illinois. Now that doesn't mean give up on the chances for good success on your hunt and it doesn't mean we do not have
any woods either. Lol....It just means you are going to have to adapt to the situation of hunting Illinois for a week. And don't worry as it is not going to be as hard as some may visually anticipate.
Now due to we all know that a whitetails nose is its biggest ally for survival. But because it will rely so much on its nose, it can also be its worst enemy. Therefore, one of the best ways to predict a whitetails
movement patterns are to "know how it uses the wind to bed, how it uses the wind to travel and how it uses the wind to research/investigate all situations". So here in a wide open terrain situation of Illinois, I
personally believe that the majority of whitetails will always bed and travel with the wind at their back in some form of the sense. Yes they will cut the wind while traveling when the situation calls for it. But they
will still be moving with the direction of the wind in some form. Through years of just paying close attention to that element, we have been very successful with harvesting some nice bucks while placing our
stand set ups with the belief of "where the wind is coming from? is where the deer will be coming from". As to our theory as why they move with the wind here? It is because our whitetails live in a situation
where we have a wide open terrain that allows them to see long distances. Our whitetails have "adapted" to using the wind to always being able to smell what they cannot see and/or keep track of
behind them. So how does a hunter apply that to their hunting situations in Illinois? When I look at a layout of a property I look at it in two different ways. I FIRST look outside the box, referring to outside the
boundaries of the property for which I am allowed to hunt. What I am looking for there is I want to know just where the whitetails will be coming into and leaving our property. That will give a hunter two focal
points. You can concentrate on hunting the deer coming into the property.....or leaving the property "based on the wind direction". SECOND, I pinpoint the major bedding areas so I will know how
to hunt set ups on the downwind sides of bedding areas. Two reasons to hunt the downwind sides. One is simply because when the deer (buck and doe) will leave the bedding areas with the wind at their
back as they travel out of the bedding areas to go feed. The second reason is that a buck on the prowl will walk (with the wind at his back) past an entire bedding area to get on to the downwind side of what he
believes/knows to be a bedding area for doe so that he can use his nose to smell for the presence of any doe that may be in heat. Thus...."Using his nose to smell what he cannot see". So don't
just keep this method for daily stand selection "in mind". But take the extra time to study the maps for the area for you will be hunting to concentrate both inside and outside the box. Look at the
travel corridors for whitetails coming into and out of the property as well as all of the travel corridors between the suspected bedding areas inside the property. Then select your stand for that
day/morning/evening based on how the deer will be using the wind to travel and for what purpose they will be traveling in that area.