MIDWEST WHITETAILS and THE WIND
MIDWEST WHITETAILS and THE WIND
|Hunting by the wind can & will be a confusing concept to both new hunters and even some seasoned hunters. How to properly use the wind has been a the subject for many controversial
conversations amongst hunters at camps across the world. So to share with you my personal insight on understanding how to have more success with seeing, experiencing and/or
harvesting more Illinois whitetails based on wind direction. It is through my own experiences that I have come to believe that hunter has to first "Understand how the animal is actually
using the wind to navigate through their lives each day".
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 nose to stay alive FIRST. Yes I feel that a deer will trust its nose way before it will ever trust its eyes and/or
its ears. Through hearing whitetail hunters from all four corners of the U.S. Whether it be from the east coast of Maine, to the southern coast of Louisiana, all the way back up to the big
woods of northern Canada. I think allot of hunters have to first recognize that the terrains in all states and/or geographical areas are different in many ways. But the nose of a whitetail stukk
remains to operate their brain exactly the same. "A Whitetail is STILL a Whitetail No Matter What State that it Lives In". Because mother nature knew she was going to spread whitetails
throughout parts of the U/S. Then she was already way ahead of our game by making sure that the whitetail was going to need the ability to "ADAPT" to their current situation in order for the
animal to have a high chance for survival while living in an area. So keep in mind that a whitetail is programmed by nature and not by you.
Now because we as humans are programmed by nature to trust our eyes before we trust our noses or our ears. Hunters have more of a tendency to immediately defeat themselves in their
own mind, simply by what they see "visually" when it comes to hunting new/unfamiliar areas. Because when terrain has suddenly changed drastically and does not match what they are
used to looking at back home, they already feel a sense of frustration. Example: You take a guy from the north woods of Maine where the woods are thicker than molasses and you can't see
further than 5 yards at times. Then that hunter has developed has developed a mindset and/or has simply become used to hunting the scenery & habitats in big woods of Maine, based on
what the can or can't see. Thus their methods needed for successfully hunting that area of the world simply means becoming a skilled woodsman. Hunters in that are understand that to bag
a mature whitetail will mean that they will need to understand how a whitetail works in order to literally track it down and 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 have a programmed mind that has adapted / developed them to have a mind set of ...."I need to have allot of woods to
find a deer". But put big woods hunter that is used to hunting whitetails in terrain that looks like this...............................
And then bring he/she out here to the Midwest for their first time and put them into a whitetail hunting situation that looks like this.........??
Lol.... "I promise you" he/she 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 it is what he/she has become acclimated too / "MOST ADAPTED" too / familiar with looking at while hunting back at home.
Therefore, in their own minds, big timber is always what's needed to find whitetails. Well...... That is Not True!!!
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 a little bit and open your mind the fact that its time to make some changes with your methods for hunting whitetails. Now that doesn't mean forget what you
already know about hunting whitetails. Just means its time for you to add a new way of thinking into your methods for hunting whitetails. Again, the deer have already adapted
themselves to survive the wide open terrains of Illinois and now it's your turn. Don't worry as it is not going to be as hard as some may visually anticipate.
Due to a whitetails nose is its biggest ally for survival, it will only rely on its ability to use its nose to dictate how the rest of its body reacts to all situations of its life while on its feet.
But based on that factor alone, with a little adjustment in mindset as a hunter, it can also be a whitetails worst enemy. Therefore, one of the best ways to predict a whitetails
movement patterns are to "know & understand how a whitetail uses its nose to bed, uses its nose to navigate while up traveling around and uses its nose to research/investigate
all things and/or situations in its life".
So here is a concept for hunting whitetails in the wide open terrains of the mid west. I personally believe that, here in Illinois, the majority of whitetails will bed and travel with the
wind "At Their Back" in some form of the sense. Yes they will cut the wind while traveling when a situation calls for it. Example: A buck will use its nose to smell a the down wind
side of bedding areas in order to not have to walk through the entire thing. But they will still be traveling 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.
Stand Placement: Although placing your stand set ups are with the belief of where the wind is coming from. That is NOT the initial concept for choosing which stand to hunt on any
given day. Because we as hunters have the ability to always be in control of our down wind side by where we set our stand and will always have a down wind side regardless of
where a stand sets, lol. A down wind side is protected best by 100% effort to eliminate our human scent. Also our down wind side is Not for the deer we are going to kill, but is for
the deer that we will choose to let pass or stand sites into our down wind side. So then how do we suggest to our hunters on how to choose which stand and/or area to hunt? By
understanding that whitetails use the wind to bed & navigate while traveling. Due to the wind directions can change every day a hunter has to adapt to how & where the deer are
using the terrains and/or areas of the farm when the wind is blowing from all different directions. Hunters are able to do that very thing with the use of technology from todays trail
cameras. To better understand how to do that? Visit this link on our site: Translating Your Trail Cams for Success
Once a hunter has determined how deer are using certain areas of a farm during specific wind directions. He/She need to keep in mind that "where the wind is coming from is
where deer will be coming from". As to our theory as why & how they move with the wind here in Illinois? It is because our whitetails live in a situation where we have a wide open
terrains allowing them the ability to see long distances. Therefor, due to a whitetail uses its nose to smell what it cannot see. Mid west whitetails have adapted to keeping the wind
at their back while traveling to keep track of things behind them in all situations.
So how does a hunter apply that to their hunting situations? When I look at a layout of a property I look at it in two different ways.
1st. I look outside the box, referring to outside the boundaries of the property for which I am not allowed to hunt. What I am looking for there is where the whitetails will be coming
into & out of a property. That will give a hunter two focal points a you have to concentrate on whether you will be hunting the deer coming into the property.....or leaving the
property on each given day, based on the wind direction.
2nd. I pinpoint the major bedding areas so I will know where & how to hunt those areas based on how the deer will be entering and/or leaving those areas on any given wind
direction. Then i hang a stand set up (usually on the east side) on a trail that is on the downwind sides of bedding areas. Two reasons to hunt the downwind sides. 1.) It's simply
because when a deer (buck and doe) gets up to leave its bed. It will travel from those areas with the wind at its back (in direction of the down wind side) as they travel out of the
bedding areas to go feed. 2.) The second reason is that a buck traveling in search of a doe, will walk (with the wind at his back) past an entire bedding area in order to get onto the
downwind side of where he believes/knows there is great possibility for smelling out a doe in heat. By his traveling the down wind side enables him to use his nose for smelling
out a doe instead of wasting limited breeding time to walk through an entire bedding area using his sight alone. Thus...."Using his Nose to Smell What he Cannot See". So for your
best success on mature whitetails, always keep in mind the reality of how a actually whitetail lives by its nose and adapt to hunting it all accordingly.