How much wind is too much for deer hunting?

How much wind is too much for deer hunting

When venturing out into the field to go deer hunting, one of the last things you want is a strong wind tearing through your area. Wind has been known to interrupt communication attempts between hunters and clump together scents that could potentially travel far and wide warning deer away.

So how much wind is too much for deer hunting? Read on to discover exactly what factors you need to consider when choosing whether it’s safe and effective to hunt in certain kinds of winds.

Do Deer Walk Into The Wind Or With The Wind?

Do Deer Walk Into The Wind Or With The Wind

Many hunters believe that wind prevents deer from changing locations, however, this notion is incorrectly assumed. In reality, winds can actually be a great influence on the movement of deer.

A recent study conducted by Penn State University involving whitetail deer concluded that even in moderate wind conditions, deer respond to the wind and adjust their travel plans and even switch directions. There were three different meteorological categories identified when it came to wind speed:

  • Light (0-15 mph)
  • Moderate (16-25 mph)
  • Strong (26+ mph)

The study found that with light winds, the deer moved half as much as they would when there was no wind at all. However surprisingly with the moderate or strong winds, deer responded by moving twice as much as when no wind was present.

Ultimately the takeaway was while some winds are better than others for hunters hoping to spot whitetail deer, any sort of wind can provide an incentive for them to move around or even change directions.

Despite the fluctuating winds, bucks determinedly continued to traverse across countryside – increasing their average travel speed from 100 ft/hr during tranquil conditions up to 213 ft/hr in strong gusts. In contrast, does instead elected for staying put and likely prioritized protecting their fawns over venturing out into turbulent weather.

Important Factors To Know When Hunting In Windy Weather

Important Factors To Know When Hunting In Windy Weather

Hunting Manual and its hunting friends have compiled a list of key ideas that any outdoor enthusiast should keep in mind, especially when wind speeds reach 15 mph. These factors are essential for enjoying hunts to the fullest!



Deer Movement 

When wind speeds exceed 15 mph, game animals like deer change their movement patterns – typically preferring to hide during the daytime.

While they may usually be active at night, high winds will cause them to alter their routes and seek out unfamiliar territories in search of shelter.

As a result, hunters can take advantage with cutting-edge gear like rifle mounted rangefinders backed by camo cloaking strategies for hunting big bucks on the hunt for cover from strong gusts!

Deer Smelling Sense

Deer’s sense of smell is remarkable and often proves to be the saving grace for them when they’re faced with hunters. However, it is generally less effective when there’s a strong wind blowing.

This is because winds carry multiple fragrances from various directions and confuse the deer, making it far harder for them to accurately detect where a specific smell is coming from.

As a result, their vital agility becomes compromised and puts them at risk of being threatened by predators.

Deer Bedding Activities 

Deer Bedding Activities 

Important factors to keep in mind when hunting in windy weather include understanding deer bedding activities, as they are known to differ under these conditions. Windy days can definitely affect more than just the visibility of a buck, but also how he beds down and where.

A great approach when hunting in windy conditions would be to focus on tree lines or small clumps of brush and vegetation that provide shelter from the wind. Tightly-knit hillsides with nearby hardwood trees may also result in some bedding success due to their ability to block stronger winds.

It’s important to assess each area for potential wind tunnels or tight passes that could funnel the blowing wind towards your stand site, thus alerting deer to potential danger. When looking for potential tight spots, look for areas where multiple ridges come together since those would have minimal air movement because of their natural design.



Bullet Or Arrow Trajectory 

Hunting deer can be a tricky pursuit, especially when Mother Nature throws an unpredictable factor like wind into the equation.

The force of the wind can cause your bullet or arrow to deviate from its original trajectory, making it difficult to successfully shoot a deer without taking into consideration the direction and speed of the wind.

Experienced hunters know how to read the wind and adjust for it in order to hit their target. This may involve aiming in one direction, while also factoring in where the wind will have blown their shot by time it reaches its destination.

Hunting deer with accuracy when there is a strong breeze requires knowledge and skill which comes with practice!

Understanding Wind Thermals 

Understanding Wind Thermals 

Hunting deer when it’s windy has its difficulties as winds can create thermals – columns of rising and falling air. These thermals can carry hunters’ scents to the deer they are hunting, causing them to flee.

A savvy hunter should understand this phenomenon and modify his or her schedule accordingly to make the most of conditions. Thermals usually rise in strength during the daytime, so early mornings often represent the best opportunity for a successful hunt.

When temperatures rise during later hours, however, human scent may be carried much faster via thermals and hunting will become more difficult as a result.

Wind Direction And Deer Hunting

Wind Direction And Deer Hunting

Although rangefinders and wind meters are two must-have items for deer hunters, it is also wise to keep a close eye on the wind direction.

Knowing the source of the airflow can make or break a successful hunt, as it helps you determine the exact path in which the buck will be moving and allows you to escape its scent and keep your presence undetected.

The most reliable way to detect wind direction is by simply observing ripples on nearby water bodies or rustling of leaves. Another simple yet effective method is to use wind-direction indicators such as smoke bombs, dandelion fluff or tissue paper that can help you quickly understand where the wind is coming from. Keeping a careful track of all these elements will give you an edge against your prey, and increase your chances of bagging that perfect buck!

Wind Direction Hunting Apps

Wind Direction Hunting Apps

Hunters, make the Wind Hunting App your go-to source for hunting success! Get real-time updates on wind direction and speed – plus temperature forecasts and more. For reliable wind data in any area, look no further than this essential app that deserves a spot on every hunter’s device.

For Android users:

  1. ScoutLook Hunting App (Android only)
  • Tools for deer game logging
  • Tools for area and distance measurement
  • GPS property lines along with owner information
  • Pinpoint global weather forecasts
  1. HuntWise App (Android only)
  • Land boundaries with owner information
  • More than 250 map layers
  • 3-Dimensional mapping
  • Offline maps

For iOS users:

  1. Wind Direction for Deer Hunting App (iOS only)
  • Wind speed 
  • Wind direction GPS overlay
  • Satellite view for terrains
  • Can save up to 10 hunting spots using pin markers
  1. Wind Compass App (iOS only)
  • Various measuring units for wind speed and temperature
  • Compass magnetic declination
  • Arrow direction of wind indication
  1. Wind Detector Hunting Tool

Utilize wind powder hunting tools to discover the directions from which breezes are coming. This dependable tool consists of plastic bottles filled with odorless powder, featuring a small hole on its top that releases the contents when squeezed – providing an effortless method for detecting those seemingly unknown winds!

  1. Smoke Bombs

Scent-free smoke bombs bring an innovative twist to traditional wind powder tools. Light the bomb and watch as a cloud of nontoxic, scentless smoke fills up area – revealing optimal reading conditions with maximum simplicity!

  1. Milkweeds 

Strong windy weather can be useful for finding the direction which way the wind is blowing. The easiest method to do this are weeds that have light and small seeds; examples of these are milkweeds and dandelions. These light seeds are easily focused by the wind and can show from a distance where it’s blowing from, making it an ideal source of information in order to figure out what path to take when aiding in navigation. This simple and effective method has been used for centuries and still remains a great tool that anyone can use today.

How To Take The Best Advantage of Strong Winds During Deer Hunting?

How To Take The Best Advantage of Strong Winds During Deer Hunting

Avoid Tree Stands

When visiting a hunting location with lots of trees, many people rely on tree stands to give them the best shot at bagging their desired target.

While there are plenty of benefits of using this method, when faced with strong winds it can often be difficult and even dangerous. The shakes created by the stand and the tree can draw the attention of your prey away from you and towards an impending predator.

It is important to think about these risks when deciding whether to use a tree stand or not in order to keep yourself safe as well as increase your chances of success.

Control Your Odor 

Deer hunting is a popular sport amongst outdoorsman across the country, but it’s also one of the most challenging due to the deers’ exceptionally sensitive sense of smell.

To increase your chances of success, you must make sure that your scent is under control no matter the wind speed and direction. The best way to do this is by wearing wind blocking hunting clothes, applying scent-reduction products, and wearing rubber boots.

These strategies will help block and mask your scent from alert deer noses that could potentially spoil your hunt.

Look For Naturally Calm Locations

Look For Naturally Calm Locations

When it comes to finding shelter from windy weather, deers will only travel to a place with covers. That is why it is important for hunters to scout out natural windbreaks such as swamps, thick bushes, and even the lee side of a tree.

These places can offer the deer both safety and shelter from strong gusts and are likely to attract them. Of course, it’s best for hunters to look around before the hunt so they can better predict where the deer will be ta take shelter.

Attract Or Distract The Deers

Hunting deer during windy season can be incredibly effective due to their sense of smell. Natural food sources, such as acorns or clover, attract bucks in a short amount of time. You can also purchase special scents and attractants at your closest hunting store that specifically target deers.

Other tactics include using scrapes around the edge of your food plot to draw the attention of bucks in the area.

All these tactics should be used before or during windy seasons to help lure deer towards the desired location.

Keep An Eye On Feeding Grounds 

Keep An Eye On Feeding Grounds 

On windy days, make sure to be extra vigilant in the surrounding area. Mule deer have a tendency to roam after hours, searching for food in nearby habitats. Because of their aversion to strong winds, they most likely won’t be far from whatever shelter they can find.

Natural windbreaks, like boulders or thick forest vegetation, are some of the best refuges they can hide within when the weather is not ideal.

To increase your chances of spotting mule deer near you on particularly gusty days, pay attention to these areas as that is usually where they will gather for safety. This way you can be sure that no adventure out into their natural habitat goes unfruitful!

Wind And Turkey Hunting

Turkeys are well-known for their iconic gobble, and it can often be heard from up to a mile away on still days. But when the weather is windy, the sound of this call may be difficult to hear. Likewise, windy weather makes it more difficult for turkeys to detect their predators.

Therefore, if you are a hunter looking to take advantage of this situation, stay low, use dense Cover and try different calling tactics to attract a couple of turkeys. When the terrain is covered in strong gusts however, even experienced hunters have difficulty spotting or drawing any birds. You’ll have your best luck with turkey finding during calmer weather conditions.

Wind And Duck Hunting

Wind And Duck Hunting

Fair skies suggest the ideal time to go duck hunting. However, winds between 10 and 15 mph can impede success. Wind gusts exceeding 15 mph and reaching up to 25 mph can make it even more difficult as this causes ducks to shift their behavior, migrating towards protected areas or leeward shores.

As such, hunters in boats need to navigate both wind and choppy water, making it a challenge to reach desirable spots.

The best strategy for finding ducks in these conditions is to search sheltered areas or lee shores for the best opportunity for success.


Hunting deer in windy conditions can be a challenge, but with the right strategies it is possible to come away victorious. According to wildlife experts, once winds exceed 15mph there will be significant changes in deer behavior, they become more cautious and alter theirstandardbedding sites and travel routes. Bearing this mind as well as understandingdeer’s movement patterns could give hunters an advantage for making that coveted trophy buck catch.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) deer hungting

How does wind affect deer hunting?

Deer hunting can be significantly affected by wind. Particularly, the direction of the wind has an impact on whether the hunt is successful or not. Wind that is blowing towards the hunter can alert deer to the hunter’s presence and cause them to flee rather than stopping and giving hunters a clear opportunity. Conversely, when the wind is blowing away from the hunter, it allows hunters to stay downwind of potential targets, allowing them to more easily stalk prey and get within striking distance. Additionally, winds can travel sound echoing which could draw a deer’s attention away from approaching prey or predators. Therefore, when going out on a hunt, keep an eye on the wind so you have higher odds of success in your pursuit.

What winds do deer find the best to move in? 

Deer tend to prefer crosswinds, or winds blowing from the sides, as opposed to headwinds or tailwinds. This is because crosswinds allow deer to use their heightened sense of smell and hearing more effectively to detect danger. Furthermore, crosswinds make it easier for deer to make sudden directional changes if needed, due to their faster reaction times compared to larger animals such as moose. In short, crosswinds help provide a balance between safety and faster travel speeds while the alternative wind conditions may leave them too vulnerable or progressing too slowly.

How can hunters stay safe in windy conditions?

Hunting can be an enjoyable outdoor activity, but it is important to exercise caution when hunting in windy conditions. As wind affects sound and sight, hunters must be ever more aware of their surroundings – so as not to negatively affect their hunt or put themselves in danger. It is best for hunters to choose a spot for shooting with a natural barrier, like trees or a hill, blocking the wind and giving some shelter from its effects. It is also necessary to wear the right clothing that fits snugly, reducing the chances of entanglement on branches or obstacles. Taking frequent breaks to rest and adjust will help ensure better shooting accuracy and a safer hunt overall.