Windy Day, Thermals Effecting Huting

I'm feeling a little under the weather but wanted to get out in the AM because I have the day off and am ready to spill some blood. I'm ready to shoot the first mature doe I see. The weather was calling for wind guests at 20MPH but the wind was southeast which was perfect for the location I was heading. Even with perfect winds I still got winded at about 40 yards by two yearlings. The only explanation was thermals.

The above illustration is exactly what happened to me this morning. It was a cool morning I was down hill of where the deer would come and the wind was heading southeast. Right at first light I had two deer coming across the field right to my stand. They stopped around 40 yards and started sounding the alarm and stomping their feet. After ten minutes they turned west and walked away.

Thermals can effect hunting even if the wind is right. In my situation I had a pretty strong consistent wind in my face I knew the two deer couldn't wind me but they knew I was there even with good cover. As I pondered how I had failed I realized the spot I was hunting funneled the warm air up hill right where they were coming from. In the morning as the air warms it rises up hill. The speed in which air warms or cools will determine how fast it moves.

 In the evening when the air is cooling it will carry your scent down hill. A year ago I was riding a four-wheeler in this same area just before dusk and as I drove by the little valleys I could feel the cool air settling down the hill. If the temperature is rising or falling quickly you will even be able to feel a gentle air flow. This can negatively effect your hunting if the deer are moving into your thermals.

This just adds another layer of variables to focus on when picking stand locations. I haven't noticed hunting in flat areas thermals playing any role but I tend to hunt a lot of elevated ground with natural funnels and pinch points that also cant hurt because your sent gets funneled through the valley as well.

Popular Posts