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Sense of smell relative to wind speed.
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Buskill 15-Nov-20
Bou'bound 15-Nov-20
GF 15-Nov-20
ryanrc 15-Nov-20
SIP 15-Nov-20
KsRancher 15-Nov-20
Buffalo1 15-Nov-20
elash 15-Nov-20
Two Feathers 16-Nov-20
Jaquomo 16-Nov-20
APauls 16-Nov-20
From: Buskill
We all know if a deer is down wind of you in a 5mph wind and within 2-300 yards there is an excellent chance it will smell you and leave. Same for 8mph, 9,10 and so on. But at what point does wind speed start to negatively effect a deers ability to judge its surroundings based on scent? I would assume at 100mph ( I know we wouldn’t be out there ) a deer can’t detect a darn thing. So I wonder what the point is wind wise where it starts to be in the hunters favor ?? Any ideas ?

From: Bou'bound
Depends on the deer the scent and the humidity and a bunch of other stuff

From: GF
I’m going to guess that at any distance which could reasonably be considered for Bowhunting purposes and at any wind speed where it would be halfway safe to be up in a tree.... makes no difference at all.

It does make sense that if you are emitting X amount of stink per minute, then the scent would be diluted as airspeed goes up... but I suspect that the animals have learned how to gauge such things pretty accurately.

But I guess you could say that I’m looking at that as something of a pessimist… I’m thinking you’re busted either way, so I wouldn’t expect to get any help from it. Probably can’t really hurt anything, though…

From: ryanrc
They seem really jumpy when the wind picks up. I suspect it is at least a little related to smell being affected.

From: SIP
I would imagine that all of their senses are pretty well affected when winds are high

From: KsRancher
My dad and I were chasing mulies this weekend. We found a buck with a hot doe. My dad got moved into 50yds at a 90° angle to the wind which was blowing 50+mph. Two other bucks showed up and in all the chasing the doe and all 3 bucks ended up directly downwind at 20-60yds, for probably 15 minutes. Not a single one of them even acted like they smelled him. But it was blowing so hard that the visibility was about 1/2 mile due to dirt, and a slight sprinkle at the same time.

From: Buffalo1
Just use "Dead Down Wind" and "Nosejammer" and wear a Hecs camo suit. Then these questions will never be of concern.

From: elash
At 25-30 mph and higher I believe the deer downwind of me seem to have trouble picking me up. They're also much less likely to blow and create a ruckus, and are more likely to simply sneak away and not ruin the hunting. I have shot some really nice bucks in these conditions in the evening in November when I lived in Iowa.

From: Two Feathers
Winds were high tonight and the deer were not relaxed one bit.

Not a direct answer to your question but I thought this might be useful...

Did not hunt yesterday morning as the winds were 20-25 mph and gusting higher. At 40 minutes after legal shooting light, I look out a cabin window and what I estimate was a two year old buck is trotting through a field headed to a doe bedding area. Even the wind might get ignored by their urge to breed?

From: Jaquomo
Two other variables are whether it is a rising or settling thermal along with the wind, and also whether is is a steady wind direction (concentrated scent cone) or a shifting wind, which spreads the scent but can also diffuse it.

From: APauls
It seems like in high winds they don’t bust me, so I have come to believe the scent must get dispersed too quickly or something making it more difficult for them to smell a predator. Most likely why they’re on edge because 2/3 senses have been if not knocked out knocked way back.

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