Contributors to this thread:
PREDICTING WIND DIRECTION
Curious as to what folks use to determine wind direction while planning for a hunt. Local News, some App, or just walk outside and look at the weathervane on the barn?
Weather station,local news,phone apps.
Phone app WindCompass, local weather channel
I use the NOAA, Wunderground and HuntStand apps. They all say the same thing most of the time.
The scent cone feature is nice on the HuntStand app when the winds are not altered from the landscape.
Weather channel and Deercast.
When I am in a treestand. I use milkweed seeds. I collect them in the fall when the pods are ripe and put them in a plastic bag. I just pull one out of the bag and turn it loose. It will float in the breeze and show you exactly what the wind is doing. It beats any kind of power since it just floats along. Some times you will be amazed at the results can be different that what you thought by just feeling the wind on your face. I also check my Ipad before going out to see what stand to go to. It has the wind for my location. Also shows the temperature and rain/snow in the area or when it will get here.
I don’t worry about the wind. I use a hex suit covered by a scent blocker suit sprayed down with nose jammer.
Weather forecasts and experience. As for predicting wind direction while on stand or hunting in any particular setting, its as unpredictable as an half-broken horse. It WILL change direction...
I use a phone app for the weather channel and a basic understanding on how the wind and thermals flow over the property I am going to hunt.
I use a fine powder. In our PA mountains and valleys with drafts and thermals wind direction is any thing but predictable. IMHO.
The Windy app is hard to beat for this...
Weather radio which picks up an ongoing weather report including wind direction. I use this in Nebraska and eastern Colorado while wT hunting. As I mostly hunt off the ground on public land, knowing the wind direction allows me to pick the right spot base on the wind , in AM and PM.
Weatherunderground. For the solunar tables I use the IHUNT750 app I loaded on the cell phone.
Wunderground. Usually very accurate for where I'm located.
This site is GOLD!!!! AIRNET.COM wind, temps, moon.... every 3 hours at the nearest local airport. Just put in the nearest airport. Very accurate!!! http://www.usairnet.com/cgi-bin/launch/code.cgi?Submit=Go&sta=KDEH&state=IA
I heat my house with wood. If the weather is cold enough for a fire I put some wood in the stove just before I leave to head to my woods. I then walk outside to see what direction the smoke is blowing when it leaves the chimney and whether the smoke is rising or falling.
If it is not cold enough for a fire in the stove, Weather.gov is as good as it gets.
Not sure why the words were cut off int he first one
Not sure why the words were cut off int he first one
Watching and watching this one.
Phone app is about all I can do at my place. I then keep notes of where I hunted and what the wind said it was going to do and what it was really doing where I was. Either by "cheek" feel or by milkweed.
There is typically a big variance there as I hunt hilly terrain and hills definitely impact wind direction. here's what I mean - and what I saw this past weekend.
I am also a HUGE fan of the Windy app!
I was sitting in the woods yesterday and checked all the apps for wind direction and everyone of them was dead wrong!!! I can't find a reliable app for wind it is ridiculous!!!
Windy app, Hunt Stand app, weather app on Iphone and they have ALL BEEN WRONG at times. I’ve actually had to abort a stand location and choose another a few times. Wind direction, unless it’s a strong wind, is usually a function of terrain and timber. Either one will cause it to do squirrely things. The one I dread the most is “light and variable”.
Weather underground and 1st year and never hunting without milkweed silk again??
HuntStand is nice with the overlay on the map. I wasn’t super familiar with some of the stands on my buddies deer lease and it makes it super easy to see which ones were good for which wind
Windy app and the weather network. When in hunt area milkweed and powder
Weather underground for flat farmland country (whitetails). Read topography and thermals for mountain hunting. Once I’m in stand I borrow a move from Barry Wensel and use industrial HVAC leak detector smoke bombs to track the wind. You’ll be amazed how often your scent can double back/change direction when you thought your scent cone was blowing straight away from you.
I check weather underground, but on some of my favorite hunting properties, the wind is very different on different parts of the properties. Kentucky hill country can create some interesting wind variances. The biggest breakthrough in my hunting strategies, as it pertains to wind, came when I really started studying thermals. The thermals change depending on whether it's going to be a sunny day or cloudy and how fast the temperature rises or falls from dawn to dusk.
Some of my setups only work on cloudy days or sunny days and some work when the wind is 3 to 5 mph but suddenly backfire if the wind gets to 10 mph. Higher speed wind can push your scent into heavy brush that is behind you and bounce it off, up into the air and it floats overhead and back down in front of you when the wind dies back down. A slow wind can cause a big circling of scent that catches a thermal in a sunny patch on your right or left and floats your scent back in front of you. There's so much more to this than wind direction. BTW I hunt on the ground exclusively and have learned that you get away with WAY more wind/scent mistakes when you're 20+ feet up off the ground.
X2 Zim. All the predictors can tell you is where it SHOULD be coming from. Once you actually put boots on the ground it's up to you. And you are 100% correct on wind/currents swirling/doubling back, etc. I really got an idea on the extent of what that can be by using smoke bombs as you describe. A REAL eye opener.
One of the places I hunt is hardwood ridges, bottoms and open areas. I get a general idea of where I'll hunt on a given day by the weather predictions, but my final plan isn't confirmed until I step out of my truck.
I've been advocating use of smoke bombs for elk hunting for years. Amazing how the wind direction changes when you think its steady.
I use PredictWind.com gives you wind maps for present up to 7 days ahead.
Been using windy this year based off recommendations of some of the freezer fillin fellas on this site. I will say tho, ive never had as many days where the wind was 180 degrees what it was supposed to be as i have this year. When i checked the other sites thinkin windy was wrong, they said the exact same thing windy did. But windy was right a few times when other weather options were wrong....
What Lou said. I’ve burned lots of brush and timber as a dozer operator and on those days that wind doesn’t blow much that smoke will blow to every direction of the compass. It’s interesting to watch it drift into the woods and go where the terrain and timber takes it, but it’s different in each location and varies with the humidity also.
A lot of people don’t like days with no wind. I, on the other hand, like nothing more than a cold crisp morning with temps rising fairly quickly with no/very little wind. I have a few stands that the sun hits first thing in the morning and with little wind combined with a stand at 20’+, scent control is of minimal concern if nothing comes in pre-dawn or before the sun hits long enough to warm the ground. My favorite stand is one like this that has some cedars just North of a stand. I tend to worry more about the wind speed forecast being accurate. As a number of posts refer to, swirling is one of the bigger issues faced. Also to help deal with “nature” I try to set stands for “erly” directions. Westerly, Southernly, Easterly, and Northerly. Setting stands for straight directional winds, IMO, invites getting busted. Might move you 30 yards from where you think you should be but the limiting of educating deer is well worth it. Just my thoughts...
Good luck to those working to fill a tag.
Aim small. Miss small.
Windy app. Thermals (hunt high in morning, low evening) Terrain (objects create eddies, funnels channel currents, etc). Windspeed (gusty creates back currents, calm shifts, etc).
X2 on everything drycreek has said. Everything posted on websites, tv, apps is just general. Get to your area and it’s often different and inconsistent at times.
Thanks everyone... good discussion. I will check out some of those apps. My original question was determining wind direction before going out to hunt as a starting point, i.e. do I start my hunt from the south or north side of the farm. I agree with boots on the ground once I get to the hunting grounds, reading terrain & thermals, etc.
I have an inexpensive wind sock on my farm that gives me a good starting point, but once in the woods, and especially when the wind likely dies before dark, all bets are off. I swear my deer can smell me upwind. Makes it tough.
Scouting and setting up multiple locations for me. I base my stands based on the area observations. The grass and vegetation will be bent over based off the primary wind direction. I then check the weather the night before and pick my next day location based off the forecast. As I have multiple locations set up that cover every wind direction I always have a stand that can be hunted even if the forecast is wrong.
NOAA -"Hourly Weather Forecast"
Several others have mentioned it. As a private pilot, wind direction and speed are critical for planning. Same goes for hunting.
Can't beat "Windy" for either.
The best thing I have found is either milkweed or the smoke bombs just don't like using the smoke bombs in the woods while hunting so milkweed gets the nod!!!
Weather, past experience, assume out of the west.
Ghostbird, One observation that I have made after testing numerous sites, is that lower velocity wind direction predictions are always less accurate....which makes sense, since an aberrant gust of just a few mph could come from any direction, and completely negate the predicted wind azimuth. High wind velocities may vary in intensity, but the direction is usually more consistent. I seem to have the best luck with consistent wind if it is in the 7-10 mph range....regardless of weather website source.
I agree. As someone stated about the dreaded "light & variable" wind. Give me a strong & steady wind any day... just not too strong.