Falling Thermal setups.

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Tennhunter3
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Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:39 am

I really wanted to discuss what I'm seeing on thermal fall here in the south. During early season.

I use this gentlemans map as a example hopefully he will not mind.

I hunted a big 9 last year and this was what he did to me. It was very eye opening for me.

I'm seeing bucks drop alot when they get up in early season. This may be because of the heat in the south, water ,thermal, pressure I'm really not sure why but I've now seen this happen several times by older bucks. It seems to be a pattern

Let's say you have blue as stands
Green as deer feeding area.
Pink is buck travel to food.

With the sun creating that thermal lift when we first setup. Then the swirl and falling before dark down the slope.

He is getting up heading downhill wind to back. Turning crosswind but smelling the falling thermal. Then turns into the wind and the thermal going to food.

I've tried setting up several times like this on points across and shot at a buck 2 years ago before I was busted. If the shot isn't taken fast enough it's a bust.

I mostly setup the safe way like the blue above the green food source.

Obviously during rut this changes since bucks are on their feet earlier. I just wanted to break down what I'm seeing.

Are you guys seeing this in hill country up north?
Or is this just a southern thing. Like I really don't know why I'm seeing this occur. The last several bucks I've shot at or seen have done this.

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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:43 am

3 year old 8 point kill I did last year.
Map not the same but very close to protect my spot. This was a rut setup near a primary scrape. It was a very old scrape full of leaves with no buck rubs or sign nearby. .

My rising thermal when I setup with the sun went right to that scrape.

I knew the scrape was primary and near bedding.

He was scent checking the scrape from downwind cutting across the tip of the point.
There was a mall thicker transition at the tip of that point. It had briars , pine trees. His trail cut in between that thick spot and oaks.

He has both the wind and thermal advantage.
Of that scrape. When I killed him.

That hub in the bottom he came through with the wind swirl its impossible to setup down their.
Beds were 85-110 yards from kill spot.


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Last edited by Tennhunter3 on Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:00 am

20191128_074240.jpg


Picture was next morning at processor. Sun directly in eyes. Think I was still half asleep lol.
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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby rhagenw » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:13 pm

Great beast tactic example been reading and studying that map for 20 minutes now!
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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby Scott S » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:18 pm

rhagenw wrote:Great beast tactic example been reading and studying that map for 20 minutes now!


Agree with above. Thanks for posting.
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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby backstraps » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:26 pm

I agree with you Jeff on the bucks seem to prefer to drop in the evening from bed.

Another tactic would be to stage (in an area that wont let the buck in his suspected bedding area scent you) and approach a stand site near the bottom an hour or so before sunset.

If you can get in a stand with an hour left of light, and the thermals are falling, your scent is easier to control. The biggest problem I have encountered with the last light moves and setups are,
a. buck leaves bed early... not the case very often
b. visual from the bucks bedding... this tends to be my hardest obstacle. Staying out of his view usually means I am one ridge over or just on the other side of "his" point.

However, like mentioned... if the bucks are more likely dropping to the bottoms or valleys below.. there is some where they are destined to go. They will likely stage just before that destination. I have had a lot of luck finding these low lying staging areas and catching the bucks just at last light
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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby funderburk » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:18 pm

Awesome thread and a good reminder of hunting the wind that’s right for the buck. I wanted to add another visual in order to show the consistency of what’s been shared. I had nearly the exact same setup and kill last year. Pretty much identical. Goes to show that this behavior is very predictable.

Yellow - access
Orange - freshly worked primary scrape
Black - bedded buck (watched him stand up 70 yards away)
Blue - wind
Red - falling thermal

Image

*I also used an example map*
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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby may21581 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:47 pm

In hill country their vision is critical. When they bed out on those points overlooking the steep valleys and hollows their eyes are just as important as their nose. I personally witness them dropping alot also. I feel this is because they travel in a direction they have been watching and monitoring.
The buck is bedding on that point and traveling the way he is for obvious reasons. It's a pretty safe setup and hard to hunt him. So with that said I would like to add my input. I think your close to what you need to do but it needs adjusted a little. So here are my thoughts.
Your looking for the perfect wind for you. When you hunt are they on calm days with a low wind speed? He will bed on that point still if the wind were to shift to the south more. This wind would also still work for you. By using this wind it may not swirl as much and blow back towards that other hollow or valley.
Maybe this is a spot you need some more wind to hunt? You cannot control the thermals and what they do but the wind will carry them more and allow you a cleaner access to a stand and possibly allowing you to get closer to his bed.
The wind you are trying to hunt him with is almost too perfect for you. As the bucks get older they develope almost a 6th sense and almost like they know it's too perfect. You will hear time and time again on here about off winds. Generally their is a small window that makes them feel safe to move but allows you a shot. Hope this helps.
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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby Thesouthpaw » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:48 pm

I hunt a lot of hill and mountain country in WV. I always try to find areas where I can set up below where the deer are bedded in the evenings. Throughout the years, I have found it to be pretty difficult to beat thermals, so I just end up walking past the areas that don't work well in my favor, even if they look good.

If a spot looks really good, but is above where I expect the deer to come from, I will wait to go in on a day with really high winds. I have had success doing that, but you still have to get a little lucky, and you only get those perfect conditions a time or two a year it seems like.
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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:58 pm

This kill was November late.
That buck had visibility across that bottom.

I knew I had to stay out of sight on entry and setup just out of his view around the point.

It was getting dark around 5 and the kill took place about 30-45 min before dark. The thermals were falling on the kill time.

Where that scrapes thermal was somewhere between me and my entry. Either way I got him doing what I expected him to do which was neat when a plan comes together.

As you can see the buck was walking crosswind all the way to my setup. Far as I know this is the first scrape after he left his bedding area.

This kill took place in a kestral flex only 3 sticks high the buck was almost even level with me. Shot was around 20 yards.

November this year I plan to be in the same tree.
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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:46 pm

may21581 wrote:In hill country their vision is critical. When they bed out on those points overlooking the steep valleys and hollows their eyes are just as important as their nose. I personally witness them dropping alot also. I feel this is because they travel in a direction they have been watching and monitoring.
The buck is bedding on that point and traveling the way he is for obvious reasons. It's a pretty safe setup and hard to hunt him. So with that said I would like to add my input. I think your close to what you need to do but it needs adjusted a little. So here are my thoughts.
Your looking for the perfect wind for you. When you hunt are they on calm days with a low wind speed? He will bed on that point still if the wind were to shift to the south more. This wind would also still work for you. By using this wind it may not swirl as much and blow back towards that other hollow or valley.
Maybe this is a spot you need some more wind to hunt? You cannot control the thermals and what they do but the wind will carry them more and allow you a cleaner access to a stand and possibly allowing you to get closer to his bed.
The wind you are trying to hunt him with is almost too perfect for you. As the bucks get older they develope almost a 6th sense and almost like they know it's too perfect. You will hear time and time again on here about off winds. Generally their is a small window that makes them feel safe to move but allows you a shot. Hope this helps.



True it does help if theres a obstruction , ditch , steep cliff, open area, lake to force movement.

I hunt some off winds and I get busted quite a bit.

Are you talking about this?? Setup being closer to a off wind? May be hard to sneak into and not be visibly seen. This would probably work as long as wind stays constant.
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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:14 pm

May
Or are you suggesting this?

While I think this would work wind and thermal I'm almost certain I would be seen setting up 40 yards from beds. Kill would need to happen before the buck catches thermal falling.

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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby may21581 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:05 pm

Tennhunter3 wrote:
may21581 wrote:In hill country their vision is critical. When they bed out on those points overlooking the steep valleys and hollows their eyes are just as important as their nose. I personally witness them dropping alot also. I feel this is because they travel in a direction they have been watching and monitoring.
The buck is bedding on that point and traveling the way he is for obvious reasons. It's a pretty safe setup and hard to hunt him. So with that said I would like to add my input. I think your close to what you need to do but it needs adjusted a little. So here are my thoughts.
Your looking for the perfect wind for you. When you hunt are they on calm days with a low wind speed? He will bed on that point still if the wind were to shift to the south more. This wind would also still work for you. By using this wind it may not swirl as much and blow back towards that other hollow or valley.
Maybe this is a spot you need some more wind to hunt? You cannot control the thermals and what they do but the wind will carry them more and allow you a cleaner access to a stand and possibly allowing you to get closer to his bed.
The wind you are trying to hunt him with is almost too perfect for you. As the bucks get older they develope almost a 6th sense and almost like they know it's too perfect. You will hear time and time again on here about off winds. Generally their is a small window that makes them feel safe to move but allows you a shot. Hope this helps.



True it does help if theres a obstruction , ditch , steep cliff, open area, lake to force movement.

I hunt some off winds and I get busted quite a bit.

Are you talking about this?? Setup being closer to a off wind? May be hard to sneak into and not be visibly seen. This would probably work as long as wind stays constant.
Screenshot_20200630-015231_Painter.jpg


Your stands would not change places. The winds you hunt with would need to be off more.
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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby may21581 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:10 pm

If you get a chance check out tgreenos comments under the isolated ridges topic. He also talks about the vision aspect in such scenarios.
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Re: Falling Thermal setups.

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:26 am

may21581 wrote:If you get a chance check out tgreenos comments under the isolated ridges topic. He also talks about the vision aspect in such scenarios.



Yes that would work.
Thanks for mentioning T Greenos thread I'll check it out.

In the south we very rarely get winds blowing to the southwest from northeast. I think Noreasters happen more with storms coming off the great lakes or up in Pa, New York ect.

A northeast to southwest wind I'm pretty sure is our rarest wind to get.
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