Consistant winds = Consistant bedding in hill country bedding?

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rfickes87
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Consistant winds = Consistant bedding in hill country bedding?

Unread postby rfickes87 » Sat May 05, 2018 2:14 pm

Hill country bedding question...

I'm in steep hill country. I've really got the pattern down now in beast year 3. I can cyber scout and go on foot and find the beds easily now. Points, thick on top, open below with an escape. But I really want to dive deeper now into understanding the winds in these areas and what is most ideal to keep a buck bedded in that bed. I want to go out this fall and be as confident as possible that he's in that bed bc its the perfect wind condition for that bed

Now, i was just out turkey hunting on Monday. The weatherman said it was a 5 mph W wind. I scouted/hunted my way along this military crest and found a bunch of east facing beds on points and such. But I never jumped a deer out. :think: Surely they should have been bedded on that leeward slope. Another head scratcher was the calm wind. The thermals were much stronger than the wind. I felt an E wind the entire time at 8-9 in the morning, sun shining brightly. High pressure day. I couldn't feel that W wind at all. Not till I got back home anyways.

Now, let me back up to a month ago. I had a 15 mph N wind. I had this perfect remote south facing point in mind that I wanted to go scout. Sure enough I kicked a buck out. I sat in his bed and looked around and tried to take it all in. I noticed the swirling winds. The main wind was really swirling with the thermals. I noticed at least 3 little mini tornados on the side of the point spinning leaves. It really made me understand why that buck wanted to be there.

Soooo, this observation has me believing that perhaps a wind of 10-15 mph or greater might keep deer in that leeward bed you found on a point more so than a calm wind like I experienced while turkey hunting and didn't kick any deer out. Perhaps on a calm wind they may be spit out all over in any place the feel comfortable like in a rolling hill scenario where bedding in exact spots isn't nearly as common...

Just a hunch I have, at best, I'm just trying to question and understand what i observed. Anyone care to comment?


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Re: Consistant winds = Consistant bedding in hill country bedding?

Unread postby Divergent » Sat May 05, 2018 6:08 pm

I think it’s a good topic that could use some investigating. I know that it usually takes the wind til later in the morning to really pick up and start moving. I also know that it’s a lot easier to sneak up on a deer with a 15mph wind vs a calm wind. I see a lot more deer on solo scouts vs going with friends too. I’ll have to go back thru and see if there’s any correlation with the deer I jump while scouting. I usually mark the date and time and screenshot weather conditions from wunderground.com historical data.
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Re: Consistant winds = Consistant bedding in hill country bedding?

Unread postby Josh_S » Sun May 06, 2018 12:29 am

I don't have an answer just more questions :lol:

I'm with you, I can find beds in hill country, but clearly the most important part of the equation is when are they being used. This is where I struggle because there are so many bedding options. Of course you can narrow it down to leeward side, military crest, thick on top, open below, etc. But that is just what we can visually see. I think you need to further break it down by trying to figure out what is happening in the whitetail world on the given day.

I like to work backwards by asking 2 questions....
1) Why is he bedding there? If you were a mature buck trying to survive where would you be today? Just off the top of my head is it security or isolated food source in early season? To monitor does in pre-rut and rut? Did hunting pressure force him there? I know I'm probably missing more reasons.

2) When is he bedding there? Combine what you know about the terrain feature with why you think he would bed there and hope you picked the right day!

I really like what Dan says about SEEING DEER. When you see a deer ask yourself why he's there, where he's going, what terrain features is he using, where could he be bedded, what are wind/thermals doing, what time of day, what time of year, is weather a factor, etc I could go on an on. Last fall this mindset helped me learn from a mistake and kill a buck from the same bedding area a few days later.
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Re: Consistant winds = Consistant bedding in hill country bedding?

Unread postby dan » Sun May 06, 2018 12:45 am

Lets break it down...

Why do deer bed on leeward sides?

To see below, smell from up wind, and from down wind (thermals).

So the next question would be, does light wind stop a deer from doing this on a leeward side?

My answer would be no... Its not the amount or speed of the wind, its the ability of the deer to smell whats going on up wind. For that reason there would be a huge difference between no wind, and very light wind. Bed positions might change as the wind collision position changes, but leeward, is leeward in my eyes. I do think its quite possible for a bedding area or spot to be better in light wind or heavy wind and that conditions can influence a bucks choice. But, I would say most good leeward bedding areas that are laid out well will work on any leeward wind.

Bucks are not always going to be there, and, those spots are used for a reason and a lot of the time they are going to detect your approach before you get within eye or ear of there beds and slip away undetected, especially in low wind calm conditions.
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Re: Consistant winds = Consistant bedding in hill country bedding?

Unread postby ghoasthunter » Sun May 06, 2018 1:01 pm

dan answered your question the reason you didnt jump deer this trip is simple we are starting to get green up around hear the deer are simply down in the low grounds right now. for the past 2 weeks driving to work ive seen tones of deer down in fields eating all morning even till noon the deer are simply switching over their diets right now. once summer hits and all the woods is green they will be back up high in the breeze or in the spice bush swamps along marshes. this is a good time to prep stands and set cameras in the hills while all the deer are shifted though.
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Re: Consistant winds = Consistant bedding in hill country bedding?

Unread postby <DK> » Tue May 08, 2018 5:53 am

rfickes87 wrote:Soooo, this observation has me believing that perhaps a wind of 10-15 mph or greater might keep deer in that leeward bed you found on a point more so than a calm wind like I experienced while turkey hunting and didn't kick any deer out. Perhaps on a calm wind they may be spit out all over in any place the feel comfortable like in a rolling hill scenario where bedding in exact spots isn't nearly as common...

Just a hunch I have, at best, I'm just trying to question and understand what i observed. Anyone care to comment?


Obviously Dan nailed it for you on this one.

However, that type of scenario should still give confidence that deer is where you think or in that bedding area. Not trying to go against Dan here but we do talk about how lighter wind days are tougher guesses or thermal bedding. Days where the wind stays the same general direction give me even more confidence that deer should be there.

So lest say there is 2 days in row of N wind and then third day is 10-15mph N/NE/NW. Id be pretty excited to get in a tree. I do think the real key to everything is what time of the season they use the bedding areas.

As far as your day out searching, being a lighter wind day they could have heard or seen you coming. You mentioned the morning thermal currents being opposite of the forecast, that can be tough deal to be successful.

Im curious what the wind was the night or day before this?
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Re: Consistant winds = Consistant bedding in hill country bedding?

Unread postby rfickes87 » Wed May 09, 2018 4:17 am

Darkknight54 wrote:
rfickes87 wrote:Soooo, this observation has me believing that perhaps a wind of 10-15 mph or greater might keep deer in that leeward bed you found on a point more so than a calm wind like I experienced while turkey hunting and didn't kick any deer out. Perhaps on a calm wind they may be spit out all over in any place the feel comfortable like in a rolling hill scenario where bedding in exact spots isn't nearly as common...

Just a hunch I have, at best, I'm just trying to question and understand what i observed. Anyone care to comment?


Obviously Dan nailed it for you on this one.

However, that type of scenario should still give confidence that deer is where you think or in that bedding area. Not trying to go against Dan here but we do talk about how lighter wind days are tougher guesses or thermal bedding. Days where the wind stays the same general direction give me even more confidence that deer should be there.

So lest say there is 2 days in row of N wind and then third day is 10-15mph N/NE/NW. Id be pretty excited to get in a tree. I do think the real key to everything is what time of the season they use the bedding areas.

As far as your day out searching, being a lighter wind day they could have heard or seen you coming. You mentioned the morning thermal currents being opposite of the forecast, that can be tough deal to be successful.

Im curious what the wind was the night or day before this?


weatherundergound says it was WNW 15 mph the day before. 2 days before it the exact same but 13 mph. So basically identical. I'm sure I could have jumped those deer and just didn't realize it. I was making a racket in there tripping and stumbling around haha. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't saying they weren't there b/c it was a light 5 mph wind and all I felt was thermals. Its just that feeling those thermals hit me and not feeling the wind got me thinking and questioning their bedding locations. I totally agree with Dan too. leeward is leeward. I just question things sometimes. You know "what ifs"... Perhaps maybe a stronger wind could produce air currents mixing lower in elevation and a calm wind mixes with thermal currents higher in elevation...

JT, you said about the consistent winds... Remember that big buck I showed you that one time where he bedded down on my trail camera? I checked the wind every day, even when he didn't show up. Leeward was a SW wind. Not every SW he showed up but he ONLY showed up on a SW wind. Some days it was E for 2 days and switch to SW and bam there he was again on camera. So I don't know about having to have consistent winds day after day. I'm sure it helps! But I know that buck will tell you its not at all a requirement. Also, worth mentioning, 2-3 year olds would be there on a W or NW. But a perfect leeward wind was SW and he only used it for SW. He was very particular unlike those other younger bucks.
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Re: Consistant winds = Consistant bedding in hill country bedding?

Unread postby <DK> » Thu May 10, 2018 8:46 am

If you didnt have any E winds the day before or night before scouting then id note that spot as a tougher themal currents spot. Everyday is different of coarse but certain spots have that effect and need noted. If there is no other hills close by that would create some sort of kick back creating the E wind/thermal then again noting those thermal activities can help be successful next outing. Plus those deer sense that better than we can which means yes they could have just been on the other side of the ridge, maybe midday shifted around to the side you scouted. I always track previous 24 hr wind conditions for a morning hunt bc too many times iv been wrong about conditions. Terrain features and trasition lines play a large roll with that too. Variable wind days are tough for reason such as this so that is why iv learned to like the higher speed days. One member on here even shoots cartain arrows to cut that wind during flight bc its a great time to capitalize.

Keep viewing wind like water and things will keep becoming clearer every year. Works for me at least...

As far as jumping deer it can be tough to say w/o seeing or analyzing a bed based on how fresh it is. I have found beds that looked like a deer was just laying there yet never heard a sound while approaching. Aka midday bed shifts. Still, seasonal timing is so crucial to keeping tabs on bedding areas.

Back to consistent winds tho, I for sure agree w Dan epecially on the fact that cant bank on a mature deer living in the same bed days in a row bc its a smart way to survive. In relation to exact beds its even more of a gamble in the hills and I think cams over beds is a good example of that. Thats why iv worked away from honing in on exact bed vs bedding areas and seasonal timing. This varies in different terrains though. Part of this is bc I read an article about tracking a buck early season and seeing all the dots on a map really opened my eyes to the fact that Dan is right - he can have many beds in one spot for specific wind. So treating them as bedding areas vs beds has helped me along.

Playing off of your story about SW wind buck -- on a perfect SW wind he was using a specific bed on the ridge. He could have walked behind the camera other days or been 20 yards that way or 50 yards the other way. Hes ran the gauntlet, learned those currents and adapted his movements vs the younger bucks got a lot to learn.

Guys seem to get better results of bucks on cam setting them on trails leaving a bedding area vs over a certain bed. Nothing is ever absolute hunting deer BUT consistent winds still can be higher odds situation > which equals higher confidence > which equals higher success. PLUS there has been studies showing greater deer movement on higher wind days as well. As a example relating to exit trail cams vs bed cams -- a guy can show me a pic of 2 bucks leaving the same bedding area together but if that cam was over the bed could have only seen the one buck or neither bucks. Yet they both clearly left the same ridge.

When you talk about a complete wind direction shift though, that is a very high confidence scenario as well. Those deer have to move or adjust which means id be even more excited to get out there. That goes back to my first point relating to the previous 24hr wind forecasts before a morning hunt. Predicting when that shift will actually occur vs when the weatherman says is very important and has been a topic on here.

You seem to be very in-tune with your spots so as I awlays say... trust your gut.


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