Bionic

Question about 2 hills, and how the scent travel affects deer travel

Recommended Posts

First off, I am in the woods as I type this, I took the provided pic before I left,  and I think I took it wrong.  I did rotate it, so we'll see.

Anyways,  I am under the impression scent rises up the hills in the warming hours of the day.  I also believe deer will cruise along the hills during these warming hours, one third down from the top, in this spiraling scent zone....

I have an area, about 1000' long that has parralel hills.  These two hills rise in opposite directions,  and inbetween the bases of these hills there is a FLAT area about 400' across.  I am not sure if this is a saddle, or not.   These hills rise about 30' in elevation.  

Is the center flat area a bad idea to hunt? Obviously risky in my opinion because it is like you are on stage, with the hills as a grandstand for deer to spot you.  

I am also under the impression that when wind is blowing from the top of the hill, deer will travel that hill because the deer can smell what they cannot see over the hill, but can see below.

The creek always catches my interest due to water...but it is on the opposite side I enter the area from, causing me to have to venture through the flat area.

20171121_085958.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the prevailing wind direction on that diagram when you plan to hunt it? Also, where is your stand location on the diagram?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont have a stand in there, Idont hunt it often, so I typically sit against a blowdown.  

I honestly dont pay attention to the wind because, every time I check it, its swirls, and/or travels back and forth.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Figure out where deer are most likely to drop down to that creek and hunt over that area when the wind is in your favor.  Morning thermals will work to your advantage if you're hunting from the top of that ridge.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deer seem to aimlessly wander in this area.  No doe tags in this zone, and AR of 3 or more 1" points on one side.  So, I am honestly to the point of hoping for a cruising buck from a far away place.  Curious if one would be better one day due to wind over the other.  None of this makes sense,  no clue how anyone from a post like this, would be able to make heads or tails of it.  Let me try, and find a topo map.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, if I am understanding the diagram correctly, I have to say that 30' is not a hill, it is more of a bump in the terrain. So I really wouldn't expect it to have a lot of thermal influence. And so prevailing wind is the big thing there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will respectfully disagree with Doc. Thermals should play a role.   Hunt the leeward side of the ridge towards the predominant wind high on the ridge mornings. Thermals should carry your scent high over the valley area.  Essentially you are blowing high over the Deer.  Might hit top of downwind ridge but I would bet Deer will travel the ridge you hunt and perhaps valley and those should be safe scent zones.  You hunt low in the valley and you will get wind swirling making it very tough.  Mornings high on the upwind ridge would be my guess.  You will know the scent movement by checking with milkweed on your first sit.   Good luck!

if hunting evenings here, not what I would suggest, low on the downwind ridge would likely be better.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i am a religious believer in scent control. I dont believe scent elimination is possible with the nose of the deer. But over the years I've been rarely if ever winded and if busted it's almost always by visual movement. I still play the wind, but wont let it stop me from hunting a stand that has been active. Also most of our stands are at least 25' up which helps with scent and movement. I do believe in thermals, but as a bow hunter first, rarely can i put a stand exactly in the right spot. So I'm stuck with 30 yards from an intersection of runs or funnel. 

what is even more interesting is that bucks will scent check and that often means i need to be where they can also scent the doe. I say hunt where you are going to have the best chance of harvesting deer and take surgical care of your gear. 

after the guns go off i see many deer going crosswind and also nose to the wind. i have a few late season deer under my belt because i put myself downwind... because i knew that's the direction they would travel lol.


"Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching, even when the wrong thing is legal"

-Aldo Leopold 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, moog5050 said:

I will respectfully disagree with Doc. Thermals should play a role.   Hunt the leeward side of the ridge towards the predominant wind high on the ridge mornings. Thermals should carry your scent high over the valley area.  Essentially you are blowing high over the Deer.  Might hit top of downwind ridge but I would bet Deer will travel the ridge you hunt and perhaps valley and those should be safe scent zones.  You hunt low in the valley and you will get wind swirling making it very tough.  Mornings high on the upwind ridge would be my guess.  You will know the scent movement by checking with milkweed on your first sit.   Good luck!

if hunting evenings here, not what I would suggest, low on the downwind ridge would likely be better.  

I have learned to use hillside thermals as a prime part of my hunting strategy. However, according to the diagram, I do not consider 30' to be a hill. The one thing about thermals is that it does take some distance and significant elevation for the thermals to reliably overtake prevailing winds.

Edited by Doc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i agree with moog and doc on wanting to use that valley as a wind blocker for scent and hunter comfort lol. But also agree with doc that 30' isn't more of a mound lol.


"Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching, even when the wrong thing is legal"

-Aldo Leopold 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Doc said:

I have learned to use hillside thermals as a prime part of my hunting strategy. However, according to the diagram, I do not consider 30' to be a hill. The one thing about thermals is that it does take some distance and significant elevation for the thermals to reliably overtake prevailing winds.

It's not a question of taking over.  The scent still travels with the wind.  But it either rises or falls.  If rising, you can take advantage sitting high and upwind.  Deer will still travel top third of leeward side to scent below and predominant side. One area we hunt has a lot of these types of hills.  Thermals still play a role.  I have no idea of distances here but if gun shots are easy ridge to ridge then simply sitting high on downwind ridge would make most sense.  My initial analysis assumed that those shots are not feasible. 

Edited by moog5050
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I will respectfully disagree with Doc. Thermals should play a role.   Hunt the leeward side of the ridge towards the predominant wind high on the ridge mornings. Thermals should carry your scent high over the valley area.  Essentially you are blowing high over the Deer.  Might hit top of downwind ridge but I would bet Deer will travel the ridge you hunt and perhaps valley and those should be safe scent zones.  You hunt low in the valley and you will get wind swirling making it very tough.  Mornings high on the upwind ridge would be my guess.  You will know the scent movement by checking with milkweed on your first sit.   Good luck!
if hunting evenings here, not what I would suggest, low on the downwind ridge would likely be better.  

X2.

You've already seen that the winds swirl down in the valley. Proof positive that moog has the right approach - stay high.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will add more detail in a bit, rushed the original post.  As far as the "hill", it is, what it is really.  It's still an incline over a short distance, and in relation to the actual lumpy terrain, its a hill.  I can't imagine it has no effect on wind movement.

I will post a better pic, or topo, but the topo doesnt seem to really the true landscape if that makes sense.  

A lot of info you all gave so far, thanks, need to let it soak in a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, moog5050 said:

It's not a question of taking over.  The scent still travels with the wind.  But it either rises or falls.  If rising, you can take advantage sitting high and upwind.  Deer will still travel top third of leeward side to scent below and predominant side. One area we hunt has a lot of these types of hills.  Thermals still play a role.  I have no idea of distances here but if gun shots are easy ridge to ridge then simply sitting high on downwind ridge would make most sense.  My initial analysis assumed that those shots are not feasible. 

So on a 30' high hump, the deer will be 10' down from the top of the ridge ....lol. I think you are failing to see the scope of the layout here. We are not talking hills or valleys we are talking a minor depression.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Doc said:

So on a 30' high hump, the deer will be 10' down from the top of the ridge ....lol. I think you are failing to see the scope of the layout here. We are not talking hills or valleys we are talking a minor depression.

First Doc, I don't see where you have offered any advice. Second, thermals apply even if the mound is only 30ft high. So yes, hunting high in the morning should blow scent high over valley even Deer 30' below the mound.  Third, he doesn't need thermals if he can shoot ridge to ridge and in valley.  Then he just sits high on downwind ridge and covers it all.    So what exactly was your advice?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For whatever it's worth Bionic, we have a valley about 100yds wide with a 30' ridge on the predominant upwind side and over 100' on the downwind side.  It's too thick to see across the valley from downwind ridge and we cant sit that ridge.  But we have killed many Deer by sitting the upwind ridge in the mornings and shooting Deer in the valley 30' below us - thanks to thermals.  

Edited by moog5050
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moog, I appreciate the input, I have seen the deer you have harvested, and saw that you only started 6 or 7 years ago, I without a doubt take your input very seriously.  Like I said I will show you a better image of this piece of land, a lot more details to add, as far as swamps, thickets of pine, and where a road with houses are.  

 

 

Edited by Bionic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it depends on how wide it is, grade perendicular to the faces of each side, and wind direction.  Moog has it right there good to hunt in the mornings with rising air. often staying up out of them is best.  rising or falling you'll get air currents swirling around at face on the sides, similar to the back of a truck bed with the tailgate up.  it wrecks controlling your scent dispersal if it gets drawn down into it, as it gets circulated around in there.  if it's wide enough you can stay away from faces and hunt the middle but you're often before or after a deer passes your stand as the wind often runs through it.  in afternoons sometimes wind blows hard enough through it and gives a constant outward wind at the top of each bank.  you have to test the wind in different situations with something to see how far down the banks you can still or have a stand.

  • Like 2

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Upper Hudson River Valley QDMA

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moog, the main concerns I had were if the flat section between the two inclines was a bad idea to hunt....would deer be bedded on the far hill watching me enter the flat area from the other side?  Also, I was wondering what the odds are of deer even traveling through the flat area, due to the raised elevations on each side. If this terrain feature is as basic as its mocked to be then,  just watch wind direction like anywhere else?  Say west was the left side of my drawing....if i had a west wind would deer use the hill on the left side(west) ? And if it was an east wind would the only use the east side hill?  Or if the wind is northwest is that better? This is where I struggle, plus the wind seems to spiral no matter where I setup, anywhere on the property, even when I am not in this area described....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm not moog but i would bet money deer use both sides.  left is west on sketch then i'd say hunting the left face with a west wind isn't the best versus the right bank. wind will ride over the top of it and under that wind air will be rolling back in toward the left face. air currents will hit the far (right) face and disperse in different ways but you can figure out how by testing it and working down from the top.  if causes deer cross the valley at say a saddle on each side then you could hunt deer moving that way from downwind in the middle if wind is north or south and strong enough. 

  • Like 1

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Upper Hudson River Valley QDMA

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Bionic said:

Moog, the main concerns I had were if the flat section between the two inclines was a bad idea to hunt....would deer be bedded on the far hill watching me enter the flat area from the other side?  Also, I was wondering what the odds are of deer even traveling through the flat area, due to the raised elevations on each side. If this terrain feature is as basic as its mocked to be then,  just watch wind direction like anywhere else?  Say west was the left side of my drawing....if i had a west wind would deer use the hill on the left side(west) ? And if it was an east wind would the only use the east side hill?  Or if the wind is northwest is that better? This is where I struggle, plus the wind seems to spiral no matter where I setup, anywhere on the property, even when I am not in this area described....

I wouldn't assume they will only use west or east based on wind but it would seem logical that it may be more likely that travel and bedding will be on leeward side vs predominant wind side, weather for thermals or to be shielded.   Nothing is a rule though and it may just depend on where they want to go.  

How wide are the flats.  DBhunter gave a good explanation on how that can affect wind.  Really, best you can do is give it your best guess for a first sit and then be observant in that sit.  Check winds.  We have some funky valleys and draws where winds almost consistently blow opposite of predominant with some swirling.  It really takes some sits in the areas to learn that.  But I would try high side of predominant in am as a first crack at it.  I will tell you, we tend not to hunt bottoms of valley often as the swirling is tough.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, dbHunterNY said:

i'm not moog but i would bet money deer use both sides.  left is west on sketch then i'd say hunting the left face with a west wind isn't the best versus the right bank. wind will ride over the top of it and under that wind air will be rolling back in toward the left face. air currents will hit the far (right) face and disperse in different ways but you can figure out how by testing it and working down from the top.  if causes deer cross the valley at say a saddle on each side then you could hunt deer moving that way from downwind in the middle if wind is north or south and strong enough. 

Thank you for all that info, I read it a good 5x, and I follow you.   Makes sense.  I was under the impression, that deer follow hills when wind is blowing from the high side, because they can SEE below them, but can smell what they cannot see.  As I typed that, maybe that was for bedding on hills, and points...I read on HuntingBeast from time to time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, moog5050 said:

I wouldn't assume they will only use west or east based on wind but it would seem logical that it may be more likely that travel and bedding will be on leeward side vs predominant wind side, weather for thermals or to be shielded.   Nothing is a rule though and it may just depend on where they want to go.  

How wide are the flats.  DBhunter gave a good explanation on how that can affect wind.  Really, best you can do is give it your best guess for a first sit and then be observant in that sit.  Check winds.  We have some funky valleys and draws where winds almost consistently blow opposite of predominant with some swirling.  It really takes some sits in the areas to learn that.  But I would try high side of predominant in am as a first crack at it.  I will tell you, we tend not to hunt bottoms of valley often as the swirling is tough.  

The flat section is roughly 125 yards across.  

I have sat at the very end for a few seasons, prior to permission for down there, my biggest buck was taken at the end of the West hill, where it blends into the rest of the area.  I believe he was just a cruiser.   The left side is more open hardwoods, which eventually meet backyards, the flats on the far end have a swamp from hill, to hill.  The closer end of flats, have a dried up pond(approximately 7 acres)with grass growing all around....there is a house on that old pond though, that is active.  The east side hill, is very dark, with mature pines, that eventually lead to a seperate swamp....I have permission to the creek just before the east hill....half the flats are dark pines, big canopy but not thick on the ground, then it turns into hardwoods to the dried up pond...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, moog5050 said:

First Doc, I don't see where you have offered any advice. Second, thermals apply even if the mound is only 30ft high. So yes, hunting high in the morning should blow scent high over valley even Deer 30' below the mound.  Third, he doesn't need thermals if he can shoot ridge to ridge and in valley.  Then he just sits high on downwind ridge and covers it all.    So what exactly was your advice?

Actually, the advice I have in that circumstance is not to bank on thermals in that kind of super-subtle circumstance. So many people try to over-simplify thermals and fail to understand that just like any other force in physics, wind direction is the resultant of many deflections and other forces that work on the thermals. Prevailing winds can often negate thermals. Yes the thermals are still trying to do their thing but often get reversed by stronger opposing winds. Having paid close attention to thermals and other physical land shapes that direct wind around, I have learned that those who count on thermals alone without considering topography and prevailing winds will often find themselves trying to hunt in a bad wind direction.

In order for thermals to have an effect, they have to result in a force that is greater than any other opposing influences. And the subtlety of the diagram provided will make that very difficult in anything other than a dead calm wind.

Where I hunt, hills are in the 1000' elevation, and when thermals start working on that kind of slope and surface, the influence on wind direction becomes significant. And even in those cases, I have seen prevailing wind direction  opposing the principles of thermals and shunting the wind direction in a way that could never be predicted. So to ask anybody to predict what the wind directions will be in the case of that diagram, the only advice that can be given is, "it depends!" No, I will not give Bionic half an answer, because there is no single canned answer.

That all is why at nearly every stand set, I have trails covered with two stands on opposite sides of the trail, and make my choices on the spot when I actually see what is really going on in that particular location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.