Wind Checker In Tree Stand

Wind Checker In Treestand

Why Use A Wind Checker In Your Tree Stand

Using a wind checker when hunting deer is a great way to watch the direction that your human odor is going. This is vital to hunters that are putting on a stalk and need top know when the wind direction changes. With a wind checker  in your tree stand, you can shift directions to keep their scent from spooking deer. As the hunter stalks into position, oftentimes from a great distance, the hunter checks the wind with a wind checker to monitor and guide the stalk. Deer have great noses and can detect a predator from a good distance so this is probably the most important aspect of stalking deer on the ground. But what about the purpose of a wind checker in a treestand?

Scent And Deer Hunting

When it comes to deer hunting scent is at the top of the list when it comes to successful harvest of deer. One question that I get is whether there is a need of a wind checker in a treestand? As mentioned in the opening paragraph using a wind checker is an obvious choice when stalking. As for hunting deer from a treestand some wonder why use a wind checker. A bow hunter myself, I feel lost without some sort of wind checker in my treestand. Whether it is a powder wind checker or cattail fibers or some other means to determine wind direction I feel that a wind checker is very important even when hunting deer from a treestand.

I have pulled a thread from my sock when I found myself without a wind checker in my treestand. You know. Those sock threads that turn into a string of fibrous string that easily blows in the lightest of wind. I have hung these threads off of my bow sights to check the wind direction even as I prepare for the shot. This takes me into why I use a wind checker in a treestand.

Check Wind Direction In A Treestand

The reason that I use a wind checker when hunting from a treestand is simple. I want and really need to know the wind direction when hunting deer from a treestand.  Now obviously you hope that you have set up your treestand in the right spot to have a deer walk by. As soon as the deer is spotted the mental stalk begins. Whether you use a call or scents or other ways to direct the deer into your range for a shot the true hunt begins with a visual acquirement of your target. Now the work begins. While much work I’m sure went into locating the sign and stand sight to get a deer into range, now you must get the deer into range which is a very narrow range with a bow.


Understanding Wind Direction For Deer Hunting

When the deer is sighted, the earlier the better, then wind direction can be valuable information to the deer hunter. Of course, the deer’s movement is out of your hands to a certain degree. Especially when the deer is a ways off. However, a hunter can manipulate a deer’s movement to a certain degree once it is getting close. You can throw the sound of a call like a grunt call or doe in estrus call. You can grunt in the direction that you would like to turn the deer. If it is walking in the direction that will take it downwind of your position what do you have to lose.

This is why I use a grunt call with a tube. The tube can be turned away from the deer throwing the sound anywhere but straight at the deer. This comes in handy as well when you need the deer to move just a little closer. Without it picking you off. Grunting straight at the deer when it is close will only make it easy for it to spot you or at least home in on your exact location in which case at short range will be looking for the deer that made the sound. Mature deer, does included, are very aware of their surroundings and will know that there should be a deer standing where it heard the grunt. By throwing the sound over your shoulder you can get the deer to move closer in search of that deer.

The wind checker comes in handy in a tree stand. It allows you to know when the deer will be downwind of your position. Rest assured no matter how strict your scent control regiment a deer will bust you downwind. At least when in close range. I think that scent control, including special clothing, can hide your scent. Definitely, enough to get a deer closer than otherwise. However, once within 50-75 yards, a deer will go on high alert. When downwind. Knowing when this might happen is paramount. While not always successful, this is the time to try and change the deer’s direction. I’ve learned that once a deer is in close and is headed in a direction that will take it downwind of your position you might as well try and get it to change direction with a call. Because it will bust you anyway.

Using Wind Checker To Know When To Shoot From Tree Stand

The most important thing about using a wind checker when hunting from a tree stand is knowing when to take the shot. Every hunter wants the closest shot possible. It ups your chances of making a good clean shot. Ethically a good clean kill shot is important. The closer the animal the better the chance of making a clean ethical kill. Because a close shot is preferred knowing which way the wind is blowing can help. You can decide how close the deer might come and wait. The deer could be within range, even easy range, but if it will come closer, then why not? Checking the wind direction with a wind checker as the deer moves closer will tell you whether to wait for a closer shot or go ahead and take the one you have.

Oftentimes, a deer will be slowly moving into your comfortable range but will soon intersect your scent by moving downwind. This has happened to me many times when bow hunting. The deer is meandering through the woods and gets into range. At this time I begin picking openings for my shot through the trees and underbrush. If the deer is traveling closer and away from downwind then I let it come closer. However, if the deer decides to turn and head into my scent cone downwind then it is time to make the shot in the best opening I have. Before it winds me.

All of this happens quickly and the only way to instinctively pull it off is time in the woods. By hunting often and getting many deer in range you will learn to go on autopilot during this time. I can tell you though, for me at least, it took many seasons to get there but man was it a blast doing it.

Wind Checker Will Help With Tree Stand Location

Hunting public land can be a tough endeavor. Over the years I have found that being mobile is a great way to get on a public land whitetail. Using a wind checker will help you select the best location for your stand. My best bow kill to date came after watching several bucks cruise through a pine thicket 75 yards above my initial site that morning. I moved at noon into the pine thicket and arrowed a 140 class 8 pointer right at dark.

The trail was obvious that the deer were using through the pines. With only a few trees that would accept my tree climber tree stand, I needed to determine the wind direction in relation to the trail. Knowing the wind direction helped me pick the tree that best kept my scent from blowing over the trail. At least until the deer came into range. A winddicator or wind checker will help you choose the right tree and help you harvest more whitetails.

Bowhunting Public Land

About Ken McBroom 307 Articles
Ken McBroom is an accomplished outdoor writer and photographer. Growing up in Lynchburg Tennessee allowed him many opportunities afield as a boy and young man. Later in life, after Desert Storm, Ken’s wanderlust took him to Alaska to live and work and experience the last frontier. Married now with two beautiful children, Ken now calls Kentucky home where he continues to communicate our American outdoor traditions and the lifestyle it offers.