Deer de­tec­tives

Sporting Shooter - - Experts -

Q I stalked in to some deer on a new per­mis­sion with the wind in my face but as I got ready to take a shot they sud­denly seemed to be­come aware of my pres­ence and spooked. I am con­fi­dent that they didn’t see me, so how could they have known I was there?

A

DOM HOLTAM replies: There could be a cou­ple of things go­ing on here. You say you were con­fi­dent you didn’t give away your lo­ca­tion, but the flash of sun­light on glass or shiny met­al­work could eas­ily be enough to give the game away.

The other thing is the to­pog­ra­phy. If you are on an ex­posed sum­mit, you might think the wind is steady in one di­rec­tion. How­ever, at lower al­ti­tudes, things could be very dif­fer­ent. Val­leys, gul­lies and rocky out­crops can af­fect the flow of air, mov­ing it left, right, up or down. Just be­cause the wind was in your face, it doesn’t mean that the wind was blow­ing in the same di­rec­tion where the deer were.

As you ex­plore your ground, you should pay at­ten­tion to wind di­rec­tion at var­i­ous points. Not only will it help you ap­proach an­i­mals, but it will also give you a bet­ter read on your shot place­ment as read­ing the wind is so cru­cial to ac­cu­racy, es­pe­cially in ex­posed ar­eas.

Ob­serv­ing how the veg­e­ta­tion is mov­ing and us­ing a spe­cial­ist prod­uct like Napier Air­glo or Windsmoke can help build your un­der­stand­ing and in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the wind.

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