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?
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.