Deer use their nose to communicate, find food, seek out shelter, and detect danger. Relying on keeping your scent out of a deer’s nose will help you in a successful hunt. Deer have a powerful sense of smell and use the wind and air currents to defend themselves. Thermals occur when the temperature starts to change, typically recognized as air rising in the mornings and then falling as the sun sets. If you plan to hunt where there may be a downwind draft, near creeks or river bottoms, then you should review these tips on how to play the wind and use thermals to your advantage.
In this video, The Hunting Public shares that after they have trailed long distances, they don’t want the deer to smell the scent of their sweat, so they use techniques for scent elimination. The first technique is using a weather application through a cellphone that can tell you what the wind current is at your specific location. These apps can share inaccurate information sometimes, so adjusting is normal. Milkweed is a great alternative to an app and will help direct you to where the air current is flowing. Other natural options include cotton and other weeds that can be carried away by the wind. Milkweed is the strongest natural option, as it can stay its course for about 20 to 30 yards. Thermals will carry milkweed throughout the day, which also helps during peak up and down draft times and during the best time of movement for deer. You can also use a wind indicator that produces a puff of powder or vapor that you can visibly see float in the wind.
The Hunting Public suggests that you try to find something natural you can drop to make sure you are aware of the wind current and how far your scent is being carried. The more you practice, the better you will understand thermals and how to take advantage of them to outsmart a deer’s No. 1 sense: their sense of smell.
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