To find out more technical details about wind http://www.answers.com/topic/thermal-wind
Im sure I will create some controversy here, I typically don’t pay much attention to the wind because I always try and pick spots that allow me to hunt in multiple directions. Meaning my stand site usually are set in a way that I should see deer no matter which way the wind is blowing. Also I take meticulous care in my scent eliminating regime that it has never been a factor that I noticed. I say that I have noticed, because I have had deer come from down wind of me many times, and I have not since I have been following my routine for staying scent free seen a deer stop in its tracks because they winded me.
Now that being said, who knows how many deer have winded me that I didn’t see, I don’t know. But what I do know is when I take a stand I consistently see deer whether the wind is right or not. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn about the wind. I’m just lazy and I often hunt out of state and for 3-5 days at a time and don’t have time to set up different stands for different wind. Ideally, if you can follow a strict scent free program and play the wind you should see more deer.
However, I do play the wind when I am hunting by spot and stalk or still hunting. This type of hunting is so difficult that you want everything in your favor you can muster. I am constantly checking wind with a “powder puffer” while placing a stalk.
Like I said just because I don’t put a whole lot of weight into the wind and my stand location doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn how to use it. Because, really it could be the most important thing you learn.
Well the wind like the weather it is a very complex beast, that really takes years to learn, and more to master. So many things effect the way the wind moves like temperature, terrain, elevation , trees, water obstructions, etc. That’s why I have kinda of simplified it for myself.
The prevailing Wind: This is the easiest to learn it is often a wind out of the west and more of a constant in comparison to the other two types. You can find out the prevailing wind from the weather man. And place your stand in a position that utilizes this wind to carry your scent in the least likely direction that deer will enter your stand site from. Like a field or a rock ledge.
Location Specific wind: This is difficult to understand but easy to figure out. Essentially this is what the wind does at your stand site in relation to the landscape and objects near by. You might have a 5 mph wind coming from the southwest but because you are hunting a bench the landscape make the wind pass over you and then back at you once it drps with the landscape causing a swirling effect. And eliminating 270 deg of hunting. Let me talk about thermals really quick and then I will tell you what I do to deal with this situation.
Thermals: This is the perpendicular movement of wind (up and down). Hot air rises, cold air drops. Rule of thumb in the morning as it heats up your scent will rise and in the afternoon your scent will fall.
Now one thing I’ve done to help with this situation is. I have broken it down to a simple system of patterning the wind in the spot im hunting, this will go hand and hand with your scouting, but you need to keep a record of what the wind does at your stand site at different times of day and different temps. One thing I like to do is set a trail camera up with a feather attached to a sting in front of it and let the camera take periodic pics of the feather blowing and I use that to “pattern” the wind for that spot. Most cameras now a days show time, temp, and moon phase. This can give you a real educated guess as to what the wind will be doing when you are hunting. I have even hung camera at tree-stand height to understand what the wind dose up there where I will be.