It’s taught early and repeated often; whether it’s ducks or deer, always hunt the wind.
But weather channels seem to put a lot more time and effort into deciphering the changing temperatures than helping hunters figure out if their south or north deer stand will be the best one to hunt, or if the western shore of the lake will have ducks landing face-first toward the hunters.
So short of licking your finger and testing the wind every morning you get out of the truck, what can hunters do to plan where to hunt in advance?
Weather-centered websites such as weather.com display the estimated forecast of winds and directions, but they are notorious for being inaccurate or changing as hunters head into the woods. However, if you can remember to check the forecast on the computer or from your smart phone when you wake up, it is usually accurate enough for the next few hours to make an educated decision on where to hunt.
A website that can help duck hunters estimate when the next push of waterfowl will head south is http://hint.fm/wind/. The map shows wind direction and speed across the entire United States, so that when a strong northern wind is blowing from Canada to Kansas, Texas hunters can assume new ducks will ride the currents down.
“These are near-term forecasts, revised once per hour,” the website explains. “So what you’re seeing is a living portrait.”
With the help of smart phones and multiple wind forecasting websites, hunters can make sure they’re downwind of deer and face to face with ducks.