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Natural Wind Detector
By Rick Dunker

Natural Wind Detector

My favorite wind detection device is simple, readily available and occurs naturally.

In the late summer, I will go to the field and pick a couple of pods from a milkweed plant. I do this just as the pods are about to open and the seeds are fully formed.

From the pod, I remove the white, fuzzy, feather-like fibers and pick off the seeds. (Milkweed is considered a noxious plant in many states.)

I keep this fuzz in a zip-lock bag and place it in my fanny pack.

When I get to the stand, I take out a little pinch for use during my hunt.

The white fibers are easily visible and they float precisely where the wind takes them, allowing me to observe wind drafts, thermals (rising air) and swirling winds.

One pod will provide enough fuzz to last all season, and sometimes several seasons.

It’s also scent-free and completely natural.

Editor’s Note: By Tim H. Martin

I’ve used Rick’s tip for nearly 20 years, and I’m never in my stand without a little container of milkweed fibers.

To make a dispenser, take a film canister and poke a hole in the center of the lid with a big nail. Pull a little milkweed through the hole to get it started and you can use the canister like a box of Kleenex.

In order to cut down on excess movement, I like to tuck a little clump of milkweed inside my jacket sleeve for easy access during the hunt.

Whenever I want to test the wind, I pinch some off and launch it by blowing it off the tip of my hand. If the breeze is light, the milkweed will stay adrift a long time and all the wind’s subtleties are easily visible.

Until I find a better way to detect the wind, I will continue to use the milkweed trick.


Late Season Buck Strategy
If you have an unfilled tag as the season winds down, you’re going to have to hunt harder and smarter to find a trophy buck. The food and doe concentrations of early autumn are gone; the rut is over; and the bucks are educated to the ways of men in o...
 

The Rutting Moon
There are a lot of arguments about how moon phases affect deer movement. Many deer hunters believe a full moon leads to more nocturnal activity and suppresses deer movement the following day. They also believe the new moon’s lack of light forces deer...
 

Reading the Rut
Watch the progression of the rut to make the right moves when hunting. Conventional wisdom says that bucks are all chasing does and all bets are off. Well, a buck that has just successfully bred a doe or lost her to a more dominant buck will often re...
 

Small Cover, Big Bucks
Any time after the hunting pressure starts and particularly during the late season, it pays to check small pockets of cover. All deer instinctively avoid human contact, and mature bucks do so with honed skill. They quickly learn where hunters don’t g...
 

Scout for Success
To take a big buck, with a gun or bow, you have to know that buck. Good scouting is how you get acquainted. First look for the food. Deer have a lot to eat, and bowhunters often take big bucks by staking out hot food sources. During gun seasons, foo...
 

Reflections on Rattling
Rattling started in Texas and has spread across the country with mixed success. In well managed areas with a low doe-to-buck ratio, bucks must truly compete for available does, and rattling and other forms of deer calling are more effective. In area...
 

Monsters of the Midday
The first hour of dawn and the last hour of dusk are the magical and highly productive deer hunting times. The white-tailed deer prefers the low-light periods surrounding sunrise and sunset. However, under some conditions, hunting in the middle of th...
 

Driving Deer Well
Deer drives can be an effective tool for a coordinated group of hunters to take deer during midday and other low-movement periods. Driving also helps root out “islands” of heavy cover where bucks seem to vanish during daylight hours. Safety and coord...
 

Fools Rush In
The number one rule for taking a trophy buck is to not allow the buck to know he’s being hunted. That requires extreme caution, and it also requires not hunting in what others might consider to be the most promising spots. Start by studying the buck...
 

Post-Season Deer Scouting
Perhaps the most useful thing you can learn from post-season deer scouting is where the deer, and particularly the buck, end up. Get out right after the season is over and take a look. Once the hunting pressure slacks off, and certainly by the time s...
 
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