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Natural Wind Detector
By Rick Dunker
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.