Whitetail weather myths have been passed down for generations. There are a rigid set of “rules” and plenty of assumptions that many hunters strictly follow each season. But, what if these weather rules you follow year by year are not based in fact? Odds are, many of them are not.
In the opening weeks of whitetail season, we sat down with Jeff Sturgis of Whitetail Habitat Solutions to tackle four whitetail weather myths that will change the way you hunt.
Myth #1: Hunting the Pre-Storm
Rain, snow, or sleet can make-or break your hunting plans. As the disruption of a big storm shifts deer movement patterns, it is rare that successful hunting season opportunities will arise. The back-side of a storm, rather than the pre-storm, actually shows much more promise for bagging a buck.
Prior to a storm, whitetail can sense weather changes. As conditions worsen, deer will often head to sheltered areas, and stay put. They’ll endure the nasty weather, then head out when conditions are settled, so hunting after the weather clears often bears much more fruit than a pre-storm hunt. When a storm clears, whitetails are hungry, on the move, and ready to feed. This is the perfect time to take to your treestand.
Myth #2: Hunting by the Moon
Moon phases have little to no impact on deer movement. Weather plays a much larger role in changing the way deer move. Sturgis urges to “always consider the weather first, and the moon dead last.” If you strictly follow moon phases, predictions of when to hit the woods can be incredibly misleading.
Here’s one reason why hunting the moon isn’t a great idea: bad weather can occur on a good moon phase day, and good weather can occur on a bad moon phase day. Years’ worth of research and data have uncovered absolutely no correlation between deer movement patterns and the lunar phases.
Myth #3: Barometric Pressure
Whitetail deer do not have a barometric pressure indicator in their head. Rather, they respond and react to physical, tangible, and observable changes in the weather.
Many hunting algorithms focus too heavily on barometric pressure. That’s what makes the HuntWise algorithm so different. With HuntCast, we use a 15-day forecast to generate peak movement alerts and localized rut detection, and we even keep you in the know with whitetail deer phases. HuntWise does the work so you can maximize your time by knowing the when and where of your hunt.
Myth #4: Deer Don’t Move in the Wind
Wind certainly affects deer movement, but not in the way might think. There is a long-believed mantra that deer simply do not move in the wind. This is false. As winds pick up, deer will move to take shelter from it. It is important to recognize that as deer move away from the wind, you should too.
When it comes to wind, and hunting in the wind, work to get out of it. For success, head downwind of a switchgrass field, CRP field, conifers, or a ridge. In high winds, deer will move in these directions. Always find a spot where you can get out of the wind in a treestand.
All in all, when hunting the wind, rely on HuntWise. Backed by 30 years of data, the HuntWise app is the most powerful deer prediction tool in the world. With our algorithm, you can make sure you are scent- and wind- conscious. Before heading out, drop a pin to make sure you know the wind direction. Compare your hunting spots by the wind and, once you are out there, stay aware of the direction the wind is taking your scent and try to keep the wind blowing in your face.