Avoiding Being Busted In The Mountains

James J. from Tennessee writes to ask about being detected by deer. "Several times I have been detected by deer that were above me on the mountain. I’d sneak into my stand in such a way that deer coming from their beds above me on the mountain would not cross my stand. When I’d get into the stand, the deer, that were far above me, would wind me, blow, and leave the area. What am I doing wrong, or are other hunters coming into the area and foiling my hunt?" 

Dr. Dave Samuel

Jim, what you are describing is a common scenario, and I believe you are making a mistake. Your approach to the stand appears to be correct, but your timing is wrong. Hot air thermals rise, and when the sun sets and it gets cool, that cool air goes down the mountain. So, you must time your arrival to your stand so that you arrive later, when the cool thermals are going down hill. In that manner, bucks bedded above you will not wind you as they descend to feed in the fields. 

It is a tricky situation and you may need to develop a different strategy to hunt bucks in that area.   

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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of www.sportsmansguide.com‘s content at tkachero@sportsmansguide.com. Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.

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