February 12, 2024
Rans Thomas, Wildlife Biologist and HuntPro Specialist
Most hunters are keenly aware that the wind direction and speed at a raised stand location, ground blind, or even in a waterfowl blind can make or break a hunt. If we are stalking big game on foot, or as my Dad always called it “slipping”, your location relative to wind direction becomes a moving target. This is particularly true with stalking many western big game animals. In my early years hunting, long ago, we would grab our Mossy Oak, Bottomland camo out of the dirty clothes basket and head out to our favorite stand without a thought about wind direction or scent concealment. We knew we might get “winded”; a whitetail deer would catch our scent, and the hunt was all but over. We first started trying to conceal our scent by crushing and rubbing Dogfennel, Sweetgum, Eastern red cedar, or other pungent smelling foliage all over our clothes on the way into a stand. It didn’t take me long to realize that was a waste of time. Since then, I’ve tried most commercial scent concealment products on the market. I’ve pretty much concluded that no matter what you do, you just won’t win if you are upwind from a whitetail’s nose. And, of course, that applies to many other big game species as well.
The only real solution is to remain downwind, or in a flanking wind, from focal areas of game activity such as food plots, water holes, feeders, etc. Most hunters today use weather forecasting apps to better understand if a stand, blind or slipping route is suitable for the day, time, and location they plan to hunt but, in many cases, weather apps may not provide very accurate forecasting. Weather reports are generally regional and not specific to an exact location on the ground. It just isn’t precise enough to meet the needs of a hunter, and, in all fairness, that’s ok because that isn’t what it was built for. I needed a tool built for hunters, by hunters that understood exactly what I needed and why. That’s when I found HuntPro.
HuntPro uses cutting-edge technologies to provide weather and wind direction data specific to the property I am hunting on. The HuntPro platform combines geo locations with highly accurate, current, and forecasted weather conditions and has unique tools which allow users to better manage hunting in the wind.
Weather and wind direction is provided on a multi-layer, digital property map that dynamically updates for any time in the upcoming multiple day forecast. Wind direction and speed is also visually illustrated on both the web and mobile app map. Using location editing features, wind direction preferences for stand or blind locations can be selected on a 360-degree circle around each stand and assigned the color codes red, yellow, and green. Choose from the easy mode to take advantage of quick setup or set more customizable wind options depending on need.
Caption: HuntPro users can edit their wind preferences for any stand or blind at any time.
After selecting wind preference for all locations, pins on the web or mobile app map will be colored according to current or forecasted wind conditions. The color codes automatically change based on forecasting using a sliding day and time bar and is extremely accurate. This allows users to select the best locations for themselves or larger groups of hunters as they prepare to embark on a hunt or are planning future hunts. At any time, if hunting on the move and not at a specific location, by simply clicking on the web map or touching the web app screen, the wind direction and speed at that spot will appear.
Caption: View the entire property for better planning
Personally, I use HuntPro wind and weather tools to select the best stands for me and my family on our Georgia farm. This has not only increased our success, but also prevents us from hunting otherwise hot stands on a day we may get winded and unnecessarily pressure the area.
For property managers, who are managing groups of hunters on large private or commercial hunting properties, specifically those with many locations to choose from, these tools can prove even more useful. They can choose the best stands for their guests each day or plan for a large group of guests days in advance. HuntPro also offers multi-layer, digital, property mapping tools. Property, tax map lines, and parcel data are all available and a user’s property parcels can be selected and highlighted. Pins can be dropped and edited for camera locations, stands and many other features. Geo location and weather data can be linked to all camera location images uploaded. This allows heat map activity to be illustrated for any species or named animals.
To learn more about how to use HuntPro technology to hunt smarter, not harder schedule a demo: https://share.hsforms.com/1s2Qpw6XFQ_i5-XrAJup97w3x7jw
Author Bio: Rans Thomas is a Wildlife Biologist and Consultant with over 25 years of experience developing and managing private hunting properties across the United States. His cutting-edge strategies in wildlife management and population modeling have led him to become an innovator in trail camera data analysis technology. He is a Consulting Partner and Strategic Advisor for HuntPro, providing real-world insight and expertise for the company’s technology development strategy and system capabilities. Rans is a proud graduate of the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and 2009 recipient of the Quality Deer Management Association’s Professional Deer Manager of the Year Award