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Old 08-31-2011, 07:38 AM   #1
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Default Thermals and Deer Movement

If thermals rise in the morning and descend in the evening, does this affect the direction deer will move if bedded on a hill? I have read a lot of contradictory info. on this.

For example if a buck is bedded on a side hill and he has an ag. field above and another ag. field below. In the evenings, when the thermals reverse and air currents are coming downhill, does this mean he will be more likely to travel uphill so the moving air is in his face similar to a prevailing wind?
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:58 AM   #2
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good question....i know to be above the trail in the mornin and below it in the evenin' is the key to where to be, but as far as eating goes...i dunno. it makes sense though, cause when my dogs get out, i know to travel into the wind to find them.
put a cam up on this hill, and lets see what happens?
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:55 AM   #3
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I am in the middle of reading a book called 'Trophy Bucks In Any Weather' by Dan Carlson. The author has hunted whitetail for 30 years and been a meteorologist for over 20 years. The book is a very interesting read. He goes into detail about how weather affects deer movement and he addresses thermals and how and why bucks bed on particular hill sides. I'm only halfway through the book but I'm getting a lot out of it. You may want to take a look at it. I enjoy books that educate me about deer behavior and deer science rather than books that tell stories about how someone killed a big buck.
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buck4860 View Post
I am in the middle of reading a book called 'Trophy Bucks In Any Weather' by Dan Carlson. The author has hunted whitetail for 30 years and been a meteorologist for over 20 years. The book is a very interesting read. He goes into detail about how weather affects deer movement and he addresses thermals and how and why bucks bed on particular hill sides. I'm only halfway through the book but I'm getting a lot out of it. You may want to take a look at it. I enjoy books that educate me about deer behavior and deer science rather than books that tell stories about how someone killed a big buck.
Are you Dan Carlson?
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:48 PM   #5
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Afer 10 years of research, I can tellyou tht thermals my no govern which directin a dee willo trawel anymore thtn the wind does.
If you check, you will fidn that deer often move down wind or crosswind as they go to food sources in the evening, and return to ther daytime core areas in the morning.

But, both wind and thermals may allow the animls to smell danger before they ge to it, if scents are brought to them by the wind. So, you hve to pay atention to wher the wind and thermals are blwing your scnt, before the deer getto you. Adn the deer will do the dame, but probably not change theri ltravel patterns so much tht it will affect your hunting overall.

Her sis an excerpt from my book The completwWhiteatil Adict's Manul, it s coyrighted, and federal copyright laws state that it cannot be copied or republished without the author/publishers permissioon. I give permissin to this website to publish this.

I hope it helps.


There are two basic wind patterns, one occurs during stable high-pressure weather, with clear or partly cloudy skies. During this pattern there is little or no wind at sunrise and sunset, with the highest wind speeds from mid to late afternoon; deer move to open food sources at dawn and dusk. The other pattern occurs during changing weather conditions. During this pattern the wind speeds may be constant throughout the day, with frequent wind gusts reflecting unstable conditions; gusty winds often cause deer to seek cover, where they may nervously bed and move throughout the day

Wind
Speed Activity
__________________________________________________ _________________________________________________
0-5 mph Best
6-10 mph Some
11-15 mph Limited During high winds animals have a hard time hearing and smelling,
they feed and bed on the downwind sides of hills and woods. Deer may
use benches 1/4-1/3 of the way down the hill, in the calm pocket where wind speeds are lower.
20+ mph Minimal


 
Thermal Currents
Direction and Time
__________________________________________________ _________________________________________________
Rising Morning Sunlight causes air to warm and rise. In hills or mountains game will often bed uphill during the day to catch rising scent.

Falling Evening Darkness cools air causing downward currents. Game may bed low at night to catch falling scents. As animals move uphill in the morning they catch the scents on the still falling thermals.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:49 PM   #6
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Forgot to say - if you have questions - feel free to ask here or e-mail me direct at TRMichels.com

God bless

T.R.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:15 PM   #7
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I used to swallow all that crap when I was younger too. When it comes to reading about deer and learning you can pretty much forget it. Most if not all that nonsense in the books is taken from a controlled situation. Think about this, why do deer go up a hill in the morning to begin with? I believe it is from years of hunting pressure that causes them to instinctively bed in heavy hard to reach cover. If you hunt in an area with no hills they usually bed in thick cover when the pressure is on. A couple mountains I hunt are a few miles back with nothing but a river and valley at the bottom. During a really good acorn year the deer lay on the steep, rocky sides and go up top at night to feed on the oak flats up top. They have no reason to come down so they don't. If it has a large enough crop area, they bed right in the crops. Get to know what the deer do in the area that you hunt because every area is different.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:39 PM   #8
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Deer bed based on thermal and wind direction in hill country... But from all my observations they do not move to food based on any wind direction.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunplummer View Post
I used to swallow all that crap when I was younger too. When it comes to reading about deer and learning you can pretty much forget it. Most if not all that nonsense in the books is taken from a controlled situation. Think about this, why do deer go up a hill in the morning to begin with? I believe it is from years of hunting pressure that causes them to instinctively bed in heavy hard to reach cover. If you hunt in an area with no hills they usually bed in thick cover when the pressure is on. A couple mountains I hunt are a few miles back with nothing but a river and valley at the bottom. During a really good acorn year the deer lay on the steep, rocky sides and go up top at night to feed on the oak flats up top. They have no reason to come down so they don't. If it has a large enough crop area, they bed right in the crops. Get to know what the deer do in the area that you hunt because every area is different.

While I do agree with you on part of your statement, I definitely disagree with the other.. Let me explain ... The fact that you think Animal Research is completely false due to "controlled environments" is quite surprising to me. There are an equal amount of studies performed in natural habitats as there are in controlled ones. The problem with the general public is they feel that as soon as they read something on paper that it's completely black and white. So when it doesn't happen exactly like they read, it immediately omits the information as false or incorrect.

Studies are just that, they are measurements of pattern within any metric they are calculated in. They are an observation and a not a full statement of fact. Obviously as you mentioned in your post that the main thing you need to do is study the area and pattern of the deer in your area, basing your opinion off of that "study" ... well didn't you just perform your own pseudo-scientific study during this period?

So my suggestion to everyone would be this, read all of the studies you come across in print of electronic publication, and then use those studies to pattern the animals in your specific area. This doesn't say they are going to be exactly the same, however I'd be more than willing to bet they will be similar.


To the OP's original question -

Yes thermals definitely matter as this is how scent is carried, so it will definitely effect the deer movement as much of their patterns are based on live situations... If you sit on top in the evening and the thermals are traveling downward, you've got a good chance of that Buck walking the creek line sniffing you out before you even seen him and visa versa.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:10 PM   #10
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I agree with the last post... I have been hunting and studying buck bedding my whole life, and there is definitely distinct reasons they bed exactly where they do.
In hilly terrain I can generally pick out exactly where the bucks will be bedded based on a topo map before I even touch the property regardless of pressure.
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