Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream Online Editors

During the early season, a cold front can coax bucks to feed during shooting light. But if you hunt hilly terrain, there’s another type of buck movement you should be exploiting. All fronts are accompanied by a change in wind direction, which forces many bucks to change their beds-and you can catch them in the act.

Hill-country bucks tend to bed at higher elevations, usually along the sides of ridges, about a third of the way down from the top. By facing in the opposite direction of the wind, a buck can watch for predators in front while his nose sniffs for them coming from behind. When the wind shifts, however, these bucks must make a move to enjoy the same advantage. This diagram at right shows you how to intercept them.

This buck begins bedding near a bench along the east side of the ridge, with the prevailing northwest wind at his back.

When a front rolls in and the wind switches from the northwest to the northeast, the buck begins to move to the other side of the hill.

To get there, the deer isn’t going to climb the steep peak. Instead, he’ll parallel the hillside along a bench until he reaches a saddle, or even a subtle dip, where he can sneak across.

Whether you hunt from the ground or slip in and put up a quiet climbing stand, this is a great place to set up an ambush. Moreover, if you know that a certain wind shift is common in your area, you can find great spots for permanent stands. Just check the weather, then go catch your buck crossing over.