Whitetail Hunting photo

I’m sure you’ve read many times, as I have, that “whitetail bucks bed with the wind at their backs and a good view out front.” That sounds pretty darn good. This way they can detect danger from front and back. It makes so much sense, in fact, that it’s almost a little annoying that so many deer don’t bother to follow along.

By the same token, I recently read that bucks bed on slopes and below the points of ridges because falling thermals warn them of danger from behind while their eyes, scanning downhill, catch danger out front. That sounds darn good, too–unless you’re a person who actually hunts in hilly terrain, in which case you know that thermals don’t really start falling until pretty darn late in the day, often right before sunset. And so all those bucks bedded on slopes and below points, the poor dim-witted creatures, actually don’t have the wind at their backs, like they’re supposed to, for most of the day.

The other day Bestul reminded me of this one: “Savvy bucks always walk with the wind in their face.” This means that all the bucks you’ve seen–and some you’ve shot–walking with the wind behind them or to one side may have been big, mature deer–just don’t get to thinking they were savvy.

I do sympathize with outdoor writers, being one. As the average reader’s (not you) attention span shrivels and dies, it’s always, “Whitetail deer behavior in 300 words or less.” I’m just saying, in case you haven’t noticed, that the rules we make up for whitetails–well the deer aren’t always listening.