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Wind currents, topography and coyotes.
By Popular Demand: Discussions related to Varmint Hunting
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coyotehunter_1
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:46 pm    Post subject: Wind currents, topography and coyotes. Reply with quote

L.O. and I have talked about this subject a few times. I thought it would be a good topic here.
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Wind currents, topography and coyotes.

We know coyotes use sight, sound and smell to find food and alert them to danger. As callers we can use sight and sound to our advantage to draw coyotes into gun range. Smell is another thing, even when using strong cover scents, trying to fool a coyote’s nose is a hard task, if not impossible. Their ability to detect and distinguish odors at great distances is one of their strongest attributes for survival. Coyotes that have learned to associate human essence as a threat to their well being soon become skilled at avoiding Mr. Stinky and his critter rifle.
Ok, so what’s this got to do with wind currents, topography and coyotes?

Let's compare a gentle breeze to water flowing slowly over and around rocks in a mountain stream. The graceful liquid swirls as it makes it’s way lazily over and around obstacles. Sometimes it slow, other times it gains velocity as it pushes through narrow channels. Drop a double handful of Styrofoam beads in the rambling brook, what happens? They first start out as a small mass but soon separate, spreading as the waterway takes them along. As does an odor in a light breeze. Unlike our little stream, air is all around us, it rises and falls, swirls and twists, has few boundaries and many variables. Our landscape around us helps dictate how air moves, this factor is very significant for us as callers.

Most hunters pay special attention to wind direction when setting up a calling stand but may not consider how their delicate bouquet can be carried into places they don‘t want. At least it’s something to think about next time your in the field. Smile
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Any tips to help avoid spreading "dirty air"? Shocked Laughing

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Little Obion
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Wind currents, topography and coyotes. Reply with quote

A little diferent analogy would be to think about all the films you've seen that had rapids in a river. Think about how the water hits those rocks and shoots up and over and around them.

How a narrow rock just splits the water with no whirlpool behind it.

How a large boulder forces the water up and over or off to one side and all kinds of swirling currents around that rock.

Wind works in much the same way . It eddies and swirls and sometimes it just jumps clean over an obstacle.

A hill can actually cause the wind to jump over a small area just over the crest of a hill. Leaving a small area behind you that is devoid of your scent.

The wind can be both an aid and your enemy. It just depends on how it is moving through that setup. It can be used against the predators natural habits and behaviors.

Chet and I have both hunted a variety of terrain features and have discussed a particular type many times.That would be these little mountains along the Tennessee river. We have seen some crazy things happen with the winds in this type of country. We will discuss a few of these happenings and ideas that have struck us over the years in this thread. And if you have a particular type of terrain in mind please ask your questions.

Handloader, you should jump in here too. You have run into some things out there in the west where the winds blow nonstop .

I was set up in a beatiful spot once. Knew where the local group was bedded and how they would leave that area. I had it all planned perfectly. Had enough area in front of me where I could get shots for at least two animals from the group.No way they would try to get behind me because of the very steep hill at my back. To get down wind they would have to cross a hundred acres of open corn field. Big wide bottom with strips of corn left standing for wildlife. Whole valley is surrounded by steep hills.About three square miles in the bottom of this place. This was going to be childs play!

I started in using one of my favorite sounds and within minutes heard the whole group come sliding off the oposite ridgeline just where I thought they would. Just before they crossed the creek they began alarm barking! Wind was blowing straight up the valley betwen us, they were directly cross wind. I am in behind some honey suckle wearing a ghilly and there is no way they could have seen me at that distance in that cover. After thirty minutes of cuss and discuss with this bunch I just gave up and walked straight across the field at them. When I got to the creek I knew what was wrong, the wind was blowing in the oposite direction from my side of the valley. The terrain caused a whirl pool affect in the bottom of that valley because of those very steep hills. And while I am standing there scratching my head in disbelief, they are sitting back up on top of the ridge they had left laughing at me in the way that only coyotes can Sad

L.O.
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Arizona Hunter
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Wind currents, topography and coyotes. Reply with quote

I don't have as many hides under my belt as most of you, but a couple things I've learned from watching calling videos and practical experience is:
try to set up with a cross wind,

spray some bottled coyote urine around me (not on me)

try to sit with a least some elevation

if possible have an open area in front of me for a decoy (and shooting)

and, hide myself in shade, bushes and even set up the ground blind.

Of all these, I still think the wind is the most important. Sometimes critters (coyotes, antelope, elk) see you and know you don't belong in the area, but as long as they cannot catch a scent or see movement they often go on about their business.

Gosh, still so much to learn and getting older every year; better take my wifes advice and hunt more often!
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Little Obion
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Wind currents, topography and coyotes. Reply with quote

Ed Sceery convinced me years ago that the wind can be used just like anything else in our setups. We can use it as cover by choosing a spot where they won't go downwind or even use it as an atractor to place the animal in the right spot for the shot.

Here in the eastern half of the country we should think of wind and how it works as a part of the setup. How we can use it and how the animals will use it. How it relates to the cover they will use to aproach and how it will position them for us. L.O.
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Wind currents, topography and coyotes. Reply with quote

Re: human scent; for the extreme coyote caller only.

Throughout the world there are those "primatives" that still hunt with personal skill being more critical than the impliments they use. Many share one aspect of hunting for food -- they fast for several days before major hunts. Initially anthropologists attributed this behavior as a spiritual or, at least, reverential ritual, but, other opinions are intriguing.

There is a distinct difference in the scent of carnivores as opposed to herbivores according to some. Carnivores are predatory and other animals can scent the difference between the meat eaters and the plant eaters, they say. What this implies is that a varmint caller can be more successful if there is abstinance from meat and fat for a period of time preceeding the anticipated calling. Of course, this may all be hogwash, too and I have been around calling enough to observe that there is very little dogma that can't be challenged effectively.

This thread on wind currents has much to do with masking or diverting the human scent because, we believe, human scent is a warning scent to the wary coyote. Is that because human scent is mainly the scent of the meat eater, the predator? Or, are there other factors. IMO, a good case can be made for abstinence from meat, meat products and fat for maximum effectiveness.

This past two days were spent trying to call mountain lion and making 7 stands for coyote. I prefer calling to the downwind, although, in some cases cross wind was the only option. I had two coyotes approach together fom the downwind, fully in the scent stream and approach to within 20yds before nailing the first one. I had been on a meat fast for six days, something I do when after mountain lion. The total by the end of the trip was four coyotes and one nice bobcat. No lion.

I've tried this enough times to believe there is merit to meat fasting before calling coyotes/bobcats for those of us that prize the action more than hot dogs. I have tried many of the scent masking/attractants and believe it is better to go to the cause of the "foul" scent coyotes detect. I am sure there are a plethora of other factors, but, this one change has made observable differences. And, having a nice steak at the end of the trip is a great reward!

That said, one of my calling acquaintances smokes on stand (!) and has a fairly good success ratio. Go figure. Maybe cigarette smoke is less "filthy" to the coyote than human odor?

Now, excuse me, I need to take a dip of Copenhagen and get back to reloading.
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:03 am    Post subject: Re: Wind currents, topography and coyotes. Reply with quote

Handloader,

A hunting buddy of mine that I go deer hunting with smokes in his stand for deer and moose, and oddly enough when he is smoking he gets deer and moose sometimes walk right next to his stand while he smokes! wtf

I think maybe the smoke acts like a masking scent or something and the animals dont mind it, I mean it is only tabacco (a plant), and it is quite a strong smell so I'm thinking it acts like a cover scent of some sort. Shocked

Dimitri

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Spacedone
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: Wind currents, topography and coyotes. Reply with quote

laughs

lets get to the meat of the matter.

most game animals ie deer and turkeys but including yots dont care what you smell like. there are so many varied scents in the woods at any given time that its impossible for them to even get a good enough wiff of you for your scent to scare them {unless they are hunted hard and often}.

if turkeys dont see you then they could care less what you smell like, they run from movement and color.

deer have a very short term memory. the last ten years me and my friends did a deer sound/smell test.
2 guys hunt only alone and didnt eat meat and used a cover scent and used a covered blind also descented. in ten years they have killed a total of 15 deer counting both hunters.

then we have me and my hunting buddy. we dont stop eating meat and we both smoke and we both drink coffee while we hunt. we sit together and smoke and drink coffee and quietly chat. we normally spend the entire time together. in the last 10 years we have killed a total of 32 deer counting us both.

deer actually walk right up to us and let us shoot them at sometimes 30 feet distance, it is not uncommon for one of us to shoot a deer and another deer in the same group will run 20 yards and stop and turn around and look to see what made the loud noise {303 brit and a rem 270}.

yotes are not afraid of people at all if they are not hunted very hard. i have a rottie kennel with 7 dogs in it and have caught yoptes eating from spilled feed and robbing my trash cans less than 100 feet from my house.

unless your in the great unhunted areas of the world where no people live then smell isnt really a issue. even the scent removers have a scent.

movement and sound are alot more concern than smell.

a smell can travel tens of miles and maybe hundreds of miles depending on the wind.

heck a yotes nose is so sensitive he can smell the thought of you pulling the trigger.

now in hard hunted areas any sound sight or smell that isnt expected will make game go scary.
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Little Obion
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Wind currents, topography and coyotes. Reply with quote

I tend to think more of the coyotes habits and behaviors than my own scent.

The coyote wants to use his nose. I use that in choosing a setup. We want him out of the trash for a clear shot if we can. How we position ourselves in relation to the winds can help a great deal.

Lets say I have a woods running east and west. My wind is coming from the south west. If I position myself on the north west corner, my scent is blowing at an angle out into an open field. The coyote will appear along that woods edge trying to catch the scent of whatever is making the racket and checking for other coyotes. It will follow that edge trying to catch the scent cone.It does not want to go out into the open field.

Sometimes I just want to control where that animal will go for a beginer. I look for a setup out on a point of the woods or in a corner with a fencerow, where the winds are blowing out into a field or pasture. I want to keep that animal in the narrow confines of the point so the newbie won't have to move much. Here a coyote will use the cover to aproach rather than trying to go out into an open field.

In both of these cases I have used the quirks of coyote behavior to position it where I want it. I make fewer mistakes. I don't have to move my weapon more than an inch or two to line up the shot.My head won't be moving because I know where the animal will appear.L.O.
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tbox61
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Wind currents, topography and coyotes. Reply with quote

Handloader and Coyotehunter_1:
Have a question for you. Here in Central Kansas, I hunt areas that are hilly that flow down into river/creek bottoms.

A couple of years ago, the first bobcat I called in and harvested was at a set where I knew everything was wrong when I walked in, but had to get out and call to regain my sanity from a long week at work!

I believe I stumbled into some type of thermal phenomenon that I can't explain.

My stand was halfway down a hill overlooking a creek bottom. When I walked in, the wind was at my back, temperature about 65 degrees, very warm for a November morning in Kansas. When I sat down underneath a cedar tree, the wind was at my back, and also in my face. The temperature in the creek bottom was 10-15 degrees cooler, and the cool air was rising up the side of the hill.

Was the warm air above the hill holding the cool air in, or was I in the Twilight Zone? I called for about 3 minutes and had a coyote and a bobcat come in, and I chose to take the cat.

I am teaching a Predator Calling class in two weeks, and want to try to explain this. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks!
Tim

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coyotehunter_1
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Wind currents, topography and coyotes. Reply with quote

tbox61 wrote:
Quote::
Handloader and Coyotehunter_1:
Have a question for you. Here in Central Kansas, I hunt areas that are hilly that flow down into river/creek bottoms.
I believe I stumbled into some type of thermal phenomenon that I can't explain.
My stand was halfway down a hill overlooking a creek bottom. When I walked in, the wind was at my back, temperature about 65 degrees, very warm for a November morning in Kansas. When I sat down underneath a cedar tree, the wind was at my back, and also in my face. The temperature in the creek bottom was 10-15 degrees cooler, and the cool air was rising up the side of the hill.


This may not be the correct answer but it's possible you were experiencing a temperature inversion.

The National Weather Service explains a little about this subject.
www.wrh.noaa.gov/slc/c...rsions.php

What are temperature inversions?
On most days, the temperature of air in the atmosphere is cooler the higher up in altitude you go. This is because most of the suns energy is converted to sensible heat at the ground, which in turn warms the air at the surface. The warm air rises in the atmosphere, where it expands and cools. Sometimes, however, the temperature of air actually increases with height. The situation of having warm air on top of cooler air is referred to as a temperature inversion, because the temperature profile of the atmosphere is "inverted" from its usual state. There are two types of temperature inversions: surface inversions that occur near the Earth's surface, and aloft inversions that occur above the ground. Surface inversions are the most important in the study of air quality.

How do surface temperature inversions form? The most common manner in which surface inversions form is through the cooling of the air near the ground at night. Once the sun goes down, the ground loses heat very quickly, and this cools the air that is in contact with the ground. However, since air is a very poor conductor of heat, the air just above the surface remains warm. Conditions that favor the development of a strong surface inversion are calm winds, clear skies, and long nights. Calm winds prevent warmer air above the surface from mixing down to the ground, and clear skies increase the rate of cooling at the Earth's surface. Long nights allow for the cooling of the ground to continue over a longer period of time, resulting in a greater temperature decrease at the surface. Since the nights in the wintertime are much longer than nights during the summertime, surface inversions are stronger and more common during the winter months. A strong inversion implies a substantial temperature difference exists between the cool surface air and the warmer air aloft. During the daylight hours, surface inversions normally weaken and disappear as the sun warms the Earth's surface. However, under certain meteorological conditions, such as strong high pressure over the area, these inversions can persist as long as several days. In addition, local topographical features can enhance the formation of inversions, especially in valley locations.



Chet

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tbox61
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:30 am    Post subject: Re: Wind currents, topography and coyotes. Reply with quote

Chet,
Thanks for the response--I am thinking this is exactly what was happening! Now I can speak a bit more intelligently about these types of things!
Tim

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