Stand Placement: Tips for Using the Wind to Hunt Mature Bucks

Wind direction is key to any successful whitetail hunt, but playing the wind is a craft in itself. Best case scenario, you travel to and from your tree stand in a route that is down wind of heavy traffic areas, whether that be bedding areas, food plots, or popular travel routes along the side of a ridge, and your stand is set up where the wind doesn’t blow toward those heavy traffic areas, nor toward where the deer will be traveling from to get there. Easier said than done, right? Although every situation is different, if these tips for using the wind to hunt mature bucks are used correctly, they can be a game changer.


The area that you plan to hunt will always have prevailing winds, depending on the location and the season. For example, summer winds tend to come from the South/Southwest, and when the cold front moves in, the wind turns northerly. Keeping these prevailing winds in mind will help when deciding where to hang treestands.


Whether a mature buck is traveling to a small kill plot in the middle of the woods, a staging area, or an open field, he will approach the food source from a downwind direction. Therefore, it is imperative that you are set up not only down wind of the food source, but down wind of the travel route you think that buck will take to enter the field.


Mature bucks tend to travel the downwind side of bedding areas. He will likely take the route in which the wind will hit him directly in the face. Once you have identified his travel route, position your treestand even further down wind than where he will enter the bedding area. 


Terrain features can distinctively impact wind direction. Whether you are hunting hills, valleys, or bends in a ridge, the wind does some pretty unpredictable things. Therefore, it is important that you take note of thermals and other wind considerations. As the holler floor starts to warm up, heat will begin to rise, causing the wind to move up hill.  And in the afternoon, when the temperature drops, the cold air sinks back to the bottom of the holler, causing the wind to move downhill.

When hunting hillsides or ridges in the morning, hunt above a trail you expect deer to come across. In the evening, hunt below the trail you expect deer to come through.


  • If possible, hang multiple stands to compensate for several wind directions and have multiple entry and exit routes.
  • Always keep in mind the perfect wind for you may not be the wind that mature bucks move in. Setting up your treestand just off of the perfect place and hunting a wind that allows a buck to move with a quartering wind can be the key to get them up on their feet and moving.
  • Although staying upwind is the best way to prevent game from detecting you, cheating the wind with scent control can play a huge role in a successful hunt. Code Blue’s D/Code scent elimination line conceals scent, regardless of wind direction.  Proven by university scientists to destroy seven major types of human odor-causing bacteria, D/Code outperforms other popular scent elimination sprays.  Visit here to learn more.