2 Tips for Shooting in the Wind
Posted on October 31, 2012
Many bowhunters pursuing mule deer and antelope, especially on the open prairie lands, will face windy shooting conditions. Whether you should take a shot in the wind varies on two important factors.
The first one is practice. Have you shot a lot in the wind? And with your normal hunting broadheads? If the answer is no to these, then you shouldn’t attempt a shot at a live animal in the wind. You must practice regularly in order to boost your confidence on such shots and so you can better understand the dynamics of wind drifting and how to compensate it. This way you can hit what you’re aiming at.
The second factor is wind speed, specifically how fast is it blowing? You should shoot only in moderate windy conditions. Severe gusts, more than 35 miles per hour, could mean a severely fishtailing arrow that impacts your target inappropriately, causing a possible ricochet and a poor shot. In such conditions, the risks far outweigh the need to shoot.
Determining exact wind speed in the field is nearly impossible, unless you carry a wind meter. Otherwise, you’ll have to come up with a more realistic field method. One way to do this is to pick up some blades of grass, hold them out a foot from our waist, then let them go. The length at which they travel from your toes can help you figure out wind speed. But again, you must practice this technique a lot and use a wind gauge to compare wind speeds with the spread of the grass blades. You can then make a chart and then determine how much arrow drift occurs at any given wind speed with your specific bow setup and broadheads.
Editor’s Note: This excerpt is from a recent issue of Bow and Arrow Hunting magazine.