Tips for Hunting Safely in High Winds

Hunters should incorporate many safety practices into their hunting routines, regardless of how hard the wind is blowing. Things such as always letting someone know your hunt itinerary (where you’ll be hunting, when you’ll return), wearing a full-body safety harness when hunting off the ground and carrying a first-aid kit are just a few things you should do on every hunt. Besides never occupying a swaying tree, other practices you should employ to hunt safely and effectively in high winds include:

Trimming branches around your stands is one way to eliminate potential hazards for hunting in high wind.

Trimming branches around your stands is one way to eliminate potential hazards for hunting in high wind.

• Trim branches and limbs away from ground blinds and elevated stands. Sway- ing limbs can not only restrict visibility, but break off and fall on you during high- wind periods.

• Deal with allergies. Windy weather moves allergens, which can cause eyes to water, balance to be affected and other unsafe hunting conditions. Address any allergy issues before going hunting on windy days.

• Evaluate and attend to any noises made by the wind coming into contact with your hunting blind/stand. You’ll be amazed just how many squeaks and other pesky sounds you AND deer will notice on windy days.

• Batten down your equipment haul rope, camouflage skirting, climbing-aid straps and anything else that tends to move around and make noise in heavy winds.

• Test your hunting clothing out during high winds not only to detect and squelch unusual noises, but to see how well it holds up on windy hunts. You might find you need an extra layer during windy hunting conditions.

— Darren Warner