I believe that most LR hunters try to dope the wind by using natural indicators and also mirage when it is running. I use the military chart as follows, have it on labels so it is always handy:
0 - 3 barely felt, smoke will drift
3 - 5 can barely be felt on face
5 - 8 tree leaves in constant motion
8 - 12 dust and loose paper moves
12 - 15 small trees begin to sway
15 - 20 large trees sway
I also use an electronic windmeter (Kestrel
) but recognize that it only give me info where I am standing, not at the target.
For mirage, you should know how to recognize the boil condition (either no wind, or it is from 12 or 6 o'clock) and that you can make good velocity estimates in up to 12 mph wind. Take a bunch of experience but is very good.
Also like the old trick to drop some dead grass (light stuff) at right angles to wind, point finger at where it lands. Estimate the angle between your body and arm, divide by four and that is the wind speed in mph. Remember that wind moves like water would over rough terrain - speeds up and slows down according to valleys and ridges.
For field shooting the angle the wind is to your line of fire is very important, I tie a bit of wool on a twig and also use the windpuffs that archers use.
No doubt the serious LR target shooters depend heavily on windflags but there ain't any out in the hunting fields. That is why we spend a lot of time shooting steel plates and rocks at unknown distances - trying to get some confidence in wind reading and range estimation, bullet drop is no big deal.