Elk hunting in crazy winds

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by jpruitt, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. jpruitt

    jpruitt Active Member

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    In Wyoming elk hunting and found some on the last evening at 750 yards. Looked at the wind meter and it is blowing a steady 19 mph and gusting 31, left to right so my cheat sheet says to do 8.5 moa left wind. Then I noticed a problem, the stinkin wind is blowing from right to left where the elk are across the canyon on the other mountain. My question is how do you handle 2 cross winds from different directions at the same time. Not complaining, just trying to learn something here. I am from Mississippi and don't have this kind of winds and no mountains. Thought some of you western boys could give a southern guy a lesson here. So here I am, all ears and waiting for some inspiration. Any and all help here will be put to use next year. Obviously I should have asked this question before going to Wyoming but I made a bad mistake. Thanks in advance for any help. Jim
     
  2. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    How were you determining the wind was opposite on the elks side, not being smart just wanting to help, a lot of veg in this country will look like the wind is coming opposite because it's being held stiff on direction and when the wind lets of it springs and looks like it an opposite wind.
    Breath of animals or snow are what I look for more at times, also a spotter shot should not be out of the question, if elk don't know where its coming from they will usually stand their till the lead cow makes a decision which lets you make a correction and pile one up.
     
  3. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I'm still learning wind but I go with the wind where I'm at. If you think about it the bullet will be affected first by the wind where you are, then there will be a transition point then into the wind blowing the other way. If you shoot enough you can learn to cheat the adjustment a little So what I have learned the wind down range is just a guess.

    I have a 800 yard target that I practice with a lot which is down one canyon and across another that is perpendicular and there is always a left to right wind drift in that canyon. On a still day I get about a 4 inch impact to the right. If there is wind at my bench and whatever it is doing will reflect on the target which has proven to me that the wind where I'm at is dominate.

    Still learning and at best the wind is tricky. Just need to shoot a lot when it's blowing. If the wind is blowing hard I don't shoot at game at distance.
     
  4. sbhooper

    sbhooper Banned

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    If the wind is that erratic, why are you even considering a shot? Get into a more reasonable range in conditions like that. Worry about hunting and not just shooting and take into consideration the welfare of the animal that you are about to fling lead at.
     
  5. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    He did not take the shot and is asking for help understanding the condition and what would it would take to make that shot. He did the absolute right thing and is looking for answers to improve his skills not have someone chastise him for something he did not do.

    Asking questions is a good thing and the conditions he was in are absolutely huntable, often times those winds while strong are much more stable to shoot in than you think, I would encourage the OP to do some shooting while you have a chance to in those conditions and learn them, that why you see a lot of us talking about shooting rocks, were out learning how to shoot in our conditions!
     
  6. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Why are you putting a man down for asking an honest question? He made a good choice and elected to pass on the shot and realized he needed more knowledge and practice. His post will lead to people learning for all that read it. That is what forums are for not putting down a guy that has an honest question.

    I take offence when other choose to impose their personal abilities or personal limits on others. If you choose to stalk in closer that is fine. It is a viable option we all use if we can. But in elk country sometimes that is just not possible. With practice, time and the right choice of bullet this is a very doable shot. I agree with BnG that this could be a case where a spotter shot after you dial in your best shooting solution may be in order. Elk in wind tend to stay put and the chance of this is very good.

    Jeff
     
  7. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Jim there is no way we could figure this unless we were there. But I will offer some things that come to mind. If the elk were there and had been there for a while it was probably to escape the wind. So wind right at the animal will probably have little to no effect on a good long range high BC bullet. So I would concentrate on the wind at the rifle. Then consider crossing the canyon the wind up and in the middle will be even higher. So my best guess without being there would be to dial for a FV wind a few MPH above average wind you have been monitoring. Then go for a spotter shot like BNG suggested. If they spook no harm done. If not and you are close on your initial corrections, make a quick final correction if needed and send it. If you are way off (more than 2 moa) then I would pass.

    750 yards with a good rifle and bullet in high wind is doable. In a case like this the high BC bullets are your friend. Another option, if possible, would be to change location to get the wind closer to a head wind to narrow the amount of drift. Bedded elk in high wind are usually there for a reason and less apt to move. Plus with all the movement from the wind they are less apt to see your movement if you change position.

    If you can not practice this type of shot then maybe it would be possible to hunt with someone that does. Experience and practice here are very important. Someone to help with the dial in that has done it before would be great.

    Also this is where a good 338 will be your friend.:)

    Jeff

    edit to add wind indicators for this shot:

    blowing snow?
    tip tops of trees below the shooter position?
    breath on the elk?
    vegetation close to the elk?
    with good optics look for the elk hair to ruffle in a gust. ( but I have a feeling wind at the elk was much less than this)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  8. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I got beat buy the wind several times and concur with Broz. I missed on speed goats,no wind at me and wind hard to detect in sage brush across canyon,cost me a large one.Was using 257Wby.I started using my elk rifle just for wind, which about cut in half hold for the 300 gr. 338 NM. Also lucky and bear hunt and access spots I hunt so have shot at same spots I hunt a few times.
     
  9. No Fear in Accuracy

    No Fear in Accuracy Well-Known Member

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    If you are not sure how fast is the wind or where is the wind blowing between 600 to 800 yards then you can shoot at a stump, or a small object about 100 yards in front or behind the animal and you judge the distance where the bullet hit.
    Then you adjust the windage or hold over within 15 seconds, and shoot the animal. Sometimes you may need 2nd attempt to shoot at the object to ensure that the shot is the same as the first shot.
    Sometimes, the animal doesn't noticed or heard the bullet impact in soil, stump.etc...
     
  10. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Len needs a bigger ban hammer. We've picked up a troll that won't stay stay down.
     
  11. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Harper, he made that post before I banned him. He is finished on LRH.
     
  12. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    You deserve to draw ever tag you apply for this year. lightbulb
     
  13. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Thank you!
     
  14. Red Sparky

    Red Sparky Well-Known Member

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    Here is what I do to think of wind deflection. First I think of wind like water in a stream. Look at the surrounding terrain to figure where you would find eddies, ripples, slack, strong current, etc. that would be in line of your bullet. You should have time to read vegetation, mirage, rain, snow, birds flying in the air, blowing dirt or anything else to help you figure out what the winds are doing.

    Now where is the wind that will effect your bullet the longest. If the wind will effect your bullet for 500 yards from the left and then change from the right for the last 250 use the 500 yard wind. You say the correct adjustment would be 8.5 MOA? So if the other wind is 180 degrees of the first wind you may only need 7 MOA. I don't feel like doing trigonometry tonight to figure out the difference of two vectors.

    But what I am trying to say is the wind from the left will effect your bullet for 2/3 of the time and if the wind is the same force from the right for the last 1/3 you will hit left if you use the 8.5 MOA for the whole distance.

    Now the wind may only be blowing from the left for 250 yards and then from the right for the last 500. So if you hold the 8.5 MOA left you will hit far left from the wind from the right for 500 yards.

    Try to figure it out the best you can and take a test shot like stated in other post.