How do you judge wind

IMO something often overlooked is target SHAPE. A 4" disc is easier to hit than a 4" diamond but harder than a 4" square. When practicing wind judgement IMO it's important to make it hard enough, but not so hard you can't get hits. What I'm trying to say is that concrete feedback is better than a miss or splash. I watch through my scope and see a lot of missed spots when a berm is 10+ feet behind the targets. Someone will call miss left but really it was a skinned miss on the right running with the wind.

My favorite target is a 20" gong with a 3" flapper. When I'm shooting alone I can catch all my shots because 20" is >2MOA out to about 700 yards - it lets me combine calling wind and range together with the small hole while giving easy to see feedback on every shot. Set that thing at a random distance and bang away.

I'll also hang strip targets that are roughly 4"x12"; if you hang them wide it puts a premium on dialing the drop/ gives you a lot of wind to work with to confirm drops if the wind is changing, and if you hang them vertically it puts a premium on wind call precision. Two ways to practice with one target. Squares you can put a hole in a corer and one in the middle of a side to get a square and a diamond look. Diamonds become progressively less forgiving on wind as your drop changes, so it rewards you for nailing the easier part (distance) in the same way a hunting look rewards you on the body of the animal. Basically the heart/lungs are wider than tall, so if you can hit the vertical nuts on you actually gain a couple inches of wind to work with.

Most 1000+ yard ELR targets I've seen are big gongs or big squares, but something as simple as turning a square 45* will drastically change the difficulty of a shot if you want to make things more interesting.
I am sure there are people that are very good at reading wind. Much better than I am. What I do know is guys have trouble reading wind with flags posted all the way along the range. Now throw in a flagless shooting position across a valley or even worse a canyon. I don't think it is possible to read that wind. You can guess the wind. In my opinion the only way to get an accurate wind call is to take a sighter on a rock or something that will show bullet splash near the target. Adjust your hold and make the shot. If the animal doesn't stick around, so be it. It was great to see it.
In all the years I have hunted, I haven't seen many animal stick around after a shots or two has been fired. Now over the years I have made several shots out to 500yds taking animals. Held to those distances. Now I was hunting Ground squirrels a great many years back from 200yds to 400yds. They are only about 2" wide at best. Not much room for error, and easy to miss. Those are targets to work on to get your eye in shape. If your groups are an 1/2" @ 100yds you have missed at 400yds. So skill and some good luck comes into play here. Getting your ammo to group in under 1/2" @ 100yds comes into play.
Now I have purchase the equipment to dope the scope with. Haven't tried it it yet. I will use ground squirrels and P. Dogs to final my practices in shooting longer ranges. Yes deer and other animals are larger, but placing the bullet on the money doesn't really work by taking sound shot to start with. That's what I would call it. That will make some people mad, but so be it.
I know it's being done at the ranges, but in the field I have to question it a lot. Many can't even shoot at 100yds.
I will go a long with there a lot into making long distance shoots, and most can't do it.
I'll read and follow this. I find it very interesting, learning.
Have the privilege of looking out a window all day long for months a year with an accurate wind reading from instraments in the rigging. Couple decades in, I'm good up to 40 on water.... but usually hunt on land in the winter. Started hunting where I salmon fish a little more, thar helped. Got to not only get better with how wind moves across alders, berry flats and grass but also see how canyons and ridges accelerate wind. Did some similar things with time afield in college in the high desert, but changing seasons always messed with the observations. Frozen sage with hardened snow doesn't give much to observe between calm an 30.

Could wax poetic about how I judge the wind, but it's not as important as how we bear it.

That answer came to me about a decade+ ago on a road trip. College buddy and I had done a barn stormer of a sleep deprived road trip across several western states. Some point around dawn we were hauling tail through Kirby Allen's home town and the wind was ripping. We'd been stuck behind a jeep jk that was trying to turn turtle talking about how next time we have a bad idea road trip we'd stop and try and see aps rifles in the flesh. Outta nowhere a big old sedan blew past us and the poor jeep in front of us. Dont recall what it was it moved so quick, maybe a Cadillac cts or some such thing. At any rate, it seemed unphased by the wind that was taunting our camry and trying to murder the jeep in front of us. My buddy remarked he'd figured out why the Allen mags existed. Big, heavy, sleek, and driven as fast as possible... that's how you beat it.

Sleek heavy bullets driven as fast as possible cover a multitude of wind judging sins.
No they don't. I'd sure like to see that kind of accuracy at a mile though! One of my buddy's averages maybe a volleyball sized group average with his 338NM, can't fathom shooting ~ 4" at a mile that would be cool to see. We had a 4" popper at 800 and 6" at 1000, but they were taken down recently for a gas gun match and they put IPSCs in their place. We also had golf balls at 430 off a hanging frame with string, but those have not been put back up either since the last match.
Well point is that 1 shot into the dirt at a clay bird is worth a whole lot of them at a paper target or a gong plate when zeroing.
For some of us its simply finding out where your bullet hit.
And a splash in the dirt will tell you that.
Hopefully one more is all thats needed.
But again it all depends upon the mindset of the shooter.
Seeing the hit might be ok, but knowing what you did in order to do that is even more important ?
There is no doubt that techknowledgy is a wonderful thing.
But the fact is that we came from a far behind place and won WW2 against 2 well prepared and determined adversaries.
And we havent won one since, regardless as to how far weve come from a technical standpoint.
And thats due to mindsets.
How many more comparisons are necessary in order to drive home a point about mindsets?
Whats wrong about ( gettin R done ) ?
I don’t even remember the details I posted towards the beginning but look at the picture of us at the shooting line, how much wind would you use for all the folks that said its all about the conditions at the muzzle - let me help look at the flag.

the targets in the second picture if you can see the white specks in the 2400 yards zone - the trees were thrashing. So at the muzzle the usa flag is hanging doing nothing yet on the mountain ridge if observed thru a spotter the tree were getting some good wind. 16 mph wind at full value to be honest. So your theories aren’t really gospel as some are try to believe.