How do you read wind down range?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by dfanonymous, Apr 5, 2019.

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  1. Clock method

    0 vote(s)
  2. Environmental

  3. Mirage

  4. Guess

  5. Other (explain)

  1. dfanonymous

    dfanonymous Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2016
    Just curious what people are up to with the wind these days. This is with the emphasis on ELR but I do realize many of you are either not into or not able to do that. So there’s a other option of you’re using a flag or something.

    This doesn’t include a kestrel for obvious reasons.
  2. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2015
    It depends on many things for my situations, mostly hunting or shooting steel inside 1 mile.

    While pronghorn hunting there are many times where you will be shooting across big, flat, open plains. I have found wind to be very consistent across areas like this, so as long as there aren't any hills, draws, or other terrain between myself and the target, I will use the kestrel to verify the mirage I'm seeing, and also look at grass, sagebrush, and dust coming up from the animal as it walks.

    In the majority of cases though where there is some terrain between myself and the target, my kestrel is of little use, though I still keep it out, and will explain why later. In these cases, I use my spotting scope to read mirage, this gives me pretty good data usually and is my first go to, then I start to look for anything the environment decides to give me. If there is something blooming, different pollens or any other air pollutants are great. I have taken many shots in light snow, which is about the best wind meter you can get, you get real time visuals of exactly what is happening from one second to the next. As I stated, dust the animal kicks up is great if there is any. Look at trees, grass or bruch between you and the target. One of my last methods, is feel, and by that I don't mean guessing, or mojo or anything. Literally feel. How the air is on my face, I have my kestrel out while down on the gun, and I relate how the air feels on my face to the numbers I get from my kestrel, and wait for the feeling of the wind to line up with the dope I have dialed in my optic, and when it lines up, if the mirage still looks good and nothing looks different environmentally, that is when I send it.

    Also, I usually have my cousin as a spotter to continue watching the wind and tell me when it's good. I have hunted long range solo before, but much prefer to have a trusted spotter right next to me.
  3. SMK1000plus

    SMK1000plus Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2015
    I use a combination of all available of these indicators but, weigh environmental heaviest.
  4. dfanonymous

    dfanonymous Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2016
    I use mirage for getting most of my mid and target range wind.
    I’ve used the old army methods of using trees and bushes to get wind readings and found that to be just short of guessing.

    The kestrel just gives you what’s at your pos but which maybe it many not be all you need and a handy tool but will fall short at extended range when complex winds exist.
  5. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    I will generally use a combination of wind indicators.
    From the moment I enter the range/hunting area I try to determine the prevailing wind speed, variations, and direction. In preparing for the actual shot I will take a reading from my Kestrel and determine the direction with indicator dust at my location, I will then look to any indicators down range such as trees, flies, grass, etc. if possible I will try to get a mirage read at or near the target. I will then aggregate, and weight all these indicators to determine my chosen wind dope. It’s s continuing learning process!!!
    SMK1000plus likes this.
  6. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2016
    Every way you possibly can. Where I'm at there aren't any trees to speak of so we use mirage, grass movement, dust plumes and anything else that might be a useful indicator of velocity or direction. I've come to be very suspicious of all methods when used on complex terrain. Very often we'll get contradictory indicators or opposite indication. My monthly match course has a couple flags that are in locations where you'd think they give a great indication, we've learned to always interpret them to be saying the exact opposite of what they appear to. Those shots are from one hillside, across a valley and then over multiple ridge lines with lots of fingers coming off them. It's only that our winds are basically unreadable and we only get 1 shot per target that nobody has ever run the course clean.
  7. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    Whitetail deer tend not to run off a hillside following a shot unless they have been hit. In fact it's not uncommon to see them sniff the ground where the shot hit.
    Sometimes we pick out a nearby target to send one at first. Otherwise we just go for it and correct as necessary. In other words, we rely on real time sighter information. Thats not to say we ignore the obvious signs, but then not all signs are clearly visable, and fact is there really aren't any experts.
    Today isn't yesterday, and 2 minits from now isn't now.
    Some of the worlds best shooters can be found at the 1000 yd benchrest matches.
    If you go there and watch you will find that the best of them have perfected having all 10 shots in the air at almost the same time.
    10 record shots in under one minit is pretty common.
    That should at least give a clue as to the expert wind reading claims.
    And by the way, while your there look for a wind meter.
    Most important is that at least in PA, virtually all serious long range hunting is done using spotters sitting behind very good optics.
    Fact is everybody I know does the same, and they always have for longer than ive been around.
    Ive personally never held a wind meter in my hand, and would consider them pretty much useless for where/how we hunt due to the type terrain.
    When hunting in that type terrain, you shoot when the opportunity for a clear shot presents itself, and not when you think you have all the right data.
    In other words you could "think" you finally have the data, but now there is no shot.
    Maybe it will stop walking again in another good open spot between the trees, and then maybe it wont, but by then will we need new data?
    Send lead, and if that fails send more, and leave the games for the gamers.