Monday, November 16, 2009

Watching the Wind

Every seasoned deer hunter knows that outside of being in the right spot at the right time, nothing can influence your chances of success more than the wind. Knowing which way it is blowing is absolutely critical in predicting deer travel patterns, choosing an area to hunt and where to place a stand, and perhaps most important, deciding when to take a shot.

Today I'm going to talk about two of the best wind sensors available. Not only are they extremely sensitive, but if you know where to find it, one of them is completely free. Here it is:

In case you don't recognize it, that is a common milkweed seed and coma (the white fluffy part, otherwise known as a floater). In the fall, you can spot mature milkweed pods opening and releasing seeds in overgrown weedy areas. Here is what it looks like in the field:

The seeds grow in a pod that looks like this:

As the pods mature and dry out, they begin to split open:

Releasing hundreds of seeds:

In about ten minutes, I was recently able to collect enough pods that I spotted in an overgrown field alongside the road to fill a three gallon bucket with seeds and floaters (it has a lid to keep them from blowing out). As needed, I stuff about 50 or so floaters (after I've pulled the seeds off) into a pill bottle that I carry in my pocket. I try not to put so many floaters into the pill bottle that it crushes and deforms the fibers. That way, when I pull one out, it puffs up into a nice ball that floats along on the wind for a long time.

Milkweed works great for checking the wind when there are no deer close by, but particularly during bow season, I want to be able to monitor the wind when deer are within bow range. That way I can determine whether I am in danger of being busted and how long I have in order to take a shot. For that, I use a patented weapon-mounted wind sensor that I invented called Tiger Whiskers.

Tiger Whiskers are made from hundreds of micro-thin kevlar fibers attached to a wire twist. They can be attached to a bow stabilizer or rifle barrel to provide continuous, hands-free wind monitoring. I'm currently discussing distribution opportunities with a couple established hunting products manufacturers and hope to have them available in major retailers next fall. Stay tuned for more on that.

Oh, and by the way, when I did a Google search on milkweed, I discovered that it is the only plant that monarch butterflies can lay their eggs on. Apparently, the larvae eat the milkweed plant which contains something that makes the butterflies toxic to birds. So if you find some milkweed and would like to have an ongoing supply of wind checkers and butterflies, you may want to plant some of the seeds in your yard.


Ben G. said...

I always see milkweed every where and never thought of using it to check the wind while hunting I think I will use this next time i go out. Good luck with your tiger wiskers I hope to hear more about them soon.

John said...

I have a set of Tiger Whiskers. I got them at the 2007 ATA how in Atlanta. Are they still available? If so where? Thanks

Pursuit Hunter said...


If you'll shoot me an email at chris.anderson"at" (substitute @ or "at") I'll get you fixed up.

bpitas said...

I actually have a thread loose on the pad on my Summit climber, and it acts as my wind sock. :-)

Anonymous said...

can the tigerwhiskers be put on any bow stabilizer? if so how much would a set be? thanks.

Pursuit Hunter said...

Tiger Whiskers will fit on any stabilizer, They are $7.95 each plus postage.