GameKeepers Emag

Gamekeepers Winter 2015

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Page 13 of 155

12 Many of you may have witnessed this escalation or decline in deer movement and not known why it was hap- pening. We've all had days, even a week or more when you have to admit, it was tough and deer sightings were rare. If you hunt long enough you'll definitely experience a lull. Then all of a sudden deer appear as if God opened up the "drain plug" on a sink full of whitetails and there are deer everywhere! Unfortunately, just as abruptly, they can myste- riously vanish again. It's not hocus-pocus; it's atmospheric air density that trig- gers this activity. More to the point, it's the rapidly rising or falling barometric pressure that precedes or follows a weath- er front that seems to show the biggest impact. Anytime the barometer is moving is a time you want to be in the woods. You may have heard your weather-person mention the terms "low-pressure" or "high-pressure." This terminology simply refers to increased or decreased barometric pressure within a weather system. If the air molecules above the earth's surface are not as dense, the result will be a decrease in barometric pressure. The resulting low-pressure system is known to ush- er in clouds, rain and/or snow. High pressure on the other hand, tends to be clear or very few clouds, low humidity and fair weather. A whitetails' inner ear works very much the same way a barometer works. In fact, it's said that ancient man also had the ability to better sense these changes. Our modern prob- lem being, if you're watching your barometer at home…you're too late. Instead, you must anticipate the movement by predicting when weather fronts will arrive and leave your hunting area. On the leading edge and tail edge of the front the barometer will fall or rise – that's when you want to "be in the tree." A high, stable barometer is also good hunting. After com- piling our results, whitetails seem to move best when the pressure is between 29.90 and 30.30 inches with the best movement occurring at the higher end of that range, around 30.10 to 30.30 inches. I've also seen this with mule deer and pronghorn and it's likely true with many other animals. A lot of the "high pressure" fronts will come with wind. Numerous trophies are shot immediately after sustained high winds have died down. We mentioned wind before – I'm not sure, are the whitetails just avoiding the "nor'east- er" or sensing the barometric change, probably both. When a low pressure system arrives, whitetails can stay bedded for long periods, sometimes a day or more, until the weather breaks. © BGSmith Barometric Pressure and Whitetail Movement continued

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