Access Strategy, Thermals, and Wind Direction

Show Notes

On this episode of the Nine Finger Chronicles, Dan is solo and talks about his access route strategy, using thermals, and playing the wind. Dan breaks down how he access's some if his favorite stand locations in both "Big Woods" and "River Bottom". He explains in detail how he uses the terrain in his favor and not walking through areas that hold deer. Dan talks about his "90 degree" rule that he uses when reverse engineering his access routes and stand locations. Then, once in the stand, he discusses the importance of knowing the thermal drive and how that will react with the terrain and the predominate wind directions. This is a very detail oriented episode that you will be sure to enjoy.  

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Go wild is a free social community created for and by hunters. This means that unlike mainstream social media, your trophy pictures won't be censored. They're encouraged. As you spend time on go wild, you will earn awesome rewards such as gift cards. Free swag and big discounts on brands like Garmin and Vortex.

You will even earn 10 just for signing up. Visit DownloadGoWild. com and sign up today.

What's up, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the nine finger chronicles podcast. I'm your host, Dan Johnson. And today we're going to be talking about access routes, how to access the tree or the [00:01:00] area that you plan to hunt. After you've maybe scouted it, after maybe you've done your e scouting, boots on the ground scouting maybe it's a stand that you've, that has had good success throughout the years, but maybe isn't as locked tight as you would like it.

And so today we're going to be talking about access routes. And it's just going to be me. And so basically this is my approach to access routes. This is not going to be a long episode, but it will be very detailed. And if you've ever listened to me on the wired to hunt podcast, if you've ever listened to me talk in detail about it on the.

Nine Finger Chronicles podcast. I am an access nut. It is all I think about. I almost reverse engineer every tree stand that I, or a tree [00:02:00] or location that I. That I find like I want to put a tree stand there and then I reverse engineer the access route because sometimes you can find a lot of sign in a certain area, but the once you get to that area, the wind will be wrong or you need a rare wind or in order to get there, you're walking through several You're walking betting areas or thickets where deer might like to hang out and you're doing more harm than good to get it getting into those areas.

So I'm just going to shoot from the hip like I always do. And I'm going to talk about access routes, but before I do I'd like to just take a moment. I'm going to really. quickly run through all the partners here on the nine finger chronicles. If you're looking for a saddle, go check out tethered. They have all the accessories you need all the products you need.

And if you're looking to become a better saddle hunter, go check out tethered. They have tons of information, tethered nation. com wasp archery wasp makes some of the best, [00:03:00] in my opinion, some of the best broad heads on the market. Most of their heads are still made in America, very durable. And man, if they're.

For me, given my arrow setup, given my draw weight anything broadside at 40 yards is getting a pass through, man. I'm smoking them. And so wasparchery. com, I do have a discount code NFC20, and that's going to save you 20%. Vortex Optics, man, just an amazing company with an awesome VIP warranty. Be sure to check out their new youth binos.

I just got a pair in and I get, I... I gifted it to my daughter. She really thought that was cool. And now she has a pair of binoculars to take with her when we start to go on our hunts. And, rifle scopes, red dots, spotting scopes, range finders, binos, you name it, they have it. VortexOptics. com.

Code Blue Scents. Anything from scent elimination products to synthetic urine to real deer urine to mock scrape kits [00:04:00] to laundry detergent deodorants. CodeBlueScents. com. Go check that out. Tons of great products. Their discount code NFC two zero the Woodman's pal, this this little tool this habitat tool has been around since the forties.

It is a very durable. Very sharp. I guess you would call it like a machete. And what do I use it for? I use it to chop down limbs and cut shooting lanes and cut down vines and hack grass and bushes to set up trail cameras. So it's really just an awesome tool to keep in your pack and keep in your truck.

So that way. If you need something like that, you have something like that. So go check out go check that out. And then Huntworth, man I'm coming up here on about two weeks until I leave for my Western, my first Western trip of the year, I'm going to go chase mule deer in South [00:05:00] Dakota, and I am going to be draped up and dripped out.

As they would say in Huntworth, and I'm really looking forward to testing their gear this year. If you want to find out more information about Huntworth, please go to Huntworth. com. I believe it's Huntworth gear. I'm going to double check that here real quick. Hunt, huntworthgear. com and take a look at all of the products that they have.

They have everything from your hot warm season to your mid season to all the way to the late with their heat boost technology for perfect for the late season. So go check that out. Huntworthgear. com. And then last but not least is the new company that I've created and that's fullsneakgear. com and it's an apparel line.

And right now I have the first and only Nine Finger Chronicles hat, so go check that out. I also have like I think three t shirts. Here's what's coming down the pipe I don't know when it might be after hunting [00:06:00] season because here pretty soon my focus is going to shift to hunting and so I will be I'm gonna be focusing on hunting but As soon as I get back, or maybe even before, maybe I'll get them posted for a pre order, stocking caps, hoodies, a long sleeve shirt, and maybe another really kick ass t shirt coming down the pipe for you guys right before Christmas be sure to check out Full Gear FullSneakGear.

com. Other than that, let's talk about access routes, man. Like I said in the intro, access routes, in my opinion, are by far the most important part of a deer hunting strategy. And why is that? You don't want to walk where deer are at, right? You don't want to spook the deer before you get to Get to the location that you're planning to hunt, whether that's a ground blind, whether that's on the ground, whether that's in a [00:07:00] tree or, hanging from a saddle you need to make sure that your access route has the least amount of impact on the environment where these deer live.

And so I'm going to, I'm going to run through a couple scenarios that I hunt. What I would call egg country and big timber. Okay, and so I have a couple farms. My main farm, it's pretty big and it has both ag, what I would call an ag that, that timber, that timbered finger split in pastures and river bottom ground.

And then I would also, I'd also say the one part of that is big woods. It's big timber, big block, like 300 acres of timber and deer like to live in that as well. And so I think that's where I'll start off is this big block of timber. And I'm gonna, I'm gonna start by saying this when it comes to access routes, [00:08:00] very rarely do I get to access something in a straight line.

Like very rarely am I walking straight to a tree stand. I'm always having to take some kind of 90 degree angle or loop in somewhere to avoid maybe a bedding area or to avoid my scent going into a certain area. And so I really I rarely find myself walking straight to a tree stand. Typically I have this 90 degree rule that most of the time I'm able to I'm able to implement on some of these areas.

And I'll start off with this 90 degree rule on the big, this big timber piece that I have. And that is I parked my truck on a road. immediately it gets into big timber, right? And so I will [00:09:00] walk into the timber and I will drop down to the absolute lowest point. And you, what I really like to happen in this scenario is, and it, a lot of it depends on what side of a ridge I plan to hunt.

If I'm, if I am If there's a north wind I want to be on the south facing slope. If there's a south wind, I want to be on the north facing slope. It just makes sense that as the wind is coming over the terrain and dropping down into a drainage or a low spot, all that sense coming there, the deer can walk the military crest and cruise without being skylined and be able to smell everything that is high without actually being able to see it.

That's how deer operate through this type of terrain. Very rarely are they walking on the high spots. Very rarely [00:10:00] are they skylined until they get to a point where they're either ridge jumping or they're coming into a some kind of acorn flat or food source, which. Could be a field or an ag field across the road.

But what I like to do in this, in these types of scenarios is drop down to the lowest point. Walk the lowest point until I get to the part of the ridge where I have a tree stand or I feel like there's that trail or that military crest where the deer really like to travel. Cause usually there's a trail there and usually that's where you'll find some sign.

And I really. I really like that. And I, especially for travel corridors now, maybe in a staging area that might work if you're jayhooking into it bedding area might work if you're jayhooking or pulling into [00:11:00] it, but on these travel corridors, I really like to walk right up right alongside the ridge once you start getting closer to the point as the gradient starts to go lower.

To the crick or the low part in this big woods, I take a hard 90 degree 90 degree turn. Right or left, depending on what side of the ridge and what side the wind direction is coming at that point. My, the wind is usually right in my face as I'm taking this low spot. I'm turning right into where I want to set up or where I have a tree stand or a ground blind or wherever, whatever the case may be.

And then. What happens is, and usually, and sometimes it's hard, because usually there's some type of edge there, like it's open timber meets a thicket. And that's another place. You start stacking your chips good travel corridor thick. Maybe there's a spur [00:12:00] ridge that leads up there as well.

But. I am taking a 90 degree turn. I'm walking with the wind into my face and I'm setting up somewhere on the crest to where or somewhere where I can shoot below me and then there might be some deer activity above me. There might be some deer activity below me, but usually in a scenario like that, the wind is blowing to me when the sun hits me, my thermal start to rise.

So I have A scenario where the predominant wind is not fighting the thermal pole or put, the thermal pole pulling it up or the drag, 'cause my predominant wind is taking care of that Anyway. Now the best type of scenarios that I've found are when that that wind direction matches the thermal and then deer.

May catch your ground scent, but [00:13:00] usually what happens and this is in my experience, they may sniff it and they're not getting a huge whiff of you and it's not like they stop and they turn around, right? Something in the air has to get them. Usually it's not necessarily ground scent. And so by then I usually like I'm walking through some sort of shooting lane.

To get to that stand location. And so if a deer does smell me, he does stop in and it is a shooter, a deer or a doe or whatever I'm after that day, then I can, I'll have an opportunity to shoot them before they, they get downwind of me. And that's how aggressive I like to be in my stand locations, but that's an idea of how I.

those types of scenarios. Now let's throw a crazy scenario in there where let's say thermals are, it's a. It's a evening hunt, sun's going down, [00:14:00] thermal shift or in a morning hunt and thermal shift and they're going down. I'm still going to access that area the same way. I'm still taking the low point with my I'm taking the low terrain, taking a hard 90 degree turn right into the wind.

My face is in the wind and then I am setting up probably lower. than the trail. Let's say this is a north facing ridge later into the season where the sun is lower, and let's say it's a north facing ridge, it's a south wind, I'm coming in from, let's say it all slopes down into the drainage or to the low spot, which would be to the west, I'm taking the low spot Up with kind of a quartering the wind kind of hitting me on the sides, quartering when I'm coming up the ridge on a south slope and the thermals will drag the [00:15:00] north facing slope and my thermals will drag down to the low spot.

So what we have here is the terrain then is actually dictating the movement and most of the time the access or the. The wind will go downhill especially the thermals will pull downhill if it's a if it's an okay wind, the wind will follow terrain, and it just pushes everything down into that into that low spot.

Most of the time. Actually, you can feel a little bit of that wind. You're walking into it. The predominant wind may be to your shoulder, but you can feel the terrain forcing the wind in your face. So then I will take that 90 degree turn with my face into the wind and I will set up below that crest knowing that the deer are going to be working that north [00:16:00] facing slope and I don't want my thermals to be pulled down to them.

So if it's a, if it's a scenario where it's a a south facing slope and on a north wind, the sun's going to hit my thermals are going to go high and the predominant wind is going to push them away. That's the best case scenario. But there are times when you need you have a south wind on a north facing slope, And your thermals are going to be being pulled down quite a bit because the sun may not reach you until later in the morning.

And then I want to set down lower. Other things about accessing Big Woods, man. I think, I honestly think Big Woods is easier to access if you can, if you have the ability. To follow the low spots and stay in the low spots where big woods, in my opinion, get really tricky is the distance [00:17:00] between ridges.

Okay, if you have a really big ridge and you're able to walk that low spot. And then you hook up and there's a big distance between ridges and it, maybe it's a gradual or maybe the, there's a river or a Creek system that runs in between there, that water will help dictate thermal pole.

That water will help dictate when the wind, it may assist or if the water, if the, let's say the water is running west. But the wind is coming out of the West. There might be some disruption there. What, which may cause some problems, but I don't necessarily like to sit on a, let's say the wind's coming out of the West.

I'm sitting on the East facing slope. There is another, a ridge real close. It's a tight, it's a tight, maybe a real small drainage. It's tight in there. What I've found is [00:18:00] that you start to get some cycling. Of sense where you're your scent profile will come through, it'll hit the ridge and especially if it's a cloudy day or something like that, there's going to be zero thermal pull up and thermal will probably will more than likely be pulling down.

And so what you have is you're the wind direction is pushing it into the wind. It's sinking at the same time and then being sucked back to you. And it's just cycling in that. Now, sometimes that's good if you are below the military crest, but other times that whole drainage can be blown out if the wind shifts, maybe from the, to the north or to the south a little bit, and it starts to blow in one direction.

And in the past, I have found that if I use that. that low spot has an access, [00:19:00] my scent will stay there very long periods of time. And so in a scenario like that, I don't like to come high to low. I like to come low to high. The very first scenario I talked about where I park on the road, that's high that's high to low, but in a scenario like that, I like to come low to high.

That way. I know that above me is not disrupted, but everything below me, I can assume has been disrupted and that the deer are going to be working their Outro not going to be traveling in the very lowest spots. I very rarely see that they're going to be on the ridge somewhere, right?

They're not walking in the lowest spots. They may cross there in the rut, or wherever. But if it's, an average pre rut set where there's not a lot of chasing going on, the deer aren't chaotic, then I feel like there is a, it's a benefit to come low. [00:20:00] Go from low to high and then take that 90 degree turn into your tree stand location.

So I hope that makes sense other things that I am Really that I

look for when I'm scouting to learn about how to access some of these big woods is Dead areas and so through scouting I learned hey, there's no oak trees It's wide open timber deer may not be using this they may not be using this terrain because there's no reason for them to be there.

Number one, it's right open, wide open. Number two, it's skylined. It would skyline them. And number three there's no food, right? So there's no reason to be there. Usually, I'm not saying all the time, but usually there's also no sign. In these spots. And so what's that tell me? That's a perfect place to walk through.

And so that at that point, it goes against [00:21:00] the whole theory of staying low to high and Usually the low spots are a little thicker. And so what I'll do on a scenario like that would be I'm walking and more than likely it will be a morning hunt. All right, where it's dark, it's more difficult to see the deer.

Might be up in the up in those and some of the other flats and then they'll work their way back down to the points where it's usually thicker where there's beds and things like that. And so what I'll do is I will walk.

Through those high spots through those dead areas, and then I'll drop down off of the ridge. Sometimes I take a right a 90 degree turn. Other times I have the wind to my back blowing into. That spot or into the low spots and I'll set up above the military [00:22:00] crest what I just described there would have been a scenario where it's a south facing slope in a north wind and the wind is to my back.

It's blowing into the timber, potentially causing harm that, in my opinion, is a bit of a risk. But once I get into the tree stand, sun starts to come out, whether it's partly cloudy, whether it's full blown sun the risk comes when there's, it's an overcast day and maybe the thermals aren't pulling as hard and they'll pull straight down, but you're not really worried about that, in my opinion, because In a scenario like that, the movement is going to be either east west, west east, or let's say north east to southwest, or in an X, and what you're doing is you're really setting up in the middle of that X, and you're walking that dead area and hoping That there's no deer [00:23:00] there, so that's a risk as well.

But on a sunny day, what you get yourself into is a scenario where you have a south facing slope. The predominant north wind is coming right to your back. You set up and your thermals are pulling up again. That's a risky access route, but it is a what I like a lock tight, a hundred percent.

Thermal pull on that tree stand location. And man, you can get a I love scenarios like that because it's a really early morning. Like it, you can sit in that stand location late into the morning. Now I'm not an all day. I don't sit all day sometimes. And let me get into this before I go into the egg portion in the river, bottom ground portion of this.

And that is deer. They move around at dark and it, like first light and last light. And so that's also when you're moving, right? You're getting into the [00:24:00] tree, right before daylight, or you're getting out of the tree right at last light. And my guess, and this is what I used to do before I became really anal retentive about my access routes, is I would walk straight lines right back to my truck.

Unfortunately, that doesn't work. You're gonna be spooking, whether you know it or not, whether it's right now, or whether it is an hour from now when the deer come through, you're gonna be bumping deer at some point. I take the same exact access route out. As I do in and yes, it's a little bit more difficult.

Yes. It usually means I'm humping terrain. I'm dropping down and then going up and then going down to get back to my truck. And it's not easy, especially when you're tired and you've been on maybe like a 10 day rut bender. And at the end, you just want to walk straight back to your truck because it could potentially be easier, but then that sit is jeopardized or that, that stand location [00:25:00] is jeopardized.

It starts to get burnout and the deer just stop. Moving through it during shooting hours, or you're gonna bump a shooter or something like that. So I always take the same way out as I do coming in into that, whether that is a morning or an evening hunt. Now, if the wind shifts, you have to have a backup plan on how you're going to get out of that.

Tree stand because transferring into this river bottom ground. I have a stand, believe it or not, that it's really flat. There's, it's on a river bottom. But when I have a north wind, I'm on the curve of a creek. And my north wind gets sucked right down into this creek and gets pulled away from me.

It's a beautiful thing. It's one of my favorite stand locations. Getting into it requires a little effort and I'll talk to that here about that in a second. But on a south wind, check this out. On a south wind, it hits that riverbank, [00:26:00] blows Up and along with thermals on a sunny day and that updraft where that, that, that air current hits a river bank.

I'm right on the river bank or on that creek bank. My, my scent just gets shot right up in the air. And if it's sunny outside or it's even partly cloudy, my thermal dude, I've had deer. Downwind to me in a scenario like that on a south wind, and they don't even, they don't even look up. They feel so comfortable in that scenario, and unfortunately in that scenario I've, I haven't killed any deer out of there.

There's been good deer spotted, but I haven't had the opportunity to shoot anything out of there yet, but I know someday I will. As long as I have access to that farm, someday I'm going to shoot a slammer out of that stand, and that's why that stand doesn't move. And it blows up and it blows, eventually it blows into a field [00:27:00] and dude nothing gets me in, in that stand now, walking into these river bottom ground, this river bottom ground can get get tricky, especially if crops are out, if you're walking through a middle of a field, there is a chance, but usually there, There is some kind of terrain feature that you can dip into, whether it's just a low spot in the field, a low spot in a field.

Maybe it's just a foot, but at, 200 yards away that foot, you might not be able to notice that little drop off. And there's a lot of places where, you look at a field and from the road, it looks flat. But what you'll notice is way at the back of the field, there might be a fence line with some trees in it, and you're just seeing the top of the trees.

And so what looks like a fat, a flat field, the deer, they know those low spots, [00:28:00] and they're able to navigate those low spots without without being seen. And so you should also take advantage of those low spots in flat fields. And usually what happens is when there's a flat spot or a low spot in a field that meets a brushy or timbered area, that typically means deer movement and where deer pop out into fields generally.

There's a good sign there that allows you to say, okay hell there's deer here. I need to set up. Take that into consideration as well. So river bottom ground. Okay. I'm going to talk specifically about the tree stand that I shot my deer in 20, was it 21? Yeah, 2021. Really wide buck that I got trail camera pictures of and then moved in on them.

And so this is another example of the 90 degree rule, but it takes place [00:29:00] really far away, right? That 90 degree turn takes place really far away. So imagine the letter L and. You go down and then to the right, and that's how you draw the letter L. Well, the bottom right part of the L is the high ground, and it eventually, that, it takes a turn to the north, and it goes into the river bottom.

To the west of that is a pasture or a field, and in a scenario like that, I am not walking the bottoms. Just because. Most of the time when I access or when I'm walking in to the tree stand, I'm assuming the deer are bedded to where there's some sort of military crest in there that they're sitting on or bedding in to where they could potentially smell me if I got too close, but I'm The but they could never see me, [00:30:00] right?

And so I stay far away from that finger. And so I'm walking through the middle of this field. Sometimes it actually is the high ground, but most of the time the deer are still bedded that time of day. Now in the rut, it gets a little tricky because really there's chaos everywhere. I still abide by the same rules, but I feel like the fact that the deer are do I put this, the deer are, they care less that time of year, they're being pushed.

The does are being pushed. The bucks are doing the pushing. It gets real crazy. So I'm in the middle of this field. I'm basically walking that same shape. Of the field, but further away from it at the high point of it in the middle of this field. Then about 300 yards away. Imagine this being a south wind at the very top of the L.

Then the terrain, the low spot. [00:31:00] So to each side of it is a high spot, right? And then that eventually leads. To a river bottom or an ag field in this case at the bottom and then that ridge comes to a point, right? And so what I do is I walk to the bottom of that L, I turn up with my With the wind to my back.

And this is a risk, especially in an afternoon hunt, it could potentially be depending on how close you're walking to any type of bedding areas. But in a morning hunt, it is. It's really risky because not only do you have thermal pull down, But you also have you, you also, the deer could potentially be on their feet in this scenario, but I killed mine in the afternoon.

So when this to my back, I'm walking at that point, I have to visualize where the tree is that I want, right? Because [00:32:00] once I break that timber line and I'm out of the field into the timber, I need to walk straight out. To my stand location. I don't want to be going back and forth and creating a larger scent profile For all of these deer to smell I want the smallest scent profile possible So I stay in a straight line and I walk from the timber edge right to my tree stand location At that point I'm walking downhill a little bit I get to the tree stand location.

I You know, I climb up in my tree and in the morning hunt, when it is risky, check this out, just like everything else, I'm on a north facing slope, but with a south wind, the thermals will hit me. They may not hit the ground right away, but they hit me because I'm higher in the tree. And the deer movement is going to be, it's been above me and below me.

So it's it's a really good spot [00:33:00] above me. I don't really have to worry about it unless potentially there's a. A ground scent snafu there, and somehow they're extra jumpy. I wear and I might as well talk about this right now. One thing that I have seriously, I seriously believe helps with ground scent is a product like a nose jammer.

Nose jammer is a, it's a cover set. And it's basically vanilla. So when a deer gets a whiff of that into their nose it overwhelms their olfactory gland and the part of their brain where it's like every time you walk into a house of someone who smokes, or you walk into a pizza joint and you just are hit with pizzas in the oven, that smell, that is what happens.

You can't smell anything else, right? You can only smell the cigarettes in someone's house, but after you're there a while. Your brain brings that sensation down, [00:34:00] and then you can start smelling the candles, or you can start smelling what's for dinner or someone's stinky boots or whatever the case may be, right?

So Huge fan of that product. I also have my ozonics with me in the tree as well, just for that backup. And I turn it on while I'm accessing my stand locations or my tree stand locations as well. Saddle, whatever, whatever it is that you want to use. So with that said, then winds to my back, I'm approaching climb up in the tree.

Thermals hit me again. I have another scenario where the wind. is pushing with the thermal scent or with the thermal pull. And again, that's going up and away. And so really how I access my tree stand locations, a lot depends on thermal, what the thermals will be doing with the predominant wind.

Once you get into a a scenario like what I just described where the bottom there's no ridge on the opposite side of it's a [00:35:00] river bottom. It's a flat bottom parcel that wind just pushes it forever and you don't even need to worry about what's coming what is coming downwind because the terrain eventually hits flat and goes on and your scent is so destroyed by Just wind blowing it and diluting it, that it's not really a threat anymore.

And the threat becomes when the sun starts to go down and the thermals start to shift and pull down and anything downwind you, there could be a, there could be a possible threat there. But man, one thing, one thing that I've learned is that.

I am really anal retentive about my access routes, but that's where I typically put most of the risk is in the a access route. It's well thought out, but it is risky. Then when I'm in the tree, there's [00:36:00] less risk. To getting it. It's almost like I'm talking out of two corners of my mouth. I said at the very beginning, access routes are the most important thing, but a well thought out, in my opinion, a well thought out access route is where all of the risk should not all of it, but some of the risk should fall.

Now, I really strongly believe in quartering winds too. And and you don't only get, you don't always get north and south winds. So that wind that I Or that stand location that I just described, it works great on a south wind. It works good on a southwest wind, a southeast wind and everything in between there.

Now, you start to get tricky if it's coming straight out of the west. If it's coming out of the north or excuse me, out of the, yeah, out of the north, or east, straight east, then you're starting to get into trouble. But, You can, your scent profile during your access route is just is bigger on quartering winds, right?[00:37:00] 

Now, what you can do is you can adjust that based off of the terrain that you have, and you can take your 90 degree turn closer, further away, whatever you need to have your wind truly to the back and walk in on maybe a different side of that point based off of the wind direction, based off of Where the wind, where the predominant wind direction and the thermal pole are going to have the biggest effect on your scent profile.

And so I know that without looking at a map, it's really difficult to talk about. I've been talking now for about 30, almost 40 minutes about this and it's just. You got to figure out the access route. I say my personal opinion on this, and I know a lot of other people may disagree with me, but take your risk on your access route [00:38:00] once you're in the stand, even it can be quartering, but allow your thermals to help out with that, right?

A quartering wind. But if it's a quartering wind and your thermal pull is up, then it's not a big deal. If it's a quartering wind and it's even a shifting wind, And it's a thermal pull. You're probably going to get away with a little bit more, but if it's a, if it's a thermal drop and it's a quartering wind, and there's also some kind of wind direction shift, that's when you're really playing with fire.

Yes, those types of those tend to be when you run into your shooter deer, but have that access route that allows you to take the risk. Getting into the stand small risk. Obviously, it's a well thought out risk and it's from a scent profile risk. It's not an intrusive. I'm walking through a bedding area risk.

A lot of it has to do with my scent profile and my scent cone and what it, what [00:39:00] my scent is doing. And you also want to, you want to disrupt the woods, the least with your actual intrusiveness of you walking and your scent profile. And so that's how I approach my access routes. That's how I That's all I think about really.

I'm not joking. Like I'm looking at a map right now of some of the farms that I've hunted. And I can remember just walking straight through the woods to get to one of my river bottom stands. And all I did was walk through a bedding area, kick the does out. And when the bucks came looking for the does, they followed the does that I bumped instead of the natural progression of the terrain right to my tree stand location.

So I'm also a firm believer that not necessarily tree specific, but area specific, you should be able to hunt an area in any wind direction. Okay. That's my personal opinion. [00:40:00] I do that a lot, but it's not never from the same tree. Let's say I saw a deer on that same scenario that I just discussed on a north or a north facing slope, south wind, good thermal pull, but now let's say it's a north wind.

On a north facing slope with a it doesn't matter what the thermal pole is on that part, because your thermal pole is driving uphill and with that predominant wind direction and it gets real risky. What I do is I back off that military crest and I try to get my scent then blowing into the field.

Right as much as possible, because although yes, some deer might come out into that field. I'm not hunting. I'm not a field edge hunter. So I don't care what's in the field. Yeah, it sucks getting out of there. Sometimes I might have to then adjust my ass access route back to my truck by [00:41:00] walking the low part that I didn't want to walk up in because the deer are already on their feet.

So On that scenario, I'm bouncing around. Let's say it's a straight west wind. I'm walking into that area roughly the same way, but I'm coming in on that L on the right side on the high ground. And then I'm walking. Into the wind again, but I'm hunting on the which would be then the east facing slope on a west wind of that L that I was talking about.

So the left side of that L train goes up. So at that scenario, I'm walking downhill straight into that low spot and then walking straight up. So that 90 degree turn I take happens on the high ground on the opposite side of the ground hill. I walk into the timber, I walk straight down, I walk straight back up.

I do that, I actually do that a lot in big timber as well. So[00:42:00] unfortunately, what I've described is very difficult to understand. Without a map, take the principles from what I've said today and just go to a map and look at where put dots on a map or go to onyx or whatever a hunt stand or whatever you have, look at your stand locations and then Imagine what your scent cone is doing, not just when you're in the tree, but when you're walking from your truck to your tree stand and say to yourself, where should I take the risk on this access route?

Should I take it when I'm in the timber? Should I take the risk when I'm further away? And when you take the risk, when you are further away from the deer do not react as much as when they're being bumped directly, or if you're 20 yards away from them or you're 300 yards away from them. Do your personalities vary?

And so you might be able, you might jump [00:43:00] them, but more most of the time they, if you're 300 yards away they'll put their head up. They'll sniff. They'll say, Hey, what's that? But eventually you keep walking through and then they just chill back out again. And so that's my take on access routes.

And I hope that yeah. When we get into the thick of it this year, you guys take into consideration everything that I talked about and If you hear this and you have more questions about Access routes go to Instagram go to the nine finger Chronicles Instagram page. Hit me up with a Question a comment when I launch this episode go there leave your comments, Talk to me about what you do Cause I'm always interested on how people play the wind, how they play thermal specifically on access routes.

So that's what I personally geek out about. Other than that, man I just want to say thank [00:44:00] you. Very much for tuning in today. I know it's just me talking, so it might not be that interesting, but it's something that I think about a lot. Huge shout out to tethered wasp vortex code blue Woodman's pal Huntworth and full sneak gear.

Please go out, support the companies that support this podcast. And last but not least, man, if you're going to be in a tree, make sure you guys are bringing your safety harness with you set a good example for your kids and for other hunters. And because falling out of a tree just sucks ass, man.

You could break your ankle, you could kill yourself, and then there's a lot of responsibility outside of the woods that is left when you're gone. And who's going to fill that shoe, those shoes, because nobody can. Alright, so wear your damn safety harness. And also, this time of year, man, we got to think positive.

When we're on social media, we're not going to hate. All we're going to do is show love and support to other hunters. We're going to grow the community. We're not going to divide it. Good vibes in, good vibes out, and we will talk to you [00:45:00] next time.