The world is becoming a palm-guided populous. People are actually bumping into other people on the street because of palm-riveted distraction syndrome. Most of you in the hunting world don’t have quite that addiction, but sometimes I wonder. Nevertheless, as predator hunters, you do get a direct benefit from the pocket computer, and that’s a direct link to weather.
You and I know weather forecasts, especially wind, is a major factor in success. Having instantaneous access to weather helps you make decisions on the go as a weather front is advancing or erratic winds ensue. Finding access to instant weather is easy in your palm or even with a quick desktop check before you leave home.
You can literally find hundreds, if not more, weather sites to use, but several stand above, including reliable options like weather.com or links to the National Weather Service. If you want to get the information straight from the main source, just visit the National Weather Service (www.weather.gov). Many weather dissemination services use the National Weather Service, especially when watches and warnings are issued.
One resource that outshines the rest is ScoutLook Weather. It provides pinpoint weather within a few square miles with a Google Earth map layout. This app also gives you a 72-hour glimpse of local winds, including a unique graphic that maps out your anticipated scent cone as it disperses downwind of your stand. You can also compare winds at a particular site to other hunting locations to choose the right stand. This is a very unique aid that helps you pick the right stand with given weather conditions unfolding. It’s particularly helpful in tight areas where a few degrees of wind shift could spell failure as a predator uses a screen of brush or terrain to slip in downwind.
Other features include solunar times, barometric pressure and tides, to name a few. When you’re in the app, select “Predator” from the top species-selection menu. The default is deer. Once you’ve done this you will be able to save predator-specific hotspots and it will be a unique predator log for your saved data. Utilize it to not only save stand locations, but mark animal sightings and note areas of heavy animal movement, predator or prey. Another unique aspect is you can share the data between hunting partners to keep constant track of where your buddies are hunting and where the action is hot.
Do a little research and you’ll see a handful of these programs that can boost your understanding of current weather. Others to consider include Hunt Predictor or iSolunar. Like ScoutLook Weather and Hunt Predictor, iSolunar uses GPS precision to mark your location and breakdown factors like sunrise/sunset, moon phase, forecasts and other details to give you a customized calculation on overall activity for the best hunting periods. You can send results via email or share on Facebook to your hunting buddies.
Earlier this winter, the forecast was for a massive front rolling in about the time I wanted to head out the door before sunrise. Hoping to beat the blast and to have the best chance of a one-stand morning, I dialed in ScoutLook Weather for the latest on the changes ahead. I quickly determined I had a brief window for a reliable stand not too far from home. At sunrise I was manipulating my Johnny Stewart caller (www.hunterspec.com) under a forecast as predicted. I even lucked out that morning with a curious coyote that edged a bit too close to my rifle setup that included a Bergara B-14 rifle, a Hornady SST bullet and guided with Nikon clarity. The old school boom of my rifle matched up perfectly with the modern technology of weather in hand.