Editor's Field Test
How Cold Do You Think It Is?
Photo by Jerry Springer
Just like guessing the weight of a deer, hunters are always guessing how hot or cold it is on hunting trips. This season I had an opportunity to know for sure what the weather was like during a late-season elk hunt in Colorado when I carried along the Kestrel 3000.

The Kestrel 3000 pocket weather meter made by Nielsen-Kellerman of Chester, Pennsylvania, is a hand-held digital instrument for measuring temperature, wind speed, wind chill, relative humidity, heat stress index and dew-point temperature. It is lightweight (less than 3 ounces) and has a slip-on case that protects it from damage.

This battery powered unit will run for 300 hours between battery changes and has an automatic shut-off after 30 minutes to save battery life.

During the first morning of scouting I pulled the Kestrel 3000 from my fanny pack and pressed the ON button. Holding it up I watched as the temperature kept changing until it settled around 35 degrees. I pressed the MODE button until I was viewing the wind speed. I watched as it change from 3 mph to 11 mph. The unit also keeps the maximum and average wind speed since power on. With the wind blowing I changed modes to wind chill and watched my 35 degree temperature drop to 24.3 degrees. That's right, the unit measures in tenths of a degree.

On a clear morning I placed the Kestrel 3000 on a limb next to my stand (see photo above). The low reading for that morning was 4.7 degrees. As you can see by the photo, I snapped a picture of the unit when it was measuring a freezing 6.3 degrees.

I found it interesting to turn the unit on when I reached my stand in the darkness of the morning and watch the temperature drop as dawn arrived or watch the temperature rise when clear skies were replaced with cloud cover. The accuracy of the unit also made it possible to watch temperature fluctuations in tenths of a degree in seconds. I also learned the temperature could vary up and down in less than a minute.

Others in my hunting party found that we were replacing those guesses with accurate weather readings on this hunting trip.

The Kestrel 3000 is waterproof to one meter and floats. You can also change the units of measure to what you want — be it knots, meters, kilometers, miles per hour, feet per minute, Centigrade or Fahrenheit.

In addition, there is a lower cost unit, the Kestrel 2000 which just measures wind chill, wind speed and temperature.

I may still have to guess the weight of a deer in the field but I will no longer have to wonder what the temperature, wind speed or wind chill are whether I'm on a September archery hunt in Oregon or a November elk hunt in Colorado.

For more information, visit Nielsen-Kellerman's web site at www.kestrel-instruments.com.

Good Hunting — Jerry Springer

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