How to Bag a Buck Deer at the Beginning...

Ten Secrets to Finding and Taking Trophy Buck Deer...

12/06/2019 Comments (0) Adaptive Hunting, Deer Hunting, How-To, Hunting Advice

How to Bag a Buck Deer at the Beginning of the Season Day 5: Handle Opening-Week Deer Hunting Pressure and Outlast the Competition

Editor’s Note: To avoid hunter encounters, most master deer hunters pick multiple stand sites for opening morning.

As one hunter remembers, “On one opening-week deer hunt, I went to my first stand site and found another hunter in my spot. When I arrived at my second site, yet another hunter had chosen this area and already had his tree stand up waiting for my deer. Finally I had to go to my third area – 8-miles away from the second stand. I took my opening-morning buck at 12:30 pm, instead of 8:00 am.”

To avoid opening-morning encounters with other hunters, assume you’ll have other hunters in at least two of the three places you pick to hunt on opening morning. Be sure you have at least three good stand sites predetermined for opening day. Hopefully, you can hunt from one.

One of my deer-hunting friends says he prepares multiple stand sites for opening week of deer season for many reasons. “I primarily stalk hunt for deer. But where I hunt, the weather may be dry and warm on opening day, which makes moving through the leaves without detection impossible. I usually have two or three stand sites set-up in regions facing different wind directions. If I can’t stalk like I normally do, I can go to one of those stand sites with a favorable wind and wait on my opening-day buck to appear.” Oftentimes, even though you’ve scouted and you know where to find the deer on opening day, when other hunters enter the woods, they may hunt at your place or have wandered through your site, leaving their scent on everything before the deer arrives. Then your preseason scouting may not pay-off.

To avoid other hunters, avid deer hunter Larry Norton of Butler, Alabama, reports, “I always try to find an isolated place where no other hunter in his right mind will go on opening week. I look for a difficult-to-reach strip of hardwoods out in the middle of a big clear-cut or maybe one acorn tree in a clear-cut that deer will come to and feed. The more difficult the access to your hunting set-up, the less likely you’ll find other hunters there when you arrive during opening week.”

Outlast the Competition:

Will Primos, the founder of Primos Hunting ( in Flora, Mississippi, believes in outlasting the competition during opening week. “I’ll enter the woods before the other hunters get there during opening week, and I won’t leave the woods until after all the other hunters leave,” Primos explains. “I’ll stay on my stand all day long, even during the noon lunch break. On many opening weeks, I’ve taken my buck in the middle of the day, while everyone else is eating lunch.” You can bag an opening-day buck by following these suggestions.  

To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, available in Kindle and print versions, and soon to be available in Audible, December 1, 2019, “Whitetail Deer and the Hunters Who Take Big Bucks,” (

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