John’s Note: How do you hunt the bucks that do all their moving and feeding at night? The problem is tough – but not impossible! Ronnie Groom of Panama City, Florida, has been an avid deer hunter for more than 4 decades and is considered an authority on deer, teaching deer seminars at various hunting lodges.
Once you discover a deer sanctuary, more than likely you shouldn’t hunt it that same season. If you go into the area, you will run the deer out of it. I mark the sanctuaries on a map, so that I can return to them prior to the beginning of the next hunting season. Before deer season ever starts – when the whitetails aren’t using the sanctuaries – I travel to these hideouts and lay out a game plan. I decide which way I can approach the sanctuary, travel into the region and choose a stand site. If it is an area with heavy cover, I go ahead and cut shooting lanes, so that I can see to take a buck once hunting season begins.
Also I consult my compass and my GPS to know what wind direction I must have to approach the sanctuary without having my scent carried into the hunting zone there. I lay out a definite hunt plan. I usually will prepare eight to 10 deer sanctuaries to be hunted when the time is right – when the deer become nocturnal. Then I leave these places alone and don’t return until I’m prepared to take a buck at them.
Knowing when to hunt the deer sanctuaries is the most-critical ingredient for bagging nocturnal bucks. I realize ahead of time that I may only have 1-2 days during the hunting season when I can hunt the sanctuaries I have prepared. But I never will go to one of these hideouts until all of the conditions are right. I never hunt these spots during the first of hunting season. Using this technique of hunting, hunting pressure works for you, rather than against you. I want the hunting pressure to build-up in the land around my sanctuaries. Therefore I wait until near the end of the season before I try to hunt these sanctuaries.
When the deer become nocturnal, they will move during daylight hours in the sanctuaries. Late in the season when hunting pressure is high, I’ll watch the wind. When the wind is right, so that I can go to one of my sanctuaries, I’ll slip into the area before daylight and wait for the buck to appear. Once I hunt a sanctuary, I won’t return to that same spot for at least a week or two. I realize that if I hunt this site too much, then I will run the deer out, and I won’t have a chance to harvest the bucks. That’s why I develop several stands in sanctuary areas before the season. Then I have a couple of places to hunt with the wind coming from different wind directions.
To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and print books on hunting deer, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” and “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows,” or to prepare venison, “Deer & Fixings,” click here.
For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from http://johninthewild.com/free-books.