Hunt Roads to Bag Big Buck Deer

Conduct Effective Man-Drives for Deer on Roads

11/27/2018 Comments (0) Deer Hunting

Hunt Roads, Power and Gas Lines and Right of Ways to Slow Deer and Get a Shot

Editor’s Note:  A brown muzzle eased out of the thick cover as a deer’s eyes appeared. Finally a wide, high rack came into view. Cautiously, nervously, the buck took two steps into the road. A rifle reported. The buck stumbled and fell. The hunter had his trophy. Let’s look at some of the most-productive places where you can take a buck this hunting season.

One of the problems associated with hunting roads is deer generally cross a road quicklyto keep you from getting a shot, since they realize they are exposing themselves. “This problem was one I encountered when I first started road hunting deer,” a longtime deer hunter explains. “Because I knew I had to stop the deer in the road, I put a deer attractant down about 2-feet away from the edge of the road. Then when the buck stepped out, he could smell that attractant and only would have to expose 1/2 of his body to check out the attractant. When several different trails are leading in and out of a thicket on the edge of a road, put-out a small stream of attractant all the way down that side of the road. Either take a stand in a tree stand or a ground blind on the downwind side of that road. Now you can watch the entire road on its upwind side. This way your human odor will be blown behind you, and the scent of the attractant will be blown into the thicket. Anywhere the deer starts to move out of thick cover to come across the road, you’ll have the attractant to stop him and you can get a shot.”

Using this technique, the hunter then can take bucks and often see more than one buck coming out of a thicket and stopping on the edge of the road to get to the attractant before he crosses the road. Also to prevent spooking the deer with your human odor, wear knee-high rubber boots or hip waders when you’re putting out attractant products, and be as scent-free as possible. The attractant probably will be the most effective when you put it out 2 or 3 days before you hunt. Then you can habituate the bucks to coming to that site. Don’t forget to check your state’s regulations regarding using attractants and food for deer.

Often hunters hunt power lines, gas lines and other right of ways that go through woodlots and fields. To increase your odds for bagging a big buck, hunt only small sections of right of ways. Walk both sides of an entire right of way, and look for trails that come to the edge of the clearing. Often the best spot to hunt may be along a right of way where a creek, a draw or a ditch crosses the right of way, and thick cover or a terrain break is present that the buck can use to cross the right of way without being seen or without exposing himself very much. Or, find an old rotted log, pull it out to the edge of that thick cover, and soak it down with liquid deer attractant.  If the buck moves through that thick cover to cross the right of way, he’ll come out to the edge of the right of way, smell the attractant and start licking the log. The older a buck is, the less likely that he’ll want to show himself in an opening like a right of way during daylight hours. That’s why when you put the log soaked in a liquid attractant on the edge of that thick cover that crosses the right of way, only place it 2- or 3-feet away from the thicket. Then the buck only will have to have about 1/2 of his body out of the cover to reach it. If you’re hunting other trails that cross a power line or a gas line right of way, use this same tactic and liquid attractant to allow the buck to stay on the trail but partially in the cover. However, one of the most-successful ways to take a buck that’s crossing a right of way in thick cover is to once again soak-down a rotted log with liquid attractant and actually drag it into a small clearing in that thick-cover area that you only can see from a tree stand. Climb into your tree stand before daylight, and/or long before dark in the late afternoon, and watch the deer attractant log to see a nice buck.

To learn more about hunting deer, go to John E. Phillips’s book, “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro” at To receive your free book on “How to Make Venison Jerky,” go to

Tomorrow: Conduct Effective Man-Drives for Deer on Roads

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