Pinpoint Bedding, Escape and Night Trails Deer Use

Researching Extraordinary Buck Deer

01/15/2018 Comments (0) Deer Hunting

Learning the Characteristics of Extraordinary Buck Deer

Old Scarface was the ugliest deer that ever had come through my taxidermy shop years ago. The animal was a mass of jagged scars, scrapes and head wounds. Usually when a deer was badly scarred, we would cut the scars out and resew the hide. But so many places on this deer were missing hair that this procedure was not possible. When I told the out-of-state hunter on the phone that we couldn’t repair all the bad markings on the deer, he said, “I don’t want the scars removed. That deer is Old Scarface. He has outsmarted every hunter on our club for over 6 years. He’s been shot at, missed, hit, seen and driven every hunter on the club crazy.

“For awhile, we almost believed he was a ghost, because no weapon could bring him down. We tried driving, stalking, standing and every other tactic known to man to bag that deer. However, until I finally took him, nothing had worked. That deer was a warrior, a credit to his breed and a legend in our part of the country.”

Old Scarface was but one of the legendary deer to come through my taxidermy shop before I was a fulltime outdoor writer.

The best deer hunters in America today hunt extraordinary bucks. These men have taken enough deer in their lifetimes to prove their prowess. Bagging a deer, any deer, is no longer a feat for these veteran woodsmen. Instead they enjoy pitting their woods skills against the best of the breed – the legendary mossy horns – that are few and far between.

As one of these sportsmen told me, “Finding a real deer to hunt is hard.” When this man specified a, “real deer,” he didn’t mean just any deer. He was talking about an extraordinary buck that:

* might require several seasons to take;

* was at least 3-years old. Most of the time the animal would be 5-years old or older to be considered a real deer;

* had survived many hunter encounters;

* fed almost exclusively at night, which made taking him that much more difficult;

* bedded in an area in thick cover or in cover where he could spot a hunter approaching from a great distance;

* knew the routine of most of the hunters who tried to take him;

* did not throw caution to the wind during the rut;

* utilized does and younger bucks as sentinels when he traveled;

* moved only through thick cover if he ever moved at all in daylight hours;

* had habits, haunts and peculiarities which had to be learned before taking a shot could be considered;

* was believed to be smarter than man;

* had been shot at and educated by a great many hunters over a long time;

* was thought to be untakeable; and

* was a legend.

This extraordinary buck is the best of his breed. If not taken, he probably will die of natural causes in one or two more years. He has the personality of a fox, the cunning of a cat, the speed of a cheetah, the illusiveness of a chameleon and the nature of a ghost. These legends are the challenges for the true trophy hunter. The weight of the deer and the size of his antlers aren’t nearly as important as the reputation the animal has obtained.

To learn more about hunting deer with John E. Phillips’ Amazon Kindle eBooks, print books and Audible books (the latest Audible is “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro”) and Nook books, click here at You can type in the name of the book and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer. For a free download on how to make jerky from venison to provide a protein-rich snack, choose “How to Prepare Venison Jerky: The Ultimate Snack Food” at

Tomorrow: Researching Extraordinary Buck Deer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *