Editor’s Note: I consider the late Jerry Simmons of Jasper, Alabama, the creator of the Land Shark and Interceptor broadheads, one of the very-best deer hunters I’ve ever met.
Simmons’ technique of pinpointing a place to take an opening-day buck always proved highly successful for him. Simmons told me years ago, “One of the reasons that most deer hunters don’t take their bucks on opening morning is because they try and hunt too much land. When I begin my scouting, I’ll try and scout 20 to 30 acres thoroughly. I want to know where the nut trees are, where every thick-cover area is located, and how each stream meanders through that land. I plan to know that 20 acres so well that you can sit me down anywhere in it by day or night, and I’ll know exactly where I am.”
Once Simmons learned everything he could about this first 20 acres, then he would study another 20 acres, usually on the same property. He divided the woods he had to hunt into very-small blocks and carefully studied and learned everything he could about each block before he started studying the next block of woods. “You’ve got a better chance of bagging a buck on opening day if you learn to hunt in 200 acres of woods than if you try and hunt 2, 000,” Simmons reported.
Once Simmons knew the property he wanted to hunt like the back of his hand, he then searched for the very-best place there that he could hunt to take a deer. “One of the main reasons more hunters don’t bag more bucks on opening day is because as soon as they find good deer sign they get into their tree stands and wait for the deer,” Simmons said. “In an area that homes numbers of deer, you’ll find plenty of deer sign that won’t produce a buck. The challenge then becomes to find the best sign in the region you’re planning to hunt and eliminate all the hunting sites where you can hunt except for the most-productive place. Don’t put your tree stand up at the first spot where you see good deer sign. Be certain that you’ve found the place with the most deer activity in the section of land you’re planning to hunt on opening morning. And, realize that the only way you can find that best spot is to really know the woods where you’re hunting. By hunting less land – generally less than 200 acres – you’ll learn more about the land you hunt and drastically increase your odds for bagging a buck on opening morning.”
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