John’s Note: This week we’re learning secret tactics used by trophy deer hunters before they set foot in the woods – to locate the terrain and cover that holds the basket-racked bucks. You can find the buck you want this season or at least learn where he should be while studying on your kitchen table this summer. Many hunters spend too much time walking around in the woods and not enough time learning how to hunt their areas and identifying where bucks move. An aerial photo and a topographic map can show you where deer are most likely to appear, how to increase your hunting time and how to decrease your scouting time.
Dr. Robert Sheppard of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a longtime, avid deer hunter and student of deer behavior, belongs to several different hunting clubs and regularly hunts several leases each season. “Each day I hunt, I enter the information from my hunt into a laptop computer,” Dr. Sheppard reports. “I note how I get to each stand I hunt, the weather conditions, the number of deer I’ve seen by gender, where I take deer, and what wind conditions I must have to return to hunt that same stand. When I’m getting ready to hunt, I type in the name of the particular tract of land I want to hunt. I can find how to get to all my stand sites, determine what wind condition is favorable for hunting each of the stand sites and learn from which stand sites I’ve seen or taken bucks. I can cross-reference this information with the time of year I’ve hunted and select the stands where my chances are best for bagging a buck before I ever leave home.” Sheppard has proven that using the power of the computer and recording all the information he can gather while hunting allows him to use the computer to process that information and choose the most productive stands to hunt from each day he is in the woods.
In the past, older hunters always have said there’s no better way to learn deer hunting than by being in the woods. However, today with the detailed maps, GPS and hunting apps available, the vast amount of information about deer and the ability of the computer to process information about deer, outdoorsmen don’t have to rely solely on their woods knowledge to be effective deer hunters.
To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and print books on hunting deer, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” (John’s latest book), “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,” and “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” or to prepare venison, “Deer & Fixings,” click here.