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Make a Buck Come to You Day 2: Make a Brush Funnel to Take Deer

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Editor’s Note: “Many times to take a nice-sized buck, you have to force him to come to you,” Larry Norton of Butler, Alabama, a longtime deer hunter and guide, says. “By blocking trails you don’t want the deer to use, you can remove the deer’s options of where he can walk. He’ll have to come to you.”


“I search for a fallen tree on one edge of water that lies toward the middle of a peninsula,” Dr. Bob Sheppard of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, an avid deer hunter who spends about 50-60 days each season in the woods, explains. “Although the deer easily can hop over the tree, they’ll generally walk around it. Often I place my tree stand close to the top of the fallen tree. Then when deer walk up the edge the tree has fallen on, they’ll funnel around the tree. To increase my odds for taking a buck, I walk to the outer edge on the other side of the peninsula and cut brush to build a small brush fence 2-1/2 feet high. I pile-up limbs and saplings from the edge toward the fallen tree to create this brush fence. If you spot the brush fence, it may not look like a fence to you. Although deer easily can hop over the brush fence, they usually don’t because of their laziness. Rather than going over it, the deer simply walk around it and come into my range.”


Sheppard will visit the sites he wants to hunt before deer season arrives. He checks to see if the peninsulas have deer trails running through them. He builds his brush fences and sets-up his tree stands. By the time the season comes in, all his human odor will have dissipated. The deer will have adapted to funneling through the 30-yard wide or so opening between the fallen tree and the brush fence. When Sheppard hunts one of these regions, the deer will walk on both sides of the hardwood peninsula from both directions to funnel under his tree stand. “You can use this same principle if you pinpoint a natural bottleneck and want to funnel the deer closer to your tree stand,” Sheppard reports. “You don’t have to spend a lot of time building a brush fence. In a few minutes, you can pick up limbs and sticks and build a 5- to 10-yard-long brush fence. Always build a meandering fence rather than a straight one. Then other hunters will walk by without noticing the funnel you’ve created.”


To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, available in Kindle, print and Audible versions, “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” ( You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of the book for free).


John E. Phillips has published several more books this fall and winter of 2020 you’ll enjoy.


1) “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro, Volume II” – available in Kindle and print at

In “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro, Volume II,” you’ll learn tips and tactics from 21+ Bassmaster Classic winners, two Major League Fishing champions and 20+ Bassmaster Anglers of the Year about some of the dramatic changes in bass fishing.


2) “PhD Gobblers: How to Hunt the Smartest Turkeys in the World, Revised Edition” – available in Kindle, Print and Audible at

Turkeys that have earned their PhDs in the turkey-hunting wars know more about hunter-dodging than most hunters know about turkey hunting. These turkeys have built such a huge database on humans they’ve earned their PhDs.


3) “PhD Whitetails” – available in Kindle and Print and soon to be in Audible at

To become a “PhD Whitetail,” a whitetail deer has to have gone to school on hunters. He knows when to move, where to move, and how to move to avoid detection. The professional hunters in this book have spent their lifetimes finding these bucks with doctorates.


4) “The Bowfishing Bible” – available in Kindle, Print and Audible at

This book doesn’t promise salvation or a ticket to heaven, but it does give you much of the information you need to be a happy, successful, productive and winning bowfisherman.


5) “The Briar Patch Philosopher” – available in Kindle, Print and Audible at

Some of the reviews for this book include statements like, “I find myself looking through these wonderful thoughts about life, courage, love, children and God. This collection of sayings are very useful in helping me control my emotions. Some of my favorites include:
“Feelings change, Truth remains.”
“Embrace fear, because it’s an excellent motivator.”
“Life is a race. The beginning, we can’t control, and the end can’t be determined. But how well we run in the middle is all that counts. ”

Tomorrow: Cause a Buck Deer to Come Out of Thick Cover

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