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Make a Buck Come to You Day 4: Cut a Path 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.”


If you hunt a 2- or a 3-year-old very-thick clear-cut, visit the area during the summer. Cut a 2-foot wide trail through the clearcut in the direction of the prevailing wind. For instance, if your area primarily has a northwest wind like much of my home state of Alabama does, cut the trail to go north-south or east-west. If your trail runs north-south, place your ground blind on the southern side of the trail. If the trail runs east-west, put your ground blind on the eastern end of the trail. Then, if the prevailing


wind comes from the northwest on the days you hunt, you’ll have a favorable wind to hunt these thick-cover trails.


Often you’ll find and bag a big buck in a cane thicket or a berry thicket along the edges of a creek or a river. Usually hunters won’t penetrate these thick-cover bedding areas. But Larry Norton of Butler, Alabama, has developed a tactic for hunting cane that will allow you to take big bucks from these hard-to-hunt places. “I look for spots along the edges of the cane where deer trails lead into the cane,” Norton mentions. “I walk 8 or 10 yards into the cane along the trail before I begin to cut a path along the trail with ratchet cutters. I want to clear the trail to allow the deer to move easier through the cane and to see them better. I try to pinpoint two or three different trails that enter the same patch of cane. Once I get a trail cut through the center of the cane patch, I connect all the trails with one long, 2-foot-wide trail in the cane. Next, I cut a trail that I can enter and exit from at the end of the trail without making any noise and that other hunters won’t see.” Like the deer he hunts, Norton has learned how to get in and out of thick cover without other hunters spotting him. He also has learned how to take the deer other hunters never see in thick-cover areas.


To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” available in Kindle, Print and Audible versions, at ( 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: Build a Honey Hole to Take Buck Deer

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