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Summertime Scouting for Deer Day 1: Scouting Summertime Locations for Deer with Larry Norton

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Editor’s Note: Larry Norton of Butler, Alabama, is an avid deer hunter in west-central Alabama near the Mississippi-Alabama border and recognizes the importance of scouting for deer in the summertime – perhaps in places you’ve never considered.  


Wild squirrelStudy Acorn Trees and Look for Squirrels: 


Larry Norton, explains, “In the summer, I go in to hardwoods with binoculars and start studying the acorn trees to identify which trees are putting-on acorns, and those that should have acorns soon. Oftentimes you can tell by the size and the number of acorns on a tree which trees probably will drop their nuts first. The squirrels will show-up in these trees first, and then the deer will appear there at the beginning of bow season. Too, I look for salt licks and mineral licks. The deer generally will use these licks, whether they’re natural or manmade, when the weather’s extremely hot. But they won’t use them as often once the weather turns cool.” Larry Norton portrait while hunting


If you’re in the woods scouting for squirrel season, which begins in states like South Carolina in September and runs through early spring in some states, you also can scout for deer. Too, plan to squirrel hunt where you’ll bowhunt during the early bow season. Squirrel hunting requires you to stalk slowly and to listen and look. If you hunt with a .22 rifle, you’ll need a brace and an extremely-accurate aim. Then when deer season arrives, that’s where you’ll find both the bushytails and the whitetails. 


Pinpoint Old Home Places: 


An old home to help locate deerTwo things early settlers did will relate directly to where you can expect to locate deer during the early season in your state. The settlers had outhouses where they salted meat and smoked it and others they used as bathrooms. Both outbuildings can play important roles in your pre-season scouting and can result in pinpointing deer hot spots. 


Cover: How to Hunt Deer Up CloseTo 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” ( To see John E. Phillips’ books, go to, click on all formats and look at the bottom of the page to see the books.  


Tomorrow: Hunt Smokehouses and Outhouses for Deer in Summer 

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