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11/22/2022 Comments Off on Think Outside the Box to Hunt Deer Day 2: Know Other Hunters’ Locations Deer Hunting, Hunting Advice

Think Outside the Box to Hunt Deer Day 2: Know Other Hunters’ Locations

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Editor’s Note: You can scout for the perfect spot for taking deer, put up your stand and camp out to wait for deer to come along. But all your work will do you no good, if you’ve picked an obvious place that other hunters also will choose. The trick to bagging big bucks is to think outside the box like other hunters don’t. Here are some tricks I’ve learned through 50+ years of deer hunting that have helped me overlook the obvious and take more bucks.


Fly the Area Or Use a Drone

DroneTournament bass fishermen discover hot spots for big bass by flying over the region they want to fish a day or two before a major tournament. From the air, they can spot underwater stumps, brush, subtle water changes and underwater drop-offs and ledges where bass tend to hold that they probably won’t see from a bass boat when they travel down the lake. Using a hand-held GPS receiver, successful bass anglers will mark the places from an airplane that look like they’ll hold bass as waypoints. They’ll also make notes using the waypoint numbers they have given these hot spots on their GPS receivers. Then they can return later and read about what they’ve seen at certain points, as they’ve flown over the lake.


Some of my friends are using this same tactic by flying drones to produce big bucks for deer hunters. They’re ordering remanufactured drones – not nearly as expensive as the brand-new ones – and have had very-good success with them.


By flying over an area that you hunt while looking at a map of it, or by flying a drone over your potential hunting place, you can locate obvious deer-hunting sites that you may not spot from the ground. Follow this checklist of what to watch for when you or your drone fly over the land you plan to hunt. Look for:


  1. obvious funnels where two different types of habitat come together creating a wooded bottleneck;
  2. edges of habitat where deer often travel;
  3. dry land surrounded by water;
  4. openings in thick cover that you can’t see from the outer edges of that cover;
  5. thick-cover bedding areas close to food sources like agricultural crops and clear-cut regions near acorn-producing hardwoods or thickets on the edges of railroad tracks;
  6. low places or saddles in mountains where deer can cross the mountains;
  7. thick-cover spots beside campsites, homes, check-in stations, roads and hardwoods;
  8. drainage ditches or small creeks that run through dense cover;
  9. obscure trails well away from access roads and the backsides of property where no one ever hunts; and
  10. other hunters. To learn where everyone else hunts, fly over your hunting property on a day when the most hunters are hunting. Since hunters wear blaze orange, you can spot them easily.

Deer in the wild

Then you can avoid the obvious intense hunting pressure spots.


Locate Other Hunters

If you belong to a hunting lease or have hunted the same public lands for three or four years, always get a map of the area – either a physical map like those available online or those from HuntStand ( or onX Maps ( for your phone. Mark all the places where you’ve seen other hunters pattern the hunters just like you pattern deer. Most hunters hunt the same places every year and take the 1-1/2 to 2-year old bucks that they’ve always harvested from these sites. If you eliminate these spots from your hunting plan before you ever begin to scout, you can scout the places where no one else hunts and locate bigger and better bucks faster.


Search for Heavy Traffic Areas

Deer in the wildThe Bible in Isaiah 11:6 says, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,” and here’s another key to successful deer hunting. The lamb only lies down beside the wolf without fleeing because the wolf doesn’t pose a threat to the lamb. In certain areas where humans come in close contact with deer often and pose no threat to the deer, the animals won’t spook if they see or hear humans. Classic examples of heavy-human-traffic regions often overlooked by hunters include a briar patch behind a clubhouse, the thicket next to a farmer’s garden or a dense-cover thicket close to a campground. Also search the tall grass not 50-yards from the check-out station, the little thicket about 25 yards from the gate that unlocks the hunting property and the area within 100 yards of where everyone parks their vehicles. Too, don’t forget the edges of the road everyone drives on to come into the hunting property.


John E. Phillips’ latest deer book “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro: Volume II,” just was published on Amazon in print at to Hunt Deer Like a Pro: Volume 2

The Audible version should be available by December. Since deer hunting and deer hunters are drastically changing each year, John interviewed some top deer hunters like Mark Drury, Dr. Larry Marchinton, Dr. Bob Sheppard, Pat Reeve, Gene Wensel, Cody Robbins, Ernie Calandrelli, Brian Murphy and Luke Brewster, who took the world’s largest whitetail, to learn their up-to-date techniques for successfully hunting deer and having more places to hunt.


Also, John’s first book in that series “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro” at for Kindle, print and Audible, includes other outstanding deer hunters and their tactics. Cover: How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro


You can learn more about hunting deer in John’s book, “Whitetail Deer and the Hunters Who Take Big Bucks” at, available in Kindle, print and Audible versions.Cover: Whitetail Deer and the Hunters Who Take Big Bucks


You may have to copy and paste these links into your browser. When you click on the books, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read and hear 10% of the Audible books for free. On the right side of the page and below the offer for a free Audible trial, you can click on Buy the Audible book.


Tomorrow: Don’t Hunt Feeding Sites for Deer

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