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How to Tell Where Whitetails Are and What They’re Doing with Nationally-Known Bowhunter Jerry Simmons

What about Droppings?

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: One of the best bowhunters I ever have met is Jerry Simmons of Jasper, Alabama, the creator of the Interceptor and Land Shark broadheads as well as numerous other hunting aids. Some years ago, in 80 days of one season of bowhunting, Simmons let arrows fly at 53 deer and harvested 43 of theClick to enlarge whitetails. One of the primary reasons for Simmons’s success is because he finds places in the woods to put his tree stand where the deer will walk to within 18 yards or less.
Simmons, with more than 40 years of experience, spends most of his time scouting.

The deer’s droppings often can reveal what the deer is eating. In one particular place, Jerry Simmons found deer droppings to be the key ingredient to his successful scouting program. “Most of the time you can’t tell what a deer’s feeding on from its droppings,” Simmons explains. “But every now and then, the deer’s droppings will provide a clue that can lead you right to their primary food source. Several years ago I was scouting under some acorn trees when I discovered some deer droppings. But these droppings were purple, instead of the usual deep, chocolate color associated with deer. Immediately I knew that the deer were feeding on purple poke berries, which is tClick to enlargehe fruit of the poke sallett plant found in many areas of the South. At first I didn’t think too much about the droppings, because I assumed that perhaps this individual deer had found a few poke berriessomewhere and had eaten them on the way to the acorn tree. But as I continued to scout in different areas, I found quite a few purple droppings in varied locations. I decided that the deer in this region were feeding heavily on poke berries and realized that if I could find a poke berry patch I should be able to see deer.Click to enlarge

“I remembered seeing a 2-year-old clear-cut about 300-yards from where I’d found the purple droppings. I also knew poke sallett grew well in this kind of area. So, I headed for the clear-cut. The closer I got to the clear-cut, the more purple droppings I spotted. When I arrived at the clear-cut, I discovered plenty of tracks, droppings and evidence that the deer were eating the poke berries. I climbed a nearby tree. In a short time, I bagged a buck. Although droppings may not give you any information, studying them is worthwhile, because many times droppings may provide just the clue you need to locate and take a deer.”

Tomorrow: Where You Should Be to Bowhunt

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Tell Where Whitetails Are and What They’re Doing with Nationally-Known Bowhunter Jerry Simmons"

Day 1: How to Begin Bowhunting
Day 2: What about Droppings?
Day 3: Where You Should Be to Bowhunt
Day 4: When to Hunt Deer Where
Day 5: Middle-of-the-Day and Afternoon Spots for Deer  


Entry 532, Day 2