John's Journal...

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

When to Hunt Deer Where

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 the 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.

If a hunter is successful and harvests a deer, more than likely he will not want to hunt that same spot the following day,Click to enlarge because there will be a great deal of sound, scent and possibly blood associated with the area. So, letting that place rest is best. For this reason, Simmons recommends that hunters have several alternate regions to hunt. Simmons categorizes his hunting areas as, “Morning places, middle-of-the-day spots and afternoon areas.” Simmons scouts to determine exactly at what time a deer will show up in the regions they’re using. This system of scouting can be compared to a bass fisherman’s identifying a pattern within a pattern. For instance, an angler may locate bass on hardwood trees that have fallen into the water. But the bass may only be at that place at daylight, at dark or in the middle of the day. Therefore, to successfully catch the bass, the sportsman must fish during the hours the bass are on the structure. And, the same is true of successful deer hunting. Just pinpointing a region that deer are using isn’t enough information to accurately predict when deer will show-up there. Many hours can be wasted in a tree stand waiting on a deer that may not appear until after dark. Here’s the types of areas and the times of day that Simmons believes are the most likely to produce deer.

The Morning Place: Click to enlarge

According to Simmons, “A morning place will usually be close to a bedding area and may also be a good afternoon place. To identify a morning place, I look for a food source relatively close to a bedding area. Most of the time, a deer will come in to bed-down and eat just a bite or two before he goes into that bedding region. A prime example of a morning place is the spot I found one hunting season where a farmer had left many soybeans in the middle of his field, but no beans around the edges of the field. The deer were going into the field at night, feeding on the soybeans and leaving the field before daylight. The woods around the field were a mature forest with no understory, Click to enlargemaking the woods a relatively-open area that the deer had to continue through before they reached their bedding site about 1/2-mile away where the property had been clear-cut. Since I knew deer didn’t like to get caught in the open during daylight hours, I took a stand about 300-yards away from the bedding area along the trail the deer were using. I could count on the deer to show up from daylight until 7:00 am but never saw a deer in this area past that time. However, I took five whitetails from this region. So this spot was definitely a morning place.”

Tomorrow: Middle-of-the-Day and Afternoon Spots for Deer

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 4