John's Journal...

How to Hunt Bucks Under Pressure Like Those in the Late Season

Productive Late-Season Hunting Sites and How to Locate Them and Carry-Lite Decoys

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note:  To bag big, smart deer late in the season, you must do something that everybody else isn’t doing.

Terrain often dictates hunter-flow patterns. By looking at an aerial photo and/or a topo map, you easily and quickly can predict the sites where most hunters will move into the woods, walk around sheer bluffs, cross streams and creeks and avoid thick cover. Marking a map showing the hunter’s natural movement patterns allows you to pinpoint where the deer must be. Click to enlargeTo take the biggest and best bucks off any public-hunting region, an outdoorsman must enter the woods before daylight and move to a funnel area through which the deer will be pressured. Remember to select a stand site far enough away from where hunting pressure starts, so that when the deer arrive where you are, enough daylight will be available for you to shoot. By staying in one place, you will be more likely to see more deer than anyone else hunting those woods that day.

If you’re planning to hunt a public-management area prior to the season, talk with the conservation officer who will be able to show you where most hunters hunt there. If you’re hunting a region that’s not supervised by the state, then try and talk with other sportsmen in the area to see where most hunters enter the woods. If  you’re unable to find where hunters are by using these two methods, then ride the roads around the hunting site and see where the most cars are parked, which will tell you where the heaviest hunting pressure is concentrated. A hunting day spent doing reconnaissance work will pay far-more buck dividends than wandering around the woods in hopes of accidentally seeing a deer.Click to enlarge

Most hunters prefer to walk and hunt without any hassle. They don’t want to have to carry waders, a boat, Click to enlargeor a canoe, get their feet wet or travel a great distance to hunt a very-small woodlot. Therefore the deer that put water between themselves and hunters often will survive the longest and be the best trophies. Look for spots like a small island or a peninsula of land out in water. Be willing to use a boat or waders to reach these regions. Often the hunter who goes to the most trouble to take a deer will bag the biggest buck. For example, an island on the land I hunt requires a boat to get to yet produces a nice buck or two each season after all the easy bucks everywhere else have been taken. Flooded-timber areas with ridges out of the water and well away from the bank are also sanctuaries where bucks can dodge hunting pressure.

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Tomorrow: Equipment for Taking Big Bucks and Southern Game Calls

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Hunt Bucks Under Pressure Like Those in the Late Season"

Day 1: Big Bucks Under Pressure and How to Take Them and the HuntVe
Day 2:Tips for Taking Big Bucks in Public-Hunting Areas in the Late Season and Wearing Longleaf Camo
Day 3: How and When Deer Respond to Hunting Pressure and Using Preston Pittman Calls
Day 4: Productive Late-Season Hunting Sites and How to Locate Them and Carry-Lite Decoys
Day 5: Equipment for Taking Big Bucks


Entry 543, Day 4