John's Journal...

The Deer Doctor, Dr. Bob Sheppard, Explains How to Take Deer Every Season

Day 2: Dr. Bob Sheppard Advises Hunters to Stay Alert in the Field to Take Deer

Editor’s Note: When cardiologist Dr. Robert Sheppard of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, isn’t treating patients or teaching students how to be better doctors, he’s putting his medical-research training to use in figuring out how to hang his shingle on a big buck. Whether hunting with a bow or a rifle, the doctor’s diligence has paid-off in big-buck dividends. To learn more, read Dr. Bob Sheppard’s new book, “Whitetail Strategies: An Unprecedented Research-Driven Hunting Model,” available from Barnes and Noble and Amazon and Dr. Sheppard. Contact Dr. Sheppard at

Click for Larger View“Many hunters don’t hunt efficiently during the time they have to hunt,” Dr. Bob Sheppard says. “Although I can stay alert in a tree stand for 2 to 3 hours at a time, my attention span drops-off after that, and although I’m in the woods, I’m not really hunting effectively. I’m convinced that a deer hunter must be as intense and alert as a bass angler to bag more deer. No angler casts a lure, starts a retrieve and then goes to sleep or looks-away from his bait or line, while he’s attempting to catch a lunker bass. Click for Larger ViewIf he does, he can’t react quickly to the strike and take the bass. I view deer hunting in the same way. A big buck only may show-up for a moment during the time a hunter is in a tree stand. If the sportsman doesn’t see a deer’s ear twitch, tail swish or ivory-colored antlers move just slightly in thick cover, then he’ll never know the buck is there, and he may miss the opportunity to take a trophy buck of a lifetime. When I’m hunting, I always stand on my tree stand and visually search every piece of cover for the slightest indication that a deer may be in the vicinity. If you fall asleep on your tree stand, begin to daydream or look with a blind stare in one direction for an extended time, you’re not hunting. When I’m too tired to be attentive, I leave the woods, because I know I’m not hunting at my maximum level of efficiency and should be spending that time somewhere else doing something else.”

Click for Larger ViewOne of the reasons Sheppard is such an intense hunter is because he spends 90 percent of his hunting time scouting and only 10 percent of the time actually trying to bag a deer. As Sheppard explains, “To be an efficient hunter, you not only must know where the deer are, but also why, where and when they want to go there. You also must know how long the deer will remain in that region, when they’ll leave that area, and what causes them to move from one place to another. Click for Larger ViewBy studying deer-movement patterns on any property, you’ll better understand the deer on that land and drastically increase your odds of bagging a buck. So, the hunter who spends more time learning about the deer and the deer’s movement patterns on a piece of property can spend less time in a tree stand, yet take far-more deer than the hunter who scouts very little and stays in his tree stand all day long.”

To learn more about successfully hunting deer, purchase John E. Phillips’ books, “The Masters’ Secrets of Hunting Deer,” “The Science of Deer Hunting,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” and “Masters’ Secrets of Bowhunting Deer” at

Tomorrow: Know When to Scout and When to Hunt for Deer with Dr. Bob Sheppard

Check back each day this week for more about "The Deer Doctor, Dr. Bob Sheppard, Explains How to Take Deer Every Season "

Day 1: Deer-Hunting Expert Dr. Bob Sheppard Learns About Deer from Studying Books and Studying Deer in the Field
Day 2: Dr. Bob Sheppard Advises Hunters to Stay Alert in the Field to Take Deer
Day 3: Know When to Scout and When to Hunt Leads for Deer with Dr. Bob Sheppard
Day 4: Tips from Deer-Hunting Expert Dr. Bob Sheppard
Day 5: More Deer-Hunting Tips with Dr. Bob Sheppard

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Entry 630, Day 2