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

Day 4: Tips from Deer-Hunting Expert Dr. Bob Sheppard

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“To be an effective hunter, I take stand sites where other hunters either don’t or won’t hunt,” Dr. Bob Sheppard reports. “Also, I hide from other hunters. If a sportsman consistently bags deer, then the other outdoorsmen who hunt that same land may spend more time attempting to learn where the productive hunter is hunting and then try to locate deer on their own. Oftentimes the sportsman who brags about where he’s hunting, how he’s hunting, and what deer he’s taken will make enemies of the other hunters on his property who aren’t as successful as he is. He’ll also give-away his hunting tactics and sites to people who are less experienced and who will go into that area to hunt, foul-up the spot with their human odor and/or spook deer by hunting at the wrong time of day.

Click for Larger View“One of the keys to successful deer hunting, especially in Alabama, is to camouflage a productive spot when you find it. Then no one else will realize you’re hunting there. Try to make sure that no one else sees you going to or coming from that area. Developing your own hunt plan from your knowledge and experience with the deer in your area is another critical key to being successful afield. If you use someone else’s knowledge or experience, you don’t have all the facts the other person had who hunted that region. So, when I go into a new area to hunt, I rely very little on deer-hunting information from other outdoorsmen. Instead, I survey the area myself, study aerial photos, topo maps and highway maps. I then develop my own hunt plan and do my own on-site scouting. Being a successful deer hunter involves being as individualized and personalized as being a successful bass fisherman. Each sportsman must diligently study the deer in his area, develop a game plan that’s best for that parcel of land and then hunt according to that plan.

Click for Larger View“Too, never forget that the older, smarter bucks move into thick cover as hunting pressure builds through the season. These are the smartest deer in the woods, as well as the best trophies and the most-difficult deer to take. If a sportsman hopes to bag one of these hard-to-take deer, he must begin to hunt that deer before bow season starts and the deer retreats to thick cover. Often thickets where you successfully can take a buck are small (less than 10 acres in size), as well as narrow and long – possibly 100-yards wide and 500-yards long. Click for Larger ViewGet inside the thicket in February after the season ends, and see where the deer are moving through the thicket. Because deer have spent most of December and January in those thickets due to hunting pressure, they’ve made trails that are easy to spot. Although you may have to belly-crawl into a thicket like this, learning where to set-up your tree stand, so your shooting lanes will intersect at right angles to the deer’s trails, will help you be more successful in the coming season. Don’t forget to take into account from which direction you’ll approach that stand and then optimize the wind direction.”

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: More Deer-Hunting Tips 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 4