John's Journal...

Archery Hall of Fame Recipient Hugh Blackburn Tells His Tips to Better Hunting for Deer

Day 2: Understanding the Habits of Deer Where You Hunt with Hugh Blackburn

Editor’s Note: The late Hugh Blackburn, a member of the Archery Hall of Fame, won many field-archery competitions in his lifetime, hunted deer with a bow for over 40 years and was one of the masters of the sport at a time when most hunters never hunted with bows. As a manufacturer’s representative for the Fred Bear Archery Company and an instructor at the Westervelt Lodge Bowhunting School in Aliceville, Alabama, Blackburn taught thousands of sportsmen the fine art of bowhunting. This expert’s tips are timeless even today and may be just what you need to put a buck on the meat pole this season.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewSome bowhunters go into the woods and have some knowledge about deer and deer movement, but they don’t know the individual habits of the deer in the region they plan to hunt during the times they’re hunting. Deer movements and feeding, bedding and rutting patterns will vary greatly in different regions of the country. There also will be quite a bit of difference in the deer’s behavior pattern, even within the same county. Unless the bowhunter understands the deer on the section of land he plans to hunt, he may be the best shot in the world but never have a target. If a man is familiar with hunting deer in one region and has been successful, he may try and utilize his same hunting techniques in another area. Then he may be frustrated, because he doesn’t see any deer. Just knowing generalized deer behavior is not enough. You have to understand the deer’s behavior in the place where you plan to hunt. Even knowing that, the outdoorsman also must understand how a weather change will affect the deer within his region. What do the deer do when rain, sleet and/or snow falls? What do they do before a front, after a front and on sunny days? I’ve heard sportsmen say, “Boy, I sure hope it rains tonight, because we’ll have good hunting tomorrow if it does.” Well, those people just have missed their best hunting, since deer will be moving just before rain. You’ve got to learn what deer do before, during and after a weather change. Successful bowhunters understand deer. Unsuccessful hunters not only don’t know about deer but also don’t take the time to learn.

Don’t Ruin Your Hunting Area Before You Reach It:

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewThe hunter’s approach to his stand is often as critical, if not more critical, than what he does once he gets into the stand. If the hunter has the wind at his back when he’s going to his hunting area, his scent will blow across the region before he ever gets into his stand and drive every deer out of the area. Make sure you approach your stand from the direction that won’t cause your odor to be blown into the place you plan to hunt. You also need to be as quiet as possible when approaching your stand. I believe that the hunter should stalk to his stand. By that I mean move as quietly and slowly as possible as you can to your stand, so that you don’t spook any animals on your way. Once you arrive at your tree stand, get into your stand without making any noise. That’s why I prefer a permanent stand or a ladder type of stand. With those tree stands you can climb a tree without making racket that many climbing stands make.

You’ll learn more about deer hunting in the new Kindle eBooks, “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property” and “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros” by John E. Phillips. Go to, type in the names of the books and download them to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

Tomorrow: Shooting Your Bow Instinctively to Take Deer with Hugh Blackburn

Check back each day this week for more about "Archery Hall of Fame Recipient Hugh Blackburn Tells His Tips to Better Hunting for Deer"

Day 1: Knowing Your Equipment to Successfully Bowhunt Deer with Hugh Blackburn
Day 2: Understanding the Habits of Deer Where You Hunt with Hugh Blackburn
Day 3: Shooting Your Bow Instinctively to Take Deer with Hugh Blackburn
Day 4: Bowhunter Hugh Blackburn on Positioning Your Tree Stand to Bag Deer
Day 5: More Bowhunting Tips for Taking Deer with Hugh Blackburn

ALL CONTENT PROTECTED UNDER THE DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT. Content theft, either printed or electronic is a federal offense.


Entry 690, Day 2