John's Journal...

Driving Bow Buck Deer

Day 3: Bowhunters Use Draw Hunt Drives to Take Deer

Editor’s Note: You’ll rarely ever hear the term, “putting on a deer drive,” in relationship to bowhunting. Most hunters never consider the possibility of driving deer when they bowhunt, mainly due to the perception of how to conduct a deer drive. But western bowhunters use deer drives to take bucks.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewI've seen a draw hunt used effectively by bowhunters in states with habitat like you find in South Dakota and Montana for driving deer, where the whitetails stay in creek bottoms, often flanked by large alfalfa fields and/or mountains. Bucks sometimes will hold in a creek bottom in thick cover, only 50- to 100-yards wide. By setting-up a hunter in a tree stand along a deer travel trail through that creek bottom and having another hunter act as a driver by sneaking through the creek bottom upwind of the hunter in the stand, big bucks will move down a draw and within bow range of the hunter in the stand. Once again, to make these drives successful, the driver must allow his human odor to completely penetrate the cover, while he moves as quietly as possible through that cover. As the smell of the driver becomes stronger to the buck, the buck will feel the need to move. The buck must not see the driver. Otherwise, the buck may remain in his bed and let the driver move past him.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewAnother factor will make this man-drive work for you. If you place the stander up a few yards inside the cover where he can get a clear shot of the trail, you’ll have more chances of success than if the stander sits on the outside of the cover and waits for the buck to come out into an opening. Remember, as long as a buck remains in thick cover, he'll feel somewhat secure and think he can move undetected. You want to keep the buck as calm as possible and prevent him from becoming alarmed or running. However, often you'll get too close to the buck, or the buck will spot you and run out of the cover. No buck always does what you think he will every time you hunt him. Many times the buck won't come down the trail but instead will use another means of escaping the cover. If you hunt the same draw or the same patch of thick cover year after year, you can establish a buck's entrance and exit patterns and set up your tree stand accordingly.

You’ll learn more-intensive hunting information and tips in the new Kindle eBooks,“How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros,” “Jim Crumley's Secrets of Bowhunting Deer,” Deer and Fixings” and “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” all 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, Smart Phone or computer.

About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Tomorrow: Deer Follow the Path of Least Resistance When Bowhunters Drive Them

Check back each day this week for more about "Driving Bow Buck Deer"

Day 1: Two Bowhunters Can Drive Deer Successfully
Day 2: Understand the Importance of the Deer’s Nose When Bowhunters Drive Deer
Day 3: Bowhunters Use Draw Hunt Drives to Take Deer
Day 4: Deer Follow the Path of Least Resistance When Bowhunters Drive Them
Day 5: Bowhunters Need a Hunt Plan to Take Deer on a Drive

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Entry 691, Day 3