John's Journal...

Driving Bow Buck Deer

Day 4: Deer Follow the Path of Least Resistance When Bowhunters Drive Them

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.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewWhen a buck becomes spooked, he usually wants to take the path of least resistance to get away from approaching danger. He also wants to travel a trail where he'll make the least amount of noise as he escapes. One of the most-deadly bowhunting drive tactics I know creates an escape trail for the buck. Here’s what you do: After deer season ends, go into thick cover, and learn all you can about where the bucks have holed-up during hunting season. More than likely, you'll discover bedding sites, scrapes, rubs and trails. Once you better understand how and where the buck stays in and travels through that cover to avoid hunters, then you can determine the direction of the prevailing wind in your area in relationship to that cover. For instance, in Alabama where I live, the prevailing wind during hunting season moves in from the northwest. After I check out a thick-cover area where I think bucks will hold, I'll move two-thirds of the way into that thick cover toward the northwest. Then I’ll turn around and look for a tree stand site. When I spot the tree I want to hunt from, I'll take a handsaw and a pair of pruning shears with me to cut a small trail about 2-feet wide through the cover that runs within 10 yards of my tree stand. This buck escape trail I’ve created will bring a buck right by my tree stand. Obviously, as with all hunting tactics, this strategy doesn't work every time. However, it has produced enough bucks for me to continue to use it.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewRemember though when setting-up this kind of escape trail to make this trail invisible to other hunters who may see it from outside the thicket. Don’t tell anybody about this trail except your buddy who'll help you drive the deer. After using this same trail for one or two seasons, you can decide the continued effectiveness of this trail and whether you need to cut a new trail through that thicket or cut additional trails that funnel deer onto this main trail.

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: Bowhunters Need a Hunt Plan to Take Deer on a Drive

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

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


Entry 691, Day 4