John's Journal...

Create a Hot Spot Where You Can Hunt Deer Close

Day 3: Use Wildlife Plantings to Make a Deer Hot Spot You Can Hunt

Editor’s Note: Through the years, I've learned that focusing on the big aspects of deer hunting doesn't always bring as much success as paying attention to the small details like having food available that deer like to eat and having places where you can hunt deer close with your bow, muzzleloader, pistol or crossbow. Following through with the little things that everyone else thinks they automatically will do, but don't, will ensure success afield for bagging deer.

Wildlife Plantings:

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewIf you plant a green field that has easy access to it, everyone will hunt it. Then more than likely, no one will take many good-quality bucks from that green field. However, if you go to some extra effort and plant a green field in the middle of thick cover or a long way from a road, most hunters won't walk the extra distance or crawl through thick cover to get to the deer honey hole. Too, the green field will more effectively draw deer to you during deer season. Use these guidelines to get the most from hidden green fields you plant.

  • Have a soil test performed on the dirt where you want to plant.
  • Use a herbicide that will remove the competing plants before you begin to plow and plant.
  • Add the right amounts of lime and fertilizer to help the plants grow to their optimum levels of nutrition.
  • Use good-quality seeds and plants like the wild seed mixtures created by Texas Seed Company, Pennington Seed Company and Mossy Oak's BioLogic.

Select the wildlife plantings best-suited for your section of the country for the time of year when deer season will start. Collect information before the season regarding what seeds will produce the most deer for you during the upcoming season. If you really want to learn how to have the most productive green field, plant three or four different types of seed from different manufacturers, and watch the fields as they grow. The fields that have the most deer in them throughout the season probably contain the seeds that will grow best in your specific area.

Deer Hot Spots in Plain View:

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewYou don't expect a trophy buck to stand just inside the woods on the road you travel to reach your hunting area. Few people ever think to hunt beside a woods road or a logging road. However, if you use herbicide to remove the undesirable brush along certain sections of the woods road and fertilizer to increase the growth and crude protein level of the native plants, you can create a deer hot spot on the edge of a woods road no one else will think to hunt. To attract bucks to the edge of a woods road, plant and fertilize a nut tree or a fruit tree just off the edge of the road where no one can see it. Each season, hunters probably will drive right by this hot spot and never hunt it. But you can set-up and hunt this site after all the other hunters go into the woods. You can create another honey hole in plain view within 50 yards of the gated entrance to your hunting lease where no one ever hunts. Use herbicide and fertilizer in that general region, and plant fruit and nut trees within 50 yards of the gate. Keep your mouth shut about the honey holes you've made. Once everyone else learns what you do and begins to hunt the places you prepare, you no longer can expect to have successful hunts where you can hunt deer close. Usually someone will find one or two of my honey holes every season. To consistently take deer, I create new honey holes each year and don't tell anyone about them. Creating a secret muzzleloading hot spot not only means attracting bucks to a place where you can take them during deer season, but it also means not telling anyone the locations of these hot spots.

For more information, get the new eBook, “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” by John E. Phillips. Go to, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone 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: Build Stalking Trails through Thick Cover to Help You Take More Bucks

Check back each day this week for more about "Create a Hot Spot Where You Can Hunt Deer Close"

Day 1: Plant Fruit and Nut Trees to Create a Deer Hunting Honey Hole
Day 2: The Importance of Native Plants and Natural Nuts to Create a Honey Hole for Hunting Deer Close
Day 3: Use Wildlife Plantings to Make a Deer Hot Spot You Can Hunt
Day 4: Build Stalking Trails through Thick Cover to Help You Take More Bucks
Day 5: How to Install a Stalking Lane to Hunt Deer Close

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Entry 692, Day 3