John's Journal...

Hunting Big Buck Deer in Bad, Thick Places with Outdoor Writer John E. Phillips

Day 3: Taking a Big 6 Point Buck and Deer on the Move

Editor’s Note: I’ve learned that the most-productive formula for trophy-rack buck deer success is to hunt the cover others shun. The results can be spectacular.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewAfter several years of studying and learning the new lease that adjoined a lease Don Taylor and his friends had had for some years (see Days 1 and 2), Taylor reported, “I had already killed two or three inferior deer on the new lease, but I had yet to see the trophy deer I felt sure was in the thick cover. One day, I had hunted hard from daylight until about 9:00 am. I walked down one of the finger draws through the center of the property and had come to a firebreak on the other end of the thick cover. I hadn’t seen a single deer all morning long and was somewhat frustrated. Since the dew was already off the leaves, the woods were quite noisy. I decided that the best game plan would be to move very slowly down a firebreak and watch for any sign of deer. I only had walked a few hundred yards, when I decided to stop and rest for awhile.

“While leaning-up against the tree, I thought that there was very-little chance of my taking a deer that late in the morning. I guess my confidence was gone. I even had my rifle slung over my shoulder instead of in my hand ready to shoot. But then in a few minutes, I spotted movement on the other side of the firebreak, back in the woods, and saw a doe. She kept moving toward the firebreak, stopping and looking over her shoulder as though she was watching something. Immediately I thought there might be a buck behind her. I brought my rifle off my shoulder and started scoping the direction where she was looking. A minute passed, and then I spotted movement behind the doe. I couldn’t immediately distinguish the deer, but then I saw the huge 6-pointer (see Day 1). I hardly could believe how tall his rack was. The buck was at 60 yards when I fired. He dropped instantly. The animal weighed 213 pounds, and the antlers scored 126 on Boone & Crockett. I immediately checked the deer’s teeth. When I felt that there was very-little wear on the deer’s teeth, I assumed that this was a young deer and wanted John to check them. And, even though he was a fine trophy, he wasn’t the big buck I’d been hunting the previous years.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View“Then once John Phillips confirmed that the deer was only 2-1/2- to 3-1/2-years old, I was sure that my ‘big buck’ was still out there on our property. I knew after hunting this area for 3 years that this 6-pointer couldn’t possibly be the buck I had see the first 2 years. The 6-pointer was taken on Thursday, and I went back to the area again to hunt on the following Saturday and Sunday.”

For more deer-hunting tips, get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks "How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,”
How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” and “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” or to prepare venison, get “Deer & Fixings.” Click here on each, or 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.


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About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) 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: Hunt Thick Cover to Take Big Buck Deer

Check back each day this week for more about Hunting Big Buck Deer in Bad, Thick Places with Outdoor Writer John E. Phillips"

Day 1: Seeing Is Believing When Big Deer Are Hunted
Day 2: How Don Taylor’s Deer Hunt Began For Two Big Buck Deer on the Same Land
Day 3: Taking a Big 6 Point Buck and Deer on the Move
Day 4: Hunt Thick Cover to Take Big Buck Deer
Day 5: Don Taylor’s Huge Buck Deer and the Keys Needed to Successfully Take One

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Entry 750, Day 3