John's Journal...

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

Day 4: Hunt Thick Cover to Take Big Buck Deer

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 ViewAccording to my friend, longtime, avid deer hunter Don Taylor, “There were several reasons I felt confident that I could take the big buck – probably a 200-pound-plus 10 point (See previous entries for week). First of all I knew he was in there. Secondly, I knew that only two of us fellows were hunting the area. Most of the other people in our club said this region was too thick to hunt and convinced themselves with statements like, ‘You can’t get in there to hunt,’ or, ‘If you do get in there to hunt, you will spook more deer than you see,’ or, ‘A deer can see and hear you before you can see him.’ Basically they were all right. But by moving slowly through the five small ditches going into the thickest places, I often would find an opening or a break in the ditch where I might could see from 30 to 100 yards. Although I wouldn’t be able to see in many-different directions, I would have a fairly-open field of view in one direction. So, I felt I had a good chance, because of the woods’ being so dense that the other hunters were staying out of that section of land.

“I also realized that since I had taken the big 6-pointer at 9:15 am when he was chasing a doe that the rut must be in full swing. I figured I should have a really-good chance of seeing the big deer chasing does at any time of the day. However, on Saturday when I hunted, I failed to see any deer. But on Sunday when I returned to the same place again, I decided to go to one particular opening that I knew of and get in the woods just as the sun was beginning to pierce into the deep cover.”

Deer on the Move:

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View“I went into the area I wanted to hunt on Sunday morning,” Taylor explained. “I’d been watching the opening for about 10 minutes when I heard a loud noise headed in my direction. I looked-up and saw a doe running at full speed, straight at me. When she was within 15 yards of me, she slammed on her brakes, turned abruptly and wheeled-away from me. When the doe was between 50 to 70 yards from me, I whistled as loudly as I could, and she stopped. I have learned that whistling or hollering loudly will stop a deer most of the time if they haven’t seen you. I just wanted the doe to stop and not be too spooked, so she wouldn’t spook anything coming behind her. And, since she was upwind from me, I knew she couldn’t give away my position. I didn’t think she really knew what I was, because she had come onto me so quickly. So, I wondered why she was running that hard. There were no dogs chasing her, and I knew that no other hunters had spooked her. I decided the only thing that could possibly cause her to run that hard through this thick cover would be that a buck was chasing her. I kept watching the direction from where the doe had come and could see some movement back in the thicket at 70 to 80 yards. But I couldn’t make out what the movement was. After the doe stood there for a short time, she walked back into the thick cover. I waited for 2 or 3 minutes before I saw some movement just to the left of where the doe had gone back into the thicket. A buck came out of the thick cover into an opening, and I saw his massive rack.”

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: Don Taylor’s Huge Buck Deer and the Keys Needed to Successfully Take One.

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 4