John's Journal...

Try These Last Resort End of the Season Big Buck Deer Tactics

Day 4: Rattle the Deer Out and Become a Night Hunter at the Last of Deer Season

Editor’s Note: On the last week of deer season if you haven't taken your buck, what can you do to insure your success? How can you bag the biggest buck of the season? At this time of the year, the older bucks know more about what you'll do than you do. To take them, you must do the unexpected.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewIf you hunt in mountainous terrain that has briar or brush thickets at the base of a mountain and numerous finger ridges running off the mountain, you can use the can-of-rocks strategy to spook big bucks into open cover. One hunter walks the top of the mountain, while the other hunter moves in the valley below. When you see a finger ridge coming off the main mountain with a thicket at the base of the mountain where the finger ridge joins the mountain, roll a can of rocks down the mountain and into the thicket. The deer holed-up in the thicket probably never before have heard a can of rocks coming toward them. They'll have to get up and either run up the side of the finger ridge or more than likely, they'll run out through the valley where a stander waits. When deer hole up in thickets you know you can't penetrate, use some unusual sound or offensive scent, like human odor, to travel through that thicket to spook the bucks out.

Become a Night Hunter:

Ninety-eight percent of the sportsmen who go into the woods each season to take deer don't like to walk in the woods before daylight or after dark. If they do go into the woods at those times, they'll usually carry flashlights and walk quickly to their stand sites. However, flashlights and fast walking often spook the deer they hope to hunt. Instead, at the end of the season, go into the woods an hour or two before daylight. Use a GPS receiver with a backlight, preferably with a red screen, to navigate to your stand site. Don't use a flashlight. Take two steps forward, and stop. Then take one step forward, and stop. Break-up your walking rhythm to sound more like an animal grazing than a hunter walking to his stand. Take plenty of time to reach your stand site deep in the woods. Have your stand near a bedding area or an escape route the bucks will use to get away from hunters as they enter the woods at daylight.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewOr, to hunt deer successfully in the late afternoon, climb early into your stand situated deep in the woods, well-away from other hunters and close to a bedding region. Determine to remain in your stand until you no longer can see through your riflescope. Most hunters want to leave their stands with enough daylight to see how to return to their vehicles. Often you'll find the deer the most active and 90 percent of the hunters out of the woods those last 2 minutes of shooting light. If you decide to stay on your stand until pitch-black dark and utilize your GPS to leave the woods, you'll drastically increase your odds for bagging a buck at the end of the season that no other hunter has seen.

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 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 the Slack Times and Out-Hunt the Green Field Hunters in January

Check back each day this week for more about Try These Last Resort End of the Season Big Buck Deer Tactics"

Day 1: Hunting Deer Backwards at the End of the Season for Success
Day 2: You’ll Have to Work Hard to Take a Big Buck in January
Day 3: How to Blast Deer Out and Make Them Nervous to Get Them Out of Thick Cover
Day 4: Rattle the Deer Out and Become a Night Hunter at the Last of Deer Season
Day 5: Hunt the Slack Times and Out-Hunt the Green Field Hunters in January

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Entry 752, Day 4