John's Journal...

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

Day 5: Hunt the Slack Times and Out-Hunt the Green Field Hunters in January

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 ViewMost sportsmen spend their time each season attempting to determine what the deer will do and when and where they'll do it. The average hunter wants to know where a buck feeds and beds, which trails he uses to go between his feeding and bedding, what the locations are of any scrapes, and where the buck most likely will meet his does. Many of the articles written tell you if you know these factors, you will have more opportunity to take a deer.

However, if you want to successfully hunt deer, especially at the end of the season, pattern the hunters, not the deer. If you'll keep a logbook all season of when the hunters walk into the woods, where they go, and when they come out of the woods for lunch, return to the woods for the afternoon hunt and leave the woods again for the day, you'll find gap times when most sportsmen don't hunt, often between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Many hunters believe deer don't move in the middle of the day. Also at this time, the hungry and tired hunters, who have awakened before daylight, want to eat and take naps before they return to the woods for the afternoon hunt.

Click for Larger ViewIf you study the outdoorsmen in the area you hunt, you'll soon realize the deer experience the least amount of hunting pressure in the middle of the day. Therefore, on the last day or two of hunting season, sleep in, and don't get up until 8:00 or 9:00 am. Be at your stand about10:00 am. Determine to stay there until at least 2:00 pm. During the late season in most states, especially where you find heavy hunting pressure, the bucks will move during daylight hours in the middle of the day more often than at any other time of day.

Out-Hunt the Green Field Hunters:

Click for Larger ViewToday across the country, sportsmen plant green fields, not just to feed the deer but to concentrate the deer and make them easier to harvest. You can sit in a shooting house over a green field in rainy or cold weather and remain warm and dry. If a deer comes onto the field to feed, you can take him. Shooting houses usually have comfortable chairs to sit in and plenty of places to put all your stuff. However, the more often people hunt a green field from the shooting houses, the less likely your chances are of bagging a trophy-sized, late-season buck at that green field. Instead, don't sit in a shooting house where all the other hunters have. Take a climbing tree stand to the back side of the green field, find the trails the deer use to come to the green field, and set up your stand 100 to 200 yards in the woods away from the green field. Older age-class bucks will come to the green fields at night to feed and breed. But generally, they'll hold down the trail 100-to 200-yards from the green field, until darkness prevents a hunter sitting in a shooting house to take a shot.

Deer quickly learn what shooting houses represent, and that hunters likely will sit in them, especially late in the afternoon. The deer understand that if they wait until dark, they'll find the hunters gone and the green field safe. Oftentimes at the end of the season after the bucks already have learned to stay away from the green fields until after dark, you can intercept a trophy buck in the woods along trails leading to the green field.

Click for Larger ViewTo take a buck of a lifetime at the end of a season . . .

* don't hunt where everyone else hunts,
* don't hunt at the times everyone else hunts,
* use strategies no one has utilized all season,
* put your stand in places where no one has hunted all season, and
* move into the deer's bedding area you've avoided during the season.

You may find end-of-the-season hunting for big bucks relatively easy, if you'll use these last-resort tactics.

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.

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 5