John's Journal...

What Hunters Should Know About Nuts to Take Buck Deer

Day 2: Longtime Deer Hunter Larry Norton Says to Follow the Squirrel and Keep a Tree Log to Find Bucks

Editor’s Note: Because of the success of that hunt for deer near nut trees (see Day 1) I’ve been nuts for bucks ever since. If you know how to hunt nut trees, you consistently can pattern and take deer year after year in the same area. A man who has far more knowledge than myself and spends most of his time in the woods hunting nuts is avid deer hunter and guide, Larry Norton of Butler, Alabama.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View“I have several nut trees around which I usually bag a deer and often a buck each year with my bow,” Larry Norton says. Norton has developed several systems of hunting nut trees that produce deer for him each season. Using his technique will help you arrow more bucks.

Follow the Squirrels to Find the Bucks:

Both squirrels and deer feed on nut trees. By noticing which trees the squirrels are feeding on each week of deer season, you often can locate deer under those same trees. In Norton’s home state of Alabama, red oaks and water oaks drop their acorns first for the deer and squirrels to eat. Then the white oaks lose their nuts, and finally the large white oaks known as chestnut oaks drop their acorns. However, water oak acorns continue to fall throughout deer season and on until the end of February.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewKeep a Tree Log:

To concentrate deer close enough for a bow shot, identify the first tree of each species to drop its nuts. Deer often will come from a great distance to taste the first nuts of a type of tree. Not only will squirrels tell you which trees drop their nuts first, but they also will knock nuts loose from the trees as they bounce around in the limbs, which helps put more nuts on the ground for the deer. Once Norton pinpoints the first nut tree of each kind in an area to drop its nuts, he records its location and date in a log book.

To learn more about deer hunting, you can get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, 
How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” and “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” 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: Know Which Nut Trees to Hunt and When for Success in Taking a Buck Deer

Check back each day this week for more about What Hunters Should Know About Nuts to Take Buck Deer"

Day 1: Bowhunters Know Oak Trees Are Hot Spots for Taking Deer
Day 2: Longtime Deer Hunter Larry Norton Says to Follow the Squirrel and Keep a Tree Log to Find Bucks
Day 3: Know Which Nut Trees to Hunt and When for Success in Taking a Buck Deer
Day 4: How Deer Hunters Can Select and Fertilize Nut Trees and Shrubs to Have More Deer with Larry Norton
Day 5: Larry Norton’s Bowhunting Strategies for Hunting Fertilized Nut Trees for Deer

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Entry 788, Day 2