John's Journal...

Hunt and Harvest Mature Buck Deer Every Year with the Same System That Produces Championship Football Teams

Day 5: Check the Performance of Your Deer Herd’s Training and Nutritional Program Before the Deer Season Starts

Editor’s Note: “Stay with the process, get better every day, do everything right each day, and the outcome will take care of itself,” is a gospel Coach Nick Saban, head football coach at the University of Alabama, preaches to his football team daily. Each year, his teams produce the opportunity for being champions. The result of Saban’s gospel has been three national championships and three SEC championships. This type of philosophy also will produce older-age-class deer year after year for PSE bowhunters.

Click for larger ViewAfter football season, college coaches all over the nation bring their new recruits into spring training. They want to check their strength and their body development, see how well these young athletes have been trained and learn what their potential may be for the 2015 fall football season. To have mature bucks to hunt this fall, you need to check the growth and development of those bucks through the spring and summer months. Continue to rotate your crops in your green fields, and begin to plant your fall and winter crops to ensure there's always plenty of food for the deer that you’ve lured in at the end of deer season to eat. As we learn more and more about deer hunting, we’re beginning to understand more about deer management and monitoring deer.

Click for larger ViewMost deer hunters wait until about 2 weeks before deer season to start putting out trail cameras and developing their buck hit list. However, by now, after following this game plan that has been laid out, you should know where your deer are bedding, feeding and traveling. So, you're already ahead of the game, and you’ve already drastically increased your odds for taking older-age-class bucks. If you haven’t put out your trail cameras, do, and watch the movements of the mature bucks. As they grow antlers, you may be surprised. The bucks you’ve considered to be cull bucks at the end of the previous deer season, through the summer months may have become shooter bucks due to the food, protection, vitamins and minerals that you’ve been providing for these deer. As soon as the bucks develop velvet antlers, you can watch the antler size and the body size of the bucks on the property you hunt increase – especially by using trail cameras. Also, you can better determine which bucks you want to put on your hit list. By the time the season arrives, you’ll have several mature, older-age bucks that you’ve decided to try to hunt and take.

To increase your odds even more, consider the possibility of not hunting your property the first 2 weeks of deer season. Mature bucks will be the first deer to react negatively to hunting pressure. They’ll be the first bucks to become nocturnal, seek sanctuary areas where hunters don’t hunt and locate bedding and feeding sites where they won’t be harassed. If you agree with this reasoning, then all the property owners around you who have started hunting the first 2 weeks of deer season will be driving more older-age-class bucks to your property where they find sanctuary, food and bedding sites. Therefore, if you don’t hunt your property until after the first 2 weeks of deer season, you should have the maximum number of mature bucks that your property can attract when you prepare to hunt.

Click for larger ViewClick for larger ViewThere's one more step that can help increase your odds for taking older-age-class bucks every season. Do not hunt over your green fields or your bedding areas until just before and during the peak of the rut. If you give those mature bucks sanctuary in your bedding sites, and if you use your green fields as sanctuaries for both bucks and does, most likely, bucks will show up on your green fields and around your bedding areas during the rut. Then you should see and be able to harvest mature bucks every year.

One misconception that many bowhunters have had is that the more property they have to hunt, the better their odds will be for taking mature bucks. However, the amount of land you have to hunt isn’t nearly as important as the quality of property you have to hunt. Large numbers of hunters - both bowhunters and gun hunters - take mature bucks and trophy bucks each year off properties as small as 10 or 20 acres. Generally, these lands are strategically located on travel routes and escape routes for deer on surrounding properties. By following the system of deer management described, and by using trail cameras to keep up with and pattern the movement of older age class bucks, these hunters consistently may produce mature deer with better racks than the hunters who have 500 to 1,000 acres to hunt.

By starting with the best athletes and making sure they have the food required to build muscle mass and speed, football coaches know that they're protecting their athletes from the problems that cause many young people to fail and not perform properly. Having the training of what to do and when to do it produces winning football teams year after year. By developing a system that consistently has produced winners, if colleges train their athletes to follow the system and not worry about the outcome, they’ll have winning programs.

The formula we've given you this week isn’t really new information. However, some hunters try to shortcut this system either in the amount of time they're willing to spend to follow each step of the system or the amount of money they're willing to spend. But, these same hunters who aren’t willing to follow the system usually become very jealous of the hunters who do follow the system and consistently take nice, mature bucks. So, the simple answer is, if you follow this system of deer management and protect your land from poachers, statistics have proven that you can consistently take mature bucks regularly each year on the property you hunt.

To learn more about deer hunting, you can get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” (John’s latest book), “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.

Check back each day this week for more about Hunt and Harvest Mature Buck Deer Every Year with the Same System That Produces Championship Football Teams"

Day 1: Start Scouting the Day after Deer Season Closes
Day 2: How to Legally Steal Your Neighbor’s Buck Deer
Day 3: Stick with the System and Don’t Focus On the Results to Produce Mature Buck Deer Where You Hunt
Day 4: You Have to Build Bodies and Train the Athletes or the Deer for the Most-Productive Programs
Day 5: Hunt and Harvest Mature Buck Deer Every Year with the Same System That Produces Championship Football Teams

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Entry 803, Day 5