John's Journal...

Make a List to Successfully Bowhunt Deer

Day 3: Don’t Overlook Anything When You’re Scouting

Editor’s Note: The little things that may seem insignificant can make or break your bowhunt. Here’s how to spot potential problems.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewMost archers who scout for deer try and locate an area where the deer are feeding or a trail where these deer are moving to and from food to take a stand. But the most-successful bowhunters travel several steps further and read the signs much closer, longer and harder, before they decide to climb a tree to wait on a whitetail to show-up.
The late Clarence Yates of Sterrett, Ala., who had taken more than 100 deer with his bow, put it best when he said, “I’m not just looking for a place in the woods to take a deer, but searching for the very-best place in the woods to try and arrow a buck. To be consistently successful in bagging deer with a bow, the archer must know all of the places in the woods where he hunts that there are to take deer. Then through the process of elimination, he determines which region is the most productive to bag a deer on the day he plans to hunt.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View“That decision is made through a close scrutiny of every detail about the hunt on the day of the hunt. Let’s consider an example, and see how little details in scouting make a difference in whether or not an archer takes a whitetail. Generally I like to bowhunt on about 800 – 1,000 acres. No matter how much land I have permission to hunt on, if I narrow my land choice down to this size, then I can begin to learn the land. I want to become intimately acquainted with every tree, creek, trail, hill and thicket in my hunt area. By doing this, I will be able to select five or six spots where any bowman will put-up a tree stand, because the deer sign will be there.”

To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and print books on hunting deer, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” “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,” “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” and “Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows,” or to prepare venison, “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.

For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from

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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: Questions to Ask Yourself on the Day You Plan to Hunt Deer

Check back each day this week for more about Make a List to Successfully Bowhunt Deer

Day 1: The Importance of Checking All Aspects of Bowhunting Equipment to Take Deer
Day 2: Pattern Your Bowhunting after the Greats
Day 3: Don’t Overlook Anything When You’re Scouting
Day 4: Questions to Ask Yourself on the Day You Plan to Hunt Deer
Day 5: Recover Deer by Identifying Every Sign

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Entry 839, Day 3