John's Journal...

Daytime Deer Tactics for Nighttime Feeders with Ronnie Groom

Day 3: Why Hunt the Deer’s Food with Ronnie Groom

Editor’s Note: How do you hunt the bucks that do all their moving and feeding at night? The problem is tough – but not impossible! Ronnie Groom of Panama City, Florida, has been an avid deer hunter for more than 4 decades and is considered an authority on deer, teaching deer seminars at various hunting lodges.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewThe area where the deer usually become nocturnal first is in feeding regions, because there are so many hunters trying to bag deer as the animals come in to feed. Therefore the deer know better than to move into these types of sites during daylight hours. However, the deer also understand that when dark approaches, the hunters leave the woods. So although the animals won’t move into the feeding sites until dark, they generally will start toward these feeding regions before dark. If the hunter will follow the trails that lead from the feeding area to the bedding region or the places where the bucks are seeking sanctuary, he can take a stand close to this thick cover.

Although most hunters probably know this tactic, they usually make two mistakes when utilizing it.
They leave their stands too early to bag a deer. There is a common fear among hunters that they’re going to get lost in the woods after dark. Therefore they move out of the forests, while there’s still enough light to see how to get out of the woods. So, even though they may have their stands in the best places possible, they generally will leave before the deer show-up.

The people who are more successful in their stands remain until the light is too little to see to shoot. Most of the time the buck will appear during that last 5-10 minutes of daylight. He realizes that by the time he reaches the feeding area that the woods will be too dark for the hunters to see, and then he can feed undisturbed. So, he waits until almost dark before he heads for that food. The hunter who harvests this deer will have to remain in his stand until black dark to see the buck. Always remember that you can use your GPS or your compass to return to your car – even in the dark.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewThe second mistake that many hunters make is that they shoot the first buck they see. To take a really nice buck, you must allow the small bucks to pass by you. Big bucks haven’t grown large by being stupid. They will let the smaller, less-experienced bucks walk out into an opening before they will. Big bucks assume that if a hunter is out there that the little bucks will die first. So, if you want to take a truly-large deer as he is moving from a thicket, a sanctuary or a bedding area, most of the time you must let the small deer pass by you, undisturbed.

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 “Bowhunting Deer: 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: Why Hunt Nocturnal Buck Deer in the Morning with Ronnie Groom

Check back each day this week for more about Daytime Deer Tactics for Nighttime Feeders with Ronnie Groom

Day 1: How to Find a Deer Sanctuary with Ronnie Groom
Day 2: How to Hunt a Deer Sanctuary with Ronnie Groom
Day 3: Why Hunt the Deer’s Food with Ronnie Groom
Day 4: Why Hunt Nocturnal Buck Deer in the Morning with Ronnie Groom
Day 5: How to Hunt the High Noon Buck Deer with Ronnie Groom

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Entry 848, Day 3