John's Journal...

Shoot Trophy Buck Deer on the Run

Day 2: How Jim Nelson of South Dakota Took Two Bucks on the Run

Editor’s Note: Longtime, avid deer hunters Chris Yeoman, a guide, and Dr. Jim Nelson - both of Rapid City, South Dakota - enjoy shooting deer on the run and think nothing of making several hundred yard shots at running deer.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewThe 2 weeks before I arrived in South Dakota, Nelson already had bagged two bucks, one that scored 158-1/8 on Boone & Crockett and another that scored 170-1/8 B & C. Both of these deer were taken on the run at more than 200 yards in South Dakota. The first deer Nelson let one of his hunting partners, Delana Russell, try to bag. But Delana missed the deer three times before the buck went into a drainage. Nelson and his party moved into a small, thick-cover area and jumped not only that buck but another big buck and 10-other deer.

“The deer came out of the drainage, running full-out and almost straightaway from us,” Nelson reports. “But since they angled a little to the right, I knew I wouldn't have a very difficult shot.
When the deer were at about 250 yards running down a fence line, I aimed at the biggest buck's nose and squeezed the trigger. The deer only ran 100 yards before he piled up. The bullet had gone into the back side of the animal's flank and continued on straight up into the lungs, bringing him down.”

Two weeks earlier Nelson bagged one of the biggest bucks he'd ever taken. This deer was also running almost straightaway. “Normally I would aim for the back of the deer's head,” Nelson mentions. “However, on this particular shot, I knew the bullet probably would land somewhat off to the right, if I aimed at the back of the buck's head, because of the angle he was running away. Then I'd miss him. Instead, I aimed for the tip of the deer's nose. When I squeezed the trigger, the bullet hit him in the center of the neck, and the big buck tumbled.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View“When you're shooting big deer at long distances, you've got to have a steady rest, you must take your time, and you must know exactly where to aim. Even then you can't be absolutely sure where the bullet will land. But from past experience, you can predict where you should hit the animal. In both these cases, I didn't doubt that I could make the shots.”

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: Dr. Jim Nelson Tells Us How and Where to Aim at a Running Buck

Check back each day this week for more about Shoot Trophy Buck Deer on the Run

Day 1: Practice Taking Coyotes to Learn to Shoot Buck Deer on the Run
Day 2: How Jim Nelson of South Dakota Took Two Bucks on the Run
Day 3: Dr. Jim Nelson Tells Us How and Where to Aim at a Running Buck
Day 4: How to Hunt Deer Uphill and Downhill
Day 5: Why Use High-Magnification Scopes to Shoot Running Deer

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Entry 851, Day 2