John's Journal...

Hunting Deer in December

Day 2: Why Smart Deer Bucks Live

Editor’s Note: Deer hunters often find hunting miserable during the month of December because the deer know more about you than you do about them. The deer know what time you go hunting and what time you break for lunch; when you'll return to the woods; where you've located your tree stands; where you hunt most often; and where you seldom hunt. The deer have psyched you out and outsmarted you. Let’s look at deer hunting in December.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewFor a deer to reach the age of 3-years old or older, he has to avoid hunting pressure, regardless of his hunger, his sleepiness or his need to breed a doe. Older-age-class bucks have learned that human encounters result in their deaths. By avoiding humans, they can survive to feed, breed and live through another deer season, which means most of them will become nocturnal.

The less hunting pressure a region experiences, the greater your odds are for bagging a big deer there in December. The more hunting pressure a place receives, the slimmer your odds for success. By December, most of the dumb, young bucks are residing in some hunter's cooler or freezer. The remaining, older, smarter bucks become even harder to take. That's why deer hunters find December hunting so tough.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewThe bucks that have survived until December already have learned how to dodge hunter pressure. The rut's not on in many parts of the southern states, which means you won’t find the bucks chasing does. The deer have learned to feed and move after dark. If deer must move during daylight hours, they only walk in sites where they've never seen or smelled a human. For these reasons, if you hope to take a buck during December, you've got to think like a buck, learn where he'll most likely move during daylight hours and realize you only may have 3 hours in any day to bag a mature buck.

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: How to Bag Mature Buck Deer During December

Check back each day this week for more about Hunting Deer in December

Day 1: How to Identify Sites for December Deer Hunting
Day 2: Why Smart Deer Bucks Live
Day 3: How to Bag Mature Buck Deer During December
Day 4: How to Identify a Place to Take Buck Deer in December
Day 5: How to Fool Older Age Class Buck Deer

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Entry 852, Day 2