John's Journal...

Take Deer - Hunt Transition Regions, Scrapes, Watering Holes and Crowded Areas

Day 3: Finding the Transition Regions to Take Deer

Editor’s Note: Between the cover where they bed down, and the places where they feed, trophy-rack bucks are on the move and vulnerable, especially early in the morning and late in the afternoon. You can identify the places they prefer to be and take more deer.

One of the most-productive places to take a deer is somewhere between his bedding and his feeding areas. There are several reasons why transition regions are choice locations for bagging bucks.

* A hunter won’t spook deer as easily going to the transition area as he will when he hunts feeding places.
* A transition area usually has well-defined, easy-to-locate trails in these spots.
* The deer generally will be moving more in transition areas than in bedding or feeding sites.
* You can predict when a buck will cross a transition area more accurately than trying to guess when he will feed or bed.

To locate an active transition area, a hunter must first identify the deer’s preferred food source and the direction he travels from the food to thick cover or bedding locations. This chore is relatively easy if deer are feeding on agricultural crops, like the Bean Field Buck I bagged in South Carolina. Once the hunter observes deer in a field, he needs to notice from which direction the deer leave the field. By close scouting, a sportsman often will find a trail leading to and from the field. A hunter should be able to find the cover that a deer is using to bed in and the best place along the trail to make a blind or take a stand by following that path. If deer are feeding on acorns or shrubs, the hunter should try to find the highest concentrations of deer signs - trails, tracks, droppings, half-eaten acorns or chewed shrubs - and follow the trails from these areas to the animals’ cover or bedding sites.

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: Hunt Scrapes and Watering Holes for Big Deer

Check back each day this week for more about Take Deer - Hunt Transition Regions, Scrapes, Watering Holes and Crowded Areas

Day 1: Identifying a Spot to Take a Buck
Day 2: Waiting for the Big Beanfield Buck
Day 3: Finding the Transition Regions to Take Deer
Day 4: Hunt Scrapes and Watering Holes for Big Deer
Day 5: Hunt Crowded Areas to Take Buck Deer

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Entry 854, Day 3