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John's Journal... Entry 12 - Day 1

Click to enlargeHOW TO LEARN THE LAND

Many bowhunters in the Southeast and across the country know Jerry Simmons of Jasper, Alabama, as one of the best bowhunters ever. When landowners and hunting clubs have a problem with overpopulation of deer and hunting pressure alone won't reduce the numbers as quickly as they need to be reduced, these people will call in Simmons and his longbow to take their excess deer. In one, 38-day stretch, Simmons bagged 37 deer with his longbow. He can consistently take as many deer as he wants almost anywhere he hunts. But what makes Jerry Simmons such a successful bowhunter?

Click to enlarge"You have to know each day that you go hunting that you're hunting in the very best place in the woods to take a deer," Simmons said. "Most deer hunters will look for a good place to hunt, but you can't be successful regularly if you're hunting from only a good place. You have to hunt from the very best spot to see a deer in the woods that day."

If you're wondering how do you know where the best place in the woods is to hunt on the day you're going to hunt, here's the keys to Simmons' success.

Why Learning the Land Is Important -- "When I go into a new area to hunt I want to know where every tree, every stream, every trail, every food source and every bedding area is located on the land before I start to hunt it," Simmons explained.

Click to enlargeHow to Learn the Land -- "I'll take 1000 acres of woodlands and divide it into 20-acre blocks," Simmons advised. "Then, I'll study each 20 acres, one block at a time, until I know everything there is to know in that 20 acres.

"I want to look at every tree, every trail and every bush and be able to find my way around that 20 acres by day or by night. I want to know everything the deer are doing in that 20 acres. Only when I'm convinced I've learned all I can about that 20 acres will I move to the next 20 acres and start to learn it.

"No one can learn what deer are doing on an entire 1000 acres, but anyone should be able to take a day or two to learn what deer are doing on 20 acres. If you'll divide the land that you have to hunt into 20-acre blocks and learn each block thoroughly, then within a year or two you'll know almost as much about the land as the deer do."

Click to enlargeWhy You Must Scout Constantly -- "To be consistently successful, you must scout constantly," Simmons suggested. Tomorrow we'll see how Simmons hunts after he knows the land.

You can purchase the "Masters' Secrets of Bowhunting" by John E. Phillips, which includes many of Jerry Simmons' tactics. Click here to see the book cover and review portions of some of the chapters.

To learn more about deer and their habits, which will make you a better woodsman, click here to see the book cover of John E. Phillips' book "The Science of Deer" and review parts of some chapters.

Read more from Jerry Simmons and others...

How to Learn the Land
Have a Successful Three Day Hunt
When to Stay in Your Treestand and When to Leave
How to Hunt the Right Spot
Techno Deer Hunting