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John's Journal... Entry 118, Day 1


How to Read Sign

EDITOR'S NOTE: Don Shipp of Clinton, Arkansas, an accomplished turkey hunter who won the World Turkey Calling Championship in 1997, 1998 and 1999, also enjoys hunting deer. This week Shipp tells us his secrets for using turkey-hunting tactics to hunt big bucks.

QUESTION: How many deer have you taken?
ANSWER: I've bagged several bucks, mostly with guns. But I've recently taken up bowhunting because I've started working with Drury Outdoors and filming hunts with Mark and Terry Drury. I've learned many successful bowhunting tactics from the Drurys. We're planning to put together a video on turkey hunting -- which is probably what I'm better at than anything else.

QUESTION: If you're a good turkey hunter, why should you be able to transpose those skills to become an effective deer hunter?
ANSWER: One of the similarities between turkey hunting and deer hunting is that hunters must learn how to read sign to hunt these animals effectively. For deer hunting, you want to be able to look at the sign and discover ...
* where the deer are bedding,
* when and if the deer are coming into green fields to feed early in the season,
* where their rub lines are and
* when and where the bucks prefer to meet up with the does.

QUESTION: How would you use your turkey-hunting skills to find a buck?
ANSWER: When deer season is over and I'm in the woods hunting turkey, I like to scout for deer. Because deer generally remain in the same area from year to year, I'll look for old rub lines and sheds. When I return to the woods early the next deer season, I'll survey the area like I will when I listen for turkeys. For instance, on a turkey hunt, I'll listen to where the turkeys are gobbling and watch where they're flying out and coming into the field to meet with the hens. On a deer hunt, I'll try to determine ...
* whether bucks are in the area,
* when the bucks are in velvet,
* whether the deer are concentrated in one spot,
* when the does are coming in season and
* which trails the deer are using and where they're coming out during the pre-rut.
Once you learn as much as you can about the animals, their habitat and their habits, you'll be better prepared to locate them and take them the next hunting season.





Check back each day this week for more about Turkeys ...

Day 1 - How to Read Sign
Day 2 - Patience
Day 3 - Stand Placement and Observation
Day 4 - How and When to Call
Day 5 - The Importance of Camouflage

John's Journal