John's Journal...

You Can Have a Second Chance to take a Buck in January

Day 1: The Importance of Knowing Where to Hunt January Deer

Editor’s Note: To bag a buck in January and possibly have a second opportunity for a buck, you need to understand where to hunt January deer.

Click for Larger ViewThe rain was coming down in torrents. On morning hunts at White Oak Plantation, sportsmen usually stalk hunt. Then, in the afternoons, they sit on green fields. But on this particular morning, the rain was falling so hard that guide Bo Pitman felt that hunters would be more comfortable and able to hunt better sitting in dry shooting houses, watching the green fields, rather than tramping-around in the rain stalking. And I had to agree with Pitman as staying dry in the winter is always better than being wet. The time was almost 8:30 am. From my shooting house, I’d seen almost 40 turkeys on the green field but no deer. Actually I hadn’t expected to see a deer, because generally, the deer at White Oak didn’t move on the green fields until late in the afternoon.

Click for Larger ViewAs I sat in the shooting house – high and dry – I thought to myself, “Here I am dodging the weather in a spot I know probably won’t produce deer. Although I’m dry, I’m not hunting. And with the rain falling and the wind blowing into the shooting house, I could hunt much-more effectively if I left the shooting house and stalk-hunted into the wind. Besides, I’m wearing a suit that’s warm, waterproof, quiet, comfortable and designed for hunting in foul weather. So, what am I doing here – sitting in a shooting house trying to keep from getting wet, instead of attempting to find a deer?”

One of the most-efficient ways for me to hunt successfully is to constantly analyze how I’m hunting, where I’m hunting, and what the wind direction is. I realized that at that time I wasn’t really hunting, and that stalk hunting traditionally had been the most-productive way to bag a deer in the morning at White Oak. Since I’d gotten-up early and planned to hunt, there was no reason for me to sit in the shooting house. I knew I had about 700 acres in the region where I was hunting and that I should expect to encounter no other sportsmen there.

Where to Hunt:

Click for Larger ViewBecause I had hunted this place before, I knew there were two stand sites in the area where hunters climbed trees or hunted from ground blinds. To shrink the amount of woods I had to hunt, I eliminated these two sites from my hunt plan. Click for Larger VewI walked past them quickly and moved to the back side of the property to stalk the region where few, if any other hunters, had been all season. Upon arriving at the back side of the property, immediately I saw scrapes and rubs and felt the presence of a deer. Although this idea may sound far-fetched, outdoorsmen who spend a lot of time in the woods develop a sixth sense for deer, and instinctively know when they’re in the presence of a deer. Although describing this feeling is difficult, usually when I’ve had that feeling, most of the time I’ve spotted deer soon after. At other times, I believe the deer may have been around, but I just haven’t seen them.

Tomorrow: Whether or Not to Shoot at a Buck When You Have a Second Chance


Check back each day this week for more about "You Can Have a Second Chance to take a Buck in January "

Day 1: The Importance of Knowing Where to Hunt January Deer
Day 2: Whether or Not to Shoot at a Buck When You Have a Second Chance
Day 3: The Importance of the Wind and Human Scent for Taking a Second Chance Buck
Day 4: Other Ingredients Critical to Having the Chance to Take a Buck the Second Time
Day 5: The Best Places and Calls to Help You Have a Chance a Second Time to Take a Buck

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Entry 648, Day 1