John's Journal...

Driving Bow Buck Deer

Day 1: Two Bowhunters Can Drive Deer Successfully

Click for Larger ViewI hardly could believe my eyes. Even after more than 40 years of bowhunting, I still felt amazed when I devised a hunt plan that worked. Most of the time, my hunting plans didn’t pan out. If they had, I'd bag a buck with my bow every time I went hunting. But on this particular morning, on the edge of a small thicket, the scheme of driving bow bucks that I'd dreamed about seemed as though it would pay a buck dividend.

Click for Larger ViewAlthough not a monster, the buck I hunted had 6 points with main beams out past his ears. He weighed about 165 pounds and moved slowly and quietly through the brush as he came down a dim trail I'd discovered earlier before bow season. The buck would stop, look back, take five or six steps forward and look back again. Just as he reached the edge of the thicket, before he crossed a small opening, he stopped and gazed over his shoulder for the last time. I already had drawn my bow when the buck turned. Although he didn't present a perfect broadside shot or an ideal quartering-away shot, he did offer me a target just behind his shoulders. When I released the arrow, the shaft flew true. The buck took the arrow, bolted and ran out into thick cover.

I sat in my tree stand for another 15 minutes before my hunting buddy, Jim Clark, who had acted as the driver, showed-up. Looking up in my tree, Clark whispered loudly, "Did you see anything?" "Yes, I did!" I replied with a grin. "Did you get him?" Clark asked. "I think I did," I said. I lowered my bow down and slowly climbed out of the tree. Clark and I excitedly followed the well-defined blood trail for about 80 yards and found the buck piled-up in a blackberry thicket. "We did it, we really did it! The plan worked. This is fantastic," Clark yelled. After some high fives and a bear hug, Clark and I dragged the buck back to my vehicle. We had taken the buck- not me, not Clark, but the two of us.

Click for Larger ViewA successful deer hunt becomes more memorable when you can share it with a friend. Then the remembrance of that hunt will last a lifetime for both hunters. That’s why I enjoy driving bow bucks. You’ll rarely ever hear the term, “putting on a deer drive,” in relationship to bowhunting. Most hunters never consider the possibility of driving deer when they bowhunt, mainly due to the perception of how to conduct a deer drive. When I say the words, deer drive, most hunters think of four or five men walking through thick cover and spooking deer that then come out of the thicket, burning the wind and running towards standers holding high-powered rifles or shotguns they shoot to take the bucks sprinting past them. However, this kind of deer drive doesn’t work for the bowhunter.

Click for Larger ViewA bowhunter will have about the same chance that a snowball has of not melting in hell to arrow a buck running flat-out from thick cover. However, the deer drive I'm talking about takes advantage of our knowledge about older-age-class bucks. We know a buck uses his nose as his sense for determining danger. Hunters always have believed that if a buck smells you, then nine times out of 10 he will avoid you, and you'll never get a shot. But, in the sport of judo and other martial arts, you learn to use your opponent's strength to defeat him. Therefore, if you can fool a buck's nose, you can develop a plan to take him. That’s What Jim Clark and I did.

You’ll learn more-intensive hunting information and tips in the new Kindle eBooks,“How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros,” “Jim Crumley's Secrets of Bowhunting Deer,” Deer and Fixings” and “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” all by John E. Phillips. Go to, type in the names of the books, and download them to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, Smart Phone or computer.

About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) 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: Understand the Importance of the Deer’s Nose When Bowhunters Drive Deer

Check back each day this week for more about "Driving Bow Buck Deer"

Day 1: Two Bowhunters Can Drive Deer Successfully
Day 2: Understand the Importance of the Deer’s Nose When Bowhunters Drive Deer
Day 3: Bowhunters Use Draw Hunt Drives to Take Deer
Day 4: Deer Follow the Path of Least Resistance When Bowhunters Drive Them
Day 5: Bowhunters Need a Hunt Plan to Take Deer on a Drive

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Entry 691, Day 1