John's Journal...

A Fun Quiz for Deer Hunters

Day 1: Learning the Behavior Patterns of Deer, the Signs They Leave Behind and Correct Bullet Placement

Editor’s Note: To consistently bag the white-tailed deer, there are questions the hunter must learn the answers to, including the behavior patterns of the animal, the effects of the weather and the signs a buck leaves behind after he’s passed through an area. And, the more questions a deer hunter can answer about the animal he hunts, the more likely he is to unravel the riddle of where to find a deer on a particular day. Sometimes the deer hunter hears and believes wrong information. Then because he’s misinformed, he may miss his rendezvous with a buck. Take the deer-hunting quiz, and see whether you pass or fail.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View1) Question: If you’re deer hunting on a flood plain, and the woods are flooded, the best place to find your buck is on dry ground, because deer don’t like to go in the water. True or False.

Answer: False. Oftentimes deer will feed in water chest-deep. In acorn flats, the flooded water will cause acorns to rise from the woods floor to the surface of the water. By walking around the slough or out in the flooded timber where the acorns are floating, deer can feed easily and safely.

2) Question: A hunter can tell a buck’s track from a doe’s because:

(a) the buck’s track will be wider than the doe’s track;
(b) the buck’s track will show the dew claws;
(c) the buck’s track will have the hind feet closer to the front feet;
(d) the buck’s track will press into the ground further than a doe’s due to the greater weight of the buck;
(e) None of the above.

Answer: (e) None of the above is the correct answer. The only way to tell a buck’s track from a doe’s track is if you spot the deer standing in the track. A large buck walking on hard ground may leave only a small track, while a doe running in soft mud may leave behind a wide track down to the dew claws.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View3) Question: Correct bullet placement is critical to dropping a buck in his tracks. The best place to put a bullet in a buck for an instant, one-shot kill is:

(a) in the center of the front shoulder;
(b) just behind the front shoulder;
(c) in front of the front shoulder.

Answer: (c) In front of the front shoulder is the correct answer. By aiming in front of the front shoulder, the hunter will hit the neck region. Generally because of the force of the bullet, even if the bullet doesn’t impact the spinal column, it will break the spinal column of the deer. When the deer’s spinal column is broken, the deer becomes paralyzed and must drop.

There is yet another advantage for shooting for the neck region, since usually the hunter will kill the deer instantly or miss the whitetail completely and be able to hunt the deer another day. By shooting 2 to 3 inches in front of the front shoulder, the sportsman is aiming at the largest part of the neck, which is a bigger target at which to shoot. When shooting at the center of the front shoulder, many times the hunter may break the deer down but not cause the deer to stay down. Once I shot a buck with a .300 magnum at 40 yards. So great was the force of the bullet that it knocked the deer into the air. But the animal still was able to get-up and stumble 20-yards further before he fell. Although aiming behind the front shoulder allows a hunter to hit some of the vital organs, the deer may run 100-200 yards before he falls. If you want to try and minimize the time you have to trail a wounded animal, shoot for the neck region.

For more deer-hunting tips, click on each of John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” and “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property.” Too, you can 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.

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: Sex Scents of the Deer, Human Scents of the Hunter and Choosing the Right Weather Conditions for Taking Deer

Check back each day this week for more about "A Fun Quiz for Deer Hunters"

Day 1: Learning the Behavior Patterns of Deer, the Signs They Leave Behind and Correct Bullet Placement
Day 2: Sex Scents of the Deer, Human Scents of the Hunter and Choosing the Right Weather Conditions for Taking Deer
Day 3: Selecting the Right Stand Sites, Knowing the Habits of Dominant Bucks During the Rut and Finding Bucks in High Pressure Hunting Areas
Day 4: To Take Spike Bucks or Not and Does This Practice Help Control Deer Population
Day 5: Tactics for Improving Your Odds for Taking Deer

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Entry 737, Day 1