John's Journal...

The Dominant Buck Deer Theory with Dr. Larry Marchinton

Day 1: Learning about the Dominant Buck Deer with Dr. Larry Marchinton

Editor’s Note: Scientific research learned some facts about big white-tailed bucks that can make your hunting this year your best ever.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewIn any given area of the woods, there is one buck that has established himself as the dominant buck of that region, because of his superior strength, well-developed antlers and large body size. This buck, through trial by combat, has claimed the right to breed the does in that region. Although the subordinate bucks may from time to time test the dominant buck’s strength, his position in the herd is well-established and well-recognized. And, by being the dominant buck, this deer becomes the trophy that most hunters seek.

However many outdoorsmen don’t know what makes this particular buck different from the other deer in the herd, why this deer has been able to establish dominance, what his position of dominance means to the other deer in the herd, or how hunters may best hunt the older buck. Dr. Larry Marchinton, a retired professor of wildlife biology at the University of Georgia, has intensely studied and researched whitetail deer behavior for about three decades to find the answers to these questions. And, besides his scientific approach to learning about deer, Marchinton has closely scrutinized the white-tailed deer while hunting.

According to Marchinton, “The dominant buck is usually an older buck that is bigger and stronger than any of the other deer in his territory. He establishes his dominance right after the velvet comes off the antlers through a series of jousts with subordinate bucks. Although some hunters believe that there must be mortal combat for a buck to establish dominance, this does not seem to be the case. Subordinate bucks will push, shove and lock horns with a dominant buck to test his strength, but they don’t have to get hurt to find out that the dominant buck is still the strongest deer in the herd.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View“This strongest buck generally will be an older deer that has survived more than 3-1/2-seasons. Because this buck is older, we also know that he is probably smarter than the younger bucks, since he has been able to elude hunters. And, once this dominant buck has proven his superiority to the subordinate bucks, he claims the right to breed the does in his territory. Because of his superior intelligence and strength, this buck will move primarily at night and will usually lay-up in heavy cover during the daylight hours, which is primarily why most hunters never see the dominant buck.”

For more deer-hunting tips, get 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,” or to prepare venison, get “ Deer & Fixings.” Click here on each, or 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.


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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: Finding the Dominant Buck Deer’s Achilles Heel with Dr. Larry Marchinton

Check back each day this week for more about The Dominant Buck Deer Theory with Dr. Larry Marchinton"

Day 1: Learning about the Dominant Buck Deer with Dr. Larry Marchinton
Day 2: Finding the Dominant Buck Deer’s Achilles Heel with Dr. Larry Marchinton
Day 3: Choosing the Best Days to Hunt the Dominant Buck Deer with Dr. Larry Marchinton
Day 4: Knowing the Best Time of Day for Taking Trophy Buck Deer with Dr. Larry Marchinton
Day 5: Using Scrapes to Identify Places Where a Dominant Buck Deer Is with Dr. Larry Marchinton

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Entry 748, Day 1