John's Journal...

Make a List to Successfully Bowhunt Deer

Day 1: The Importance of Checking All Aspects of Bowhunting Equipment to Take Deer

Editor’s Note: The little things that may seem insignificant can make or break your bowhunt. Here’s how to spot potential problems.
Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewThe 4-point buck was standing broadside to me in a patch of sun that caused his ivory antlers to glow like neon lights. Since his head was up, I had no opportunity to draw. The wind was blowing from behind the whitetail and into my face. I knew the animal couldn’t smell me. And, I felt I was invisible decked out in camo and with my face covered in grease paint. Although the shot should have been an easy one, there is always anxiety, that nervous feeling I get just before the moment of truth. The cold sweat I felt trailing down my face and the hair on the back of my neck that now stood at attention were reminders to me that I must relax just before the shot, if I was to shoot accurately and down the buck.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the deer lowered his head. I started my draw and the sequence of events that if performed properly, would result in my arrowing the buck. However, before my string reached my anchor point at the corner of my mouth, I shifted my weight slightly and heard a terrifying squeak from my tree stand. I hoped that the buck hadn’t heard the stand pop, as I watched the deer jump and speed quickly away. I’d done everything right – except make sure that my stand was oiled to keep it from making a sound like it just had.
Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewDeer hunting with a bow and arrow is the most-exacting sport in the out-of-doors. To consistently be successful, you constantly must pay attention to even the smallest and most-minute details. This paying attention to detail needs to become a reflex, rather than a thought process. But making a list of items to check before bowhunting will make you more successful.

To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and print books on hunting deer, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” and “Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows,” or to prepare venison, “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.

For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from

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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: Pattern Your Bowhunting after the Greats

Check back each day this week for more about Make a List to Successfully Bowhunt Deer

Day 1: The Importance of Checking All Aspects of Bowhunting Equipment to Take Deer
Day 2: Pattern Your Bowhunting after the Greats
Day 3: Don’t Overlook Anything When You’re Scouting
Day 4: Questions to Ask Yourself on the Day You Plan to Hunt Deer
Day 5: Recover Deer by Identifying Every Sign

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Entry 839, Day 1