John's Journal...

Hunting Deer in December

Day 1: How to Identify Sites for December Deer Hunting

Editor’s Note: Deer hunters often find hunting miserable during the month of December because the deer know more about you than you do about them. The deer know what time you go hunting and what time you break for lunch; when you'll return to the woods; where you've located your tree stands; where you hunt most often; and where you seldom hunt. The deer have psyched you out and outsmarted you. Let’s look at deer hunting in December.

Perhaps in December you’ll find . . .

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View* an area with an acorn tree that's dropping acorns, plenty of deer droppings on the ground, hulls of acorns everywhere that the deer already have gotten the meat out of and numbers of acorns not yet eaten. Also three deer trails lead to this site with tracks going in both directions. Although a textbook-like prime hunting site, you may sit there for 3 days and never see a buck.

* a major deer trail coming to a green field with some huge tracks on the trail and out in the field. You're convinced a big buck uses this region, but in 3 days of hunting, you never see deer or get a shot.

* an active scrape line beside an old logging trail. The strong scent of fresh urine wafts through the air from the pawed-up earth underneath the scrape. You can tell by the size of the tree that the deer rubs that he's huge. But once you set up to hunt this spot all day Saturday and Sunday, you never see the buck.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewAccording to every book and magazine article you've ever read, all these locations look like slam-dunk sites for bagging big bucks. But at this time of the year, often you can't depend on what you see. To take older-age-class bucks at this time of the year, you must understand hunting pressure and its effect on mature whitetails.

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 “Bowhunting Deer: 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: Why Smart Deer Bucks Live

Check back each day this week for more about Hunting Deer in December

Day 1: How to Identify Sites for December Deer Hunting
Day 2: Why Smart Deer Bucks Live
Day 3: How to Bag Mature Buck Deer During December
Day 4: How to Identify a Place to Take Buck Deer in December
Day 5: How to Fool Older Age Class Buck Deer

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Entry 852, Day 1